Why I’ll Never Settle

I can never settle, I will never settle. I’ve had the best of the best and know what true love really is. I can never accept anything less, even if it means living alone for eternity—because in reality, I still have that love and always will.

It was 10 years ago today but it still feels like it was yesterday. That wrenching pain searing through my gut—it gripped my entire body and knocked me to my knees, begging for it to be a mistake, a lie, a sick twisted joke.

The phone call, the feeling that told me he was gone before I ever received the call. The dreams I had afterwards, the nightmares that woke me up at three in the morning screaming and sweating and begging for it to not be true.

I still wake up sometimes and forget for just one delicious minute. I wonder where I am and how I got here. I can still feel his touch and the butterflies I would get when he walked into the room. Being together was like the most amazing dream come true. I couldn’t believe I met someone so perfect, so on track with evolving the same way I wanted to, filled with the qualities that mattered most to me. It wasn’t perfect, nothing is—but it was as close to perfect as anything I’ve even dreamed about.

It was all about these specific moments. I always tried so hard to be good and do the right thing, but I had to break someone else’s heart to make our dreams come true. All it took was one split second to make the decision and go with him instead. I didn’t regret it then and never will. From then on, all there is to remember are the moments of elation, challenge and growth—and there were so many of them. I am so blessed to have had so many.

We were in London one night sitting on a rooftop, like we did in every city we visited and in every city we lived in. He told me to take a photograph in my mind and freeze that moment, to remember that perfection until the end of time. He did that always, reminded me to be present and savor each moment. Make time stand still, because life moved so fast—if we didn’t, we would lose it entirely. It would be gone forever.

It was exactly what he was doing in that one specific moment when his life was taken.

Why did he have to go when we still had so much to do together? Or were we already done? Why was I the one chosen to stay here and live through the aftermath? I can’t help but think what would have been if I’d been there, how different everyone’s lives would be. I would have three kids by now and I would love them so much. I would throw everything I had into making their lives so perfect. Maybe I would be a boring soccer mom instead of a crazy writer. Or maybe one specific moment would have destroyed our unjaded love in a way I could never have predicted. Maybe I’d be selling oranges by the freeway and wondering how I got there. Instead I am right here in this specific moment—and I’m okay.

It was the worst suffering of all, but once I let go of that, I realized nothing can ever take away that love. It’s still there, whether he’s here or not. I will always feel it. And now I refuse to settle for mediocrity or be afraid to experience those beautiful, specific moments that make life so amazing.

But I won’t lie—I still fall to my knees and beg for it to not be true.