I was ready for my last serious relationship to end. And yet, when it did, I still felt a major sense of loss. Part of this is because I’m an incredibly nostalgic person and wish no good phase of life would ever have to come to a close, even when I know it’s time for it to. But more than that, I realized that my life was feeling flat without romance.
When I say romance, I don’t mean I missed flowers and grand gestures. Our relationship didn’t have much of all that. What I missed was when ordinary moments felt extraordinary. This is how I’ve always thought of romance. And that is similar to how it’s technically defined: “a feeling of remoteness from everyday life.”
It seemed silly to me, the longer that I sat with this, that I needed someone else in order to experience romance. If romance really was a feeling associated with a way of life, why had I always tied it to my romantic relationships? Why did society do this too? Couldn’t it just be a way that I lived, always?
When I looked back at my life I realized I’d had incredibly romantic phases when I was single. Take the time I surprised myself by dropping out of college for a year to try my hand at writing a novel and bought a one-way ticket to Charleston, South Carolina, a place I’d always wanted to go, to write it. Or the time I rented a house on Balboa Island I wasn’t sure I could actually afford because I got caught up in a moment and really loved it. We’re all capable of surprising ourselves. Of living in our own magic. Why don’t we tap into this more?
Romance is not what is seen in these pictures. And it’s not something we should hope to experience down the road when we meet a wonderful guy. Nor is it something we should worry about waning in our long-term romantic relationships. It’s something we bring to our own lives. And that rubs off on others in the process.
I was living my most spontaneous, best life when I spotted photos taken by the photographer of this shoot and messaged her about collaborating to bring this blog post to life. We INSTANTLY became friends. An ordinary day became extraordinary.
Catch yourself off guard this week. Rearrange things—whether it’s your house or your schedule. Act as if tomorrow is a holiday. Treat yourself to a new outfit like this skirt and this top. Bake cookies and put them on a small plate on top of your pillow—the way a fancy hotel might do! Book a random night at a hotel. Have breakfast for dinner. Fall in love with your life.