I'm not certain where this thought was born out of but it's something that I've thought about lately. The more interesting thought that has camped out is- what used to look like love (when I was a child, when I was in a relationship, when I felt most
loved and valued) still looks very familiar if not the exact same.
I know I was loved when she walked all the way from her house to mine. Emilie was about to turn 15 and I was 14 and I had just had my jaw surgery. It doesn't seem like a feat of great proportions to walk from her place to mine, but it was that I had said that I didn't want to see anyone. My head was swollen to, what felt like, the width of my shoulders. Emilie came over and brought me some consolation prizes for a surgery well weathered. There was a silver charm, a letter, a card, a colored picture. All things that proved she had thought about me in a time of pain. I have come across those things over the years and it's so funny to see how they are so age-appropriate for who we were at the time. I think what I value the most is that they were intended to let me know I was with her- and because I still have them- she's with me.
I know I was loved when it was the everyday, mundane, benign things that prompted affection. I felt special and normal at the same time. Jake's charismatic way of telling me that the way I got into bed was different and yet endearing at the same time (I crawl in feet first and had never noticed until it was pointed out with affection). I was me and it seemed to be enough. I was quirky and it was 'adorable.' I was impassioned and it was 'attractive.' It was a sense of being valued not for what I do but for who I am that brought a sense of comfort.
I know I was loved when she helped me move. It is, in no uncertain terms, a beating to move me, my prized things, my shit that people wonder why I hold onto, my life- all into a new home. My mother has never even seen some of the places I've lived and she has also made some of my places a home by simply being there. She did this last time on her own birthday, I know she loves me and I know she does what she can- and that will always be what I need.
I know I was loved when they are happy just to be where I am. It's not enough for Othello to just be in the same room- he has to lay on the keyboard. It's not enough for Stanley to be in the same apartment- when I'm home he likes to be close enough to be able to see me. It's an odd comfort that I am at home (doing anything or nothing) and Stan will be somewhere near- quietly watching.
There are days when I seem to barely get by with all the support in my world and then there are times when I flourish in just the idea of how much I have been loved in my life and how I continue to experience it. What does love look like to you?