I fell in love for the first time in the sixth grade. He was an “older man.” A whopping fourteen. Two years later, he noticed me. The awkward middle schooler was growing up. We wrote letters over a summer while he was in Arkansas—real, hand-written letters. We didn’t have facebook. We didn’t talk on the phone.
I used to go on walks. I’d put my cocker spaniel on a leash, and we’d go. And I’d think. I’d think about him. I was scared. No boy had ever noticed me before.
I also thought about emotions. Why did we have to have them? I had air to breathe and food to eat. Why, then, did I have to feel this way?
It’s a question I still haven’t answered.
“I’ve been married twice. Most women would rather not be married to a traveling blues singer.” — B.B. King
I confess I haven’t read B.B.’s autobiography. Today, it’s easy to look at the icon and imagine a life of joy—he’s doing what he LOVES! But I guarantee you his road hasn’t been easy. Even love requires sacrifice and hard work.
“If you want to be a good blues singer, people are going to be down on you, so dress like you’re going to the bank to borrow money.”
“If you can’t get your songs to people one way, you have to find another.”
We humans are funny creatures. For reasons unknown, we need each other: as much as the air we breathe; as much as the food we eat. In order to pursue a goal, however, sometimes these important relationships get pushed to the side. We’ll do whatever it takes to get to the top . . .
To look at it from another angle: If we’re the spouse, friend, or lover, we have to be flexible. We have to be patient and understanding. We may have to push our own goals to the side to support the one we love.
Not all of us are cut out to be B.B. King. Not all of us would even want to be B.B. King. But all of us have something we’re good at. Something we love that makes this world a better place. (Sorry guys, popping beer caps off bottles with your teeth doesn’t count.) The trick is to find a balance. Find the thing you love and do it with all your heart. But keep the ones you love close to you, and be willing to make sacrifices for them, too.
Unless, of course, you want to be alone.
Additional image credits: Mailbox (pinterest.com) and B.B. laughing (last.fm)