They say where there is a will, there is a way. I’ll agree — but what if there is no will? Then is there a way? Or are they mutually exclusive?
I almost always have a will to do something — even if it’s just to have that Champagne-infused brunch or to see a discounted show for Broadway week. My wills are bigger too –I willed to live in New York, to be an editor, to have the things people come to visit in my backyard. I’ve willed to be better and stronger, more independent and sufficient, and here I am financially, emotionally, adult-ally all on my own. And I’ve willed myself into overcoming an obsession with men and their presence (or often, their absence) in my life. Though I’m teetering between possibility and impossibility, I’m still standing firmly and finally, not compromising what I need to feel needed by a man.
All of this willing has always found me a way to something, to someplace, to someone. It is rarely the something, someplace or someone who I crave – but whatever it is, it’s always there. But what happens when it’s not anymore? What would happen if I lost my will?
My life bloomed when I stopped waiting for it to change and changed it for myself. I was stuck in a pattern that I had made inevitable: meet a guy, fall for him, ask for commitment, be denied, cry, moan, whine, obsess, think I’m the ugliest thing ever, blow my confidence and money away on exercise and Ben & Jerry’s, then meet someone new….and start all over again. My oh my, did I find it exhausting. But I willed to find love and love was what I wanted, so there would be a way, right?
A year and 12-steps later, I wouldn’t say that will is gone but it has most certainly lessened. I don’t long to get married or to start a family. I don’t need an engagement ring to feel settled and secure. I’m not crawling into bedrooms, looking for remarkable sex because I know I’ll most likely just find a heartache hangover the next morning. I don’t feel the pressure to rush down an aisle as my cousins and my childhood friends have done, and when it comes to wondering if the stranger on the next cart is my mate – that curiosity has mostly killed the Tigar.
But does that mean I’ve lost my will? Do I not hope for love anymore? Do I not value how wonderful, how overpowering, how incredible it can feel when it’s right? When the man is right? If there is a man that’s right, that is? If I have indeed lost my will, will love still find its way to me? Or without that will, is there surely no way to one day stumble across holding-hands-in-Central-Park-while-raising-babies-in-a-brownstone-in-Brooklyn bliss?
I’m still willing to be successful, willing to find happiness in my single shoes, willing to make New York more of my home than it already is, and most importantly, willing to just be myself and be okay with that. So a will for love is still there, it’s just not in the spotlight. It doesn’t get front-and-center attention because it’s not at the forefront of my attention. It’s still there in something, in someplace with someone I haven’t met — but it hasn’t disappeared. My love will hasn’t lost its way, it’s just found a new way to exist.
It’s found a way to exist without being all-consuming so that I could do more than just exist. So I could really, remarkably, beautifully, live.