Falling in love is beautiful; beautiful and overwhelming and magical. The songs make sense. The sky is bluer, the grass greener, the sun sunnier. The world fades away. Nothing matters but you and your love. You stop spending every waking moment with your friends, and start spending every waking moment thinking about your lover. You meet for lunch, even though it’s a 15 minute drive each way and you only have a 45 minute break, because you can’t bear to go nine whole hours without seeing each other.
You open yourself and are engulfed by emotion. You know the feeling will never end. Your love is perfect and nothing can change that. You watch other couples and giggle to yourselves. We’ll never be like that, you think. We’ll never spend so much time arguing over who ate the most popcorn that we miss the end of the movie. We’ll never have to schedule a “date night”, or find it hard to remember when we last had sex, or argue about who left the dirty cup on the bench instead of stacking on the sink where it belongs.
And then things change. Perhaps you get married, or have children, or start saving for a house, or the pressures of work start to get to you. Or perhaps you just settle into a routine. Perhaps nothing changes at all, but suddenly everything is different. You stop talking about who has the sexiest body and start talking about whose turn it is to take out the trash. You stop laughing at each other’s jokes and start laughing at each other’s families. You stop wanting to spend all your time together and start wishing you had your own space.
You love each other, but it’s not the same. You’re inlove, but not of love. You talk about the future. You argue about how you spend your money. You’re overwhelmed by life and responsibility and work and finances and the need to consult with someone else over every single thing you do. You argue. You make up. You wish things were still magical and beautiful, and wonder what happened to the sweet, sensitive, sexy person you fell in love with. And then you eat another chocolate bar, turn on the TV, and try not to think about it.
You turn into that couple. A dirty sock abandoned on the bedroom floor sparks an argument of epic proportions. You compare incomes and free time and sacrifices and then one of you sleeps in the spare room. You wonder if you’re still in love at all. You feel trapped and lonely and isolated and old: old like the mountains; old like the rain. You look at young couples in love and feel overwhelmed by the weight of reality; the trials of time. You wish you could go back: back to that perfect place. But you’re too tired to try.
And then something happens.
It could be something wonderful or terrible; magical or mundane. Perhaps it’s sudden, or perhaps it creeps up on you like the first breath of spring after a long and freezing winter.
You wake up and find that you recognise the man in your bed. He’s not just the guy who can’t figure out how to put his dirty clothes in the hamper. He’s not the guy who drives you to the point of insanity with his inability to remember simple instructions. He’s not even the father of your children (at least, notonlythat). He’s the man you fell in love with.
He’s the man who can make you laugh more than anyone else in the world. He’s the man who can look into your eyes and see your very soul. He’s the man who knows the difference between when you’re really happy and when you’re pretending to be happy. He’s the man who loves you and thinks you’re beautiful, even when you’re wearing decade-old grey pyjamas and your hair looks like something out of a horror film. He’s the man who wants to hear your opinion on anything and everything.
And as you look into his eyes and remember the reasons you fell in love with him, you see the same startled recognition on his face.
The birds sing. The sun shines. The songs all make sense again.
You want to spend every moment together. You juggle your schedules; your work; your children; your responsibilities. You find time. You resent anything that gets in the way. You wake up early and stay up late, trying to wring as much extra time out of the day as possible. You talk, you dream, you live, you love. Everything is perfect.
But this time, this time, you’re smarter. You know how fleeting these feelings can be. So you cherish the moments. You bask in the glory of a world that doesn’t exist for anyone but you. You make changes. You make sacrifices. You make apologies.
Please accept mine.
I’ll be back either when this overwhelming bonfire fades to warm and cozy embers, or when I find a way to bring balance to the Force (or my life).