It took forever to find you. I was searching and searching and searching. You were all I could think about. I knew you were out there and I knew I couldn’t wait. I thought about what would happen and how happy I would be. But I thought it was never going to happen. And then it did.
The beginning was overwhelming happiness, combined with a crazy desire to ask Where the hell have you been? What took so long? What was I even doing before this? But I resisted the latter urge and focused on the first part. The being happy part.
It was glorious. I walked around like a dazed looney. Always humming to myself. Smiling at strangers who gave me rude looks or didn’t hold the door for me. I wasn’t fazed by anything. It was like I was looking at the world through a lens that just made everything seem wonderful and perfect.
I wanted the happiness part to last forever, untainted. But I knew that would be too good to be true. Eventually, the pure, innocent, naive happiness was going to have to make room for other things. Like reality. Dark thoughts. Bad things happening. Sadness. Grief. Worry.
The happiness never swayed. It only got stronger. But that almost made everything worse. Because the worry got stronger too. The worry grew stronger ever day, and it still does. Every single day.
It wasn’t the same kind of worry that used to plague the younger, more insecure version of myself. The worry that you would get bored of me and leave me. The worry that you would find someone better than me. The worry that I wasn’t good enough for you. I’m sure that worry still lingers in some part of my mind. But it’s so small and minuscule that I don’t even recognize it most of the time. We’re solid. We’re a team. Our lives are effortlessly woven into one another’s at this point.
But there’s a new worry that exists now. It’s the worry that comes with being an adult and seeing a lot of bad things happen. The same types of things happened when I was younger. But they were the kinds of things that existed outside of the bubble I lived in. I was so young – nothing bad would happen to me or anybody I loved! It was silly to even waste my time thinking about that. I was too young to have to ever face anything like that. I was lucky; this ignorant way of looking at things came true.
But now I’m older. Not even that much older. A few years, at most. But old enough. I’ve experienced death. I understand fragility. I know that no one is invincible. I know a lot of people die peacefully in their old age. But I also know that a lot of bad things happen to a lot of people who haven’t lived their lives out yet.
And sometimes, when I’m with you, it’s all I can think about. You tell me not to worry. You try to cheer me up. Yes, something could happen to you, but worrying about it is no way to live life and it will never get me anywhere. You’re right. And I try to listen to what you say. But sometimes, when I’m laying with you, and trying to be happy that you’re warm and that your chest is moving slowly up and down, other thoughts come into my head. What happens if you stop breathing? What would I ever do if something happened to you? I couldn’t even fathom the idea of functioning if you were gone.
It’s the hardest part about being with you. It’s painful and all-consuming and frightening. It would be so much easier to not have this constant fear in my chest. It seems like it would have been easier to have never met you.
But that’s the thing about love. That’s the thing about you. You take away any sense of self-preservation that I have. You take away my logic and my obsession with planning. And I wouldn’t change that. Yes, the risk of losing you is scary. The pain that would ensue makes me dizzy just thinking about it. But I have to choose that. I have to choose that possibility of pain. Because the way I feel when I’m around you is so much greater than any pain you will ever bring me. And I hope you know that’s saying a lot.