Note: My annual Valentine's Day post. If you're happy and content today, stop reading after paragraph one. If you're feeling a little on the fence about this “love” stuff, stop reading after paragraph two. Everyone else, maybe read to the end. Thank you.
One of my earliest jobs was delivering flowers, which I did on and off over the years. For the flower industry, Valentine's Day is like their Christmas, and if you're not directly raking in the profits you tend to get a little soured by the attitude of, “You'd better spend some money on your lover or there'll be hell to pay.” So on this day in the past I've often written (or talked about) some negative take on the holiday, but this year—rather than being the VD Grinch—I'd rather wish—sincerely and from the depths of my heart—happiness continuing for those I know who are in good, positive, loving relationships.
But since this is about me, I have to continue. There has probably been more written about “failed relationships” than there are cat photos on the internet, but that term continues to be used, and fine if you must, but I'd appreciate if it wasn't used (even in your thoughts) about me. I have failed in nearly every walk of life, but as far as relationships go, I do not consider any of them failures, and I wouldn't change any of them if I could. Not that I didn't make like a million stupid mistakes, as does everyone, but in an overall overview, my intimate, loving, mind-altering, soul-adventuring, and heartbreaking long-and-short-term special friendships, affairs, and partnerships have given me happiness and made life worth living. I feel very, very lucky.
It's funny, I can easily take a personal stand on most things: I'd rather be healthy than sick; I'd rather be working on my own stuff than toiling away for the profit of some faceless company; I'd rather be reading a good book than watching a TV commercial about hair-loss. But when it comes to this basic and most elemental condition of life—in a relationship or not, living with someone or living alone, in love or not in love—I honestly cannot say whether I prefer one or the other. (Which some might say is the problem, I hear you—as in, “No matter where I am, I always want to be somewhere else.”) But it's not that I always feel discontent, it's more the opposite. Whenever I've been in a relationship, I've thought: “I am so happy now, how could I have lived any other way.” But whenever I'm living alone, I think: “This is the way I feel most comfortable, most happy.” Maybe I'm just a glass-half-full kind of guy. But on the other hand, my heart forever aches with longing. There's always a storm on the horizon—though most often it turns into that shitty, 40 degree drizzle and fog. Ultimately, though, I guess, the one thing we can count on (besides eventual death) is that things are just not ever going to stay the way they are right now.