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Artist, Teacher, Blogger concerned with American culture, its effect on faith and how Christianity effects American culture, specifically, what the word "christian" means to Americans today.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What Is Good?

I recently reconnected through Facebook with an old friend, Christophe Lobry. Actually, Christophe is more than an old friend; he’s my first “grown-up” love. Our relationship was short lived, but it was very instrumental in my personal development… my personal journey from girlhood to womanhood, and that relationship has forever altered, in a good way, the trajectory of my life.

We met when I was 20 years old through a mutual friend and there was any immediate spark. We dated for a couple of months, but I was a little too inexperienced for my new beau and one night over dinner, I looked across the table at him and said, “I love you”. It was a phrase we had both uttered before, but this time, instead of hearing his usual reply, he said “I’m sorry dear, but I don’t love you.” I was devastated. I sank back into my seat, feeling as if someone had just hit me. He asked if I was ok and I said I was, but to be honest, I don’t remember much of what was said after that. We agreed to be “friends” and continued to see each other for a few weeks after that, but I couldn’t get past the truth of what he’d said, and told him I couldn’t see him anymore.

John 8:32 says, “… and the truth shall make us free” and in this instance, it really did. I could no longer ignore the problems I knew were in our relationship. It destroyed any overly romanticized schoolgirl notions of what I wanted our relationship to be and forced me to deal with the facts… the reality that I was never going to be able to get from him what I really wanted… and that was to be understood and loved for me. It also forced me to come to the realization that I needed to determine for myself, and define clearly what I wanted out of a relationship and how I wanted to live my life. That it was my responsibility (not his) to set a standard and if I didn’t, I had no one to blame but myself for what I got. This very unpleasant truth, the fact that he didn’t love me, was probably the greatest act of love he could have given me because it freed me to move on.

Ephesians 4:15 says, “… but speaking the truth in love, we grow in all things, into Him who is the head – Christ”. I doubt that he had this scripture in mind, but that’s exactly what he did. He was never malicious; in fact he was quite compassionate about the whole thing and very concerned for my well-being when I told him I couldn’t see him anymore. That next year, I took time to work on me. I didn’t date at all and went into therapy. God blessed me with a great therapist, who worked with me through family issues, self-esteem issues and gave me a safe place to voice my fears, hopes and dreams and encouraged me to grow so I could move forward.

Eventually, I began socializing with some of my co-workers at the law firm I worked for, which gave me an introduction to the culture of law, which was very beneficial to me when I began doing clip licensing for television. One of the attorneys even invited me to go on a whitewater rafting trip with a group from the firm, something I never would have done on my own… I had a blast!

One Saturday afternoon while looking for something to do to fill all this extra time, I bought a 35mm camera. I took up photography, which led me into film. By the end of that year, I knew just about every camera store and arthouse/foreign film (something Christophe had introduced me to) venue in Los Angeles and would see 5 to 6 films a week. This gave me a vast mental library of films and visual images and a good grasp of the art of storytelling.

I took classes at UCLA Extension at Santa Monica College in photography, film and television and changed jobs and began working in the creative department at an advertising agency that made television and radio commercials. This was the beginning of my career in television.

Around August of the following year, I was reconnected with an acquaintance from high school, Kevin Lee. We began dating and this time… because Christophe told me a very painful truth and I’d done some work on me, I was ready. To date, Kevin Lee has been the love of my life. Unfortunately he passed away in 1994, but I am incredibly grateful for the time we had together.

Some of the most painful things in our lives, if we use them correctly, can bring us great good. Christophe telling me that he no longer loved me was not pleasant… in fact it was downright painful, but it was very good because it freed me to move on and find someone who actually did love me, Kevin. Otherwise, if I had continued acting under the false assumption that the relationship with Christophe was going to work, I would have stayed in something that was fruitless, with the hope of something that I was never coming. I finally got what I was looking for… to be understood and loved for me.
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