I am used to looking for emergency exits everywhere I go. Call it an unfortunate side effect of all this pent-up anxiety; I am not smooth or centered. I am not zen or some bullshit fortune waiting inside a cookie that tells you with such assuredness how to remain calm.
I’m the messy room you apologize for. I’m the coffee spill from hands that are too jittery. I don’t know how to just be.
My voice is often too loud and I’m calculating chances something will go terribly wrong. I predict escape routes like I’m tracing fault lines. I’m not sure when the earthquake will hit, so I want to be prepared. I get addicted to planning all the ways I can flee. All the ways our world might crumble and I’ll have to find my way through ruins. All the ways I can survive.
But that’s not the way I love.
I love without reserve, without a second thought. I love like I might run out of oxygen, but at least I’ll die knowing how it felt to float among the constellations. As if I’m the Cowardly Lion flitting about with Dorothy and the gang — the one who never needed a heart, because I’ve had one all along. My bravery, it would seem, is in how I fall. And how I fall again.
Maybe it’s foolish, I think. Maybe I’m the lovesick puppy who keeps seeing forevers in eyes and deciding to act upon it. Or maybe, maybe I just want to know I put all of myself into something.
You would think rejection, a terribly frightening thing, would rear its ugly head and I’d cower beneath it. For a girl afraid of people around her vomiting, driving over bridges, and weird silences at dinner parties, you’d think she’d also be a bit uneasy when it comes to something as irrational as love.
But I keep coming back. I keep opening my heart when someone seems wonderful and my entire being is saying, “Do it. Do it one more time.”
I know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, but there are far worse things than being a little crazy. A little foolish. A little bit bravely in love.