I once told one of my proteges that life, and love specifically, was about grand gestures. But now that I reflect on my own life and the love I feel, not just for my beloved but for all my loved ones, I realize that small gestures are equally, if not more, important. Thank God for my near-photographic memory which captures verbatim quotes, vivid images, even smells and tastes. My memory helps me record those words and actions that may go unnoticed and unappreciated. I treasure them.
For a long time, I sought out love as if it were a pair of shoes or a certain brand of cereal. I thought I knew what I wanted and had enumerated a list of desirable qualities. Then I found myself feeling something I had not felt in years and for someone I did not expect. It’s not that he isn’t an amazing person; I just did not foresee what I now know and have experienced. I could not have known I would feel such joy, passion, and pain. It is not easy to feel so strongly about a person. There are doubts, fears, moments of ambivalence. But it is worth it. For one sentence or small gesture.
That is why I risk it all. I have compared my fear about being in love to jumping off a cliff or into a volcano. My heart races sometimes; that is true. He excites, intrigues, and challenges me. But this leap of faith is not about dying. It is about living. What I feel gave me back the will to live. My love motivates me to live.
So I write love letters. I work on a poem. I leave declarations on voicemail and via text. I love.