As I sat down, I realized that I heard a faint introduction of a piano. The somber video began to play in my head, the tune filling the air around me as I set up the computer.
“Come up to meet you. Tell you I’m sorry…”
I have spent a lot of time speaking to people about heartbreak, about letting go, and getting back to faith.
“…you don’t know how lovely you are. I had to find you, tell you I need you…”
I’ve spent countless hours and words on mending and letting others know that there is in fact happiness on the other side of heartbreak. That despite many fears and feelings, life does go on. I wanted everyone going through it to know, because I had come to doubt it myself for so long.
There is in fact a great deal of growth in the breaking of parts, and more than that, the breaking of parts that are not destined to be.
As the tune played, I remembered something that I had forgotten to write about altogether, forgotten to admit, forgotten to…even think about.
“…Tell you I set you apart.”
To be honest with you, I can’t easily remember what it feels to be in love. It’s a vague and distant idea that I have in my head. I’ve spent so much time focusing on independence, self-love, and boundaries, that I find myself fidgeting at the idea of love. Of love sonnets, of movie genres, of anniversaries.
So to the someone who asked me the other night, to that person that has never felt it before, I found myself lost in how to begin to explain it; how to begin to remember it, how to stop doubting its existence, even for just a moment, and admit that somewhere in the air, in some time, I knew exactly what it was. To me.
But I do remember one thing. When you’re in love, despite your efforts to hide it, despite your fear of it, despite what others have to say, you know it’s happening.
There are ways to fabricate this feeling. Especially, if you don’t know what it is. If you want to fool someone, if you want to fool yourself, you can. But it won’t last long. To all those inquiring, love feels like the truth. Not your truth. Not someone else’s truth. It just feels like the truth.
If you’ve never been in love, you wouldn’t imagine how tenderly simple love can be.
“Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions…”
To me, love is buying the ticket without really knowing how you’re going to take the days off or how to pay for it. It’s the last five minutes before you have to go, only to wish you had five more. To me, love is fighting about things that someone else can write off as complicated and useless. But when you care about something, it’s not useless at all.
Love is in confessing things to someone not with the intention of looking good, but rather, with the intention of having someone see you in a light that you never thought you could actually show someone else.
To me, love was dancing to jazz music in the kitchen, knowing that it wasn’t his thing. To me, it was the first time I heard, “We’ll figure this out,” and wanting to say it back. It had something to do with not wanting to be with anyone else, feeling a little like you found your seat on the train. To me, it was wanting to discover someone, it was being fascinated by someone, it was being…so eager to see more of him for all that he was and all that he could be.
To me, love is sticking around for the fight, where ever you have to park on the side of the road to have it. The talking, the frustration, the explaining. The unveiling of two worlds as they try to understand each other. To me, that’s where love always proved me wrong. Because at times it’s loving someone despite not wanting to. Wanting to be done with it, but knowing in your core that you wouldn’t do anything to destroy it. Despite knowing that you are both broken, you can still love each other that way, and you can still teach other things. And in the end, it’ll give you the courage you need to head in that direction.
Love is knowing someone will eventually show up. Whether it’s late or pissed, they’ll get there. It’s knowing that they will show up because you will show up. Despite the errs and unpredictability of the world, you can count on that.
So, what is it like to be in love? Five more minutes, please. One more kiss.
Being in love can be unearthing, in all its mess and all its glory, but it can lead to one of the most comfortable moments of your life. Because you get to be yourself. And here is the thing that’ll completely surprise you, the thing that will completely turn you into a romantic—it’s when you show your raw, dampy parts and the response is someone gazing back at you in awe.
It must be said that being in love was and has never been a choice. It just happens. Like the weather, it catches you out in the open and rains on you.
“Nobody said it was easy. Nobody said it would be this hard.”
The last thing I remember is that it’s hard. It was one of the hardest things that I ever did, but it was the hardest thing I ever wanted to do. So, maybe it’s more like lightening. And we are just struck, broken in half by someone, taking us on this wild journey where we come face to face with the best versions of ourselves. And in this quick glimpse of what we can be, we realize, that someone can love us and we can love ourselves. And that despite all our flaws and all our humanity, we’re captivating.