Like walking on a bridge made of glass, we’ve always been careful of opening up to new people. Sometimes even ending whatever connection we make with someone even before it starts. Before a mutual understanding is created. Before love happens. And I can’t blame anyone for being this way because I myself constantly push people away. I tend to push away the people who try to step into my life and make a conscious effort in not letting them break the wall I carefully built for my own reasons. I push and always push because that’s my only way of protecting myself.
This is exactly why I push people away: because I’m scared. It’s not always the unknown, heights, reptiles or the dark that people are afraid of. Sometimes, we’re also scared of exposing our vulnerable sides. Scared of experiencing heartache and pain once again. Scared of someone seeing the monster inside us. Scared with the thought of being left all over again. And as someone vulnerable and whose emotions are often at its peak, I’m afraid of giving the ability to tamper with them to just anybody.
Because as simple as having a new person in my life sounds, and no matter how pure or genuine this stranger’s feelings towards me is, letting someone in is just as terrifying as letting someone go because both requires a certain amount of strength – the strength to open the door and the strength to close them for good.
I push people away because frankly, I have certain standards. And don’t we all have? It’s either you meet these standards or you don’t. Maybe that’s harsh but it’s the truth that I uphold. Others may want someone who enjoys the life of a party but I may want someone whom I could spend a quiet Friday night with. Others fall in love with someone who’s bright and happy while I may prefer to fall in love with someone just as broken as I am. Others may want someone whom they could hold hands with in front of the rising sun while I may want someone whom I could cuddle with under the stars and the night sky. Besides, isn’t falling in love, in a way, a matter of preferences? However, never will I ever think that this is unfair because this is me simply knowing who and what I want. This is me pushing people away because I know who I deserve.
Maybe I push people away because I’m not yet ready. That’s how simple it is. Maybe the thought of having an emotional attachment to someone new still frightens me, and maybe that’s how it will always be. Because as clichéd as it is, no one is ever ready to be completely attached – much more to fall in love – with someone anyway; everyone just does. It just happens. But pushing people away because I don’t feel ready yet is my choice, and as long as I do it with respect to everyone else’s emotions, I will continue to do so. And maybe I also push people away because I prefer to take things slow. Time plays a big part for people like us who seem to push people away as a habit because it’s what mostly helped us in our healing process. We slow them down to read their souls better. As bad as it may seem, we slow them down because we want to test how long you’re going to hold on.
And lastly, we slow them down not just because we don’t want to take sudden risks but also because we appreciate the beauty in falling slowly.
I push people away because I want to wait for someone who makes an effort to stay. Sometimes, people like me who tend to push others away do and say things we don’t mean, in an unconscious attempt to support the wall we’ve created. But the truth is, we always wished you’d stay. And maybe it’s when we push you the hardest when we need you the most. The best people in our lives are those who stay even when it’s dark, even when the road seems rough, even when there’s a thunderstorm inside us. They will not be shaken by these adversities, nor prevent us from walking on the streets on a rainy night; instead they will walk with us, hand in hand, because they understand. They will allow us to cry and wallow inside ourselves because they know as much as we do that we consider them as our home whom we can go back to after dark and rainy nights.
I think that it’s those who push people the hardest are also the ones who love most tenderly. Because when the time comes that we no longer push you is also the time that we have proven that your love for us has conquered our fears.
Keep in mind that we only do this to shield our protective bubble and not because we don’t want you in our lives. So pull me back. Pull me when I push you because that’s just me showing you how weak I could be. Pull me when I’m scared. Pull me when I feel not ready. Pull me when I’m most vulnerable. Pull me because I need you. I need to see how far you’ll go for me, for whatever it is you feel, and for whatever connection you want to stay between us. I want to see your patience not solely because I’m testing you but also because I want to know whether your love for me is as much as your fear of losing me.
I want to see you stay when I push you because that’s when I’m the weakest – that’s when I need you most desperately.