Thought Catalog

Maybe This Is Why They Call It ‘Falling’

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Twenty20 / @thenathanrohrer

My affection for you wasn’t graceful. It wasn’t tender and timid and patient and slow—it was chaos.

I went from smiling like a fool at your every text message to my heart beating wildly at the mention of your name. I went from humming peacefully in the shower, imagining where you where and what you were doing, to spinning around in my dreams, reaching for you, longing for you, suddenly desperate to have your lips on mine.

I went from playfully pretending I knew what your arms would feel like around mine, pulling me into a bear hug, to imagining us laughing and sharing fries at 2AM and dancing in the middle of the street like teenagers. I went from considering what it would be like to call myself yours to believing, wholeheartedly, in the prospect of us.

I went from thinking you were someone I could see myself with to wanting nothing more than to have you, to care for you, to intertwine myself with you.

I went from standing on steady ground to completely falling for you.

Maybe they call it ‘falling’ because it’s just that—you completely trip, slip, lose control, and crash into another person. Head over heels. All of you. Into their open arms.

That’s what I did with you.

Nothing was measured or calculated, guarded or careful. Nothing made sense or was thought through, or even the least bit smart for that matter. I turned off the part of my brain that contained anything rational. I let my heart speak, let my emotions write romantic words across the layers of my mind, clouding my fears and replacing them with laughter and giddiness and happy-anxious-nerves and hope.

And then I reached for you.
And that’s all it took.

Maybe they call it ‘falling’ because when you fall, you have no idea what could happen next. You could land on your face, your arms could break the impact, you could tuck and roll and end up with less injuries than imagined, you could land perfectly and without a scratch, or you could be rescued, somewhere between release and impact.

And when you give in, when you step forward, when you let go of everything and decide to just let the wind take you, that’s what happens. You fall. Fast. Terrifyingly. Beautifully.

Maybe they call it ‘falling’ because you don’t necessarily know where you’ll land, if you’ll make it out unscathed, if someone’s there to catch you. Maybe they call it ‘falling’ because you do it freely, leaving caution to the wind and believing in someone. Believing in love.

Maybe they call it ‘falling’ because it’s not floating lazily, passively. It’s not jumping, with the secure understanding that someone’s there to grab you. It’s not stepping forward, or any form of hesitancy. It’s a movement that’s completely out of your control.

One minute you think you have a handle on your emotions, the next you’re sliding headfirst into someone else’s heart.

I always thought the idea of ‘falling’ in love was silly. It sounded unintentional, in the way that you didn’t mean it, that you weren’t invested. But I know now that’s so far from the truth.

‘Falling’ means you have absolutely no reins, no direction, no ability to stop or slow. But the feelings are there. The feelings are wild. The feelings are what guide you, what set the pace.

When you fall, it’s not that you don’t want to, it’s not that you’re fighting against it, trying so desperately not to reveal yourself and your true feelings to someone else.

When you fall, you can’t stop yourself—in all the good ways, the right ways. You want to be all in and you’re totally invested, you just can’t stop the rush of emotion as it pours out of you, as you slip and tumble into kiss after kiss after kiss.

They don’t call it ‘falling’ because it’s a mistake, because you’ve tripped somewhere along the way and are suddenly on a downhill descent. They call it ‘falling’ because you simply, beautifully let go of all your inhibitions and fears and doubts. You release. You let yourself love and be loved.

It’s not slow and patient. It’s not measured, emotion shared bit by bit, piece by piece. It’s all of you. It’s everything. It’s your arms flailing, your heart pounding, your hands sweating, your eyes twinkling, your cheeks hurting from smiling too damn much.

They call it ‘falling’ because you’re suddenly free.

Free to be found in the arms of another person; free to finally feel at home. TC mark


Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

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