By Kenneth Stepp
Forrest Gump was a remarkable movie in many ways. For me, it was a beautiful example of real love. He loved Jenny in a way that has taken me years to understand. I love someone this way and have for years. Recently I have tried to put this love into words, words that fail to capture the depth of this love every time I attempt to encase what I feel into mere words. Poets, singers, and philosophers have dedicated so much of their lives to correctly verbalizing how I find I feel. I have loved and lost in the past, but one love will never be lost. And after many years of processing the love I have hidden from everyone but myself (and my readers), I find it impossible to not try to explain it just one more time. My story has evolved because my understanding of this love has changed. Love never goes away, never ends, and never disappears. It remains even when the relationship doesn’t. This is the reality I live in.
Love is the ultimate mystery. A greased pig on amphetamines would be easier to grasp than what love means to me. Although I have learned a lot, I think, And, I am compelled to learn more. I spend so much of my time and energy thinking about love. Thinking about what happened to me. I have loved both before and after her. But never quite like I love her. Never with such depth and completeness, It is truly unconditional. I’m not obsessed, or frantic in any way, I have accepted life without her. I would never wish anything for her but happiness. Even if I’m not a part of that happiness. Unconditional love works that way. Her happiness is preferred over my own. So as long as she’s happy, I’m happy. I don’t have to be with, see her, or be committed with her to love her. Love is bigger than any of those. She is my soulmate, I am not hers. Not exactly ideal, nor the way I expected love to be at all. But this is what happened and it cannot be changed. I’ve tried to unlove her and I do not have the ability.
Before jumping to any conclusions, I am still single, I can and will love again, and I am hoping to find my forever one day. I know, it’s complicated. Love is complicated. I wish I had a collection of cliches to throw in here, but I no longer believe any of them. I know I can love again, I have once since her. I’ve loved three times in my life, just never quite like this. Unconditional love has floored me though. There is nothing she could do to cause me to unlove her. I don’t even have to think about this. Forrest loved Jenny through some very trying events. Why? Because he couldn’t do anything else. He fell and he could not “unfall”. He knew what love was and now, so do I. Love doesn’t care about anything but loving. I only want to love her. Nothing physical, no need to love in person at all. Where I am or she is does nothing to love. Unconditional love is just that, unconditional.
“I’m not a smart man. But I know what love is.” – Forrest Gump
So, like so many of my friends, I am single, I date, I meet, I ponder, wander, and I get to know some amazing people. I’m on dating sites, in singles groups, and even write a local column about my journey to find her. Learning along the way, collecting some amazing friends, and getting to know the sorry side of being single too. The stories I hear are incredible. Being honest, respectful, kind, and simply nice are hard to find some days. Finding love is the goal of most of us. I want to enjoy the roller coaster while I’m on it. Will I find love again? I hope I will. But at least now I know what it looks like. Thank you Mr Gump…
I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floatin’ around accidental-like on a breeze. But I, I think maybe it’s both. – Forrest Gump