#35: Creating Your Own Metaphor

In the last 7 months, and maybe for some of it, even longer, I’ve been working on a book. This idea came to me as I was writing and I realized there’s a larger message I want to get across. This book however, is a book of poems. I wrote my first poem when I was 6, I believe. And I don’t remember much except that the other girl in class wrote a better one than me and I always wanted to be better because of it. This book covers everything that surrounds love and the experience you have with it based upon the experiences in your life before, after, and in between. Who you grow as a person to be, and how well you accept love. The family kind, the relationship kind, the friend kind, and the self-love that goes unnoticed. 

 

I was a freshman at the University of Delaware when I first heard the phrase, “create your own metaphor.” It was one of my first college classes, intro to communication theory, taught in a lecture room with 150 other students.

My favorite class by far that semester, I was excited. It was deep, philosophical, and ultimately – enlightening. I learned about saving face, finding your gold, and what existentialism is all about.

It was probably the first time I realized I really was a thinker. Someone who felt more fulfilled learning about the world and these ideas and principles that that guide it, rather than learning about numbers or the powerhouse of a cell.

Anyway, theres this idea that we see life as a series of metaphors we have been exposed to – the most popular one? Falling in love.

There’s other ones like “chasing our dreams” and “finding ourselves,” you get the gist of it.

We all know or have an idea of what falling in love means because we’ve felt it or have witnessed it to some degree.

Falling in love isn’t an actual thing, but it is the metaphor of which we describe the feelings we start to have for a person over the course of time. This metaphor represents the “head rush,” the “butterflies,” all of which are metaphors in themselves. Falling in love is us getting to the place where we have gained feelings that we would associate with being in love with someone. Its often the focus on the journey of being in love.

This metaphor is generally what we think and accept love as; but what this metaphor does not cover is what it means to love, or to be in love. This metaphor just covers the journey of the fall.

The journey of the fall is the fun and games… but the real stuff, that’s where its really at.

There are no metaphors for that day when you ask yourself – is this really it? There’s no description of these moments where its all crashing down, and all of a sudden the only love you have is the one you need to work on with yourself.

It just so happens that with books and movies and society – we have this ONE idea of love and “falling” when really that’s not it at all.

There’s not one singular way to “fall” in love, and there’s not one singular way to stay in it either – but I’ll get to that in a second. Falling in love can happen over the course of time, or overnight. But for me and my initial experience with love – it was instant.

The best way I can look back so many years later and describe it is I didn’t know what was happening, but I knew. I didn’t know what I was about to get into, but I felt it. From the moment I laid eyes on him, I knew. From the moment we kissed, it was there. And maybe not all at once, and maybe not overnight, but in the little “falls” in between.

But my love was not glamorous, my love was not what you see in the movies. My love was raw and my love was real. It feels awkward to talk about it now because it was just so long ago, and I’ve moved on, but the story keeps teaching me all the time. Maybe not in grand ways, but in little things that I never even realized until I became 24 and remembered what it was to be 17.

But through it all, I created my own metaphor.

I found what felt real to me, what made sense to me and that metaphor. And what I learned is that it doesn’t come from the happy song in the move that they play when everything works out – my metaphor comes from the lead up, and the suspense. The moments of being in love and the moments of its absence. My metaphor for love doesn’t begin with the fall, my metaphor for love comes from the foundation of it.

And that foundation is me – that foundation is you.

Falling in love is not the metaphor we should strive for, but what we should strive for is the foundation to that love. That foundation is the person staring at you in the beginning, and the person staring at you in the end. The only person who is there to watch the fall, be the fall, and pick you up from it if you land on concrete.

You are your metaphor for love. How you treat you and how you love you, paves the foundation for that fall.

So don’t get too caught up in falling in love – get caught up in yourself.

And then, welcome to your metaphor.

Book to be published in the Fall of 2018.

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