Writing a blog about running away from love, it turns out, will ensure that you receive more calls, emails, and messages than ever before. Who knew?
After I wrote last week’s blog, I received so many check-ins from all of you lovely people that I was completely overwhelmed (in a good way – happily overwhelmed and so grateful for all the love in my life). Every single piece of advice, I received, however, was the same: you’re an idiot for running away (okay, no one actually used the word idiot) and you’ll regret it if you don’t see where this can go – coupled with, of course it’s hard to let someone in given your history, but all you can do is try.
Wise advice from my wise friends. My best friend in the entire world, though – my sister – had a different take. Before I tell you what she said, I should preface it by saying that she’s the most logical person I know. Even more logical than me – and much less swayed by hippie dippie emotions like I am. She and I have agreed many times before that relationships are generally stupid, and that people go into them expecting them to be different than everyone else’s relationships and all of their own prior relationships and then they inevitably end up disappointed, because, well, relationships mostly fail. So when I told her about walking away from my new love, I expected she’d be sad for me, because she’s my sister and she loves me, but I didn’t expect that she’d tell me something I didn’t necessarily want to hear.
“It’s logical,” I explained to her. “I’m not being ruled by emotions, relationships are stupid, we’ve discussed this. Why stay when it will inevitably blow up like they all do? Fuck it.”
“No,” she said. “Your position is illogical.”
I was stunned: wut, tho. We had talked about this exact topic many times before at length. I thought we agreed.
“You love him. You’re already sad, but you think you’re avoiding sadness by leaving. You want to be with him, but you’re not. That’s illogical.”
Over the next several days, as I continued to pick her brain about him and me and us, she continued to give me perfect reason after perfect reason why I shouldn’t walk away. Among them, the very wise reasons that I shouldn’t let my douche of an ex-husband win by controlling my emotions and that I’ve never had this strong of a reaction to someone before, where I just want to leave immediately (even the people I have been in love with before), so if he’s eliciting something this strong in me, maybe that’s more important to examine than just allow to win.
Her words, and everyone else’s, got in. Because, well, I generally consider everyone else on the planet to be wiser than me, especially about things that involve strong emotion that I hate.
It wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back though. He was.
You see, after I told him that I wanted to pull out, he reacted in a way I couldn’t have foreseen. He’s a kind, compassionate, loving and reasonable human being, so I knew he would react graciously, and he did. He said he understood why I felt that way. What I didn’t anticipate, though, was that he would show me a level of understanding and kindess that I’ve never experienced before. While he understood why I was feeling what I was feeling, he also treated me as though it almost didn’t matter that I told him I wanted to hit the brakes and walk away. He respected my feelings, of course, but he continued to be there in the same exact way he was before, and even told me that my walls going up didn’t mean anything, other than that when they came down, he’d be waiting for me. He also made clear that I could say and do whatever I wanted, but that he was in love with me and that was, well, that. And he threw in a generous helping of reminding me that he accepted me for who I was, not who the world thought I should be.
I was confused, because no one had ever treated me like that before. Of course, I’ve been in situations with people where they fall in love with me and I don’t necessarily feel the same and awkwardness ensues. Usually, in those scenarios, people end up angry with me, which I always felt was a necessary emotion for the “getting over me” process. Here, though, the feelings were mutual: we clearly loved each other. It’s just that he was handling it like a grown-up. And I was handling it like a scared animal, unsure of which way to turn and deciding that the best way was out.
So. I stopped running.
Everyone, especially my little sister, was right. And more than that, here was a man I loved, telling me that I could do or say whatever (including try to run out away out fear) and that it wouldn’t matter because he was going to love me anyway. (Side note: is he dreamy AF or what?)
I also finally realized that I didn’t give a shit if I got hurt, because the moments I’d get to spend with him now would be worth it.
Sappy? Of course. Expected? Maybe. Easy? Fuck no.
You see, in the same few minutes that I finally told him I really wanted to try to move forward with him, I also told him that I knew it wouldn’t be easy. That I would have plenty of moments where I would experience some negative emotion and just want to run away. That I would have to work hard to keep my feet planted and keep communicating with him. And he got it.
And it’s already happened, too. A moment where I just wanted to cut and run, but I didn’t. It was torture, but I stayed, and talked to him through my emotions. And I’m glad I did, because every time I do something like that, he takes the opportunity to remind me that he loves me for ME, not because I’m some cookie cutter, molded version of a perfect girl in love. I’m ME, with my foul mouth and nonbelief in monogamy and obsessive need to respond to texts – and he chose that person. (Second side note: dreamy AF, like I said, right?)
So, I guess, I’m in love. With a kind, loving, intelligent, funny, hard-working, mature, passionate, gorgeous (GORGEOUS) human being.
I still know, though, that life isn’t a Disney move or a Taylor Swift song. I can feel the love tonight, sure, and it’s a love story, so I just said yes, but I know that anything is possible. Love isn’t all there is to making a partnership work – there’s trust and communication and openness and kindness. So far, I think we’re looking pretty good for all of those things, but you never know. There’s also my desire to travel and his career. So many things could happen. We could be together from now until our dying breath or things could end in a few short weeks. I don’t know. But now, I don’t care either. No matter what comes in the future, I’ll be glad that I got the chance to be with him now. Because, well, I’m in love with him and I think he’s perfect.
Even better: now that I’m not worrying about getting hurt and running away, I’m free to spend a bunch of time completely geeking out about how incredible he is (because he is) and feeling sickeningly happy that he exists and he picked me.
So, this isn’t a blog about travel. It’s a blog about living in the moment only. While that often involves a lot of travel for me, sometimes, it doesn’t. And as I’ve lately learned, sometimes, the biggest adventure is the one you can’t plan for.
Thank you for all the calls, texts, emails and check-ins. As most of you know, I’m a big believer in spreading all the love, all the time (you know, when I’m not being a scared chicken shit about it). This experience made me realize even more that there is so much love in my life and I’m so incredibly lucky and grateful to know every single one of you.
Don’t worry – I’m still me. I still like to say “fuck” a lot and still don’t believe in monogamy and am still traveling. It’ll just all be with a dopey smile on my face, because, you know, love.