kisses are a far better fate than wisdom*
There’s a terrifying freedom in being the one who takes the first step – who leans in, who kisses first, who speaks. Your entire body might be thrumming with fear. Your hands are probably shaking. And the edges of the world might seem to dim just a little. But none of that really matters in the moment, does it? When there’s only one thing, one person, one truth in focus.
Some people are uncomfortable with feelings. They’re indicative of a loss of control, because if you care, if you show what’s going on internally, someone’s inside your head or under your skin. And, in a way, you lose a little bit of power. You give that other person a bit of leverage, even an opportunity to hurt you – to use that truth against you. Granted, this is a learned behavior. We often shutter ourselves up when, repeatedly, we’re wounded or burnt. We may not even realize we’re doing it, since we’ve been closed up for so long. Bricked up and hiding, such that we forget the particular blue of the sky. Of course, that is a metaphor, but the point is valid.
I’m neurotic. I like routine. In general, I am not a fan of messes. But those are also learned habits, things that can be unlearned or overlooked – for the right person, in the right circumstance. When the heart demands it, because – darling – there is no asking. The heart’s an adorable little dictator, and we’re all just along for the ride.
I’ve never been uncomfortable with feelings. Awkward about expressing them? Sure. The words don’t always come out right, but they’re always honest. I never give hollow compliments. I just don’t have it in me. So, unless I believe something 100%, I keep my mouth firmly shut. Same thing goes for my affections.
I don’t care about making myself vulnerable. I don’t give a damn if I look like an idiot. If there’s a mess, it’s probably because I made it, and I’m dancing around in it. Being in love is like offering a wolf your throat. The person you’re standing in front of may bite your neck. It might go poorly. They might even just walk away.
But here’s the thing about real love: it is offered without expectation. There are no scales to be balanced. It’s not about what you get in return. It’s not some kind of competition. It is a fact. It is a truth. It’s a condition of existence. Love simply is. Period, You might say that it is what it is.
I’ve always believed that love can do the impossible. Maybe that’s a naïve way to feel, but I don’t think so. I’ve seen the way it completely transforms a person. In the past, it’s made me braver, made me the best version of myself. It’s made me forget insecurities and fears and just…do the crazy thing. Moreover, it is without regret.
I think that when we run from love, hide from love, don’t risk everything for love – those are the things we regret at the end of our lifetime. Those are the faces we conjure, the what-ifs that never disappear, the question marks of maybe, of what might’ve been. I refuse to live my life with anything like that. Absolutely refuse. Because at the end of the day, love is not certain, but it is pure. It is miraculous. It is the thing that we get up every day for. Love of something and/or someone. And make no mistake, we are always striving toward that, or we’re just…dead in ways that buck explanation.
Love can be terrifying and difficult – maybe a little unnerving , too. Because it makes us naked in the ways that we’re often running from – not physically naked, but emotionally so. And that’s hard. But it is also raw and beautiful. It’s the easiest and the hardest thing to do, The truth is that you don’t have to pull the moon down out of the sky to make changes, to start walking toward the thing your heart wants.
You know what matters? You know what gets you there? Baby steps. That’s it. Little things. Small gestures, minute details. A phone call. A text. An email. A smile. A laugh. A hug. The crazy thing about love is that it makes you stronger. It makes you braver. It gives you the support to do things you are afraid of. There’s no questioning or debating that fact. It’s a kind of grace, really.
So, for me, I lean in. I kiss first. I ask the questions. I say the things. I don’t know how to act without my heart, because it is the core of who I am. No matter what happens, it’s worth it. Because if you can’t be true to what and who you love, no matter how crazy-seeming or difficult, that what is the point of life?
You deserve love, darlings. Absolutely. It’s time to chase after it.
*shamelessly pilfered from an e.e. cummings’ poem.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” —Lao Tzu