Summer lovin'

Sex and Sensibility

This summer, I didn't get laid as much as I had wanted to. Not that I wanted to run around and sleep with every boy I could find, but I did have this glorious feeling that I would somehow get whisked away and fall in love - all in the matter of three months.

Every human being believes in love. We all look for it, either directly or indirectly. Whether we're in the grocery store or at the local bar, our eyes are constantly critiquing the room as we wonder if we've spotted our "perfect" match.

Although my dream man has not arrived yet, I did realize a lot of things while searching. Summer always seems to do that for me, to help me reflect on the previous year and the many more ahead of me.

Most of my reflections happened in a tiny village in Urubamba, Peru, where I worked for a women's shelter called Nuevo Amanacer Andino. Not only did I have a great time, but my life was put into a perspective unlike one that I've had before. These women are trapped within their own minds, receiving daily bruises from the ones they love and lacking the strength and support to change their lives. It takes its toll on you when you witness things like this, yet feel you cannot do anything to break the cycle.

My life, although I've been blessed to have my hardships in some ways, has been riding an endless cycle, as well. I often forget the things I should be thankful for and focus instead on the things I want and think I need. One of these big things is finding a significant other. I've been so desperately seeking someone to share my life with that I forget to live. This summer my state of mind changed.

After my trip to Peru I spent most of my days at home in Connecticut working and hanging out with friends that I haven't seen in six years. Reconnecting with them offered me great strength, and our friendships grew as if we had never had any time apart. Together, we played endless games of Beirut, discussing our life experiences, our dreams and our beliefs.

Through intense, yet comfortable conversations, my friends showed me that I've got plenty of time to live, and that I should do just that. But when I've tried to relax I get flustered. You see, friends are settling down all around me. Most have moved in with their partners and are thinking of getting married and raising children, if they haven't already. For that reason, I often think that I too should settle down and get married. This thought often consumes my daily life, as I think about how I'm so far behind everyone else.

But in reality, I'm not ready to settle down. I've just begun, and I think it's important to realize that we all have some time.

My purpose of writing this column is to write about life and love. I write because I feel. Because just like you, I have things I need to talk about, and issues that affect my daily life. I'm writing because within all of the chaos around us, there needs to be a foundation on which to stand.

All the women in Peru needed was someone to help support them, to show them that there was an alternative route. And all I needed was someone to help me realize that love can wait and that I can spend my time focusing on other things and still be happy. I know that I often forget there are other ways to do things rather than following the norm, and I believe that others are experiencing the same things as me.

I have been hurt so many times in the past that I often think my loneliness will disappear if I find a lover. I realize now that it will not. I think a lot of people are afraid of love - of love itself, or of the crazy things it can make you do.

Personally, I like to believe that I am not afraid of love, but I know that deep down I am. I think there are parts of all of us that are afraid. For if humans are meant to love why can or does it hurt so much? I am not saying that I am an authority on sane love -I am not. But I do know that both women and men go through heartache to find love. And I ask myself, is it better to have love than no love at all?

I guess that everybody's definition of love is different. Love comes from the heart and is a mixture of both pain and pleasure. It's nice to believe that one day I will find a soul mate, but for right now, love is a learning experience and I hope that all of you will learn as well.

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