This past weekend, I started writing a Romantic Monday story, but I quit fairly soon after I began.
The reason was nothing more than a ‘I simply wasn’t feeling it’ attitude. Romance, while not completely absent, has been a bit of a foreign concept lately. Almost dead in a way, or maybe more like numb. A ‘going through the motions’ of life and our relationship kind of deal. Two well acquainted strangers living separate lives while living together. Co-existing on the bare minimums. Sigh.
I felt really pissed about that attitude I let settle inside.
Felt pissed by the crazy cycle we find ourselves in more often than not. Pissed over the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to write any loving or romantic type of anything, at all. Nada.
That attitude then turned into the blues and ‘how sad is it that I can’t drum up any mushy-gushy-feely-good feelings for the person I share my life with’ ?
Really, Ginger, nothing at all?
I then decided to sit in that feeling for awhile…
A good friend of mine says that “sometimes, it’s good to sit in the pot and stew, even if that stew stinks”. I hate it when this particular friend is right, and she is right, a lot!
So there I sat…
Letting the muck boil up to the top of the pot so I could see it and skim it off.
If you rush the process of the ‘stewing’, the good stuff never reaches it’s peak or it’s potential. You take it off the heat too soon and it’s tough, not edible and just plain gross…
But when you allow proper time for ‘stewing’, and you allow that muck to boil up to the top, it’s then that you can actually see what was in there in the first place. Invisible at first, but now there it is, plain as day, separating itself from the good stuff you are trying to create. It’s greasy, it’s a nasty grey-ish color of death, and it smells disgusting…
How did that get in there and what the hell is it, anyway?
But that muck, even though it is gross and unhealthy, is just as important as the good stuff, no? You cannot have that muck boiling up to the top without having the good stuff stewing at the bottom. It’s impossible to have one without the other.
And then I have an “ah-ha” moment and decide….
Perhaps this is just another side of ‘romance’. It’s what’s behind the sunshine and rainbows, in the shadows, in the background. This is the part that is impossible to have without the other.
It’s like this: I would reeeaally like to have a better, healthier, happier, fun and more romantic relationship with my husband, however, when I allow myself to get stuck in those feelings of ‘what we are not’, I then fail to see that the heartaches, and the ‘sticking with it and fighting for it’ IS, in fact, the good stuff of our romance…
Maybe the muck that boils up to the top is my child-like imagery of what romance SHOULD look like- the kind that is oftentimes unrealistic and impossible to obtain. Maybe the muck is made up of my expectations of a perfect marriage- defeating at best. That muck probably has my refusal to see the good in my partner before the bad.
Maybe the good stuff is me getting a healthy dose of reality and realizing that it would do me some good to step things up on my end of this relationship. Maybe the good stuff has reminders for me to stop chasing intangibles and the ghosts of ‘what if’. I think the good stuff also has some ‘letting go of unwise habits and damaging thought processes’ too.
The stew I am simmering in isn’t very pretty yet. It’s raw, frozen, and it’s filled with choosing to love vs. wanting to love, selfless vs. selfish, loving based on my unstable emotions vs. loving out of my commitment to the vow. The flavors have not yet melded, the color isn’t that perfect caramelized hue, it’s still tough, and it doesn’t taste good…. yet.
So I wait. I stay here in this heaviness, in this process of refinement, in the anticipation of what’s to come. I decide that, while this may not be the world’s version of romance, it is currently my version of romance. One that says “I know this doesn’t look good on the outside yet, but let it ‘stew’-be patient with the process”. My version is saying that this is merely another growing pain, and it will all be worth it on the other side.
My Romance is in the…
Not giving up.
Loving through the darkness.
Turning up the heat under the pot.
Remembering my end of this vow.
Not finished yet.