“For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.”
I cannot think of an instance where falling is supposed to be an activity that implies safety and fun to me. Skydiving. Bungee jumping. Free falling.Nope, none of these activities are making me feel warm and/or fuzzy inside. I feel like falling in love should be renamed “gently landing onto a soft bed” in love. That is something I could believe in.
And yet we are expected to fall in love and associate it with feelings of safety, security, and completeness. It’s like the universe is playing a sick mind bender game with us just to see if we’re paying attention. And of course we’re paying attention. There are few things in life that command our attention the way falling in love does. You can’t ignore it even if you want to. Go ahead, try to stop thinking of that person you’re thinking of right now. I dare you.
In reality, falling in love should be the safest thing we can do, but we’ve all fallen in love and subsequently fallen flat on our faces, conditioning us to feel anything but safe or secure when we’re lucky enough to do it again. It’s like biting in to a slice of pizza that is way too hot. You’re expecting warm, soft, gooey cheese and chewy dough and that moment of culinary bliss when you close your eyes and thank the sweet heavens above for such a wonderful taste bud gift. Instead, you scald the roof of your mouth, leaving your taste buds singed and that flap of skin that just won’t seem to heal no matter how many “therapeutic” first aid ice cream sandwiches you eat. The next weekend when your friends order a pizza, you’re eating a salad and avoiding the croutons, fearing you’ll chafe your just-beginning-to-heal mouth.
If only heartbreak were as pleasant as a pizza burn on the roof of your mouth.
It’s so hard, once you’ve experienced heartache, to let yourself fall in love again. So you dip a toe in and go on a date. Then you go on a few more. Pretty soon you’ve put a label on the relationship and then what? Then you’re emotionally skydiving for as long as it takes for you to feel safe. If you ever let yourself feel safe with someone. But once you’ve jumped out of the plane, there’s no going back.
Let me be your parachute.
“Are we there yet?”
A question that plagues parents on road trips, me inside my head, and probably my friends and boyfriend. I obsess over where things are going. Is this project getting done? Is this relationship going somewhere? What’s the point? I have to have a justifiable reason to expend my time and energy. Because if this isn’t going somewhere, I can abandon ship and find something that is going somewhere. I have always been a person who likes to think several moves ahead. If you’ve ever played chess, you understand this type of thinking. If you like to cook, you look at a fridge full of random ingredients and visualize an amazing meal. I see the sum of the parts and sometimes I ignore the individual pieces. I just like things better when they’re whole. I like to see progress, to feel like I’m getting somewhere.
“And then what?”
The question my brain asks 700 times a day. Okay, we’re going to wake up. And then what? And then we’re going to shower. And then what? And then we’re going to drink three glasses of water to get hydrated for the day. And then what? And then we’re going to…….fast forward to 900 to-do’s later. And then we’re going to go to bed and wake up and do it all again tomorrow. We’re going to do it better, faster, more efficiently, and we’re going to do more and we’re going to do it better. We’re going to be perfect one day.
Whatever perfect is.
I realize now, almost 300 words into writing this blog post that “are we there yet” and “and then?” are questions my brain and my heart ask when they need some reassurance. I really don’t care if we’re “there” yes (philosophically speaking, where is there?) or what we’re doing after we get there. Historically speaking, I get anxious in times of uncertainty or that point in time where I feel like I’ve given too much or the person I’m with won’t or can’t reciprocate or maybe things just aren’t going anywhere. And maybe I’m just too impatient to find out, so I leave.
It’s easier to lose because you forfeited than it is to fight through the whole game and lose. There’s such a big variable of time between when a relationship starts and when it ends. Some people never get past a first date that lasts for two hours. Some people are together for seventy years until they’re separated by death. I’ve always been separated by fear. When I get scared, I run. But I don’t want to be the one who leaves anymore. I’ve done it for years and I know I’m good at it. If I were an employee of the Run Away When You’re Scared Company, LLC I’d be CLO; Chief Leaving Officer. I just want to stay put and see this thing through. What I really need is a reminder that we’re going somewhere-that we’re growing and learning and changing and evolving… and that we’re getting there together.