I am relieved no one told me when I was young how shaken and shaped I would be by the people I choose to love in this lifetime. Writing that sentence I questioned, just now, the use of the word choose. Is to love a choice? I know to love well is a choice. To see love through, to take care of it, to commit to it are all choices. But can we choose in fact who we love as we choose how to love them? That I wish someone could tell me.
For three years I have been learning this: You cannot love someone into loving you. I imagine when I look back on my twenties, when I look back on my life in Idaho, it will be one of the great lessons I learned. I always believed that if you loved someone, if someone loved you, and particularly if they took place at the same time, that nothing else would matter. It seemed to me almost like a science.
Sometimes I am standing in a doorway or at the grocery store and we’re talking like nothing ever happened. And I am learning this is where I will leave us. I can love him and not want to be with him. I can love him and leave. I can leave and just leave. And none of it changes any part of what has been and what will be. For a while I was worried it made everything mean less. It does nothing of the sort.
I am interested in the way we can build worlds with someone else, how quickly the roads are cleared and paved, the monuments built, the jokes on our tongue. I could have never imagined how quickly I would take to riding in your car, or the shape of your hands in mine, or how I might make room for loving in a new way entirely. I didn’t even know there was room to be made. There is always room to be made.
And we do, in spite of all the other madness. We build entire rooms to make peace and love and to rage against each other. We build rooms where we keep our plans and our distant shores, rooms where we whisper what we like in bed. Rooms we lock and leave behind, lives we wanted, lives that were forgone by others, forsaken and left. Rooms for all the room and the different ways we can love in this life. I am taken by how large my heart is, surprised by my resilience, and pleased with the rooms I have built.