I found this post last week, a post that I started in February 2013 and for unknown reasons decided not to finish.
I recently read something that really stuck to me. Stuck to me in all the hurtful ways, such that I knew that becoming ‘unstuck’ was going to be extremely difficult.
“You will fall in love with someone who annoys you, whose orgasm face looks and feels pathetic. Despite all of this, there’s something keeping you drawn to them, something that makes you want to protect them from the harsh world. What you fail to realize, however, is that you are the harsh world. You aren’t their noble protector — you are someone to be protected from but it takes a lot of dates, a lot of nights where you question whether or not you are actually a good person, for this to ever resonate with you. When it’s over and whatever love is left is put back in the fridge like a sad plate of leftovers, you will finally understand that you have the power to hurt someone. You can either hurt them or love them and it’s up to you to decide what kind of role you would like to take on in future relationships. What feels more comfortable — being the one who loves more or being the one who’s loved less?”
I totally understand that. Every single truthful word in that paragraphs gets right in my face and smacks me awake, because, wow, I get it. I have the power to hurt someone, and not just be the one who is getting hurt. Not just the one who is always putting in more than I will ever get in return, but I have a considerable power that these past few years have forced me realize. What feels more comfortable, you ask? Neither, as both options are equally painful and will take a long time to get over. Protecting someone you love from yourself is a tidal wave of sadness and guilt, over and over.
“You will fall in love with someone who’s cold and always seemingly pushing you away. When all is said and done, they will be forever known as the one person you couldn’t get to love you. Unfortunately, it will hurt and sting worse than the good ones, the ones that chopped up your meat for you and picked out an eyelash from your eye and were nice to your mother, because love often feels like a game we need to win. And when we lose, when we realize we couldn’t get what we ultimately desired from a person, it makes us feel like a failure and erases all the memories of those who loved us in the past. It’s a permanent smudge on your love resume.”
I understand this relationship dynamic better than I should. To this day, these particular relationships I have experienced still sting and cause me to cringe awkwardly at myself while shaking my head in disbelief because I really should have been more self aware. And I was not.
“You will fall in love with someone for one night and one night only. They’ll come to you when you need them and be gone in the morning when you don’t. At first, this will make you feel empty and you’ll try to convince yourself that you could’ve loved this person for longer than a night, but you can’t. Some people are just meant to make cameo appearances, some are destined to be a pithy footnote. That’s okay though. Not every person we love has to stick around. Sometimes it’s better to leave while you’re still ahead. Sometimes it’s better to leave before you get unloved. You will fall in love with the old couple down the street because to you they represent the impossible: a stable, long-lasting love. You’re trying to get someone to like you for more than ten minutes. A monogamous “never get sick of ya” love seems unfathomable. “What’s your secret, sir? Do you just say yes a lot?”
Impossible love. This is what I do very well, so well in fact, that I am not even sure what ‘possible’ looks like. I like to hope that ‘possible’ exists, but does it actually, or do we just force it to exist because we need it? Maybe that’s what I have a hard time with, the part where we force love to work when it doesn’t make sense anymore, because we want our love to fall into the ‘stable’ category so badly.
“You will fall in love with smells, the good and the bad kind. You will want to wear your lovers shirt because it makes you feel close to them and you’re okay with being that PYSCHO who is legitimately sniffing their shirt in public. You will fall in love with sweat, certain perfumes, the smell of the season in which you fell in love. This particular love smells like fall. It smells like Halloween and a roaring fire and leaves and fog and mist and candy and food and family and whiskey and sex and the lint that collects on sweaters. When it ends, if it ends, you will never experience another fall without thinking of him, her, it. The memories will stick to the ground like a mound of leaves and will only dissipate when the weather drops.”
“This is where I’m supposed to tell you that you will fall in love with The One, a person who isn’t too cold or too nice. Their “O” face is perfectly fine and they’re not afraid to show how much they love you. This person is supposed to wait for us at the end of the twentysomething road as some kind of reward for all the heartache and loneliness. We deserve them. We’ve earned this kind of love.”
I once told a good friend of mine that I would marry the first guy who sang Toto’s ‘Africa’ to me. A weird metaphor at the time it seemed (and still seems) that any man who chose Toto as a way to capture my heart would be a man that I could stick around and settle down for. This man used to be so elusive, far away in some childish dream of mine and I have never stopped believing he exists. A man who can look at me and “get it” while actually meaning it, and instead of looking forlorn with all my talk of adventure and the future, he’ll turn to me say “Yes. Let’s do it all.” Now more than ever, I believe this person exists because he simply needs to be real. Somewhere out there this person has to be real and I cannot wait to find him and say everything I have been waiting to say.
The first thing will be Thank you for existing.