“It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself” Lester Burnham, American Beauty
For many years, I have lived by a code of strict self control designed specifically to stop myself from facing up to another heartbreak. I fell in love once, it ended terribly and I thought I would die from the pain. Yet, I didn’t die, I survived to dance another day, but I decided that that dark and terrifying place was somewhere I never wanted to go ever again. That pain of loss took me to the brink of sanity and I feared for a moment that I might fall over the edge into the abyss. For a person who values their peace of mind, that was a trial of the most unsettling nature.
I made a resolution then and there to stay as far away from that edge as I could. I devised a strict set of rules that would protect me from wanting anyone who would put me in jeopardy.
In practice this meant not wanting anyone unavailable, any of my lesbian friends, any straight girls, anyone taken, in fact, anyone really. I kept myself at a distance from anyone who had the potential to be emotionally messy. I began to scorn women pining over their straight best friend, or their best guy friend’s girlfriend, or their lesbian friend married to another women, any scenario where I thought the girl was stupid enough to let the situation get so out of control. I’ll admit, I even considered it somewhat weak and pathetic.
The only problem was that I stopped being able to fall in love entirely, my methods of keeping my heart safe meant that I had to keep my heart entirely to myself. There is no scenario of love in which emotions aren’t messy.
It is a great thing when you realise you still have the ability to surprise yourself, even if it means breaking every rule designed to keep you safe. Here I am, pouring my heart out in public, one of those girls in love with someone they can never have, and ranting about it online! I suddenly understood the need to tell everyone, because I can’t tell her. Maybe having an audience of many cancels out the need to have the audience of the one.
So here are the words that choke in my throat when we are alone together, here is my goodbye:
I will never have you, and I have no delusions about your feelings for me, but that’s ok. Just knowing you are out there in the world, whether in my life or not, means that my world is a better place. I will never regret knowing you, even if my heart is breaking. You pumped some blood into these cold veins, and for that I will always be grateful. I wish you all the love and happiness one person can handle.
Chandeline van Vuuren