The thought of love scares me.
I never thought I’d say that. But it does. And the truth is, though my year as ManVsLoneliness was about forcing myself to step away from love and relationships to learn and grow and reflect with the eventual ultimate goal of jumping back into the waters, now that it’s over…I’m afraid.
There are sharks in the water.
I’ve been in two vehicle collisions in my life. The first, in high school, a minivan slammed onto the passenger side of my vehicle. The second, in college, the driver was on her cell phone, didn’t notice the light had changed, and t-boned my car. It was a direct hit and my car was totaled. She hit me on the driver side. I suffered a slight fracture on my wrist, a few bumps on my head, and lost my first car. In both cases though, it didn’t take me longer than a day or two to get right back behind the wheel. I couldn’t live without my car. I was married to the road and the freedom it promised.
I’ve suffered heartbreak, in varying degrees, plenty of times before. You could almost say I’ve built a habit of it. Hell, I built a mini blogging empire around it. And I’ve never, until now, let any failed relationship deter me from pursuing another.
I’ve never wanted anything as much as I wanted Beautiful. I’ve never lost anything so worth having.
I wrote before about hope and disappointment. About the extreme and intense depths of emotion we experience through love and loss. After a year of numbness, a separation from the source, from either love or loss, how I was beginning to experience these emotions again, discovering how much I could feel. This afternoon, picking up a package on my front doorstep, I felt the tremendous, burdensome weight of both, and the floor going out from right below my feet.
Based on the box, I was about to receive some books from Michigan. I actually went and checked all the manga I received last week to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. (Interestingly enough, today’s post was actually supposed to be about said manga.) Everything checked out, so this was just going to have to be a surprise. Inside was an envelope with very familiar handwriting and even more familiar clothing. The clothes were mine. And the handwriting was hers.
I have memorized her voice, played back sound bites a thousand times in my head. I can hear her whenever my mind betrays me and takes me to those places I thought I had left behind. I can hear her say all those wonderful beautiful things that made me happy and made me fall in love in the first place. I know how she would say my name, how she would sigh into my ear when I held her close, how she would say ‘I love you’ a thousand ways a thousand times a day. But I don’t know how her voice would say ‘I’m sorry’. Or ‘it’s not you that I want’. Because those she never said to me in person. I had to read it over and over in the gray lifeless listless echo chamber of the loneliest parts of my mind.
I know that this ringing in my ears, this painful heavy weight in my chest, this numbness in my legs, and in the depth of where I find my heart has dropped, that there is the potential for me to reach the same ever-reaching height of happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, and love, because my heart and my mind tell me so. And I know that I should appreciate and cherish that through it all I can still care and love and feel because I would in, different circumstances, tell someone else as much with a voice of bittersweet optimism and melancholy hopefulness.
But that might just be the problem. There’s no one else to say it to me. There’s no one to say anything to me. Dissatisfied with my friends, I’ve let myself be more than happy to see them just once a month. God only knows, I might have lost the ability to do much more than that anyways. But not seeing someone and not talking to them is easy. It’s harder with my family. Living at home still, surrounded by people and voices all day, but none able to understand or see what’s going on, having to have the same conversations, it’s torture. During the day I work from home, so I have my silence. But maybe this is why at night I find excuses to leave, to fill my time until they go to sleep, or simply just hide in some separate room. It’s more painful to realize you have no one to talk to when you’re surrounded by people.
I’m not equipped for this. ManVsLoneliness didn’t have to worry about this because he had an excuse not to worry about Beautiful or anyone or love in general. But Jerel, SingleGuySays, he’s fully exposed to love, loss, hope, disappointment, loneliness, and longing. I thought last year I had firmly planted my feet into the ground and, not moving from that spot where Beautiful left me, I was building roots. But I think part of me was just pushing things back. I’m not saying my past year was meaningless. I really did learn a lot and grow. But because of the rules I gave myself, I never gave myself the time or the opportunity to face these things. I was just pushing it further and further away, hoping I could eventually just wipe it all off and have a clean slate. But everywhere I go, I know I am haunted by these ghosts who know me. Maybe it’s because I’m still here. Where I can be found and where I can find the ghosts.
Jerel says, ‘I’m heading full speed in the wrong direction’.