Monday, July 18, 2011

Love is a Very Tangled Thing

Okay, so I finally watched Tangled for the first time. According to my 8-year-old, it's one of THE best cartoon movies she's ever seen.

I liked it. It had a new twist on an old tale (though I don't recall Rapunzel being a Princess, but the daughter of poor folk who lived next door to a witch, later found in the tower by the Prince. Perhaps that was part of the charm- that they reversed the roles for Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.)

This set wheels in motion in my head, but nothing's struck me as "the right" thing to blog about....

Until this morning— The fact that LOVE is a very tangled thing sometimes.

There is a multitude of reasons for relationships to fall apart, in reality as well as in novels, but the one thing that remains true is LOVE. Love is the singular thing that can bring two people together, despite all obstacles and differences that set them apart from one another. Though they'll be pitted against each other throughout the story, our hero & heroine will work THROUGH the differences because LOVE rules that scenario. As a writer of those kinds of stories, I have to make sure they do or it wouldn't be much of a love story, now would it?

Major differences of opinion, beliefs, social standing & any number of other issues, can be the sword that runs deep into the heart of a relationship & kills it. Not everyone is meant to be together, even when they "believe" they love each other with all their hearts. And self-love is just as important as the love received or given by another. Extenuating circumstances do not bode well for certain relationships. Sometimes there are issues of trust. Sometimes that which divides us is more powerful then the love we feel. Sometimes what we feel is just not the strong abiding kind of love that can rescue the relationship if it's doomed to failure anyway.

Personal experience reminds me that sometimes love is just not enough. So here is where things get "tangled."

I once thought I'd found a Prince—a man who'd stand beside me & bolster me up & believe in my dreams because he loved me. He pursued me & won my heart. He encouraged my dreams- my poetry & writing. He swore his unconditional love to me. He said he knew I was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, but over the few years together, our relationship grew & changed & I did, too.

I'd grown unhappy in this "love." I wasn't working at anything, not even my writing, I'd gained weight, hated myself & felt lost because I'd lost my self-love and I knew I was the only one who could get that back. So I broke off the relationship. He kept coming back, pursuing me because he "loved" me so much and eventually we got back together.

Between the time we broke up & got back together I'd found a job, lost weight & felt like "me" again. AND I was thinking about my writing. But the job ended when the business went belly up & I decided to pursue a writing workshop to "hone" my skills if I really wanted to become a published author. He was all for least it seemed that way at first. We were talking plans for our future together, talking to realtors about houses, but sometimes it's when you're the closest to making a mistake, that's when true colors emerge & true selves can't help being who they are. A switch flipped and it was the beginning of the end. (Especially since his family were always doggedly reminding me that it takes two working people to survive and were always throwing the want ads in my face.)

"My parents don't think we can make it, but don't worry, NOTHING they say can change how I feel about you."
Followed shortly by----
"I can't LOVE you if you don't have a job."


Yeah, it happens that fast. I tried to get a job, now that love had new conditions, but I got the job for the wrong reasons (which didn't last long), thinking it would help me "keep" his love. That's not supposed to be how love works, is it? And as for supporting & encouraging my dream of becoming a writer? Yeah, that got chalked up to a pipe dream, too, because it might never amount to anything. The man who loved me, no longer believed—not in my dream, not in our love & not in ME. It seemed to me that "nothing" was a lot stronger than I ever imagined, for that "nothing" changed everything.

So what happened? When the relationship finally met it's bitter demise, I tucked away my writing, my dream, quite like Rapunzel in her tower because I didn't love myself enough to remember that they were MY dreams, not his. And it took me nearly ten years to seek out that tower again, hidden behind overgrowth & bramble & vine to rescue my dreams from their captivity. And rescue it I did. Look how far I've come.

My publication is still a few months off for my debut release of my historical romance entitled Castaway Hearts, but it's coming. Love is a tangled thing sometimes, but now I remember that my self-love is just as important. And I don't foresee locking my dreams in that tower ever again.