Sometimes, there’s an aching, an emptiness, that burrows deep within my heart that has made me question if I am even capable of romantic love ever again.
I suppose this is just one more way that I worry that my worst fears were manifested about you; not only did I feel thrown away, used, even betrayed—now, I wonder what to actually do with my heart now that you can no longer hold it.
I wonder if it, or rather me, is even capable of loving like that again.
For countless nights I used to sit in the moonlight and wonder if I was ruined, if I could ever be with anyone again and at one point, I even told you, “I have no contingency plan—no backup.”
Maybe that is where I went wrong, because it seems you always had one; a plan hidden deep within your heart that if things ever burned too hot and we had to escape this bond, then you had somewhere you already knew you’d run to.
I suppose in many ways I set myself up for this, because all I did was speak words about how my heart never felt this before and how there was no question we were planned for by the divine because we seemed to fall together with a gravity that neither one of us knew how to control.
And so, maybe this heart of mine that feels so hollow was divinely planned for as well, or maybe it’s just the product of our humanity and the fact that no matter how hard we tried we still repeated the mistakes we whispered we never would, and we hurt one another in ways that only made us feel more pain.
Like always though, I suppose I am the one left feeling enough for the both of us. I am the one that is sitting, staring at my bleeding heart knowing that it’s not just mine that feels this pain even if I am the only one brave enough to speak it.
But feeling isn’t always fun, it’s not always convenient, and so it became difficult to live in the now when it felt that my heart was still breaking; as if I still didn’t know what to do with everything that I was feeling.
So, for a time I did close. I didn’t want to feel anything; not the way the sun kissed my shoulders or the butterflies from a new man as they tickled up from the depths.
Because if I opened just a little, the pain from losing you, losing us, came rushing in so fast I forgot how to breathe. I forgot everything except that desire I always had to fall into you and so instead I wanted to feel nothing at all.
For the first time in my life I wasn’t caring about romance. Love. Relationships. None of it mattered and in fact after a few dates I reluctantly agreed to, I began to wonder if perhaps I was just meant to be celibate the rest of my life because inside my heart—I felt nothing.
Not the highs of conversation with someone new, not the tingling arousal of what it would be like to have their lips trace the spots along my collarbone yours know so well, but most importantly, not the deep pain your absence created.
But whatever is closed will eventually open, and so I did. My heart bloomed, not necessarily for a lover—but for myself.
I realized that when someone we love leaves, the love doesn’t have to. And so, I took everything I ever offered you; everything I ever felt, and I redirected it toward myself.
Practicing such a deep love for myself that I became more whole after we separated, more of the me that I was meant to be because I believe that just because one love leaves doesn’t mean that we’re done with love forever.
It seems we often compare loves; we compare how we felt with different people, the connection present, and then we often feel we missed out on something because someone chose to no longer be a part of our story. However, what we fail to recognize is that there are no mistakes.
Sometimes, someone is only meant to be in our lives for just a few chapters and not the whole story; sometimes we need to experience what we do just to break us open even further and to help us learn that while love is a feeling—it’s also a choice.
I believe that we don’t love in the same way twice simply because everyone is different and every relationship—or even situationship—is different.
People bond in various ways together, their edges melding, blending against one another and so our puzzle changes depending upon who is currently fitting into the space that we have labeled for “Love” or “Relationship.”
There is no better, no worse; but rather all necessary, and we wake one another up in different ways.
We have to accept things as they are in this moment, and trust that the love that is meant to see us grow old will find us, and perhaps it will be an old love rekindled or it will be a brand new one, but regardless—love will come knocking again.
And so, I don’t know what comes next and I don’t know what will become of the love that I feel for you but I’m no longer pretending it doesn’t exist and I’m not closing myself off from life or the wondrous feelings that a new lover would bring into it.
I’m no longer comparing lovers, no longer thinking that now that you’ve left, I’ll be missing out on the rest of my life because I know that while we may not love the same way twice—we still will love.
We will connect with a soul despite all obstacles and we will talk underneath the moon and feel the longings grow within our heart to explore the connection that exists whether for a day or forever.
Because I understand now just because this wasn’t a love you could choose, doesn’t mean that I still can’t choose love.
AUTHOR: KATE ROSE for ElephantJournal