I Am Bigger Than The Things That Scare Me, But This Feels Different.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I didn’t see it, didn’t feel like, from the beginning.
I don’t believe in coincidences; I believe in easy nonchalant moments that reveal their significance months, years, lifetimes later. Ours, even the one that you may not remember, is one of them.
I started this. I unknowingly started this. As is my nature.
Then, you found me, saw me, took me in. I was nervous. You could tell. It was okay that I was nervous and that you could tell. It was expected. It should have been the invisible fence that kept us apart.
I noticed our likeness, the way you are a version of me and the way I am a version of you, from the beginning. I could finish your sentences before you knew I could. You saw through me in a way that I normally completely fear. There has only even been one man in my life before that has been able to do that. I didn’t think I’d find that again.
I thought people who see me, who understand me, are a fluke. Not that I am some kind of steel box. Just that I am different. But everyone would like to think that they are different, I suppose. It’s an easy out.
I admired you for your mind. I was impressed by your composure. I was drawn to the palpable tension of how you were drawn to me too. It’s easy to say it without saying it. It is so easy to put it out there. With you, it is easy.
I had problems. I told you about them. I put myself in vulnerable positions with you, before I could really tell that you had connected with me in the way that you did. I almost left you; not the you that I know so well now, but the practiced you. The versioned you. Your chameleon.
I took a chance in staying, in gritting my teeth through my anxieties and changing my attitude toward the beast.
There was a shift in our collective world. There were actually many shifts in our world. Slowly, I began to trust in our world again. I saw the purpose again. I stopped questioning my future as much. I began to trust you.
Small, relatively invisible pieces of our story started to rain on us. I noticed them, but wrote them off. I smelled the rain coming. But I didn’t let myself enjoy it. I refused to believe that the rain was actually coming, that I would actually get to sit on the windowsill and watch it roll in, smell it, feel it.
I haven’t felt the rain in so much time as I can remember. I’ve missed it. I’ve tried to ignore that I’m missing it.
I should have known that there would be a moment; there’s always a moment. I don’t want to live a life without the moments. I want to live in the good, the bad, the wrong, the apologies, the self-blame, the lessons. I want to live in feelings.
I want my heart to be scratched, torn, broken, glued back together, revived, full, and lived-in when I depart this world. I’m okay with you being a part of that. I want the things that hurt me and that breathe life into me, to be things I’m passionate about.
Then we happened. We finally happened, only mildly so, but enough. Enough for now. And you told me. That was the butterfly moment for me. Not your lips. Not your hands. Your words. Your mind. I dare not say your heart, because we both know that there is an end to this part of our story.
We even agreed to it. Even if this story has no more chapters.
The salacious side of me, the me of yesteryear, would usually be begging for this kind of connection.
To be at my most honest, this is the type of passion, connection, and mind-bending wholeness of spirit that I want to feel in my forever partner. If I have one. Not to be self-deprecating. I meant what I said when I told you that I am this way for a reason. I know this is who I am supposed to be right now.
None of this means that I don’t want this. There are more practical reasons as to why I am not acting on this. Truly, as I am sure you can assume about me, I am not the type of person to want something and not take it. I want. I take. I get. I obtain. I believe in the power of my heart. I also know that my heart is young and naïve.
I know the position I am putting myself in. I know the Harlequin romance novels that will be written about the me’s in this world. I know them because I’ve read them. I’ve written them. None of this particular caliber though. That’s where you come in.
I know now what you want. I know now how you want to do this. I, for lack of a prettier way to say this, am not ready to do it. I might be in a month. I might never be. I don’t expect you to convince me, or to wait for me. Even if you did, it wouldn’t be something that you would need to shut yourself off for anyway. That, we’ve talked about.
But I do expect you to know that this is how I feel. I feel it too. I’m somewhere in the realm of where you are. My immaturity in this area, or rather my inexperience, precludes me from taking definitive action at this moment. Even though my heart is looking at my head with puppy dog eyes. Begging to be held.
Begging to let myself have a moment that makes me feel safe. Call it what you will, but that’s all I want. I want to be held. I want to sit with someone who understands me. Who values me. Which begs the question, how starved am I? But that’s not your problem to solve.
I kissed you with passion. I know. I kissed you with passion because you kissed me with yours. I don’t apologize for it. I don’t regret it. But I don’t know what to do about it. The clash of heart and head is relentless in me. I expect, with all reality in mind, that it will continue to be. At least in the war that is our dilemma.
Or rather, my dilemma within the we.
I’m also afraid. And I rarely back down from fear. I travel to foreign countries, alone, terrified and teary-eyed, but I do it. Because I can. Because I am bigger than the things that scare me.
But this feels different. I consume two pills a day that allow me to get out of bed and live a healthy life. They preclude me from being the being that you see in me, that I used to be. Admittedly. So my actions now are led by my heart. Not from my proverbial, instinctual hunger. I used to be all hunger, little heart, and now I am not.
And it’s just the way I am right now.
I think you’re mostly hunger. Maybe some heart. But definitely far more hunger than me. And I don’t want to be the little naïve girl who dives in heart-first into an arrangement that will someday make eyes roll in a soap opera.
You think that being with me means being in bed; I am tied up, you at play. I think that being with you means lying in bed, wearing your button-up, reading you the Wall Street Journal out loud and letting you teach me when I don’t know what I’m saying.
That difference is what scares me. The fact that I even have that desire, to be completely unabridged, ultimately scares me more than anything you’re doing or could likely do.
Having love, or passion, or connection, is the best part of any relationship, friendship or otherwise. As long as it is there, me for you and you for I, that’s enough to make me feel full of you. I’m sorry that I can’t force that to be reciprocal. My flaw is that this is all I can give you.
Margaret Dempsey is a writer, businesswoman, runner, and lover of all things chocolate and Disney. Her writing zags between musings on her lovers, her mental illness, her unforgiving humor, and her unabridged gratitude for life. She travels the world alone, because it scares her and thrills her at the same time. The old city of Jerusalem makes her weak in the knees. She has a habit of sniffing bags of coffee in the grocery store for fun. She loves so much, she runs out of places to put it. She kissed a stranger in Budapest in the snow once. She loves run-on sentences and stories that are hard to follow, and writing in a way that makes you think she’s crazy… because she is a little mad, but adores being so.