I got engaged this year, that was the highlight. After that, nothing has gone in any way I could imagine. I was forced into a situation where I had to keep my distance from the person I love most. Our plan over the next few years was immediately taken over by circumstances that were unexpected beyond anything for which we could have prepared.
You think you finally find a moment where your life starts to follow the plans you made for it, just to find that you’re wrong again. This situation has not been able to damper my love and the feelings I have. Rather, this situation seems to have strengthened them. By missing another person, I have had no replacement for the daily love I had. There are some remedies and bandages that have helped to some extent but I have found no replacement for cohabitation. Even before this, we were not living together - which is why I face this dilemma - but to have your other half accessible to you provides much more than you know, until you learn through a larger period of absence.
But there’s good in this, too. I’ve been able to empathize with other people in love, any love. You miss another person, you have to remember what life is like as an individual. You want to think happy thoughts but it’s harder when you’re isolated and alone. You persist because you know life is meant to be shared with other people. I have worked to find improvements in my own lifestyle and similarly uncovered manners in which I have bettered my actions towards my relationship.
This separation has not been easy. I have found this challenge to come from a change in routine. While I have had a personal routine before, this time is different. It’s not like the engagement has been called off, everything has just been prolonged. I have had to create a new routine where my feelings have not changed but my environment has.
I find restlessness in the monotony. There is extra effort to find a relaxing space or calming environment. There was a huge empty space and I didn’t know how to fill it. I realized the speed at which life can change and the deep effect any person can feel when they are tasked with filling a hollow feeling. I found an immediate need to capture the moments in life I want to grasp the tightest.
I began by looking at what Love means to me and in various places around the world. I was attracted to nature, scents, and foliage: its long history in the world, as contributions to everyday ingredients, but moreso as an expression of personal emotion. In exploring nature, I found the powerful aroma of lavender to uplift and energize me. Its fragrance bloomed in me an inspiration to forge a deeper connection with the person with whom I want to interact daily. This complex scent soothed my panic and worry and finally helped me find a manner in which to create a comfortable environment.
After finding lavender and learning about the effect it has on me, I decided I needed to capture and explore those feelings. It started with simple tutorials but quickly evolved into a passion project, something I do that constantly reminds me of my love. Slowly, I learned more about love and how it can appear in a variety of forms. I started to think about love in these ways, specifically, the quote by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I started to think about how this could mean more than just changing the name of a flower. I focused on how I could change the thing that I call love and even add to it. A simple lavender candle gave me a way to constantly remember the people I cherish the most but candle-making has helped me find a new way to feel love.
In this time, I have learned that it is easy to be passive in life and in a relationship. It is too easy to forget that you have to be involved and that memories do not make themselves. This is not to say that we need to completely change everything about our life or about how we understand love. What I mean by this is that we need to be active in keeping the love we find. We cannot ignore the effect love has on us. More importantly, we cannot let unusual circumstances allow us to deprioritize those emotions. Love is ever-present and it requires constant care so that it blooms into something at which you can always look on and be proud.