Looking back, I realize now that that image, the image of ‘falling in love’ that I held in such high esteem, was not a proper tableau. I thought falling in love with someone meant finding a connection, a common attraction, a two-sided siege of emotions. Yet, in my personal version of ‘falling in love’, I forgot that often the ‘falling’ only happens on one side of the equation. I had simply assumed that if it happened for me, it of course, would happen for the other person as well.
Consequently, I have fallen many times, fallen hard, on my own.
With my exuberant nature and zest for life, my ‘falling’ emotions were always bubbling up and over, showing through my face, my smile, my blushing cheeks, and by my seemingly out-of-my-control actions.
Right from a young age I was ‘boy-crazy’, admiring and continually keeping secret crushes on several boys and young men, both local and the typical unattainable celebrities. Accordingly, I would write notes, letters, sit close to, pin up posters, listen to music and generally make a silly fool of myself trying to get that certain guy to notice and appreciate me if I could.
True, these times remained limited mostly to my childhood, teen years and very early adulthood, yet I cannot help but realize that these vain attempts at gathering attention subtly continue on into my adulthood much less childish ways.
Once I was able to drive and had my own vehicle, driving someone home or picking someone up became the mode of attention seeking and appreciation I sought out most vigorously. I also gave generous gifts and offers of special events when they came my way. These were not attempts by any means to buy affection or attention, no, they were simply times to spend with someone, to be there for them and to show them that I cared.
And care I certainly did.
When I felt those feelings of attraction, not just physically, but emotionally, to the person in question, I made true and honest inquiries into their lives. I listened. I felt elated or sad when they did. I remembered everything and many times surprised them by how much they had shared and how often I remembered some insignificant fact of their lives. It wasn’t just so I could repeat their life’s story by rote, it was that I genuinely cared for them, with deep and passionate feelings that embraced everything about them as I furthered my knowledge of them and their lives.
I know now that what I knew, remembered and could recall at a moment’s notice scared them sometimes… how had I found that out? or where had I heard that? From them, of course, but the telling meant more to me than it did to them. I had become a casual listening ear from them to speak ‘at’ and not really ‘to’.
Now, in the very latter part of my twenties, I know falling in love for me has always been a heart-wrenching and time-consuming one-sided event in the relatively short timeline of my life so far.
I’m sure some of them cared about me, on some level; friendship, acquaintance, pal….yet I was never the recipient of what I so desired…mutual feelings of care and respect and love.
I know deep, passionate love would come over time, but all along, what I most wanted was even just the flicker of affection, the hug of appreciation or the look of a caring companion.
Falling in love never lived up to my expectations.
Falling in love had me falling time and again on my own, left behind, heart in hand, wishing I had never loved at all.
No, I amend that thought.
I have never regretted those I have loved, only perhaps the intensity with which I showed my affection.
Looking back, I often blush with the thoughts of some of my actions and reactions to those I wished returned my feelings. As an adult, I feel foolish and silly, wondering if I had backed off, would our lives have taken an alternate path? I think not. I know I have so much love to give and perhaps the passion I hold at the tips of my fingers may scare some, yet I hope, I know that some day, someone will cross my path and need the great love I have to give.
One day I will fall and there will be someone to catch me and hold me and walk with me.
One day I will truly fall in love.