Everything I Know About Love
Finally finished another book after being tied up on transactions for the past months – ironically thought COVID’s WFH would mean more reading. Enjoyed the memoir about “modern” growing up/adulting. Sweet, fresh and “chick-lit” book that endeared itself to me – identified with her thoughts around growing out of friendships and growing up. Enjoyed it as a rotation away from the usual heaviness of the books I check out. Favourite excerpts –
- Day to day I have to make all sorts of choices about what is good and important and fun, and then I have to live with the forfeiture of all other options those choices foreclose. And I’m starting to see how as time gains momentum my choices will narrow and their foreclosures multiply exponentially until I arrive at some point on some branch of all life’s sumptuous branching complexity at which I am finally locked in and stuck on one path and time speeds me through stages of stasis and atrophy and decay until I go down for the third time, all struggle for naught, drowned by time.
- These gaps in each other’s lives slowly but surely form a gap in the middle of your friendship. The love is still there but the familiarity is not. Before you know it, you’re not living life together any more. You’re living life separately with respective boyfriends then meeting up for dinner every six weekends to tell each other what living is like. I now understand why our mums cleaned the house before their best friend came around and asked them “What’s the news, then?” in a jolly, stilted way. I get how that happens. So don’t tell me when you move in with your boyfriend that nothing will change. There will be no road trip, the cycle works when it comes to holidays as well – I’ll get my buddy back for every sixth summer, unless she has a baby in which case I’ll get my road trip in eighteen years time. It never stops happening. Everything will change.
- One of the biggest challenges you face as you get older as a single person is resisting cynicism. It’s so, so hard not to feel betrayed and let down by love and turn that into nihilism, scepticism or anger. But cynicism, while funny and self-protecting, is very easy. Finding trust, sustaining hope – that’s the real art form.
- I know that love happens under the splendour of moon and stars and fireworks and sunsets but it also happens when you’re lying on blow-up airbeds in a childhood bedroom, sitting in A&E or in the queue for a passport or in a traffic jam. Love is a quiet reassuring, relaxing, pottering, pedantic, harmonious hum of a thing, something you can easily forget is there, even though its palms are outstretched beneath you in case you fall.
- I used to always worry when I heard something bad had happened to someone that writing would be an intrusion. It’s never an intrusion, it always helps. If there’s one thing we can learn from this, it’s always to just send the letter.
- It was at this time that I was reminded of the chain of support that keeps a sufferer afloat – the person at the core of a crisis needs the support of their family and best friends while those people need the support from their friends, partners and family. Then even those people twice removed might need to talk to someone about it too. It takes a village to mend a broken heart.
- I thought about an article I had read about premature death after Florence died; the one in which an agony aunt advised a grieving father not to think of the life his teenage son would have led had he not been killed in a car crash. This fantasy, she said, was an exercise of torture rather than comfort.
- When you are looking for love and it seems like you might not ever find it, remember you probably have access to an abundance of it already, just not the romantic kind. This kind of love might not kiss you in the rain or propose marriage. But it will listen to you, inspire and restore you. It will hold you when you cry, celebrate when you’re happy and sing All Saints with you when you’re drunk. You have so much to gain and learn from this kind of love. you can carry it with you for ever. Keep it as close to you as you can.