Monday, March 09, 2009

Landing with a Splat

Modern pop culture will never run out of material to peddle romantic love upon hapless, easily influenced people. Whether it's in the form of the ubiquitous boy-meets-girl-and-they-live-happily-ever-after rom com movie, the prolific body of romance fiction, the music we listen to, the ads we see... yes, the whole process of falling in love has been beaten to death - and yet, we all still suck it in.

What they don't tell you, though, is that for a good number of people in the world, the whole romantic love thing often ends with one landing with one huge splat.

It's so easy to be cynical about the whole love thing these days. How can't I be when I'm surrounded by long-standing relationships falling apart? I recently took care of a patient who had recently divorced his wife of more than 50 years - he's 73. How does anyone get divorced at 73? Talk about disposable.

I've always been pretty pragmatic about relationships, consistently leading with my head rather than my heart, whether I am viewing others' romances or my long string of never-was-es. Despite never being in one myself, serious or otherwise, I know it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to make things work. But even then, there are still no guarantees.

It makes me wonder sometimes why people even bother trying.

The odd thing is, though, there's still a part of me that believes it is possible. Possible to fall without landing in a big, messy splat. Possible to make things work and go the distance. Possible for relationships to survive even when the amorphous Hollywood love has faded away and grown to become the real thing. And when it does happen - and thankfully I've seen this, too - it's a wonderful thing to see.

Besides, as one wise friend of mine says, "No one has really ever died from a broken heart. You can cry a little, hurt a lot, and then you get over it. You always get over it - and come away stronger and wiser besides."

So maybe that's why, despite the odds, people still keep trying. Because part of us all want to believe it can be possible. And because anyone who is too afraid to let himself fall will also never experience what it's like to fly.

I hope someday I can meet someone who makes me forget all about the ground so far below, just waiting for me to crash land. It must be wonderful to leap off that edge and just let your heart fly.

A late, very late, submission to Em Dy's TBR Round Up on Love.


evilwoobie said...

OMG, this reminds me of my trapeze artist analogy.

I think the best way to go about it is to practice with someone you trust, like a friend perhaps. And practice with minimum risk, like maybe 3 feet off the ground. That way you don't break your bones if you fall.

The good thing is, if you and your trusted practice mate are both ready, you can go for the real thing and do it 500 feet off the ground. You know he won't let you down and he will always have your back.

Or.. you can fly solo, take your chances, and ask your practice buddy to be your safety net, if you know what I mean...


dr_clairebear said...

the problem with "practicing" is that you can get way out of your depth very, very quickly!

i've always been risk averse and horribly afraid of making mistakes, but i'm trying to be more open to the idea. what's the worst that could happen apart from a broken heart? ;P

Em Dy said...

Thanks for the contribution, Claire. Will update the round up to include this.