15 February, 2010

Street Lamps

Saving Nature

For as long as I can remember, I have been a “saver”. When I was little, I would keep my toys under my bed, afraid to take them out for fear they would get ruined. On holidays, when my parents gave me the traditional bar of chocolate, I would sleep with it under my pillow until the chocolate melted and I was forced to throw it out. As I grew older, I saved my paintings, keeping them in the back of my closet. Boxes of stationary left dormant for years because the cards were so beautiful I couldn’t part with them. I saved perfumes and lotions until the scent changed and they were no longer useable. I saved purses, dresses and shoes, waiting for a special occasion that would be special enough to merit “using” them.

In a way, having a saving nature is like living in the future. When you keep things to use later, for fear of damaging them now, your existence lies largely in the future but, you are material tied to the present. At one point, my closet was full of lovely things that still had tags on them while I was walking around wearing the same old outfits.

In much the same way as I have saved my material possessions, I have saved my emotions. It’s no coincidence that all my relationships have been long-distance. Long-distance relationships were ideal for me. When a relationship consist of e-mails and phone conversations, its easy to remain emotionally distant. Although I dated some exceptional men, I was never completely myself with them. I bottled up my emotions and let them lead, changing myself to fit who they perceived me to be.

Then, a few years ago, I was robbed of something I had saved for my entire life. Once the tears and pain subsided, I emerged with a new outlook on life.

So, over the past year, I have worn all my clothes, sent out letters on my stationary, hung my paintings. Suddenly, the moments I had envisioned for the future were in the present. That dress I was saving for a romantic date with my then nonexistent boyfriend? I wore it out for dinner with friends and met someone who stuck around for a few very real romantic dates. It’s better, I realized, to use things while I had them, to revel in their beauty while they are still beautiful rather than wait to lament them for what they were.

The hard part, now, is doing the same with my emotions. I have always thought of myself as a relatively open person. But, now that I am truly in love with someone and, he with me, there are countless moments where I want to say something, to open up a hidden corner of my soul but, the words don’t come out. And while the pages of my journal and even this blog, are sprinkled with the fragments of my soul, I need to learn to share them with the one person whom I have been saving them for my entire life.