Falling in love. It seems a foreign concept to me. While I know very well what love is, for I have loved and am loved, I have yet to find out how it is to be IN love. I’ve had the butterflies, I’ve felt the tingling, my heart racing and I’ve had breathtaking moments that accompanied these sensations. But somehow, I’ve never allowed myself to go beyond the mere attraction, the primary stages of curiosity and affection. For so many years I saw examples of long-lasting relationships, happy marriages as well as those less successful partnerships, and for some reason I’ve decided to assume that the latter would be my fate. Truth be told, perhaps it’s the in-built feeling of being unworthy of love, undeserving of someone who would devote themselves to me, resulting out of fear that I will let them down. So, afraid of disappointing my potential, significant other, I assume that they will do the same to me, and what would be classed as rejection, makes me fear the idea of neglect, so I reject them first. Crazy? Yes. Unjustified? No.
I have a similar issue with travelling. I not only fear that I may be late for my train, but I am scared of the idea of fearing that I might miss my train; this consequently leaves me in panic, stressed about being stressed over failing to be early enough in order not to be stressed that I might miss my train. I suppose that, colloquially, we’d call this a classic case of paranoia.
Not to say I don’t simultaneously enjoy the thrill of travelling and the adrenaline rush that comes when everything is down to the last minute. I guess it’s a love/hate relationship I have with risk. Don’t we all.
I’ve digressed, but allow me to get back on track (pun intended) and link the two cases. The potential of love, for me, is like a train. I have a ticket, I’m at the right platform (at least most of the time), but despite all signs pointing me to that one train, I still need reassuring that it is the right one. I need to know for a fact, that once I get on, I won’t find out that it’s indeed, the wrong vehicle, taking me in the opposite direction, somewhere, where I don’t know anyone, where I’m vulnerable and unarmed. So, I stand there, at the platform, checking my ticket, staring at the departure board, then checking the ticket again, checking, checking, checking…and then the train takes off, slowly gaining speed, and I’m there, still standing – both disappointed in myself for not having the courage to get on, and relieved because, well, I’m still me, untouched, in one piece, undamaged, unmoved. The only damage done is that I’ve deprived myself of happiness..but, I’d rather blame myself for slowly taking myself apart, than be torn into pieces in one tear by someone I trust. So I guess I’m the kind of person who would choose a slow and painful death, than a quick beheading. In spite of it all, I get to half-enjoy the pleasures life has to offer: I get to experience lust, desire, friendship and the dream of something more, but that’s as far as I can go. A dream.