|image from this flickr found via this tumblr|
I'm not accustomed to love.
To feeling it, giving it, pining for it and, at times, yearning for it to leave me in peace; I am more than well acquainted.
But to experience love, love as it is given, and love as a mutual, wholehearted and shared experience, I am unaccustomed.
This is not to say that I have never, ever been loved before.
Certainly, those whom I have loved or have been involved with in the past may have loved me, but this was not love in all its great wondrous, unencumbered and almost unwieldy glory; this was love as a small, contained and conditional gift. A heart-shaped gesture of affection from someone to whom I have been unconditionally devoted; to whom I have unconditionally loved.
Thus, the premise of friendship throws up walls against the reciprocation of my feelings. I lose myself, so much of me, and so willingly, to the other. And they, by the by, continue to remain, as they were, maintaining the status quo of themselves and their emotions and only lightly acknowledging the depth and intensity of the sea within which I am drowning.
This seems ridiculous; why fall in love with people who do not reciprocate these affections? This is a question I ask myself frequently; and am yet to discover an answer.
Numerous axioms and adages seem appropriate here; the grass is always greener, love the one you're with, plenty more fish in the sea... it is alarming how unimaginative people are in their efforts to console other (irrespective of how true any of these sayings may be). What cannot seem to be answered, however, or find an appropriately blithe retort to, is the question that has plagued me throughout my adult (and somewhat not-quite-an-adult) years.
Why do I yearn so long for that which I cannot have?
Is love some kind of holy grail, that I am destined to spend my years searching for, only to perish on its discovery?
And if I think I have love now (god-willing, I do) will I squander it in my efforts to retain it, being as unaccustomed as I am to any kind of reciprocal emotion?