By Kenneth Stepp
I think too much… I really do, I think too much about the same things every day. Today, it’s love. One of my favorite and least favorite subjects. Love is my favorite subject because I have had it and want it again. I want to know I am loved and I want to love someone more than I love me, or loving beyond myself. Love is also my least favorite subject because I do not have it, it’s complicated, and love, contrary to what some of the most popular quotes will tell you, hurts. Love has always been a source of pain in my history. I love deep and tend to immerse myself into the life of the one I love. I make her my purpose and she is the center of my life. Not having her hurts, having her opens my heart to be hurt again. Love is so complicated, ugh!
To be in love while doing life with them, means to know certain things. You know where your heart belongs, you know where life is taking you, and you know who you will be with forever. I call these “knowns”. They matter greatly. These things make life so much better. Imagine, if you can, waking up next to the same person every morning. I took that for granted when I was with my wife for 24 years. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved it, I just never thought about it. It was a known, why would I? Now the other side of love, or another side. To love alone. Unrequited love is so painful. If you want to feel hopelessly lost, fall in love with someone who does not love you in return. You see, love is complicated, but love is not a choice. “The heart wants what the heart wants:, there’s a lot of truth to that tired old quote.
When I meet someone new I automatically size them up as a life mate. Whether you admit it or not, you do this, you may not even know you do this, but, you still do this. If you are single and you feel something is missing from your life, you do this, we all do. It’s ok to embrace this about ourselves. Personal honesty leads to personal growth, and personal growth, to me, means I will be a better man because of it. I go on self discovery tours constantly. I want to know myself better. There are people that were in my life that I love that are no longer in my life. I need to know why for myself. Losing people hurts, losing people you love hurts worse. Have you ever lost someone and it left you breathless? As if your very existence depended on their presence? See, love can hurt as well as heal. It’s sad when it heals you and then hurts you.
I was never equipped with a proper amount of fear. I have attempted, achieved, and failed at so many things that most would never try. When I was young I raced motocross bikes. That was never enough for me, I’d hit the road wearing only cutoff jeans and a smile, go way too fast and surf on the seat. If the police tried to stop me, I’d make a trail in the nearest woods. When I moved to Atlanta I had no idea I had a fear of heights. I found out when I went to work in a high rise building and walked over to the window. I had a key to the roof, so every day for lunch I would go to the roof, set my lunch on the 3 foot tall wall that kept me from falling and have lunch. One day I stood on the other side with my feet barely on concrete with nothing stopping me from falling off. The following Sunday I sneaked in, and used the window washers rope and repelled 420 feet by myself. Problem solved.
So then came love… Love was an exciting thing for me and I entered into it readily. I allowed her love in. Not long after that, I was alone, confused, and in so much pain. Did I learn my lesson? Of course not. I still dare to date, dare to care, and dare to continue my search for real love. I’m still unsure if it exists for me. I’m told that the odds are very slim for all of us. After getting to know so many on the journey, I believe that. But having tasted love, or what I thought was love, it’s all I can think about. Will I allow love in again? I’d like to think I would. Many I meet along the way are too guarded and this may cause them to live alone forever. I do not want to be that way. For me, I want to stand at the edge the same way I did on that building, 500 foot rope in hand, ready to take that long plunge. Will you go with me?
“Everything in life is a risk, take a chance on something that really matters” – k stepp