Every once in a while, I get to be sad. Sometimes for no reason at all, or maybe for a thousand different reasons. Sometimes I get my heart broken. It happens. And when that happens, I usually read this:
“Love at first sight is not complicated. In our dreams we build a woman, we give her life from our own life, and then we have to wait. Through trial and error we try to find that nameless ghost that’s haunting our most lonely of nights. And I felt as if I had found what I was looking for. Finally, my ghost had a name and a face.”
It’s from my first novel, Jazz. And I remind myself that I wrote it believing that love is mostly an illusion. Like a painter doing a portrait. We take something that’s there, real flesh, and we alter it. We make it resemble our idea of love. I’m not sure that’s something everyone does, I’m not even sure it’s as harmful as it sounds, but the matter of fact is that this world and everything it in, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, will never be as wonderful as we can imagine it.
I’ve fallen in and out of love countless times. That’s one of my favorite things to do. In a way, me falling in love has become a reflex. That’s what makes me believe that we all need to fall in love. With the wrong people, with the right people, with those who are never going to love us back.
Getting your heart broken makes you appreciate real love when you find it. The first time we taste the bitter disillusion of not being loved back is one of the most powerful of lessons.
In our dreams, life is so wonderful that we don’t even have to pay taxes. Or the rent. But real life, the one outside our windows, is never going to be as beautiful as we can imagine it. But we still dream, we still hope. And that’s a good thing. Without crazy, crazy dreams, we’d still be living in caves.
But I’ve always wondered one thing. How much time do you have to spend inside your head, away from the real world, before you become afraid to go out? To live your life, to meet new people, to love, to hate, to absorb all that this real, imperfect world has to offer?