Love is on my mind of late. It’s to be expected, as this upcoming weekend marks Valentine’s Day, but more significantly to me, my brother’s wedding. It’s hard to not think about love with a wedding waiting in the wings.
Someone recently presented me with the “36 questions to fall in love with anyone,” which was recently popularized by a New York Times article. The article referenced an old psychological study which claimed to have strangers fall in love by asking increasingly more intimate questions. I recently sat with someone answering these questions, which I bring up to highlight this particular question: “What roles to love and affection play in your life?”
I heard this question, and my response was that love drives all that I do in my life. My career came about as a result of a genuine compassion for others. I reach out and connect to friends, spending time with them, laughing with them, crying with them, because of my genuine love for them. Time spent with my family is spent because of my love for them.
As someone who has had her ups and downs in love (though, who hasn’t, if we’re being honest here), it can feel easy to get discouraged. Sometimes I lose my way. Sometimes seeing others who are happy can wash me in a mixture of sadness for myself, while simultaneously feeling glad that others can live in a place of love.
But love comes in many forms and many iterations.
I remember this as I walk into this weekend, which contains a holiday that some people dive into, attempting to express acts of love in a greater way, and others describe as a made up holiday. Whatever this holiday means, I like to reflect on the moments of love I have had in my life. An email from someone who cares, asking how I’m doing. A handwritten card from my father, that I still keep tucked in a box of treasured items. Hugs from my niece. Discovering a new person in serenades and sweetness. A thoughtful gift from a dear friend. Texts telling me that I’m beautiful. And when I’m feeling lost late at night, someone there to remind me that “life is complicated. Love? Love is simple.”