I have already gone over my childhood fairytale romance with Eric from “The Little Mermaid” and how humbling it was to realize that an animated character was not a viable love – a lesson that was not viable or realistic, and also a humbling lesson on spelling from my older brother. If I ever meet a man named Arik or Aric, I will probably request an interview with his illiterate parents ;).
I also shared the timeless, tried, and true advice that my very wonderful and wise Grandmother shared with me at the oh-so-innocent age of six – “You have to kiss a lot of toads before you meet your Prince.” Indeed she was right…the patience required for that type of love takes a long, time. In truth, for most of us (humans 😉 not toads, ha) …you know, hypothetically speaking, maybe around…a collective 30 years (does a real lady ever reveal her age 😉 haha) of sleeping and dreaming about sleeping next to the wrong person to sleep next to the right person. And when you find that person, well, if you are so lucky in life (or if you choose to wait until you find a person that is worth sharing the right kind of bed with 😉 haha) then you really understand the notion that whether or not you are with someone, you are at least able to decide that the bed you sleep on is just as important as any person you sleep next to or with. That’s my refresher for my previous posts… if you haven’t read them, here’s a refresher:
Here’s some solid tips on going from sleeping alone to sleeping next to someone and how to optimize the experiences of what challenges or things might impact a good night’s rest when proactively preparing for sleep when sleeping next to a partner and dealing with various noises or the other obstacles that deal with noises outside of the noises your Partner might make when you’re trying to sleep like the size of the bed, the side of the bed someone sleeps on versus what side of the bed you’re used to sleeping on and even the senses outside of noise that might impact your ability to feel rested when the sun comes up and the obligations that come with “adulting” seem to hit your head louder than the worst of the worst wake-up alarm clock noises.
When sleep is not one of those natural inclinations and more of a tasks, you know, counting sheep so to speak, tossing and turning and those hours where your body says “sleep, sleep, sleep” but your mind sits wondering hmmm, should I check my phone to see if it is 3 AM and I have a shot at a few hours of rest or is it 5 AM and I should maaaaybe just screw the alarm, make an extra strong coffee and start my day. In that toss-and-turning moment where you do not know if you’re getting 2 or 3 or 4 hours of sleep before awakening for the daily tasks ahead of you, sometimes you can take comfort in something very simple: rolling over and cuddling or holding a person who relaxes your body, mind and soul enough to not even feel bad about hitting snooze a few times. That type of comfort can supersede a great bed, a comfortable pillow, and even silence honking horns. Being in the arms of someone you love can provide a psychological lullaby that goes beyond rational. It’s a childhood blanket found in the comfort of sleeping next to someone whose very existence makes going to bed not a chore, but a reason to be grateful.
After spending nearly a month abroad living and sleeping and adapting to life in a foreign country and adapting to all of the different cultural components as best as I could, I have now just finished going through security and we have both boarded the plane back home. I’m sitting here next to John, rather exhausted mentally from the adaptations and trying to be open-minded about the cultural and even newly learned (but not bad, per se) differences throughout this trip. As I write this it is 10 PM on our sleep schedule but 6 hours earlier in NY, so to avoid jet lag and get a good night’s sleep when we return without being stuck on the European time zones, we stay up the whole flight). Even though I’m a little bit sleepy and struggling from being exhausted and a bit overwhelmed, I was seeking some inspiration for a post. I opened my laptop and then I opened my paper journal which I often write in as a place to keep my ideas, things that are my inspiration, my own cognitive therapy, and sometimes a venting mechanism.
What I found was a message that John wrote to me after we had a 20+ hour Star Wars marathon over the course of a week because I had never actually seen the “Sagas” (is that what they are even called? Haha). He had gone out of his way to stop at the store and buy me a Star Wars Moleskin Notebook. (Link to Moleskin Notebook online) before coming back from the office one evening. Before he gave it to me, he took the time to re-write an E E Cummings poem I had sent him during the first month we were on our never-ending first date. J
The poem is quite beautiful, and I think the reasons I believe it to be true are the same reasons you should take comfort in your heart beating next to someone who makes life something to look forward to…whether sleeping or having to keep each other from sleeping on a flight back home together. Here it is, the poem:
“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart).” By E.E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
(Attribution for E.E. Cummings Poem: “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” Copyright 1952, © 1980, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust, from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.
Source: Complete Poems: 1904-1962 (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1991)
Carrying someone else’s joy and vulnerabilities and loving them despite their faults and accepting them as they are is the kind of love that makes learning from each other worth it…the questions on why someone is mad or if we have made the right decision kind of dissolves as you tuck the ego away and are able to see beyond our first-person default narrative in our perspective as we go through life. In the first note John ever wrote me he wrote something in French. I asked him what it meant. He said, “My heart is in your hands, please take good care of it.”