1. You have had your heart broken so many times and have broken so many hearts that for almost every love song you listen to, you have a relationship to think of. From “Jolene” to “Red,” even from “Suck It and See” to “Time After Time,” your life is filled with multiple narratives that can fit into any profound staring-out-the window session.
2. You have your rituals to deal with gut-wrenching, terrifying, disillusioning pain. It could be channeling that love to donuts or calling each and every girlfriend only to realize that your true love is actually your dog, not these disappointing humans. But the grief is part of the process, and memories are the irreplaceable gravestone.
3. The greatest struggle is of being misunderstood. Not by anyone in particular, but by yourself because you think that every time you failed to follow through with an “I Love You,” you failed yourself. But the truth is you believed so sincerely in that love, at that moment, that no amount of failure can take that away. None of them were the same. You heard an entirely different song for one and laughed an entirely different laugh for another. When you loved at 15 you danced slowly to Marc Anthony and when you loved at 23 you laid in bed discussing possible thesis topics. Yes you have held many hands, but each grip left different warmth. And despite the requirement for equality, some did leave deeper impressions in both hands and heart.
4. Uniqueness is an entirely different endeavor for you, not because the emotions you feel now are second handed, but because that walk in the park, that swimming session, the certain cocktail, that dress and some colors, they have traces of memories. And whenever you find yourself softly passing through either of these you get flashbacks. They’re not traumatic; they’re just like when you visit a historical tomb and feel stories of the place, people and lives through running fingers along the disfigured stone. Those places and things become little nostalgia shops all on their own, and even though the one you love right now manages to reinvent the city for you, you could never really walk without running along your fingers on the tomb’s walls.
5. You are afraid, that one day there will be no novelty. That you’ll feel nothing and that the best of people couldn’t excite you or make you listen to a new love song because you have already heard them all.
6. You’re afraid that you were the common factor in all of your past relationships and of course it is you, the evolving yet unchanging you, who is at fault in your repetitive tragedy. The tragic flaw is yours, and those glorious stories never reached a conclusion because you confused romantic failure with intuitive capabilities.
7. Those nights when even hugging the dog is not enough, you dwindle between plunging in and absolute ignorance, just hoping that the morning will be better.
8. But there is hope. After all, we did love. There was no lying and the heart did have the capacity to surrender. Once in a while you will come across someone who will not fit any of these descriptions. They will not be what you wanted, nor even needed. And you will not dive this time, because despite your heart’s capability to do so, you learned to be careful. There will be no diving or plunging. And during that journey you will find yourself evoking those tombs that actually taught you — how to walk, feel and love. When to be careful and when to work hard, and with this knowledge you will love again. Hoping in your utterly hopeless way that this might be the one.