by Lauryn Smith
A while ago, a good friend asked, "You're so normal, why are you single?" For me, a resounding question recently asked by yet another friend. It's a question I can't answer because my abnormalities stare back at me. The last few times I've let my guard down and thought I'd found something special and real, I later discovered it was a facade leaving me empty handed and heartbroken. A part of me died, but I don't really miss that wide-eyed girl.
Never really feeling means never really hurting. And yet, how does one truly disconnect emotionally? Do we shut out the surface love for fear it could expand and eventually cause pain? Or, does one jump in, cannonball-style, despite the risk of probable hurt? What is the right route? For me, it's sitting on edge with occasional dips in the shallow end.
The thrill of the chase is a tiring race and "too available" forces me to run. Sometimes I feel as though I run in place, never gaining ground, but never retreating backwards either.
I often see friends, both male and female, engaged in idealistic views of love. I see the same friends waste their time with the "wrong" one because it's better than being alone. I know I am not perfect. I continually submerge myself in challenges because unattainable is what I wish to attain.
Maybe I'm too fortunate. I surround myself with terrific people, I always have a pseudo date, and my enemies are few. Maybe I need a reminder of what lonely feels like, or perhaps lonely is all too familiar and it's made itself at home. Few are ever entirely satiated. The grass is always greener. Something is always missing.
Another good friend emailed me today in regards to relationships. He constantly struggles with being alone and I repeatedly reassure him alone isn't so bad. Proving you're okay alone is a triumphant feeling beyond measure. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I've grown too comfortable, too apathetic, too jaded, too cynical, too bitter, too stoic. How do you find the happy middle ground, the space between, the door unopened, yet unlocked?
At the risk of sounding cheesy or too "poetic," I equate my love life to blowing a kiss with a three-fingered fist. I send out an "I love you" coupled with a "fuck you," a safety net allowing the recipient to take away what he pleases. I am a victim of my own actions. A girlfriend recently shared tidbits from her conversation with a man she's gone out with a few times. She said, "I told him I wanted to be friends above all-- that I really wanted nothing serious, but I like this man. He is elusive so I fumbled. I drove the friend point home a bit too hard and now I believe he thinks I only want a friendship." Three-fingered fist. She and I are strangely similar in this regard. We cover our vulnerability with words we don't wholly mean, in effort to avoid exposure or to beat him to the punch. In essence, we create our own failure. Why?
I've experienced absolute devastation from relationships, but I've also loved and have been loved. Why do the two extremes not counteract and place us in the neutral? Why does the ache linger rather than the recognition something good awaits??
Honestly, it isn't often I think of love at all. I can't explain why tonight is different, but my thoughts are heavy so I opted to lay some down. What erases the naivete, hope, and romantic notions and replaces them with indifference, negativity, and certainty this is the apex? How does one breathe life back into the fairytale? Exhale.