The Notebook is on. It’s 5:30 p.m. I still haven’t changed out of my PJs. It’s Sunday. In about an hour or so, I will probably order some Steak n’ Shake online because I REALLY want a milkshake.

It’s one of those wonderful, lazy, introspective Sundays. I haven’t spoken to anyone today, other than my roommate’s dog, who is sitting at my feet while I write this.

So since I’m in such a mood, I’ll write about my favorite subject: LOVE.

How much love are we granted in our lifetimes?

Do we have a limited amount of chances at love?

I remember the first time I watched The Notebook with my first love, a boy I dated in high school. We were mad about each other; in the midst of our teenage years. We had just finished his senior prom dance (I was a sophomore at the time). In my high school there was a day in between prom (Friday night) and the day everyone went to Cedar Point to enjoy rollercoasters, ferris wheels, and bad fried food (Sunday day).

So on Saturday, I convinced this boy, (who I was absolutely crazy about and was crazy about me) to watch The Notebook. I had seen the movie only once before on a long bus trip for one of my show choir competitions. I cried like a baby through most of it, and was so happy that I had a boy who I loved as much as Allie loved Noah. I was so lucky. I was 16 years old and in love.

Real love.

After we finished the movie, that boy pulled me into a hug and said, “I love you so much.”

I will never forget that moment, because it was one of the times in my life that when someone said those words, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that it was true.

I can now say wholeheartedly, being a 27-year-old woman, that what I had with that boy was real. Probably more real than any love I’ve experienced since then.

So this leads me to my initial question: How much love are we granted in our lifetimes?

Did I use mine up? I’ve been in love exactly twice in my life, one with the boy in my story above, and once more in my last relationship. Both loves were unique in their own way; they taught me different things. Obviously there were problems in both, (What relationship is without issues?) but I so, completely loved these two men while I was with them and gave them the sincerest form of my heart.

So is that it? Did I miss my chance?

Did I use up all my love?

Now, I know the counter-argument here: “Oh but you’re so young!” “You’ll find someone!” “Someone will come along when you least expect it!” 

Spare me.

Because honestly, I’m not convinced that the kind of love that I want still exists in my world.

When I say my world, let me clarify: my life as it exists in New York City. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life here, but I don’t know that love is here, for me, in this city. What’s more concerning to me though, is my generation’s way of going about dating and relationships. The cavalier nature in which pretty much every potential prospect has treated me, makes me sometimes wish I were born into a different generation. A generation who care more. A generation who felt more.

A generation who loved more.

Who knows, perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps the love of my life is just around some unforeseen corner, under some unturned stone. Perhaps he’s not.

I suppose I’m lucky to have loved at all. (You all know the quote, don’t make me say it.)

I want to believe that I will find love of some sort again. Hopefully it is less like my generation’s skeletal idea of love, and more like the loves I’ve experienced in the past.

The next time someone tells me those words, I want to feel like I did that lazy day where I watched the Notebook over 10 years ago. I don’t want to question the sincerity of the statement or have any reservations.

I want to know.

Until then, I’ll still question whether this life will give me another shot at love.

Xx.

Shannon Rose Allen

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