Monday, May 10, 1999: Love's Bitch.
(Note: This is version #2 of this letter--the first one was a very long, boring one in which I refer to Greek mythology. I am also re-introducing capitals into my life... I've been spending a lot of time writing and I'd forgotten how vital caps really are.)
I don't know what "Love" is. I know what a "relationship" is, I've had a few, but I don't know what "Love" is. Whenever I think about love Trav pops into my head (I am not going to describe Trav and the entire Travis/Katie Saga at this point in time. Some things are better left buried in a box in my closet...) and I inevitably ask myself "Did I love Trav?" Well, I don't know--and since I don't know I guess that I really didn't.
I know that Trav would be the first thought in my head when I woke up in the morning, I know that I couldn't wait to see him during the day, I know that talking to him was like stopping time and existing purely in the moment, but I don't know if all of that adds up to "Love".
I used to know what I wanted in a relationship--I wanted a Gilbert Blythe to suite my Anne, I wanted a Sydney Carton or a James Gatz. I never wanted what I could have--that's always been my main problem. I would get asked out by a relatively fair amount of guys, but I never cared for them any more than I cared for my cats. So I didn't think it was fair to even date them, I didn't want to "toy" with their emotions and make them believe that I felt anything stronger than friendship for them.
I rarely dated. I would get constant crushes--but the instance the guy liked me back (which was also rare) I would suddenly stop liking him. My family teases me about it all of the time. Until I met Trav I thought that I was doomed to chase an imaginary image of "The Perfect Guy" forever.
Now, as I inevitably do, I am trying to discern the reasons behind my M.O. (my tendency to get a crush on a guy and then suddenly stop liking him when he likes me) and I think the answer is relatively simple: I like to flirt. Who doesn't? Flirting is a quick, easy way to boost my self-confidence but then when some random guy wants to actually attempt to DATE me I freak out and instantly stop liking him. I was after the joy of flirting and wanted nothing more than superficiality.
This tendency of mine to flirt and never date also makes me wonder... and I know that I'm scared to death of having a relationship. Not of the relationship itself, but of having someone know me so well that he knows what I'm thinking. That thought scares the hell out of me. I would tell Trav everything... and in the end he broke my heart. When I think of opening myself up to that kind of pain again, I balk. Until then I'd thought that I'd been through every pain imaginable, then I had my heart broken (*really* broken, not just being turned down to Sadie's or something) and I was crushed. I would cry for weeks, and for even longer I was numb--emotionally frigid, I referred to it as. It's been so long since The Saga and I've since mended my heart, but I'm still scared to open up like that again.
About a year ago I wrote in my online journal what I wanted...
"I want my hair to be brushed tenderly out of my face, I want to just hug someone and never need that hug to end (and it's always a mutual end, neither pulls away first, just a letting go), I want to look into someone's eyes and see a mirror into my own and I want the thought of someone to rock me to sleep and night, slowly carress my dreams and gently wake me up in the morning--and for that same thought, of that same person, to stay with me throughout the entire day.
I still want that, nothing much has changed in a year. Looking back I know that I didn't have any of that with Trav--I just had an insane, mutual infatuation masquerading as love.
I once said that love was like standing the eye of a tornado and failing to notice all of the debris and wreckage flying around. I might look back now on The Saga and see it as an insane moment in my life when I thought I could turn someone into something he wasn't--but at it's best, it revealed a lot about myself that I'd kept hidden and it taught me how to truly care for another person. I guess I'll always be love's bitch (as Spike so eloquently put it) because I'd go back and re-live the entire Saga if I could. It might've emotionally crushed me and it might've been mostly imaginary but for the first time in my entire life I felt alive...
And I've felt that way a few times since then--the few times in my life in which I've actually let go of my inhibitions, didn't pay attention to the thoughts swirling in my head and just went with whatever came at me. Perhaps that's the most I can expect from love--the chance to really live...
Love you lots,