I’ve recently had this realization. Nothing earth-shattering – realizations seldom are. It’s more of recognizing a dormant yet vital truth, and suddenly appreciating its relevancy. When these insights suddenly come into focus, like a distant twinkle of light growing steadier, I like to coax it into being. I find that giving it my full attention gives me the opportunity to discover its full brilliance. My approach has always been putting pen to paper. Usually the activity of writing gives me the opportunity to further appreciate my subject matter, and to identify more closely with how I feel about it.
That is probably where diaries came from. Not just for cataloging one’s days, but for the chance to further analyze occurrences, then better describe reactions, and perhaps to even grow from the realizations. It’s quite likely that blogging is just diary entries gone public. Perhaps the loneliness of writing to paper just seemed too pathetic. Or just a waste of time. Perhaps the idea that strangers who might understand, if not relate, would read the rambling thoughts, and one can feel less alone.
Yet my blog has never been a diary. It has always been my opinions or general thoughts. That which I would share – loudly – with anyone who would care to listen. I have no intentions of turning my blog into a diary. Mostly, because I don’t do diaries. I believe my thoughts to be safe enough, cool enough, and yes – smart enough, to not need to hide it. But the following entry does take a turn into the personal. You might think too personal, but in a major way it does relate to my life as a woman
, in this community. And that *is* what this blog is about. Isn’t it?
Anyway, so on with the post: (Get ready for the tone change)
I’ve always wondered at the magic of falling in love. Imagined what it would be like to meet that handsome, usually brilliant, always charming guy who with just a look will send my heart aflutter. I imagined the heated debates, the witty banter, the innuendo filled teasing.
I often dreamt of Prince Charming, and I don’t believe that these thoughts were of the forbidden variety. From Snow White to Cinderella, on some level we were always permitted to dream. It was just that the reality that we ultimately had to face wasn’t nearly as romantic.
Like any girl, I’ve dreamt of romance in the typical and most unlikely scenarios. Starry nights, candle light, music, flowers… and all that would follow. All of which, while potentially incredible under most circumstances, immediately lose a great portion of its magic when the mystery is gone. When the partner is a given. When the ‘where is this going?’ has already been answered.
I’ve often wondered about how different life would have been if I would have been given the opportunity to search for my ‘soul-mate’ on my own. The debate over the benefits of casual dating and the fun that that would afford, is irrelevant. While I don’t doubt the experience were to be fun – I can clearly see the potential for danger. No, I am just talking about being courted, romanced by a potential suitor. A guy who is interested, and does his best to be of interest. I am talking about feeling my heartbeat quicken at the mention of his name. I am talking about wishing he would look my way. I am talking about falling in love.
While a big proponent of arranged marriages, and an expert on the statistics of the success of this lifestyle – I still often regret that missed opportunity. With an arranged marriage I was given this great, handsome and intelligent guy – with the responsibility to love. Hey, love is a verb. I’ve said that all my life. We choose whom we want to love – and I most certainly love my darling husband. I love him to death. I might even say that I often am ‘in’ love with him. But I was having a problem. I wondered. I wondered whether under different circumstances this was the guy that I would have fallen for.
Now I know that Hollywood’s version of romance isn’t all that accurate. After the main characters have finally beaten all odds and fallen in love, in real life – real life would hit them. I know that what most teenagers assume to be their true ‘soulmates’ ultimately are just a passing boat in sea of bigger and better ships. Yes, I know that many that ‘fall in love’ and then get married – find that the bliss they were certain was theirs permanently, has gone from whence it came. And yet the questions remained.
Part of a poem I once wrote:Yet these doubts can't be dismissed
'What if true soulmates exist?'
This nagging thought just will persist
To bug and irk and still insist:
‘If it weren't mine, why is it missed?'
And the realization was benign. Not huge at all. Yet it rocked my world at its core. If true soulmates do exist – if there is a man out there whom the cosmos have aligned as my perfect mate – the man that can challenge me, and understand me, and accept me, and more than anything make me get to know myself better and grow as a person… If there is a man out there whom I was meant to love, and who’s love I can count on to last a lifetime – in good times and bad, in sickness and in health - - if Hashem in His infinite wisdom did indeed assign someone like that for me, then the obviousness is blinding. My besherte. The man who’s name was announced in the heavens forty days prior to my birth. The man whom I was to fall in love with. The man whom I married.
Obviously we skipped the ‘dating’ part. I skipped being courted, he skipped having that selection. I skipped the flirting, he skipped the seducing. We skipped the conversations where we would have realized that this was indeed the person we wanted as our life’s partners. We skipped the talk where we discussed our dreams for our futures – and then checked to see how they relate to each others. We skipped the part where he asked me to be his wife.
But we can still have our many creative ‘dates’. We still can have our picnics, our moonlit walks along the flowing country river, and the stroll alongside the Manhattan skyline. And we can have all that for the low low price – of no heartache or drama. Some would consider that a good thing.
So while we can’t have the ‘before’ – we were certainly given the ultimate gift of the ‘happily ever after’. Always and forever. With all my love.
-----------------------------------------------------------------This post has been censored, heavily, by friends and family - and the love of my life. I’d have to say that I feel that it has lost most of its initial charm, but 'its essence remained intact'. Or so they tell me. Oh well...