To Love or to Be Free

You raise a glass to toast to my new project. “I feel like I’m part of something big here,” you say. You text me from the room next door to remind me of how much you care. You always call me on your lunch break, always kiss me good bye, always support me every step of the way. Where have you been all my life? I’m happy, yet I’m so scared to feel happy, to spook happiness, to feel commitment, to feel anything at all. It might not work out; one of us might get hurt. And I’m talking a lot more hurt than when your average relationship lasts for two weeks, you know? 

I’m scared. Some days I’m torn, entangled in my fears. Are you really the one? Can anyone really be labeled as “the one?” Will I really have to put aside all of my wild sides, to forget the part of me that travels alone, explores every aspect of life, walks on the edge, rebels against it all, savors freedom? My dozens of frail, short-lived relationships, breaking hearts and being left brokenhearted, hiding the tears of pain and laughing in the moments that have no tomorrows? 

I’m scared. I know it sounds selfish, but I’m used to being independent, used to being with myself. It’s been a while since I committed like that, and last time I did, I was painfully naive. I barely knew what I wanted and needed in life. I barely knew who I was. If I were to marry then, in my early 20s, I wouldn’t have grown into a person I am today, I wouldn’t have had the aspirations and dreams I have now, I wouldn’t have gone for any of my drastic career moves, and I certainly wouldn’t have achieved what I’ve been able to achieve. Don’t take me wrong, I have nothing against the institution of marriage. I just don’t feel like it’s for me.

I’m scared. Maybe it’s not so much about losing my physical freedom, as about losing my freedom to care about everyone other than you, to care about the world, you know, to create, to get inspired, to help others. I’ve learned over time that I’m not as fully passionate about other things if I spend some of that passion on a love interest. I know, selfish again, but I have to be honest with myself. That’s just how I was designed. I’m afraid of comfort, of getting too used to a person, place or state of mind, of forgetting the taste of the struggle, because the taste of love is so sweet and overpowering. When you love, you lose some of your other senses. Maybe I’m crazy; maybe it’s just me.

Maybe they are all excuses. Maybe they are the dark shadows from my past that are fogging up my vision. One thing I know is that there’s nobody who could put up with my oversized gamut of emotions as well as you do. Maybe there is some part of me that I have to give away, some compromise that I have to make with myself and the world, if I am to truly love. Maybe time will dissolve my fears. I hope it does, because when all is said and done, there is nobody else I’d rather be with.

Image credit: ghetto chic
Listening to: the rain


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