Love Does Not Have A Past Tense

It’s weird how some things I hear once get stuck in my head and I remember it forever.  It can be completely insignificant bits of knowledge I have no use to recall. I’m terrible at remembering a person’s name when I meet them. I wish the useless information would quit taking up space in my brain so I didn’t appear rude after taking 3-4 days to remember someone’s name. As a solo nomad I often bond with people quickly over simple similarities and it’s embarrassing that I struggle with remembering something as simple as their name. Occasionally one of those little bits of insignificant knowledge sticks in my mind forever. This blog is about one of those things heard once and never forgot.

I attended a private Catholic High School. We were required to take a theology (religion) class every semester.  Not being one who believes much in the theory of a God who created Planet Earth these classes always bugged me.  Almost every teacher who taught the class was biased that Catholicism is the superior religion.  It never seemed very religionly (Yes, I made up my own word! #creative) to give students the impression that one religion could be more right or important than another.  This was especially prevalent in the theology classes taught by nuns. I’m not against religion. I do however have a tough time believing in a system of one God and this one God is better than the Gods of other religions. I'm a supporter of religion if it helps make a person better their life and feel more comfortable. I don't support religious bias and the belief that a different religion or non-believers are not equal.

There is one particular lesson (one of only two) from 17+ years of school that I recall distinctly. During one of my high school theology classes, Mr. Ludway, presented an idea that I have never forgotten. The cliff notes of the lesson were that we cannot un-love something once we begin to love it. After we have opened our hearts to loving something no matter what happens our hearts will always love it.  Sure, there may be a time when we get upset or hurt, but the love never disappears.

The second lecture that planted a little seed in my mind was from Professor Gregory A. Rich at Bowling Green State University when he told us that he never changed the oil in his car.  It was one of those useless tidbits of information that takes up valuable space in my memory bank. Dr. Rich if you read this blog I hope you don’t take that as an insult. As a consolation prize you’re the only professor from 4 years of college whose name I remember.

What does this blog have to do with my traveling? Well I wanted to take a moment to expose the other side of long-term travel to everyone. The photos and blogs will make a life appear glamorous and full of adventure all of the time. Every day is a vacation of sorts, but there are times when life’s less than pleasant feelings or thoughts come about even as I spend time in some of the world’s most beautiful destinations.  I felt it would be nice to share with you the raw and less desirable side of traveling not talked about by most other travel blogs.

In the USA I have a vast amount of family or long-time friends within a short distance to help distract me or lean on when I need distract myself. Being located on the other side of the World, even with great technology, the opportunity to spend time with those people during these times really doesn’t exist.  Instead, I find myself using day trips or surf trips as a filler.  I am not complaining because surfing has become a daily therapy for me since my arrival in Bali.  Although it is a phenomenal way to relieve stress there is something that can’t be replaced by human interaction with people who accept me for the weirdo I am.

I was reminded of Mr. Ludway’s lesson when I found out that my best friend’s dog of 11 years passed away this week.  I was typing him a message when I realized I made a mistake.  I almost wrote to him, “I know how much you LOVED Bailey.”  The key mistake being that I typed “love” in the past tense form.  When in reality what I took from Mr. Ludway’s lesson is that since you cannot un-love something it technically made the past tense version of love invalid.  I quickly backspaced my typing to make it the present-future form, “love.”  Victor and Emily’s love for Bailey didn’t end the day she passed away and it will always exist moving forward.  In return, although Bailey’s physical form is no longer here on Earth her love for Victor and Emily is still present with them.  And Bailey’s love for her soon to be baby brother (I finally get to announce Victor and Emily are having a baby on the interwebs!!!) will always be present through them as well.  May you rest in peace Bailey while the love you created carries on!

I have been reminded of Mr. Ludway’s class for a whole other reason this week as well.  My heart and mind have been in a bit of blender about someone special who has played a big part in my life. In the past I would have tried to bury these feelings, which would have brought them flying forward again later down the road. Instead, I’m accepting that my love is still there and it won’t just disappear. It may evolve into a different form, but this love will always be in my heart, soul and mind.

I expect that coping and dealing with experiences like those mentioned above while so far away from my loved ones will make me a stronger person for future experiences. To any family, friends or close acquaintances reading this I want you to know; no matter how far apart we are or how long it has been since we were last in contact I love you and that love will never go away no matter where life takes us.  Live your life to the fullest and go chase dreams inside of your heart. I’ll be here to support you!