You should know, this is not a love story.
SIDEBAR: Did you come from here? Because that was the before and this is the after.
Question: Have you ever been completely swept off your feet?
SIDEBAR: Does anyone under the age of 72 actually own a broom?
Stomach in full churning mode with millions of butterflies.
Skipped heartbeats when you see their face.
Heart gushing when they say something sweet.
That stupid face you make all day like you have a coat hanger stuck in your mouth.
The need to bring their name up, any time, just to tell someone how great they are.
Thinking about them morning, noon and night.
Late night convos and the absolute pleasure it is getting to know each other.
Realizing all the incredible things you have in common.
And realizing the incredible ways you may balance each other.
Discussing your future.
Planning trips and adventures.
Sharing and respecting each others dreams and goals.
Understanding each others values and morals and sharing the same thoughts.
The surreal excitement you feel when you figure out you BOTH LOVE DISNEY.
Knowing, in your gut, that this person is the cherry on top of your already beautiful life.
Melt, the kissing.
The hugs, every single electric touch from those new favorite fingertips.
Their taste. The smell of their cologne, soap, laundry, all of it.
Falling asleep and waking up next to someone you like so much that you sometimes miss them while they're sleeping right fucking next to you.
That above described heart, brain and body infested craze you're feeling, all while still riding life's already difficult roller coaster, are all signs that you're probably falling in love.
The catch? WHAT?
There is none?
All of your own love and affections for this said person are returned, matched and met. To a T. Wow, I am the luckiest girl on earth.
SIDEBAR: He's as beautiful outside as he is on the inside. #goals
I assume they call it falling in love because as extraordinary as it feels, it's totally petrifying. Completely unnerving, yet to me, one of the most exciting thrills life has to offer. And we feel the same way and are both lost in each other? The feelings are beyond intense.
Does all this sound too good to be true?
Well, it all got fucked up so, in fact, it was all too good to be true.
We quite literally died before we even had a chance.
CUE (a slight) BITTERNESS- BUT REALLY JUST AN EXTREME, TREMENDOUS, MEGADEATH GRIP LEVEL OF DISAPPOINTMENT.
And it's been YEARS since I've fallen, this correctly.
Those are facts.
CUE (a huge) REALIZATION- BUT REALLY SOMETHING I KINDA PRETTY MUCH ALWAYS KNEW BUT IS STILL A DANGEROUS REALIZATION FOR ME.
Love is my drug. I mean, everyone has a vice but I'm a straight junkie for it. I, admittedly, 10000% love the idea of feeling and being in love.
Hug me till I can't breathe.
I'm here for it.
SIDEBAR: (And insecure disclaimer) I'll be the first to tell you up front, I am really hurt by this short and sweet romance. Along with it's way fucking less than a Disney fairy tale ending. But, that's what happens when you and your heart, after all you've been through, learned and lost, put yourself out there, again. And fail. Again.
SIDEBAR PT II: Writing the end of sidebar part 1 just gave me a knot in my throat.
Falling in love gives you a sense of comfort and hope, whether you ask for it or not. Within that hope, and although you know it's less than smart, you unknowingly acquire some expectations. Big or small, they're right up there stirring around in the mix and waiting on the call to throw their 2 cents in.
All these little expectations that are laying in your mind, are so ingrained in you, you may not even be aware of them. They have the potential to cause you, or the person you love, hurt feelings when things either don't meet them or when they remind you of your old hurt.
Let's face it, when we're older, the stakes are high which makes the risks even greater.
With all I know, I still fell.
In 21 days? Girl, come on.
Certainly did. And HARD. Like, head first over the handlebars without a helmet, hard. I am currently suffering from whiplash, CTE and as a result, acute insomnia.
SIDEBAR: Current Web-MD side effects aside, I knew I loved him the morning of Day 19. Does that make me crazy?
Somewhere out there is a beautiful soul. A kind, affectionate, sensitive man. He is confident and humble. He stands up for what he believes in with pride and without ignorance. He's strong, passionate, and loyal. He is everything I never thought I would find or even existed for me.
Now that we know I'm a love addict, his drug of choice? Hands down, adrenaline.
He will jump out of a planes, free fall in amusement parks and buy himself a crotch-rocket and call it a motorcycle. He has honorably and bravely protected our country and spent many years doing so. He insanely makes you sit in the front row of every roller coaster known to make you shit your pants and die, including but not limited to, King Da Ka and El Toro.
However, a situation I believed could have been extremely beneficial to know about each other, not to mention extremely forgettable and fixable, occurred between the two of us.
When all the vulnerable cards were on the table, he ultimately decided he wouldn't and couldn't open his heart to love me.
CUE GIANT EXHALE.
What I learned about this self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie is that he can put his entire life on the line, but not his heart. A theory that still up to this moment I can not quite understand, but none-the-less, it isn't mine to understand. I just have to respect it.
However, what I can understand is that he set the boundary of all boundaries that you can not cross. You can't fight for someone who doesn't want to be there.
