The Love You Have

May this post serve as a reminder.

I just finished a good workout, but it wasn’t easy. A large part of me didn’t want to do it, and so I battled and bargained with myself. I drank coffee. One cup became two became three. I told myself I would put it off until after lunch, and so I ate and continued to kick the can down the road. I’ve been feeling this reluctance lately, and I’m not fond of it. I’m used to looking forward to my workouts, to each workout being the highlight of my day. Recently, it’s become a chore, something to offset my poor eating habits, which I know need to change.

Because when I hit the mat, everything changes. Once the blood gets pumping and the sweat starts to flow, that’s when I’m most at home. My music is playing, and I feel the most like myself that I will at any point during that day. My mind is liberated. I don’t have to think about anything afterwards, even if I do find myself drifting to different topics in between sets, even if I do find myself picking up my phone from time to time. Each set is a reminder to put it down and to focus on the task at hand, something I am happy to do, that is, once I get started. Until that start happens, until I push myself over the hump, then I am just unrealized potential.


Sometimes, I truly do feel old.

Now, I know what people might say. I’m only 33, or 32 and like 11/12’s, and by most metrics, that’s still pretty young. I’m still able to work out like I did in my twenties, and in some ways, maybe in many ways, I may be the strongest I’ve ever been. Physically, I feel good, like I have many great years ahead of me, and I really hope that I do. I don’t feel that way all the way through, though, or maybe that’s too dark. Lately, it’s just that I’ve been feeling a bit older than I am, but maybe it’s just maturity. Maybe I’m finally becoming a full-fledged adult, the way I told my friend that I only believe people become adults when they turn 30.

I’ve felt old my entire life, at least since age 9. When you have a major life event as early in your life as I did, it changes how you see things, and you can never go back to seeing the world the way you did before. Your innocence is gone, and so all you can really do is to pretend to be like the others, in hopes that you can blend in. You start chasing the idea of happiness, or maybe of normalcy, and the two are not mutually exclusive. You start looking for something to make you whole because you know that you aren’t, or at least you don’t feel that way. You feel like a piece of you is missing, and you aren’t sure how to get it back.


We exist in a truly strange time.

And yet, slowly but surely, things are getting back to normal. People are congregating, going to restaurants, and even going on dates. As I consider getting back to the dating world, I’ve strongly given consideration to the type of dating life I want to lead. I want it to be one of integrity, as much as is humanly possible, but there’s another thing that stands out to me when I consider getting back out there: I want it to be simple.

When I say I feel old, maybe it really does mean that I’m maturing. I’ve never been one for games, and I’m not looking for the situations of the past that I increasingly found myself in, where I didn’t know if there were romantic intentions, or just a potential friendship. I know what I’m looking for, and while it never hurts to add another friend to the roster, the picture is getting clearer for me. I know what I want of certain people, and I know that not everyone I meet will stay in my life forever. Part of maturing is coming to grips with this reality.

“Maybes tend to be maybe nots,” a friend recently told me.

I’m trying to make better decisions for myself, to set better boundaries, and to not put myself in compromising situations. It’s been a funky year, the kind you never want to relive, but that’s taught me so much about myself, and is also showing me the way to who I want to become. I want to become the image in my mind that I have of myself.

I had a quiet weekend, but I’ve realized that I’ve spent it talking to and catching up with friends, and it’s allowed me to see how that I am surrounded by love, how complete my life really is. I have friends all over the place, both foreign and domestic. I don’t say this to boast, simply to acknowledge that I am never as alone as I feel, and that I have the feeling that’s true for many people, that if we reach out, we’ll find that there’s so much more love there than we ever thought was possible. When we put love out there, more often than not, it gets returned to us.

I wish I could have posted this around Valentine’s Day, as it seems to be a strong and positive message for a day when so many of us feel an absence of love, but I can’t help but feel that we need it right now, when it seems like the world is a terrifying and loveless place. We need love more than ever right now, to feel completed by it, to feel like it’s all that there is because in truth, there is nothing more than love, and there is so much of it in the world. Be an ambassador of love.

I want to spend less time chasing others who don’t want me, and more time focusing on the love that I already have in my life. Maybe the romantic love will come when I least expect it, the way that people say it does. I think I’m done worrying about it. I know that I have so many people in my life who care about me, and in turn, that I care about. Love comes in different forms, but it’s still love, and it’s still capable of doing incredible and transformative things. Choose to recognize the love around you, to see it for what it is, and let your life improve tenfold. Thanks for reading.


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