The one thing that separates my grandfather from the rest is he never settled down. He was one of those men that women my age now complain about. The ones that we build support groups about in the middle of the night when we are tear filled and angry.
Have You Ever Been In Love?
I asked him this as we sat in his living room watching the VMA’s while he smoked his cigarette and I ate my smoothie bowl.
I have been in love many times. Matter of fact, I’ve been in love so many times that I forgot what it was like to NOT be in love.
I let him continue without interruption, but he stares at me instead of speak and says something he has said to me my whole life.
Mija, life is not about finding love. Life is about loving.
There is this concept — there are 3 loves in your life and the last one hits you blindly. The problem with that is you have to get through the first two loves to get to the third.
Abuelo, when do you know you’re in love?
You don’t. Not until it leaves you. Which is why you don’t look for it. While you’re in it you feel all things but love. You feel happiness, you feel laughter, you feel shame and you feel responsibility. Responsibility for their heart, for their soul. But not love. It’s when they leave you feel love. When you watch them get into their car to go home — that’s love. You’ll miss them. That’s love. When you walk away from them after taking the kids to the park. That’s love — the guilt you have for not making it work. When you ask them how they slept at night because you heard the TV on in the living room all night — there is love there too, because they weren’t in bed.
Do you get it yet?
I thought I understood.
Love is who you miss. Right?
Well, kind of. Love is where you want to be when you’re not there.
Take, your grandmother. I loved her when I was 18. I lived in LA, she lived in Oakland. She had my daughter, your mother, I wanted to be with them. But when I was with them — I wanted to go away. They drove me insane. I need a break. But that moment I walked away, I started to love them. I started to understand that I wouldn’t be who I am without that and that was my love.
So, love is where you want to be, when you’re not there.
Where do you want to be right now? You don’t have to tell me. But think about it.
I would have been honest, but I didn’t have an answer. I missed my family — my brothers. I missed my friends. But that’s not the right answer, because love is not who you miss.
Abuelo — I don’t think I’m in love.
And you don’t need to be. It will find you and it will love you and it will be everything that you deserve. And more.
Previously Published on medium
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