What I learned about myself is that my sensitivity to old feelings in previous relationships is still very much present. Situations that bring fourth old insecurities still unfortunately live in me and have effected me in a way I wished they would have never.
On the other hand, I also learned that I can and did bravely open myself up to love. A delicately selected, made for me, ideal kind of love. Not just any chump who flashed a smile, threw some tequila at me and told a few jokes.
A real person, who gave me real reasons, to really love them.
I trusted in myself, as well as someone else. I felt the tremendous amounts of "what-ifs" and fears and dove in anyway. Because that's just who I am.
And that, is the one thing I can be proud of.
When I'm done pouting around.
I think it'll always blow my mind how your mind, body and heart can remember old feelings or emotional triggers you don't even realize are still there. All the thoughts and ideas you've pushed away- or the things you've told yourself that weren't true- can all flood back and corrupt your mind REAL QUICK.
You can find yourself in a thick ass mess with all the right variables, circumstances, words and timing.
What happens when those insecurities you've worked on and talked yourself out of for years creep in and smother you? What happens when they win? While the relationship and feelings are all still new, you will most likely still react in ways aimed at protecting yourself.
Regardless of how great the new person in front of you is currently treating or has treated you, you both still have your own problems that haven't yet fully been explored by one another. When past pains are triggered, sometimes we react based off those insecurities even though we know they aren't our current reality.
CUE PUNCH IN THE FUCKING GUT.
Within the process of getting to know someone new, there comes a time when either party may be the first one responsible in pressing a hot button. Considering said person and you are still getting to know each other, how could you know the button was a hot one to touch?
Simple answer; YOU DON'T KNOW UNTIL YOU GET BURNED.
My expectations and insecurities lead to a button unknowingly touched by him. I in turn, reacted, and proceeded to, also unknowingly, obliterate his button.
The rest made us history.
Which proves one thing to me- even though we came in with sparks flying and the purest of intentions, we both were in fact not ready for a relationship.
Or maybe just not for each other.
Either way, my momentary insecurity combined with his quick ability to raise and triple reinforce a fortress built for a King around his heart are the actions of two hurt people who, if they are both unwilling to create an understanding and work together, aren't ready to be involved with one another. Period.
It doesn't matter if I took my share of responsibility. Because I did. It doesn't matter if I said and did whatever I thought would fix things. Because I did. It doesn't matter that I saw it as a blessing, one that would rid us both of some stupid bullshit right upfront and get it out of the way. Because I did. The bottom line is, he has his own boundaries and he isn't interested in hearing any of my shit.
Harsh? Yes. Hurtful? Extremely. However, I can't fault him for that. It's who he is.
I can definitely cry about it though.
But- there's always a but- I would be lying if I said I wasn't still hoping or expecting a different outcome. And here we are again, hope and expectations.
Exactly what lead me here in the first place.
The truth of the matter is, neither of us owes the other person a thing.
You should always do right by the people you love, but you really don't owe anyone anything. You should always practice forgiveness, but at your own costs. You should do your best to obtain all important facts and make a educated and heart conscious decision but, if you want to just throw your walls up and forget someone ever existed instead, by all means do that too.
To each his own.
Although I wanted nothing more than the chance to try again, at something that seemed to so easily be everything we both wanted, it's not the reality.
And if said person was really the one for me, or who they said they were, they wouldn't have closed the door on us so easily either.
I have no hard feelings. Just hurt ones.
Another fact I know to be true:
LIFE GIVES YOU WHAT YOU NEED, NOT WHAT YOU WANT.
The only thing I owe anyone is kindness and forgiveness to myself.
Holding, loving and forgiving myself for being human and fucking up.
Forgiving myself for playing a part in sabotaging a relationship I really saw making it the distance and one I had come to think so highly of.
Forgiving myself for letting that little voice in my head talk me into something I didn't really believe to be true. I had a minuscule glimpse of a self-doubt, based on the unfortunate amount of shitty collected data from my past, and I made a mistake.
If life went according to your plans, you'd be a boring ass loser. With that said, and more experience under my pretty full belt, I'll be just fine. I always am. I just wanted something different this time around. I thought I was ready. And thought he was worth it.
I am well aware that I am a shit ton tougher than I ever give myself credit for.
And those are some more facts.
SIDEBAR: I adored him extra for seeing that, too.
Although a very dramatic sadness has quite literally made me sick this week, I know this is a lesson that I had to learn.
Expectations, lower them. EVEN FURTHER.
Insecurities, do not listen to them. Like, fucking ever. And most certainly, do not project them on anyone. Especially yourself. They're a fucking lie.
In the process, I also learned that it doesn't matter the time spent or shared. Love is love. Connection is connection. I am grateful to have experienced even just a taste of it with someone so worthy of sharing it with.
SIDEBAR: No, you can't have his name or number. He's still fucking mine.
LOVE YOU MORE THAN PIZZA.
PS. If I wasn't already sure, I am now. In all ways possible, I am Tom and Tom is me.
PPS. Wait your turn, Autumn. I'm not gonna be over this for a minute.
PPPS. We gotta bring back story time. This was next level real and serious.