A paradigm shift has occurred inside of me within the past few months; a total change of perspective, this uprising has made me wipe away every single thing I have ever thought to be true. At first, it made me mad. I was angry that I had lied to myself for so long, or more so that I had been so naive as to fill myself up with everything everyone told me. I took everything as fact–if you said it with just the right amount of authority, I believed your “it” to be true. I’m not mad anymore, though. I am floating. The me I had held on to for so long, out of fear and out of security, is slowly disassembling and reshaping and becoming something entirely new.
It is because of one thing; a love that is not complacent.
I had become accustomed to a comfortable kind of a love. An intertwined emotional state that wasn’t ablaze with passion, but kind of just a placeholder that felt warm enough to keep me safe. This kind of love wasn’t bad, it had its own worth and its own place in my life-but it wasn’t the kind that you hear about once in a while. It wasn’t the kind of love that meant celebrating 50 years together at a state park with all your family and friends, still looking at each other as if you had just met. It wasn’t the kind of love that meant feeling his hand on your back, after years of this familiar touch, and still having it send an electricity from the back of your spine to right behind your ears. It wasn’t the kind of love that meant catching his eye and feeling your own fill up with tears because you are so goddamn happy he is yours.
It was just there.
I had a lot of these loves. Ones that I thought were “just how it was.” You meet someone, spend time with them, learn to put up with their bad habits and terrible missteps and then we call that “love.” You move around your insides so theirs can shove in, but it really wasn’t a comfortable fit. You learn to apologize for them, to say to yourself “this isn’t how it will always be.”
I thought that’s what love was but the truth is, it was the start of settling.
Not until this love have I been able to recognize that all the others, though they won’t ever leave my heart, were really nothing more than lessons. When I first started to experience the distracting, buzzing, nearly heart stopping feeling that I now have every single day-I thought it must be a bad thing. Something that shakes our bones, challenges our beliefs, and something so unfamiliar-how can that be anything but dangerous? But this uncertainty is what makes it so fucking real. I want to wake up every day, for as many days as I can think ahead, and I want to feel scared. I want to look at him and not know what he’s thinking.
I want to be with him and say nothing at all because the way I want to pour myself into him cannot be said out loud without dulling its meaning. I want to watch him dance badly, get dressed clumsily, laugh too loudly, and sing off key because that is what makes me love so deeply. I am so scared, every day, because with him I have something to lose. All my other lessons, they hurt to say good bye to but it didn’t mean I couldn’t fill their place with something else. This love means risking it all and losing this new shade of color that life has suddenly become.
I never want to be comfortable again.