From the Heart:
Is This A Test?


Perhaps its fitting with Valentine’s Day, but February has been most interesting on the love front. For starters, history tells me that I’ve got a penchant for the unavailable. Fleeting attention is my jam. If you live halfway across the world and reach out only once in a blue moon, chances are I will morph into a hopelessly devoted. I’m a sucker for pleasure (and concomitant pain). I want to suffer, burn for my love. It feels awkward, unnatural, if its delivered to my doorstep wrapped in Tiffany blue and accompanied by roses. When it happens the way it should, my instinct tells me to let it alone. Meanwhile, I’m going all kinds of crazy over him and him and him, all of whom make appearances in my life with the infrequency of the changing of seasons. I know it’s unfulfilling in the long-term, but still, it’s incredible how many times I can re-play our last love story in my mind, each time remembering a new detail like it happened just yesterday. Somehow it keeps me going over the extended periods of no contact. It feels like home. Clearly, unavailability is my comfort zone.

So this year, I resolved to step outside it. Because I want real love. The kind that remembers your favorite flower and has it delivered to your office “just because.” The kind that drops everything to be there for you when you are going through a tough time and can’t stand to be alone. The kind that loves you for all the things you love about yourself, but are pretty sure no one else notices. The kind that wakes you up in the middle of the night to give good love and then holds you tight until morning.

I started off on the right track, at least it would seem. I limited my dating pool to men who live within a 50 mile radius of my home and who were unencumbered. I was feeling confident about the prospect of something real. But then, the universe went and threw me a curve ball – someone from my past who most definitely did not live within a 50 mile radius of my home. And then another. And another. So I took a swing at them all. (The heart wants what it wants).  And just like that, I found myself back to my old ways, back to my old woes.

And now here I am, lying in bed on a Tuesday night, insomnia threatening to steal the night away from me like a good lover, wondering if this is a test, if I’m perpetually undeserving of the love I desire because every time I’m given the opportunity to not mess it up, I somehow manage to do exactly that. If it is, it seems I’ve pulled the ‘Go to Jail’ card in monopoly (do not pass go, do not collect $200).  But then again, maybe the real lesson of love is that we are meant to make the same mistakes over and over again until someone comes into our life who inspires us to make it right this time? After all, we are imperfect humans, every last one of us. We have hearts that lead us astray time and time again. But at the end of this journey, we don’t get a special accolade for playing by the rules, for saying no to the wrong temptations, for closing ourselves off to the beautiful feelings that are borne even from mistakes. We don’t get anything at all except the opportunity to look back at our experiences and realize that we’ve grown from them. And growth doesn’t prejudice itself to right. In fact, most of the time, it would seem the opposite is true. So I’ve probably made about twenty mistakes this month alone. Of course, I know better now, but no matter how hard I try, my heart keeps sending me back to dance with hope – the dream that maybe this time will be different. So I failed the test. But fuck, it was good – it always is. And maybe next time will be different.

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