Watching “How I Met Your Mother” I always feel a deep connection to it, because the writers did an incredible job of making Ted Mosby just like us, the everyone inside of us that is searching for something. Of course, it isn’t always love. Perhaps it’s success. Perhaps you connect more with Robin and her career, perhaps it’s Barney and his status. I don’t know. I don’t know the inner workings of your mind. But I know mine, and when I watch this show, my mind goes crazy.
In the fourth episode of HIMYM, Ted finds an old shirt he had forgotten about and realizes that he loves it now when he used to dislike it. He finds that he enjoys the taste of bourbon, he believes that this shift in his mind has changed his outlook on relationships and he begins looking through his past relationships to maybe try one out again.
He ends up calling an old girlfriend names Natalie who he had broken the heart for three years prior in the story. They get together and Ted begins feeling the same way again. He decides to break up with her and it destroys her heart again, only the second time she gets angry instead of sad. She ends up kicking the hell out of Ted and leaving, in the same scene we are left with a handful of ideas.
The pessimist inside of me would argue that it means old love can never be reignited, but the optimist, the side of me that is more fun at parties, would say otherwise.
A lot of times in life I think back to previous relationships I have held (or tried to hold) and I wonder how the two of us would work together now that so much has changed. I think a lot of the people I rejected and it makes me wonder, but that wondering isn’t necessarily something to entertain, because in a lot of cases it could be like Natalie. Even if it works out for a while, there is a reason that it didn’t work in the first place. As much as we change as people, we still stay the same, but I still entertain this idea from time to time.
I think that’s because I get lonely sometimes. (Often. Haha… ha.) In the end, it goes back to something that I’ve believed for years.
Love is something we actively do.
There is this huge confusion, I think, in our heads about love and attraction. It’s harder to want to love someone that you aren’t attracted to for obvious reasons, but at the same time love isn’t something that we just fall in to and let exist. It’s a project. It will change and grow and mutate and that is the thing that makes it love. I’ve been attracted to a number of girls over the course of my life, and I loved the ones I did for reasons I held close, but those things didn’t work out. It makes me think about the idea of high school sweethearts.
My best friend will be marrying the love of his life this summer, and they met in high school. When we were still in high school I was always told that high school sweethearts don’t stay together, that there is no hope for them, yet I’ve watched these two overcome every obstacle in their relationship and they are still going strong. Strong enough to get Travis to propose to her, and that thing more than anything else inspires me. That is the thing that reminds me of what love is supposed to be.
Love is supposed to be waking up every day with the intention of loving that person. With the desire to do so. It isn’t about new shirts and liking the taste of bourbon. It isn’t about sock monkeys and cute candles and big birthday celebrations. It’s about choices that we make as humans every day.
I don’t know a lot about love, but I do know one thing, if I choose to love you, I will do so forever. I’m not the kind of guy that wants to fall out of love a hundred times before I figure out my life. I’m the kind of guy that wants to love. Period. Forever.
I want to be like Travis and Cass. Whether they know it or not, they are the Marshall and Lily to my Ted. They are my inspiration. They are my friends and they, along with my parents, are the reminders that I hold every day to show me what love is really about.
Choices. Friendship. Bonding. Waking up, and knowing that you are there to stay.
That’s what I want. That’s what a lot of us want, I think. It’s just up to us to make that choice and have that choice made about us, which to be honest, scares me to pieces.
But I’m willing to fight through that fear. I do it every day. Because I choose to. Because I’m still learning. Because I’m fighting for what I believe in. That’s what love is, so put on a shirt and love someone today. Whatever way you can.