I’ve been thinking a lot about love recently. Sometimes I’ve been accused of running away.
The concept of traveling alone, knee-deep in my own company is blatantly ridiculous.
Don’t all women, travelers or not, have throbbing, barren hearts eager to find that special someone and settle down?
This traveling solo gig is filler, a twiddling game until real life arrives.
The truth is I suck at relationships.
If you held my former relationship in your hand, felt its weight, twirled it around, what you would see are tiny fissures.
He hated crowds. I thrive on the energy. I had to convince him to travel. Nobody ever had to strap me in a chair, pry my eyes open and force-feed me National Geographic films.
I hummed with restlessness. His idea of a Friday night was zoning out in front of the TV.
Counselor, wasn’t this just a clear case of a mismatched pairing?
Thereafter, I was introduced to Shy Stalker, who didn’t even own a passport, nursed a deep-seeded sexual dysfunction, and silently decided I should be the one to cure him. Note: I was not qualified to do any curing. He would drunk dial me. Hover, by staring at me across a street. Yet, somehow, I sopped up his sweetness (shyness) and actually dated him. Briefly.
Next up was Portland Man, a certified cutie with transparent blue eyes. He zoomed around on a Ducati (ooh), traveled at least once (improvement), and played Spanish guitar effortlessly (meow). His dysfunction was not sexual in nature, but mommy-centric. Now, my family history is not tied in a bow, and I thought he had dealt with his. He never wanted to go anywhere. I mean, anywhere. Nor be remotely close to human beings. Period. He verbally doused relationships with gasoline, lighting them on fire with deflection, silence and physical boundaries. His roommate growled at me (He is Canadian, she is American. I suspected they were secretly married so he could stay in the country, and she was so obviously in love with him). How could I forget the “mom” stories, his recounting of that drama powder keg. Still, his eyes and tousled blonde hair entranced me. My first long distance relationship came off successfully, I’d say.
Lastly, let’s not exclude Underwhelming Masters Student/Professor. He was younger than me (score!), articulated the complicated American health policy staggeringly well over email, and claimed a desire to move to Argentina to learn Spanish. That can be difficult when you don’t own a passport (do you see the connection to #1?), or when you claim one idea, only to shoot it down within three minutes (Argentina? Nah). After the getting to know you bit, the only subject he talked about was movies. All the time. It was upon meeting him that I figured out he probably googled “health policies” and bamboozled me by always starting a conversation with “hola”, the breadth and distance of his Spanish. Or that his vague descriptions of a ‘tad out of shape’ were in fact a projection that his breasts will be larger than mine in two years. He was another one, who courted intense shyness, had literally one friend at the university where he grudgingly slogged through completing his Masters in Sociology. When it came time to break things off, I was actually almost sad. My second coup in the long-distance department.
I could go on…
Let’s not. Let’s pull focus to the common ingredient in all these dramatic dioramas.
I didn’t run away to find love.
I hit the pavement racing, until breath is shallow, almost painful in my chest, to not fall in love.
To reorganize – stop making damaging choices.
To maybe, just maybe, be in love with myself, before I can be in love with another.
Photo: Gregory Jordan