Letting Go

pain will leave you when you let go, jeremy aldana quote, elaina avalos, letting go

“If someone cannot reciprocate your love, if someone cannot give you what you truly deserve, you have to understand that aching for them to do so before they are ready is a form of self-destruction.” – Bianca Sparacino

Letting go of a person you love is one of the hardest kinds of “things” to let go of.

Acceptance and letting go aren’t the easiest of concepts to grasp, in general. You may even be convinced you’ve gotten it, only to realize you absolutely haven’t gotten it. I have let go of far more than I’ve held onto in this life of mine. It has gotten tiresome – in some ways. There are moments, right up until today, that I forget the powerful work I’ve done (that God has done) in my life to accept life as it is and to let go of what I cannot control.

Many years ago, I made a decision to live my life in the moment – to try what I wanted to try and do my best to live fully. I don’t exactly regret going where the wind blew. But it has complicated a few things now that I’m in my 40s. From my vantage point now, I look at life a little differently. It has made the process of letting go a little more complicated than I once found it. The stakes are higher, or so it seems.

The stakes are higher (or appear to be) because the world does a good job of convincing us of what our lives should look like and the timeline within we have to accomplish it all. Something about that plays tricks on us, in my opinion, when our hearts get involved. When my heart is involved, I (I know I’m not alone) tend to forget those hard-fought battles I’ve waged. One thing I was reminded of in the last few weeks, is that loving someone that can’t love you back is a heartbreak you don’t deserve. It’s a heartbreak I don’t deserve.

“You cannot keep pouring your love into a heart that is closed off to it. It will only leave you empty. You have to walk away. You have to let this person grow on their own terms, because you can’t love someone into their potential. You can’t love someone into being ready. They have to do that on their own.” – Bianca Sparacino

Getting caught up in artificial timelines or the impression that something has to happen now, adds to your (my) struggle to let go. We compound that struggle to let go of that person, when we are so consumed by the fear that we are running out of time. We aren’t running out of time. When it’s right, it’s right. There shouldn’t be a timeline attached to that. But you can’t, as Bianca Sparacino says, “love someone into being ready,” either.

Which leaves you with a bit of a conundrum when you care so much for someone. Do you wait for them to be ready? The answer is . . . not really. I’m convinced of this today. I’m convinced of this from getting knocked around by life. To wait for someone who is not capable of loving you as you need and deserve, is absolutely, 100% self-destructive.

To stay in the place of torturing yourself over what isn’t and feeling so much attachment to the person that can’t love you back, you’re short changing yourself. Honestly, you’re short changing the one who is capable of loving you back. The ache? I know it so well. But you deserve so much more. I deserve so much more. In the hard moments, when letting go feels impossible (I’m feeling it – trust me), focus on the hope of what lies ahead. You may not be able to see it, but it’s out there. By staying tethered to the person who can’t or won’t love you, you only delay what is meant for you – whatever that is.

Though it seems to be quite the opposite, when your heart is tethered to another and a specific outcome, the truth is – letting go is freedom.

Hiding Love?

kristin hannah, the nightingale kristin hannah, elaina avalos

I’m currently reading the novel, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I like the book and the characters more than some I’ve read recently. But I’m still reading so I’ll reserve my fully formulated thoughts on it until I’m done. There are some beautifully written phrases in this book that make me think.

This scene is one that stopped me in my tracks after reading it today:

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Isabelle seems unbreakable. She has a steel exterior, but it protects a candyfloss heart. Don’t hurt
her, that’s what I’m saying. If you don’t love her — ”

“I do.”

Vianne studied him. “Does she know?”

“I hope not.”

Vianne would not have understood that answer a year ago. She wouldn’t have understood how dark
a side love could have, how hiding it was the kindest thing you could do sometimes. “I don’t know why
it’s so easy for me to forget how much I love her. We start fighting, and…”

I sometimes feel as I’m reading this book, that I am most like Isabelle – of all the female characters in the book. I wouldn’t have expected that when I first started reading. But there are some similarities in our experiences, that I can’t quite deny. The scene above was one of those stop me in my tracks, moments. Vianne’s tenderness for her sister, in this scene, was a long time coming. In fact, it’s one of the reasons she’s not my favorite character. Her harshness toward her younger sister is entirely uncalled for. She is selfish. But there’s something about her saying, “She wouldn’t have understood how dark a side love could have, how hiding it was the kindest thing you could do sometimes,” that really got me thinking today.

Hiding love seems like the opposite of everything I believe and stand for. In most ways, it is. On the other hand, sometimes – it is what it is. Choosing to hide it, under some circumstances, may be what’s best for the one you love. In The Nightingale, Gaetan admits to Vianne that he loves her sister. He also says that he hopes Isabelle doesn’t know. To fully explain is to share spoilers for the book which I don’t want to do. But I will say that the characters are in the midst of loss and war all around them. For her well being, Gaetan doesn’t want Isabelle knowing how much he loves her.

Their work is dangerous. And life is fleeting in the midst of German occupied France. He made a decision – for her own protection and well being – that he wouldn’t let her see that love. He still makes choices that are protective and caring. But outside of that, he maintains his hard shell, to protect her from the things she won’t protect herself from. I’m sure there’s a chance that Isabelle’s steady and constant love for him – in spite of that – makes Gaetan love her even more. But Isabelle wouldn’t have known that through most of the book. I hope she knows before the end of the book.

So while hiding love seems antithetical to what I hold most dear when it comes to loving others, in some situations, it’s a necessarily painful part of loving another. I read through more than half of this book to get to the point where I could like Vianne more. This scene does it. But it also makes me love Gaetan (didn’t like him before this), for the way he protects the woman he loves, as best he can – in a situation that is unwinnable. To me, that is an incredibly beautiful love.

