The Table Is Prepared For You

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

“This love will keep us through blinding of the eyes
Silence in the ears, darkness of the mind”- Frank Ocean

When have I loved myself in the way I wish others loved me? When have I loved others in the way I love myself? These are difficult questions to answer by any means; seeing love as action is part of the answer. Because allowing oneself to be loved and giving it wholeheartedly are basic skills we are not taught when we were younger. It’s scary because we don’t want to acknowledge that we never knew love in its totality as something we do, nor acknowledge that we have much to learn about doing it.

This is true for maintaining current relationships and cultivating new ones because it means practicing what bell hooks calls a “loving ethic,” which is taking responsibility for what we do, staying committed, acting with the utmost respect, caring, trusting, and always striving to do better, or knowledge. Of course, all of this is done simultaneously for both ourselves and other people. But any relationship we wish to cultivate requires doing these to help ourselves and the people we love to grow and become who we want to become.

And I’m bringing this all up because I am moving soon to Chicago. In many ways, my moving is uprooting much of my desire for perpetual complacency in favor of accepting my responsibility for perpetuating my growth. That part is badass to accept finally; I can live my life finally as a pansexual dude writing and living in the big city. In the same vein, I am parting ways with my old Starbucks store and wishing Godspeed to all my friends and family.

Of course, I can always visit, but that isn’t the point. The point is that I am very anxious about losing all these relationships that I have made over the last four years. Truthfully, I am extremely insecure about no one caring if I left or not that I began toxically pushing them away from me to avoid the hurt of growing apart; however, because that growing pain that can strengthen friendships and cultivate new ones necessitates accepting that those people stay with us, like indelible marks in our hearts despite growing apart. And this part about growing as a person hurts the most. But as my friend Josh reassured me earlier today, “These beautiful and rough moments will all pass. Like a wave, it crashes and recedes. So, make the most of the moment!” Well, at least something along the lines. And really, Josh is absolutely right. This is all that matters when it comes to loving; always staying current moment I share with people I love.

So as I enter one of the many life changes ahead of me, I do so with much more gratitude for the present moment. Because despite the possibility of never speaking to each other again, I still wish to impart indelible marks of committed love to my friends and family as I allow them to do unto me. What that really entails is just living, laughing, and appreciating what we have done for each other and what we can do for ourselves now.

Like sharing a pot of coffee, eating at a bar as COVID restrictions are lifted, and going somewhere new, I want to share myself and create loving spaces no matter what happens. There’s too much life to live, no matter what life stage we are in. So why waste it ruminating on insecurities and catastrophizing over a possible loss when we can appreciate what we have and who we are with at the moment? I think I’m ready to commit to a loving ethic despite all of life’s uncertainties. Because I will rather be committed to loving and becoming the person I want to be as I help someone else on their journey as they, in turn, help my growth to my own potential. I have done so many times before and will do so from now on. I hope you do the same.

Post Script:

Loving is forever, but relationships are always not. And that’s okay because the love we feel like we lose will always manifest into something new if we allow it. It’s because love is the life force of all change both socially and personally. It’s always something that grows and expands when we choose to practice it. That is why I am okay with the distance between my friends, family, and myself. That’s why I can always keep people in my heart despite the distance; no matter where we go, I will always keep a seat at the table for them. Because even as we grow apart, we still grow together. It’s that love I keep is the love I will let blossom. You should do too.

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Anthony Mario Hernandez

Anthony Mario Hernandez

I like to read. Like a lot. And I also like to write. Like a lot. Let's make a community and story tell!