June 17, 2015

Learning to Love Out Loud.


I want to write about love, but it’s scary.

If I write about love, do I jinx love? If my writing is joyful and grateful, do I sacrifice my joy and gratitude?

Why would saying something out loud make it more fragile, logic dares to ask me in its tiny voice.

But my vulnerable heart and its fearful delusions whisper shhh.

How can love be real? How can a person’s face—just eyes, ears, a nose—be so beautiful? How can such a sweetness fill the space between your lips and theirs, without even touching? How can pupils and irises hold so much meaning and convey so much care?

I want to exist in this love my whole life. I want to flow with it and feel it and hold onto it through the turbulence. I want to baby it and strengthen it and dream of it. I want to uncover it if it’s ever hiding, fight for it if it’s ever fading.

It’s scary to want something so much. What if I don’t get it?

It’s scary, but each shared moment tells me it’s worth it. Whether we’re blissful or angry or picking up the pieces. Whether we’re laughing loudly and feeling electric, or we’re quiet and disappointed in ourselves. If I’m a fool, and all the fondness disappears one day, I want to have let it live. I want to have soaked it in, bravely. I want to have trusted myself and the life that I sometimes feel like I am forming aimlessly out of clay—messily and without talent, but at least with enthusiasm.

So I let time pass gazing at you as you drive the car. I wake up before you and watch your gentle, sleeping face. I let myself clap with adoration when you parallel park in the tightest spaces. And I love you more than I ever knew possible, so fiercely but still so steadily. When I lay next to you, my eyes crinkle and my body hums like a purring cat. When you come home after leaving town, I head to the door and greet you like an excited dog.

And I hate you when I am upset but you are not, and I hate you when I feel you don’t care. I cry and shake and tell myself it’s not worth it. Sometimes I want to scream. It’s not as good as it was yesterday—what if it’s gone?

But like everything else, that passes. Hate was never even the right word. I breathe deep like you tell me and unclench my heart. I let it beat, slowly at first. Then energetically, until it works up that warm glow, and love fills my veins again. For you, for everything.

Your ears are small for your head, and I stare at them adoringly until I am ashamed and tear my eyes away. I focus on something else, anything else. How can I love an ear so much? Can this be healthy? Aren’t you supposed to love yourself before you love anyone else? I don’t remember ever staring at my own ears like that.

When love feels too good to be true, it feels wrong. I’ve heard the facts, watched countless sitcoms about how hard marriage is. I’ve seen what I thought was the real thing fall to pieces and conclude with all the heartbreaking harshness of a tragic novel.

There’s no limit to the sad things that can happen, especially in real life.

Just typing the word “marriage” was hard. What do I even want with it? Until now I’ve only whispered it, but now here it is, with all its meanings and connotations. Black on white. As obvious as can be.

What kind of fool am I, to let myself feel this vast, encompassing thing? To let it grow and to lean on it, when it could vanish at any moment. And then the tiny voice I sometimes let speak up says, you’re the kind of fool that wants to live.

You teach me to let go, to be patient with myself, to move courageously into the unknown. Your love makes me stronger. Your devotion to your passions makes me more devoted to my own. Your trust in me gives me trust in myself. Your acceptance of me allows me to accept myself.

And I’ll stare lovingly at your ears as much as I damn want.

The last time my heart was broken, I rode a bus to Boston in the middle of the night. I talked to a friend on the way who dreamed of being in love but had never felt it. I told him love hurts. I told him it crushes. He told me he was jealous I’d felt that, and he wanted to feel it. I didn’t understand; it made me angry. Why would anyone want to feel pain?

But since then I’ve lost and grieved and started to truly realize that pain isn’t avoidable. It exists in most days, most hours. It comes and goes, sometimes surprising me, sometimes knocking me over. Moods change quickly, and a good day, even the best day, usually has pain in it. From pain comes fear, and giving too much space to fear is usually what hurts most: when I let fear tell me that the joy isn’t worth it, because it won’t last forever.

But maybe it’s not about making joy last forever. Maybe it’s more about not just leaving room for joy, but also for pain and the countless emotions that flow through us throughout our lives. Maybe it’s about all of it. And maybe that tiny voice is right, and it should speak a little louder when it tells me it will all be okay.

I don’t know much, but I know that love sometimes strengthens that tiny voice. And then that voice grows and reminds me that love is like life: incredible and hard, but always worth it.

So I keep moving forward, being brave and soaking it all in.

I keep letting myself love a little more, until one day I’m able to write about it.






The Courage to Love.





Author: Marissa Dubecky

Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Author’s Own

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