She wouldn’t have understood how dark a side love could have, how hiding it was the kindest thing you could do sometimes.

National Drink Wine Day

Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir, Paul Hobbs 2020 Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast Russian River Valley

Who doesn’t love a fake holiday? I sure do. Any excuse to . . . eat my fav food, drink my favorite drinks, celebrate my weird dog . . . I’m game. Today is National Drink Wine Day so on that note, ¡Salud!

I thought I’d share a couple of great glasses of wine I’ve enjoyed lately.

This is my second bottle of Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir – though the first vintage was 2019. This Sonoma Coast – Russian River Valley wine, may quickly become my favorite, duking it out for the top spot with Casa Silva Carménère from Chile. I am just a little bit in love with Carménère right now.

This wine is so lovely. It’s a beautiful, ruby color with tobacco, cedarwood, and floral notes on the nose. This 14.3% ABV wine has a citrus-like acidity & a long finish. Flavors of berries – including cranberries – make this such an enjoyable wine. I love it. 😍 Maybe next time I’ll hold onto a bottle instead of opening within an hour of getting home from the wine store.

Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir, Paul Hobbs 2020 Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast Russian River Valley

Last weekend, I ran across Black Girl Magic – a red blend from McBride Sisters Wine Company. It was quite delicious with flavors of plum, vanilla, & my first thought that day, was oak. But now I’m kind of thinking tobacco. I loved it.

McBride Sisters Wine Company, McBride Sisters Collection, Black Girl Magic, Black Girl Magic wine, red blend wine, black girl magic red blend

I enjoyed it just as much the next day when I was enjoying whilst washing dishes in front of my open kitchen window. Just ignore the dirty window. 😉 It was a beautiful weekend – warm and bright. Today has been chilly but we return to spring temperatures tomorrow.

Tonight, I’ll be at one of those sip & paint things and have mini Charcuterie board-ish snacks to share. The spicy meat calls for a Riesling so that’s what I’m bringing. Speaking of spicy food, last night I had Mexican food and the tacos I ordered were some of the spiciest I’ve had in quite awhile. They were delish. While I do think Tempranillo or Rioja pair well with Mexican food, Riesling or other sparkling wines pair perfectly with food on the spicier end of the spectrum. Though I am more of a red fan, those dishes need the perfect compliment that doesn’t detract from the wine. Though sweeter than I normally go for, this one was great.

Pacific Rim wine, Pacific Rim Riesling, columbia valley washington riesling, columbia valley washington wine

I love the description of how to pair it.

Pacific Rim wine, Pacific Rim Riesling, columbia valley washington riesling, columbia valley washington wine

I’m not sure I agree about the “medium sweet.” But it is the perfect compliment to my meals the last two nights. What’s in your glass for National Drink Wine Day?

Come Bother Me, Baby

I have a weird love/hate relationship with this movie. There are things I love about it – just as I liked things about the book. But there’s weirdness in it too. For the most part, I think it’s the lead actress’ take on the character that I don’t care for. There are some good lines in the book/movie. I love that Travis sees through Gabby and continues to pursue her in spite of the messiness. She’s with someone else. She’s a little (or a lot) closed off. He’s kind of a pain and doesn’t take life too seriously – which annoys her. He’s exceptionally patient with her resistance. But not in a creepy way. Haha. I think he just sees her as she is and chooses to wade through the murky waters until she fully trusts him and his love.

In one of the most famous lines as he proposes, he says, “Come bother me baby, bother me for the rest of my life…” On a super commercialized holiday where people are spending gobs of money on out-of-season roses (as one example) to be FLOWN here from Colombia or elsewhere, I vote we change things up a bit.

I think we should do something different over the next year. Don’t worry about what the commercialized version of this holiday tells you is right. Just choose to love well. Choose to love when his (or her) defenses are up. Flirt in the kitchen. Leave her (or him) a note on March 1st, or June 20th, or February 12th where it will be seen first thing. Bring her a bottle of wine on a regular old Tuesday that doesn’t have anything to do with a freaking made up holiday.

Have a wildly inappropriate conversation at a wildly inappropriate time, for the sheer fun of making them laugh, or smile. Tell him on a Wednesday (that has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day) that you adore the shit out of him, can’t get enough of him, and can’t imagine your life without him. Pack up the car on a Friday, drive five hours to the beach or the mountains (or whatever) and spend a few days away, in the middle of April, reacquainting yourselves with each other – holding back the demands of jobs and whatever else distracts you.

It doesn’t have to be one day. It shouldn’t be one day. I want to know every day I possibly can, that my love – loves me and will just keep choosing me, flirting with me, and pursuing me. I want to be bothered and to feel thought of. For real – come bother me, baby. I mean, don’t just think that it’s only one day out of the year that your love wants to have your attention. I promise it’s not.

Lest this appears to be some kind of insinuation that this is a one-way street where the man shoulders most of the work, it absolutely is not. Why do I not see more women posting about what lengths they’ve gone to, to celebrate their “Valentine” on this day? Why is it that it seems like so much of the showering with gifts and attention is one-sided? It shouldn’t be that way.

So – here’s what I suggest, make a concerted effort to show your partner a little of that love and affection and random notes and gifts and cards, throughout the year. Don’t get caught up on *the* day of February 14th – a day literally created to make money. I promise you, it will be worth your time and effort. Starting tomorrow, spread it out and don’t get so hung up on making one day fit the mold.

P.S. Read this if you want a suggestion for what to buy next Valentine’s Day that doesn’t encourage overuse of pesticides and increase carbon emissions (360,000 metric tons of CO2 to fly those bad boys here).