I am thinking about love.
I am thinking about Valentine's Day and how it's strange to choose a random day to think about love because in reality, we are surrounded by it, every minute, every hour, every day.
I am thinking about how I watched The Notebook with a grown man and saw him cry for the first time and realized then how we all have experienced the simultaneous beauty and sadness of complicated loving- the kind of love that glues you together and rips you apart and never quite fades but never quite blossoms, no matter how many years or miles pass.
I am thinking of the beauty of how easy it is to connect with a new friend, and how I stare at her sad blue eyes and listen to her story and just offer space for her, and how I recognize her pain and sorrow and anger and regret, and yet in the very same breath, with the very same eyes, see her relief and her reason and her knowingness that things played out just as they should have.
I am thinking how I have known her heartbreak all too well, and how love and loss thread us together, even though we are different ages and have different hair colors and grew up in different states.
I am thinking about the drunk dials I've answered, listening to honest words, unfiltered and openly gushing the kindest of compliments, only to be forgotten the next day, and how that both stung and saddened me for secretly cherishing those moments of alcohol-induced flattery.
I am thinking about riding my bike with the sun warming my back, my ponytail dancing in the wind, my exhilarated heart pounding as I descend down Calaveras Road. And how that feels like love.
I am thinking about the power of random text messages and how words carry electricity- they can light up your whole day, shift your energy, cause you to smile wide, change your outlook.
I am thinking of my late grandmother, and how I would hold her soft, smooth hands, and how she radiated so much strength in adversity, as well as softness and grace, and how that dichotomy always fascinated me.
I am thinking about Praveena, and how she has cultivated in me a deep awareness of the present moment, of gratitude and mindfulness, and how it is beautiful that a single person can change your world so profoundly. She is steady, like the breath, and I love that about her.
I am thinking about how I still feel love for J, who now is happily married and holds his beautiful wife's belly, with a baby on the way, and how love can change shapes and shift forms and textures, yet buried beneath those decade-old bricks is a timeless love that is genuinely happy for his path and wishes only the best for him and his family. And how I cannot express or communicate that directly to him, but I know that kind of love transcends the miles and time and still arrives at its destination, full of intention.
I am thinking how heartbreak and sorrow were my most beautiful gifts because they caused compassion and tenderness to spew forth from my heart once it was cracked wide open- and how love was always present in those dark spaces, but it was camouflaged in different forms that took me awhile to recognize.
I am thinking how electrifying it feels to be in love, to jump in fully, to drop the umbrella and kiss in the rain, tasting sweet passion mixed with raindrops and feeling the heat of another's breath on your face- and how it feels to be on the same street witnessing that exchange, walking alone, yet soaked in all the grace that I've been given, and how that kind of Love is enough.
I am thinking how much more liberating it is to be love- unguarded, unpretentious, giving freely and openly because it will never, ever run out.
And how I would definitely want more than February 14th to be that.