Definitely: Or, Why I’ve Been The Way I’ve Been
Part One of Two
A few years ago, I fell in love: the real eye-opening, head over heels, I-had-no-idea-it-could-be-like-this kind of love. It was not an ideal time for me to fall in love, if there even is such a thing, and it wasn’t really the best situation either, since we were miles away and years apart, but it happened anyway, despite my better judgment – which, to be honest, is how some of the very best things start. Once it began, there was no turning back, and I was glad I’d given in. It was the happiest I’d ever been, with the most wonderful person I’d ever known, and it changed the way I saw things. Suddenly, the idea of spending your life with one person seemed really exciting, not just a given, and it actually felt tangible to me. For many reasons, this relationship was a huge, surreal step to take, and while it felt very against-all-odds, the fact that someone else was taking it with me was so amazing, and this calmed me, and gave me hope, and made me love it all even more. I’ve always believed that any relationship can work as long as both people involved really want it to work, and both of them make it their first priority. This is a terrifying thing if you think about it, because you have to blindly trust the other person’s desire to make it work, and acknowledge that if they change their mind, you’re fucked.
Which is basically what happened to me.
Anyway, this love was a truly wonderful thing while it lasted, and then it ended, abruptly, and I was devastated. My heart was broken – really, really broken, like so broken that I had no idea how to even manage, and I was shocked to realize just how deeply in love I had been. At first I honestly thought I might not ever be able to do anything ever again: I was sort of frozen in shock. However, I’d had my heart broken enough to a lesser degree in the past to know that right after you thaw from the shock, all the steady dull pain and tedious, depressing dealing comes, and that seemed absolutely insurmountable. So I fought it off by keeping myself busy to an insane degree, basically changing how I lived my everyday life on every level that I possibly could, so that I had to deal with all of that instead of drudging through the heartache.
I threw myself into crazy new endeavors, as well as a lot of half-baked foolish ideas, and suddenly started living my life like it wasn’t actually my life, but some sort of quirky movie. In the past, I’d been careful to a degree that was almost life-numbingly ridiculous; I now took great joy in being careless. Whenever I was faced with a decision, my new decision-making process amounted to “ah, what the hell.” Sometimes this led to adventures, and sometimes this led to trouble. Sometimes I felt very brave and tough, and sometimes I felt like a five year old left alone with matches. People seemed to think that I was a lot more fun. I made some pretty major career and life decisions. I engaged in an embarrassingly public train-wreck flirtation. I changed my appearance. I drank more. I slept less. I met more people. All of a sudden, I had the courage to do a million things that I never would have considered doing a few years earlier, if courage is even the right word for it. Maybe it was more of a fervor. All I know is, I left the house a hell of a lot more.
Then, this spring, several unrelated but cataclysmic things happened that caused this new lifestyle to really resonate with me. Everything that had been a constant over the past few months unexpectedly unraveled all at once, and I was close to inconsolable. I dealt with them all because I had to – they were the distractions, after all, and I didn’t have the energy to find new ones, so I had no choice but to deal with them – but even after I did, I still didn’t feel right. Things should have been calm, and I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t. I very clearly remember waking up one morning this summer and finding the note by my bed that I’d scrawled to myself in the middle of the night before: I have terrible news: you’re still in love.
Coming next: Part Two