Last night I watched Brene Brown’s Call to Courage on Netflix, (which I’m basically going to be telling everyone they have to watch until about this time next year) and while Brene was listing examples of situations in which we really showcase vulnerability, the one that really stood out for me was saying “I love you” first.
I always say “I love you” first.
It comes spilling out of my mouth before my logical brain can stop it, before I can talk myself down with imagined scenarios of rejection or (horror of horrors) disgust.
I can’t remember a time of being in love with someone who said it before I did.
I don’t know how to be cautious about this. I don’t have the words for the in between of “god, I think I really like you” and “god, I think I love you”.
I’ve had enough in betweens in my life that I really like to skip over them and be like “this is how things are right now”.
I am a person who feels things deeply, and I don’t know any other way to be.
Not because I refuse to learn to be any other way, but because I want to get to the good stuff, to the joy.
I don’t want to spend ages tiptoeing around something or someone that I know I want, just to find out at the end of the long game of “will they, won’t they” that actually, no we won’t. Because the other person doesn’t feel the same way, or they’re not in the right place, or any of the thousands of reasons that things don’t work out.
I would rather you smash me to pieces from the start than let me continue hoping, when there is no hope.
I am a hopeful person. Awful things have happened to me and have been done to me, but I am still hopeful, and I will always be hopeful – even when I’m curled up on my kitchen floor and I can’t breathe from all the weight of existence that is crushing my chest.
I will still hope for the next five minutes to be better than the previous five.
I will still hope that tomorrow is easier, that next week is kinder, that next month or the next minute brings me some kind of momentarily overwhelming joy.
I will still say “I love you” first.
I love hard and fast, and when I love someone, I will continue to love them up to the point when loving them is more painful than leaving them.
This year, I left someone.
And while there were all the usual difficulties of untangling two lives from each other, it wasn’t gut wrenchingly awful for me to leave.
Because I had the clarity that staying would be so much more painful than leaving.
When I left my recent relationship, I did so with hope for all the possibilities that were now stretched out before me.
I am prepared to grasp for opportunities and possibilities, and to miss. I am prepared to fail, because I know I will. It is impossible for me to win everything, and I do believe that we learn more from failure than victory.
But I hope I will win some things.
And if I don’t win, then I truly hope I learn.