Ask love

I’ve tried. Really. Whenever I need a little boost, a little inspiration for my blog, I check out Plinky.com. But Pinky hasn’t done it for me in the last year. But this week, I said to myself, “Self, you are writing this blog whatever the topic may be. No excuses.” That was Monday.

The topic? If you eventually break up with someone, was it ever true love?

Really?

THIS is the topic I pushed myself to write about? Yes, I fit the bill of true romantic, but expert on love? I think not. A romance writer would certainly be better fitted to write about it than I. What do I know about relationships? I write YA. I see love through the eyes of a teenager. Can you say drama?

And concerning this blog, we really don’t want to go there. Not today. Although I must admit I’m pretty excited about my current WIP. The drama is definitely cooking.

But back to break ups and true love. I refuse to speculate. I can tell you that just because one person in the relationship goes away, love does not die. I know that for a fact. My parents were married for more than a half century. There was a spiritual connection between them that transcended physical death. I believe it. My father could not live without her. And no one but me knows what he went through the days leading up to her death. That, I will not print.

Here’s what I do know about love. You cannot force another human being to love you. And the person you love today, may not be the same person tomorrow. I’m not saying you may choose a different person. I’m saying the person you have chosen may have grown into someone new. People change. Constantly.

So I suppose, yes, if you break up with someone, you could have loved the person he or she used to be. You just may not love the person he or she has become. Or you may have never loved the person from the beginning. You may may have loved love. But we’ll get to that later.

Forgive me. I have re-enrolled as a grad student taking a full load of graduate English classes this summer. I forgot how much I’ve missed the literary aspects of writing. I’ve dabbled in everything—journalism, songwriting, commercial fiction, academic journals. I love it. I love writing. But there’s something about the literary aspect of writing that awakens me. It’s nice to visit that place for a while.

Love inspires story, and the conflict of loving a dynamic character who changes sets the stage for an interesting tale. Right now I have so many book topics pulsing through my tiny little brain that I have to force myself to push that thought aside. I must finish what I’m working on now before I go onto my other three projects.

I can tell you this. As a teacher, I have certainly put in the hours as Love Counselor. I think every teacher does. Our halls are filled with broken hearts. And the school parking lot has seen its share of broken windows. A scorned Southern woman, no matter how young she is, doesn’t take rejection lightly.

One of the last Southern gals who had a spat with her beau put her foot through his truck window.  She meant business, and I bet the young man who owned the truck gave considerable thought before dumping his next girlfriend. Love hurts, if not the heart, the wallet.

What I’ve seen most with the YA crowd is that teenagers, girls and guys, create a character in their minds and fall in love with that character. They project their feelings onto the body they’ve chosen to play out that persona. The problems arise when they realize the person they want to love doesn’t exist in that body. They’ve fallen in love with the idea of love. Again, another great jump start for a novel.

As an older, wiser human being, especially an older, wiser teacher, I’ve learned a lot about dealing with human beings. When I was a rookie, I saw students as gum-smacking, trouble making, chit-chatting adolescents.

It didn’t take many years for me to realize that these adolescents don’t stay 15 forever. They grow up into adults. I try NOT to see my students as who they are. I try to see my students as who they will be. Many of my former students are my close friends and colleagues.

That’s cool.

I think because I have accepted that I am working with works in process, I can love my students unconditionally. I have come to accept that I have no control over who they are and who they will be.

And if they hate me now, so be it. Years from now we may reach an understanding.

I think my favorite love quote comes from Johann Wolfegang von Goethe. He said, “What’s it to you if I love you?”

Kind of quirky, isn’t it? I mean he’s right. Love is unstoppable. If someone wants to love you, there’s not a darn thing you can do about it. Kind of powerful, isn’t it?

Well, so much for my philosophical views on love. I’m certainly no expert.

As for the answer to the question– If you eventually break up with someone, was it ever true love?—I would say you’d have to ask love.

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10 thoughts on “Ask love

  1. I love this! I also love and respect the way you value and honor your students. If they don’t recognize already how lucky they are to have you as their teacher, someday they will.

  2. Thank you. I try to do the best I can teaching, but really I’m the student. I learn more about life and more about what makes people tick every day I’m in the classroom. Some days I pass, and other days I fail. I wish I were an A student, but I think I’m about average.

  3. Your post about love is wonderful and very true. So many definitions of love and perceptions of love. I’m so blessed to live love every day. How wonderful that love endures.

  4. My life quote (well, one of them anyway), “We live to learn to love”.
    Sometimes I feel like you said – my heart just can’t hold it all.
    Reminds me of a story I’ve been wanting to write about a class mate…. Caroline.
    BTW – I love ya, you know. 🙂

  5. “A scorned Southern woman, no matter how young she is, doesn’t take rejection lightly.” Man, I love this…I just wish more people understood that… and you can love someone and not be with them…that’s a mature decision that needs to be made between the couple… yes?

    • Yes. A lot of things stop people from being together, but that doesn’t me the love goes away. You can love someone like crazy and not be with them. That’s just my two cents worth.

    • EVERYday. No joke. And these are REAL problems, not superficial. I think guys have a worse time than girls. Everybody needs a listening ear. I hope as a teacher, I can give wise counsel. I always try to persuade them to talk to their parents first. So many just keep it inside. I take these problems seriously because I’ve had students who have attempted and completed suicide. Some things are silly. Some things are beyond my ability. It’s scary at times.

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