Photo by Nathaniel Young, feature photo by Patti Miller
I'll admit it, I'm a pretty organized person. I like everything in its right place, neatly assigned its location or box. It gives a calming sense of order in a world that sometimes seems overwhelming with objects, information and things. As a solo singer/producer that mostly works alone, I'm often asked if I'm a control freak. The answer would be a resounding yes. However, something has began to occur to me more and more the older that I get: control is an illusion. This illusion is a particularly dangerous illusion due to the fact that it can be incredibly limiting. Nothing has illustrated this more to me than the last year of my life and my on-going exploration of relationships and the various ways people deal with one another. Talk about chaos.
Most of us are raised with/force-fed the idea that we have all are destined for one, true and lasting love that will last for all time. The prophesied notion being that you find this love, buy a house, make babies and live happily ever after. I want to stop here and clarify that I in no way stand in disapproval of this lifestyle. I think it makes perfect sense, especially from the stand point of raising a family, etc. I very much can see that for my future, potentially. However, I think that the concept of every love affair needing to fit into the box or construct of this type of relationship leads to the demise and sacrifice of potentially amazing love affairs and experiences everyday. Let me explain from my experience: I have had a blessed life full of meeting and falling in love with many people. This includes both friends and lovers. There have been more than a few occasions where within in the scope of these connections, I have attempted to make those relationships into the stuff of this foretold prophecy. My thinking being: I love this person, they love me, we must be destined for a life together, this is my "soul mate", boom. However, my experience has been that not every love is meant for this type of categorization. Some types of love do not fit so conveniently into that box. It can be a square peg in a round hole situation. Previous to very recently, I viewed these bad fits as tragic losses. Heartbroken, I've been forced to examine how something so right could go so wrong. Within this examination, I have found that embracing these connections for what they are instead of forcing them into the wrong box can be an immensely liberating and satisfying experience. Discovering what can exist between two people without the shadow of the foretold future looming over can be, as I have found, quite amazing.
So what's the moral of this story? I suppose it's that I'm going to try to love, and be loved by as many people as I can in this lifetime in the way it's meant to be, not just by what is prescribed to me. I suppose to a control freak like me I could still justify this by saying that I'm adding more story lines or boxes to fit these relationships into. Everything stays in it's right place. But to let go, and loose control for those brief moments, I can begin to glimpse the vast possibilities of a limitless illusion.