(Shout out to Skinny Black Girl for having me thinking about this for two damn months…)
I remember quite vividly once, standing in the middle of my bedroom, rocking back and forth on bare feet, feeling light-headed, tingly. I was, quite literally swooning, overcome by the intense urge to scream at the top of my lungs just to release some of the pressure. I could feel it, how in love I was, vibrating through my bones, heating the surface temperature of my skin. I could not be still. I could not stop my mouth from smiling, my eyes from welling up with tears. My cell phone was pressed to my ear, and I do mean pressed, pushing the tiny speaker closer to my eardrums so it was like his southern drawl was echoing in my head. I felt full, so incredibly full at the seams, ready to burst at any minute, my heart fluttering a staccato rhythm in my chest, every bit of energy in my being wound up tightly, ready to snap and unravel wildly.
As it did, of course.
Older, wiser, more level headed now, I don’t miss that type of love. And I get that you don’t believe me. But I don’t. That is not to say that feeling, delicious and dizzy and lovely, wasn’t wonderful. That I am not grateful for feeling that way once in my life, even if it all fell apart. But now, I don’t find myself craving the same feeling. I am uninterested in being swept off my feet. I am not drawn to grandiose displays of affection or proclamations of emotions. The thought of being in the prescience of someone I am so crazy about that I can barely stand to stay in my skin no longer thrills me. Instead it makes me wonder what I am losing in making room for these big emotions I cannot contain, am not built to bear.
That is not to say I have been without love, or haven’t desired being loved. But now, I find myself craving something quieter, more solid, something more rooted in the everyday realities of loving somebody, committing to somebody, opening up and sharing my life with somebody, than the drunken can’t-get-enough-of-each-other feeling that sustained my last two relationships over the years that they lasted.
You think this makes me cynical. And I get that, I do. I don’t feel that, as I have struggled not to be while dealing with my demons, but I understand. Because we are taught from a young age, especially as women, that this all-consuming feeling is what we are supposed to seek out. That it’s not real until we feel it. And that it is OUT THERE. And maybe that’s true for some people. I can’t speak for them.
But me? I am dispassionate about being consumed. I don’t want to crave someone to the point of distraction consistently, constantly. I don’t want to drown in love with someone again, as amazing as it feels. I’d like to love to the soothing rhythm of a meandering river, neither as extreme, unpredictable or treacherous as anything larger, deeper. You can keep your ocean.
I don’t mourn that. I don’t miss the feeling, or find myself longing for it in any real way. I am grateful for it, for seeing that I am capable of loving, crazy, wholeheartedly, intensely, to dizzying levels.
And now I never want to do it again.