I think we say that a lot. Or, at least, I know I do. I’m scared I’ll live with my mom forever, run out of money, become the little birdie that never took flight. I’m scared of snakes. I’m scared of rejection. I’m scared of heights. I’m scared of a million little things that really hold no weight or significance in my time here. But now? Now I’m falling in love, and I’m terrified.
I know it’s normal to be scared, and I know most people like it because it makes them “feel alive” or some ridiculous load of crap they heard in a movie once. It’s just that I’m not like most people. I’m jaded and cynical. And, the past few years have made me so fiercely protective of my heart that I could much more easily be alone than allow someone inside and risk…
The relationship I’m in now is the most honest of my life; it’s the first time anyone other than my family has ever really just seen me for exactly who I am and loved me without expecting anything more. Hell, I don’t know that my family even loves me without expecting more sometimes. I’m exposed, and I’m vulnerable, and I guess I’ve always sort of been that way; I’ve just never found someone before who is so receptive to it. I’ve never been loved as I am. And now that it’s happening, it’s terrifying.
I spend exorbitant amounts of time talking myself into it, trying to remind myself that some people really do hit the relationship jackpot. That every man is not a lying, cheating asshole. That it is not too good to be true. That I really do deserve to be loved this way.
And maybe that’s what it all comes down to: believing you deserve to be loved unconditionally. I do, on some level, but there is still that part of me that questions it; that thinks I will somehow prove myself undeserving and it will all disappear. Then, there’s an even bigger part of me that thinks, what if I do believe it and I open myself completely to this person, and he throws it all away like the rest of them did? What if all these pretty words grow to become daggers and me their exposed mark?
I guess my biggest fear is that I’m in love with a man; a human who is vulnerable and flawed just like me. He is not a super hero. He is not a god. There’s a very great chance that he will someday make a promise that he won’t keep, hurt my feelings, let me down, tell a lie. And, after so many lies and broken promises, I find myself wondering if I have the strength to endure even the chance of more. It’s not that he is bad, or that I, in any way, think him dishonorable or dishonest. It’s just that he’s a person. I’m a person. And I know what people do to one another. I know what love does to people. And, I don’t want to believe that this time it will be different, only to find myself once again crawling, bending, breaking.
The odds aren’t in our favor. And, for women, the odds never really have been. The only thing that’s changed is that we now have a choice. We don’t have to bear the burden of a broken heart in exchange for shelter, safety, security. We can have our own lives, independent of anyone’s shortcomings but our own. But as soon as I reconcile myself with that fact, I think of the ones who do find it; the illusive ever-after romance. It’s not a fairy tale, but a story of two people who were brave enough to love and respect each other as people. As human beings. As complete collections, good and bad, the inspired and the mundane.
I want to know that kind of bravery. I don’t want to choose loneliness out of fear, or because it feels safer than floating out into the unknown. I don’t want to live my whole life terrified of what could happen, what he might do, who he could turn out to be. I don’t want to give the breakers of my jaded heart that much power.
“Love is a conscious decision to become vulnerable enough to allow yourself to purely pursue a realization of another person’s beauty.”
I’m trying to keep my eyes open through the scary scenes.