Months ago, I read a book called The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo. I loved it so much, I promised to write a review for it – of course this never happened. For those of you who know me, you probably shook your heads and asked, “when?”. This book resonated with me because the heroine put herself first and made choices in her life that separated her from her one true love. The story takes you through the years two people who loved each other crossed paths at different stages in life. I loved the author’s writing style so much, the melancholy, sad, yet hopeful voice of the main character felt very personal – I adopted the style for my new book, The Year I Left.
I’ve had many friends who have recently experienced some form of heartbreak, of separation from those they loved because being together didn’t make sense.
What does that mean, you ask? How can being with the one you love not make sense?
It’s heart wrenching to think that love isn’t enough to get you through a life together, even ludicrous when you know how much you are willing to sacrifice to make things work. This is why it takes so much time, sometimes many years, for people to finally admit that being together is not in their life’s plan. They fight for each other, fight each other, fight to stay together. Until self-respect, sanity, time, are all in jeopardy. Maybe they have different needs, want different things. Maybe it’s because their priorities will never align. One wants to go in this direction, the other wants to go the opposite way. Maybe it’s because they found each other too late, that too many lives would be ruined in the process of building theirs.
So many reasons and yet, it feels like the same death.
We try desperately to pick up where we leave off, living lives far apart but in parallel. Maybe we marry or stay married to other people. Maybe we have families, we get caught up in raising them, in building a new life. We spend years lost in the shuffle – you, him, her, all of us, move down the road of life, through separate streets and crossroads, ending up two blocks east or west or north or south. We live in the moments, seize the good times and force the fact that we are happier, more secure, more in line with what we want out of our partners, our marriages, our families.
It works on most days.
But on days when you allow yourself to get lost in your thoughts, there is one thing you’ll need to admit to yourself – you’ll never love as much, laugh as hard, swoon to the music you both swayed to, once upon a time when you thought you could take on the world. Before you realized that the world was too vast, too complicated – you promised each other it would be okay.
Those promises still hold. You are okay. He is okay. She is okay. I am fine, we are fine. We are living, moving forward every day. Love is love but its magnitude and depth varies from person to person. The love you have today may not be the same, or as deep or as funny or as strong. But it’s love and you’re loved and you have love.
That’s enough to assure yourself that you made the right decision.