It’s no secret (if you’ve read any of my novels), that I love romance. ”Romance” is such a dirty word these days–when you say it, it immediately conjures up corsets, heaving bosoms, romance novel book covers complete with bodice ripping and…Fabio. But that’s all so far from my idea of romance that I thought I’d take a little time out of today of all days, Valentine’s Day, to talk about what *I* imagine when I hear that word.
The reason I love *love* so much is that my entire life is built up in adoration of that concept. Over nine years ago, I got together with my soul mate, my anam cara, my true love and other half. We’ve been through so much together, have held each other up and been there for each other–important things, all. But, perhaps one of the most important things, is that every day of those over nine years has been spent falling deeper in love with each other.
The idea of a constant passion, of all consuming love and adoration, is something that’s gone a little out of style recently. There’s a lot of cynicism in this world, and I can’t blame it for existing. There have been people who believed in love truly and wholly and had their hearts broken, or have always thought that they were never meant for a “love like that.”
But here’s the secret: I thought that, too.
I never believed that I would be able to fall in love with anyone. I wanted to. Doesn’t everyone want to? But I was afraid of getting hurt. I grew up knowing I was a lesbian and believing that I would never be able to find a lady, let alone a lady who would love and adore and cherish me. Those things were so laughable, I cried myself to sleep about it a lot of nights.
Sometimes, I look back on these past nine years and I’m awestruck by them. This morning, Jenn made me breakfast in bed (well. Lunch. <3), after giving me the most heartfelt, beautiful card and gift, after having spent the last week that I’ve been sick taking care of me and making me tea and massaging my back because my lungs have been crap and kissing me and saying that I looked beautiful and sexy even though HECK TO THE NO I LOOKED LIKE A ZOMBIE, and telling me over and over and over again how much she loved me. She didn’t just say it (though she said it countless times), but she did it. Love is an act in our lives, and we create it every day for one another.
Even though it’s been nine years, it was not that long ago that I never felt something like this could happen, and it hasn’t been that long (though it has), since the painful years of our long distance relationship. So I have a very unique perspective on all of it: there is not a single day that goes by that I take her for granted. Or us. Or this.
We spend all day, every day, working together as authors. And yet we never fight. We create together, and are deeply passionate together every single day, and we cook for each other and leave little love notes in places where we’ll find them, and we do a million and one tiny gestures to show the other how much we love each other.
And when she holds me, deep into the night, when I feel the even rhythm of her breath, when she’s on the border of waking and dreams, and I am, too, I whisper prayers of awe and adoration, because I could never have believed it could be like this. This isn’t possible, right? Nine years. They say this sort of “romantic stuff” is the product of “new love,” that it fades away into nothingness after a time in the beginning. But it hasn’t. And it won’t. Because our creation of love is an art that we make for each other every single day.
And that is why I love love. Because it’s beautiful. And essential. And an art I am deeply blessed to create, every day with the person I adore more than this world.
And if you don’t have someone, but you wish you did. Or you don’t have someone, and you’re not sure if you want them. Or if you don’t have someone, but you wished for one, once…you can never expect or know when something lovely and beautiful and right can come into your life and make magic of it.
I could never have expected or predicted Jenn. But I have the rest of my life to thank her for being.
Happy Valentine’s Day. <3 <3 <3