Year of a Hundred Things – “Thing” #78 – Falling in Love

There is no one way to fall in love. It happens frequently, and more than once in every life time. In fact, it could easily happen more than once a day. It is a wish for joy, for connection, for growth. It is NOT a need to possess. 

Since my first “love,” I’ve realized that falling in love and falling in need are two very different things. I am “in love” with many people, for many reasons. I do not covet a single one of them. They don’t validate who I am, or “make” me happy. They are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends and occasionally, people I’ve never actually met. Sometimes “they” can even be a place or an experience. There is something so unique about them, something so precious to me that having them in my life is immeasurable joy. 

It is often something simple, like the way they laugh, or the way they see the world differently than I do. They contribute to the tapestry that is my life, sometimes in ways I never imagined possible. 

And falling in love means that I want to enjoy them, and watch as they thrive. I want to talk to them, kiss them, touch them, laugh with them, comfort them when the feel need, but NEVER does it mean that they must give anything in return. In fact, they give simply because they are. 

You see, “falling in love” is an outpouring of the most generous emotion we humans experience. It impels us to be kind. Look around you every day, and fall in love with something bigger than yourself, something more compelling. It doesn’t mean that you have to stop feeling “in love” with anything or anyone else. If that were true, no parents would ever have more than one child.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I see my loves deeply, that I “know” them and that I encourage their deepest desires. It is who I am, and if I am “in love” with you, you are sure to know it.

Talent and Execution, Sisters

So, after phrenetically trying to absorb the enormous talent surrounding me a few Saturday’s ago (at the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival), I spent a great deal of time thinking about one particular conversation, which ended with my new friend saying, “You know, that would make a great blog subject.” And so here I am, after massaging the idea a bit in my head…

I’ve watched my sister for all of her ^%{^*] years (What? I’m smart enough to not give that away.) and since the moment I became aware of it, I’ve been amazed and awed by her unparalleled talent for socializing. Diaphanous, tinkling laughter breaks into an electric smile. Conversations peppered with smart, evocative remarks designed to engage without criticism or insult. It is truly an art form when used so masterfully. Let me be clear; there is no sarcasm here. Invaluable is the ability to successfully maneuver a crowd of very different people and remain so positively memorable that people who were strangers moments before become first fans, and then friends.

While I fancy myself a creative person, and have been accused occasionally of having some talent, it pales in comparison to an ability  to maneuver the world as my sister can. I’m socially clumsy most of the time. I have a hard time relaxing and simply enjoying the moment. I cannot relate to everyone and often get anxious trying to find a reasonable balance. I find myself absorbing whatever energy there is in the room, rather than having the talent to change it.

So, I truly appreciate the talent of social grace. And it IS a talent. Sure, it too can be improved with practice, but few achieve the art form that I’ve watched in my sister. She can find herself in any group of people, in any venue, and navigate the personalities as though they were characters in a book she’s written. It isn’t her only talent; she is many things. But this one thing deserves special recognition because it is rarely recognized.

I celebrate her for who she is. I couldn’t be any more proud of her and her accomplishments. The fact that she’s my little sister is just a bonus. The fact that she is my friend makes me hope that I did something to deserve her.