Book No. 20 – The Best of Me

6 Dec

Book number 20!!!! I made it 1/5 of the way to my goal… YAY!! The 20th book I read is “The Best of Me” by Nicholas Sparks. You can never go wrong reading a Nicholas Sparks book. Never. He has this way of drawing you in and getting you attached to the characters so much so that you find yourself becoming invested in their futures.  (Or at least I do…) Only to be disappointed when (shocker!) not all of his stories end the way I want them to. This book kind of reminded me of Dear John because they are both beautiful, heartwarming love stories with tragic endings. Which snaps us back to reality and reminds us that fairy tales, although I like to believe they are real…. are rare. Okay, so obviously as we all know by now, when you embark on the tragic yet hopeful adventure of a Nicholas Sparks book, you will be met with an all encompassing love story! “The Best of Me,” is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite worlds. Now middle-aged, their lives have taken divergent paths, but neither has the life they imagined and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they both return to their hometown for a funeral, they are forced to confront the choices each has made. I am not going to talk about the ending because I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who decide to read this book, but word of advice: have tissues on hand!! This book chronicles the lives of these two lovers as they fall apart from each other, only to be reunited later in life. It’s weird how no matter how much time has passed between two people, the feelings they once had for each other can still feel so fresh and new. The element of dating is so fascinating to me. Every time I date someone new I form a list in my head of all the things that are different about this new guy compared to the previous one. I feel like thats normal, right? As humans we often form these check lists in our heads (or is it just me?) of our ideal guy (or girl) and naturally nobody ever truly lives up to our unrealistic standards. When I think back to guys that have impacted my life I realize they are all SO different from each other and our relationships were so completely opposite. One of my boyfriends is literally the full package. He is kind, considerate, patient, committed, HONEST, family oriented, understanding, spiritual, and smart. Basically any girls dream guy! When I first met him, I was like one of those obnoxious love struck school girls consumed with finding my happy ever after, willing to dive fearlessly into the labyrinth I call love. The novelty of the relationship faded fast and reality set in… and when that happens the fairy tale is shattered. I discovered although, this guy would make a perfect husband and father, there was no passion, no excitement, no danger. I am unwilling to live a life in which I settle for a relationship of this kind. I introduced this guy to my family and friends, and I was disappointed with the way he interacted with them and he was angry with the way I interacted with anyone and everyone around me. Any time I would go and mingle with other people, he would get mad at me and accuse me of ignoring him. I had managed to snag my self a stage 5 clinger! I felt caged. My cousin said that he was the Gionni to my Snooki. He didn’t allow me to truly be myself. He unintentionally put me in a cage, because the real me was too wild for his taste. (word of advice: liberals and conservatives don’t mix well…) I tried to succumb to his desires of keeping me in check, but eventually my need for freedom overcame me. And I’ll never let anybody put me in a cage again. I was eating lunch with my mom the other day and we were talking about this guy and all the problems that have surfaced in our relationship and she turned to me and said, “You are just too much of a mustang for him Taylor.” Puzzled, I asked what she meant. “Well, you’re a wild horse.” And she is right. This relationship proves the inaccuracy of the saying, “opposites attract.” Let me tell you, it’s not always true! Another important relationship I have had was based more on passion and lust. A relationship filled with history and pain and love, the kind of relationship that will always linger with you whether you want it to or not. This guy is heaven to the previous guys hell. They are complete opposites which is probably what drew me in to dating the second guy. This guy is dangerous and complicated but offers a safety net for me to land on. Another relationship I had was all about the emotional connection between the two of us. Our similarities brought us together and I’ve never had such in-depth conversation with any other guy I’ve dated. It was almost as if we were a part of something bigger than just ourselves. All three of these relationships seemed to have been missing some key element, but now I realize that a relationship is not going to be EVERYTHING you want it to be. It will be lacking in some areas simply because perfection is nonexistent. I’m coming to terms with the fact that there is NO perfect person on this planet, therefore no perfect relationship. They all take work and they all involve compromising parts of yourself to meet the needs of your partner. My sister and I had a conversation once about love and relationships. I pondered aloud the question of “how do you know he’s the one?” My sister looked at me and said. “All I know is that I need someone who makes me feel safe, but also dangerous at the same time. I haven’t found that person yet, but when I find someone who can make me feel that way, I’ll know he is the one.” I thought about this for a while… and I decided that the certainty of knowing comes from a feeling. A feeling that many people never find, but a feeling that the lucky ones will hold on to forever. When I feel so much for a person that it is all consuming, then I’ll know. And for once in my life my annoyingly indecisive self will be certain of something.

“The Best of Me” is a story about a love that is lost, but somehow these two people find their way back to each other again. This book is a reminder of the tremendous sacrifices that come with being in love and the sad realization that not all loves are meant to last. But, I do believe that all of us should live our lives on impulse. I believe if you feel something you should act on it, NO MATTER WHAT. I don’t believe in guilt as long as you don’t intentionally hurt someone, and I think we should live life with no regrets. I think we should all live completely free.

Xo.

Taylor Jordan

 

 

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