The first time I was in love, it was a situation in which I developed strong and honest feelings over the course of the year and a half I was with my first boyfriend. In the same time frame, I fell hard and fast for one of my best friend. (Obviously, neither of those relationships worked out.)
Next time I fell in love, it was a little faster, and started out with all the fuzzy crush feelings, was interupted by a break-up and a year apart, before spending another year giving it a second go. After that ended catastrophically, I told myself I'd never get back together with an ex.
The next time, it was another one of those slow building loves that was messily truncated by the ridiculously passionate feelings that I felt immediately for my most recent ex.
It was never difficult or scary to fall for the next person in line, until this time. Maybe that's because every time up until now, I have been the one doing the leavig. Fed up, or on to something new. Every time I fell in love again, it was fun and exciting and something new to look forward to. And then The Breakup happened last year, and I was more heartbroken than I had ever been. Despite being in love many times,with different people, I had never been in love like that. I don't think that makes the other times less real - just different.
Being the romantic that I am - which is just a ncie way of saying co-dependant, I think - I've gone and done it again, but I have never fallen in love like this before, either. This has been the scariest Fall my heart has ever experienced.
Suddenly, I know what it's like to be the people I walked away from. That was something that broke my heart in it's own, side-bar way when my ex first left me last year - knowing that this was what I had made people that I cared about feel. It was an awful realization, and one I am still learning to forgive myself for.
Aside from a taste of it when I was sixteen and in love with my best friend, this has been the first time I've really experienced a true heartbreak, and falling in love again has been the scariest thing in the world - but also as easy as ever. Easy in the sense that I just kind of blinked and realized it had happened, not easy to deal with.
It's difficult to realize that after spending a year slowly putting the pieces back together, I've taken my repaired little organ, somewhat deformed now from piecing it back together, and just handed it off to someone else. "Here, this is precious to me, and I don't even think the glue has finished drying yet, so it's really very fragile right now. But I'm going to trust you not to break it anyway."
And it's so strange that I've done that, because I've entrusted this person with this fragile piece of myself, and at the same time, I find myself sitting on the edge of my seat and watching them hold it, tensing up every time their hands shift - I can see it crashing to the floor and breaking again. But I've done it now, so all I can do is have faith, right?
I think this Letting In of new feelings is as important as Letting Go of the old ones. Because, what good is repairing the heart if you're just going to put it in a glass box and never letting anybody near it? I could have done that with the pieces and saved myself the effort of patching it back together.
And maybe it will get broken again, and I'll have to put it all back together again. And it will either be more fragile than ever, or sturdier for all the glue, tape, and staples it will take. But I know myself, and the first thing I'm going to do if that hapens, is hand it off again, and hope the next person won't drop it.
Maybe this means I am a fool, because I keep on trusting. But I can't imagine a life in which I kept my heart to myself. It feels selfish. I want someone to have it. And I think that that is actually one of the healthiest things about me - I can't shake the hope that someone will truly treasure that precious little organ.