Love and the HolidaysLet’s have a really vulnerable moment here. That seems to be the theme of 2016 – vulnerability by way of radical transparency.

The holidays seem to add a level of sheen when it comes to new acquaintances or maybe old ones that had a mild spark. We latch onto the idea of family, companionship, and idealized mistletoe moments (and inappropriate holiday parties, hey). I wrote “Love” on my 2016 vision board (more on that later…) with a pretty ambiguous idea of what the output of this goal would be. Was it to meet someone and have a meaningful relationship? Find it within myself? At the end of the year looking back, I’m realizing it was more the latter that was what needed to happen.

We Glamorize Love in the Media

It’s allegedly finding your soul mate / partner in crime / someone that’s going to hold doors and perform big gestures of affection. When really, what’s lacking is love in our day to day lives. It’s those moments of gratitude when you’re alone, and feeling on the ledge of despair, and you’re able to catch yourself or have someone around you that will catch you. Love emanates in everything that we do – that’s my personal take away from this year.

We’re bumble-d, tinder-ed, ok-cupid-ed out.

Superficial connections are abundant and wildly accessible. Slowly the Love Actually moments seem much more of a distant idea, and we stop getting to really know and tolerate one another, or develop unconditional, non-judgemental relationships with one another. After all, we can replace with a swipe or 10 minutes with a solid internet connection, non? This was the first year I ever endeavored on trying these apps out (yeah, yeah, I’m a laggard by anyone’s standards). Serial monogamy was a thing in my life for a decade, and finally being open to meeting people in a somewhat standard way through technology…was petrifying.

Stop being “too busy”.

Millennials are always onto the next thing or too busy being busy. If you’re not busy, apparently you’re irrelevant. Our focus is on survival, self indulgence, and eventually the hope is to find success. Maybe what we need to do is to declutter and peel back all of the layers of the unnecessary. Overworking at something you hate? Take action. Traveling too much? Open your eyes to the meaningful connections around you. Too lazy for love? Take a break.

Go slower, it’s actually faster.

At my first job in my career, I really felt like I had something to prove constantly. Overperforming, managing 192102810 things at once, and feeling obligated to show my value. An old coworker said blatantly when she would see my self-inflicted rush: “Go slower, it’s actually faster”. With most things in life, that’s still an appropriate way to go about learning and growing. Maybe learning to care about people isn’t such a bad thing. Perhaps getting to know someone’s quirks and strangely charming ways isn’t awful. Maybe we shouldn’t all be in such a rush to get somewhere or hit a milestone.

Am I claiming to have a semblance of an idea of what love is or what it looks like? Fuck no. I’m the last person that probably has a real idea of what modern romance looks like (though shout out to the book by Aziz Ansari, great read). But if there’s a call to action this whole rant has me making, it’s to treat anyone and everyone that has an ounce of your investment, with respect and love, regardless of if they “deserve” it.

As heinous as this post might seem, if you’ve made it to this sentence I’ll leave you with this: there’s hope. Someone once told me we attract who we are, not what we think we want. If you’re on a road to perpetual growth and the Mastery of Love (a plug – great book), then let there be love.

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