By Kenneth Stepp
Have you ever left your sunglasses at a restaurant but didn’t realize it till the next day? You can and they say, “let me check”. Sure enough, they had them in a cardboard box they call the lost and found box. You go as fast as you can and retrieve them. Why? Because those are yours. You invested something important in them and you chose them just for yourself. They were perfect for you. Not perfect. But perfect for you. I’m betting you can see where I’m going with this one already. These days I find myself in that box waiting for someone to come get me. Take me home. Someone who I am perfect for. Someone looking specifically for me. Yes, I pointed my thumb at my chest when I said me. That is for those of you who visualize everything.
Being lost out here has taught me more lessons than I thought I’d ever learn. The biggest…. How to wait. It seems I am constantly waiting for something. Or maybe someone. I have loved deeply. I have been honest with that love. Love to me means so much. It is such a powerful force. The most powerful ever I believe. I guess there is a part of me that expects someone who has shared love with me to call, ask them to check, and they come and look for me in this lost and found box. They just never do. I wait. It’s what I have learned I must do. Most days, I have no idea what I’m waiting for. Does she exist? I believe I know her already. I believe love draws her towards me. I dream of someone turning this box upside down to find me. I’m here. I’m always here. Waiting. Does someone miss me? Does she realize I was left somewhere?
“You can love someone so much…But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.” ― John Green
I suppose if real love were there and I was the perfect fit, I’d be out of this box by now. Instead I wait. Waiting is never easy. It makes me feel clownish. I’m reminded of a song I heard today. “Sometimes I feel like a clown, who can’t take off his makeup.” A clown forever. Country music…. You have to love the metaphors. What if I’m never missed? It’s a real fear. I know my value. What if no one else does?
“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
― Kahlil Gibran
I’ve loved in the past. Real love. The kind of love poets write about. I think back fondly on past loves. There have been three. I, like all of us, have regrets. I regret losing someone who was the very center of my world. What a messed up world it becomes when that happens. These days, I just sit in this box and hope. What if no one claims me? What happens? I suppose the contents of this box get’s thrown out when it gets full enough. Is that what we do with people? I have met people on this journey who feel they have been thrown away. It’s sad. They have such value. Yet someone convinced them otherwise. How long do they sit in this box until they realize their worth? Everyone is as important as anyone. Decency and respect dictates this.
This singles journey can be hard. It is like I have said in the past, like dancing in a minefield. While on this journey we should take time to lift one another up, encourage, enlighten, and smile when we can. Your smile might be the only one someone sees all day. You’d be surprised how valuable that can be to someone on a given day. One day I hope we are all claimed. All out of the boxes we build around us to protect us from hurt. My wish is that someone sees the value in all of us. Life out of the box will be so amazing. Just you wait and see. And the next time love looks into that box and finds you. Hold it tighter than before.
“When it’s gone, you’ll know what a gift love was. you’ll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it.”
― Ian McEwan