Next month would have been my tenth wedding anniversary. I realized that the other night in the middle of a six and a half mile run, while listening to my running iPod that needs to be updated, but having just survived a long misplacement and then a cycle in the wash, I was happy it was working at all. A song came on, one that was played prominently at my wedding, and it reminded me: ten years ago, I got married. Hearing it did not take me back to that day. It did however, make me run a little stronger.
Ten years is a significant amount of time in a human life. We mark the passings of decades with honor and celebration. We smack ourselves on the forehead in semi-feigned shock, wow, has it been TEN years? Yeah, it has. Since the demise of my marriage came with such blunt force, swiftly ending a seven year relationship, but then dragging into a two and half year divorce, it has taken the better part of the last ten years for me to first sink under the weight of the emotional brutality and abuse of the relationship, then get sucker punched with financial ruin and a career in disarray before recovering at what feels like a snail’s pace. A dear friend recently said to me on a hike not to worry, this had simply been my Bad Decade. He knew because he was having one too. To finally, FINALLY not quiver at the sound of those notes and instead feel resolute and confident and vulnerable in the good way, told me my Decade Of Suck was truly coming to an end.
I remembered, as the song played and I ran onward, that several years ago, in some then unrealized measure of self-care, I made a playlist called “Love Songs To Me.” I loaded it with songs that feel sweet and romantic and twisty and tender to me, that one day I would get to listen to with the person who hears them with me in mind and is happy. And maybe he’d make me a playlist called “Love Song To You” or even better, “Love Songs To Us.” This is the first time I have ever acknowledged its existence publicly because up until this moment I have felt too fragile to admit I made my own love song list. I have never felt so unlovable so deeply during some of the very darkest times in the last ten years. The basic nasty voice said something like, “No one will ever be in love with you enough to make you a playlist for chrissakes, grow up, ain’t gonna happen. Pay your bills. Shut up.” It was too scary to admit even to the closest friend I had done this for myself, the shame muting me to everyone. But that’s why we have Love Songs. To remind us we’re worth it, first and foremost to ourselves.
So what’s this one song you might wonder? Well, of course I have written about it before, even going so far as to call it my personal anthem. Among the many delicious songs on “Love Songs To Me” it is and will always be my most treasured, perfect, intimate song of all time.
Enjoy. And then consider what your love songs to yourself are. We all have to be a little smitten with ourselves from time to time.