If my Vulnerability Could Speak, Here is What it Would Say
The fallacies of the heart from the place that feels the most
I haven’t learned enough.
There is always the next thing. I’ll feel like I need to know more before going into the next romantic swing.
This is a fallacy rooted in fear, emerging as paralysis.
Everyone always has a million reasons why timing might not be right. You could give yourself a million reasons why any timing might be wrong, actually.
This is a conversation you have with yourself, and it’s hilariously awful because the person doing the convincing is you to yourself. The argument is already won because your subconscious has already won you over. The entire narrative is internalized and scripted. You know this, and, by the time you’ve made up your mind with a physical decision, that decision was already made before the arguing began in your mind.
The best teachers and teachings in your life come from the experiences you share. Christopher McCandless tried to wander away from people into the woods of Alaska, only to realize that happiness was only real when it was shared.
He died in those woods, alone and scared and regretful.
I can’t move forward.
A treacherous place approaches in every relationship. It’s somewhere after a few months, where things begin to pick up into serious territory. I’ve been in an awful relationship that lasted years before. I’ve witnessed that pain. I’ve been buried in it for a year after that relationship was over. I’ve felt the suffocating pain of getting over someone I thought I loved who didn’t reciprocate.
I don’t want to talk about finances. I rather not speak about what my excellent credit can provide. I don’t want to start planning things anymore.
I’m paralyzed about that progress. I stop wanting to see this person. I don’t want them to know what I feel. I don’t want to give them that inside information about that pain. I’d rather keep it capsulated inside, where it’s safe from potential harm I’m unsure I can trust. Or, at least, it’s registered as a potential harm.
The curiosity ends as the relationship trips up to a stop, and we part ways.
I’m not enough.
My love is dead. It’s not actually dead, of course. In my head, it feels dead at times.
If I’ve been told that I wasn’t enough before, I’ve taken that mention and conflated it with the idea that I can’t love someone enough to stay. This is a silly way to think, and I’d like to believe that I am mature enough to realize it isn’t true. Bad relationships end badly because, sometimes, people aren’t compatible. Other times, they could just be a result of mistakes and aimless toxicity.
It scares me to think that I can turn off my feelings for someone so quickly. There was a time, when I was younger, where that feeling felt stronger and brighter than ever. Where all I wanted to do was love someone and it never felt like a switch. I never want to feel like a signal, or a transistor, with the capability of being on or off.
I don’t want to be 0 or 1.
The beauty of love is to be beyond a metric attributable to reality. We are outside the bounds of math and the physical, somewhere less jaded and boundless.
Yet, as we get older, we find ourselves with the ability to progress in life and in our career but at a halt in our emotional horizon. Sometimes, that horizon seems to be cratering back inward, closing in on us.
This is never a voice I like to hear.
My prior pain is a liability.
Baggage is always a weird thing. You’re telling a new person about an old person. You’re giving a new thing an old thing.
I’m transpiring my old sucky stuff into my new stuff.
It’s draining and necessary. Sometimes, it feels like I’m liable.
I don’t want to hurt a new person. I don’t want to scare a new person.
My pain sucks. It might be that my pain stinks. Maybe it stinks more, I’m not sure.
Maybe this new person doesn’t have pain like mine?
Maybe that pain doesn’t look similar, and maybe that’s a really bad thing?
Love doesn’t look for those questions, but vulnerability does. It’s often the case that I’ll be thinking about it long and hard before I accept that something needs to be said or not. I might keep a pain internalized only because I believe it’s saving someone else the hassle of dealing with my choices in life. Love never requires you to go about it on your own, but vulnerability may win you over every now and again.
You’ll find that one thing.
He’s not talking enough. He’s talking too much. His voice is shrill. That one spot on his arm is blue.
His skin feels like glue. His hair is receding. He is getting too old. He’s too short.
These don’t all apply to me, but it is running deep in the mental background. There is a long, enumerated list dynamically processing with new things I might sense someone is thinking. At the end of the day, it isn’t something I will particularly care for. Every once in a while, it will hit me as a relationship proceeds.
These are things that I would think someone else might be thinking. There is a scale for how people feel for some things, and there is a slider for how hot or cold an element on that list would be.
Some people generally want to know the person. Other times, specific people care about one thing far more than others. These things can be insignificant to one partner.
I’ll wait, sometimes, as my vulnerability patiently ticks away, reminding me that you’ll be looking for the one thing.
Maybe the thing is a big deal, maybe it isn’t.
Usually, it’s only large in size in someone’s head. In reality, the one thing doesn’t exist. It’s conflated with worthiness, which is a mischaracterization at best.
At its worst, like any of these points, it’s costing you the potential of a beautiful relationship.