I had an unusually lazy day today. I rolled out of bed around 8:30, ate my breakfast at a glacial pace, and headed out around 10. I passed the Vatican on my journey out and stopped to take in a small part of Sunday mass from the street. The bells tolled as the the sound of the choir filled every crevice for miles. It was a very peaceful start to my day.
After that, I walked around the city coming across some fountains and ruins, doing a bit of shopping, and reading a book in the park while making some interesting observations.
If Rome had one word to describe it, it would be LOVE. And it was full of it today.
Everywhere I looked, people were kissing, hugging, holding hands, making out. Even the book I picked up by Elizabeth Gilbert called "Committed" - the sequel to Eat, Pray, Love - is ALSO about love and the institution of marriage.
Am I being subconsciously influenced by my surroundings? Or am I grasping at straws trying to find a little hope for my own romantic future?
Being jaded by love, I find it hard to believe it truly exists. The hopeless romantic in me though, won't let me give up on the idea. Nor will Italy. Whether it's the Love Locks in Florence, the coin tosses in the Trevi Fountain, or the couples dolling out affections as I snap their photograph atop Duomos, it's a hard concept to ignore!
I told someone once that I was perfectly fine being on my own, taking care of myself, and that I didn't need anyone. While sure that may be true, he reminded me that needing and wanting are two different things - to which I would have to agree with. As much as friends and family are there to share life with, there is something to be said about having someone special in your life to share everyday moments with. This is what I truly miss about being in a relationship.
Then on the other hand, there are moments where I'm thankful for not being tied down to any one person right now. That was reaffirmed in Venice when I happened to overhear a conversation two girls were having at the table over from me. It was a full on, hour-and-a-half dish session about their crappy boyfriends. Complaints were dished out, justifications and excuses were made, and the conversation never strayed from this topic. These girls were absolutely consumed by their relationships and the downfalls. What's worse, is that they were in Venice - away from these boyfriends - and still consumed by them. This is what terrifies me about being in a relationship; The potential to get completely lost in love. More importantly, the wrong love.
The control-freak in me wants to think there's a perfect recipe for an ever-lasting love to which you don't lose yourself and you stay on course. If only you had the perfect partner, at the perfect time, under the perfect set of circumstances all would work out. But how would one ever grow from that? What would be the purpose of love if it didn't change you or throw you off course in some way - even if you do lose that love down the road? I know from personal experience, loving (and losing) definitely yielded me some wonderful opportunities that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. It has also given me a great deal of insight into myself and what I want for my future.
So really, in looking at it that way, one can't go wrong to find love, to fall in love. Maybe that's why the Italians are so big on it. It's an important part of your own personal evolution and...
...it's worth it.