The Joy of the Pain

Misha said to me the other night that he wished I could see myself the way he sees me.

I can list the things I used to be, how I used to be, what I used to enjoy, but I have less understanding of how I am now.

What got me thinking about this was that I was writing a response to someone’s email this morning, someone I’ve never met, and offering words of encouragement. I wrote that while I didn’t know for certain, I thought he had been through some very dark moments, but it’s those dark moments that allow us to appreciate the dawn.

I meant it too. It burst forth from my heart as if we had known each other for a thousand years. The emotion sent in his direction was pure and from the depths of my heart, with no expectations of return; it was a gift freely offered.

Yet I am afraid of being offered that same gift. I am afraid to love in the fashion I once dreamed to love.

To love is to be trusting and vulnerable. I fear the vulnerability.

Once, a long time ago, the pain of the crush, of the love unrequited, or the love rejected, was like a badge of honor; I wrote bleating verses about it, sang to scratchy oldies on the radio about it, thought I understood what love was supposed to be through the romanticism of the things I read about it.

And none of those things really explained how effin’ complicated — and simple — love is.

I don’t think the walls are so high, or the veneer so thick, that they are impenetrable, but what if I’m wrong, what if they are?

[#2 Requiem for a Romantic]

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