A (Willing) Fool for Love

Dear Nora,

Let me just start by getting this out there, because I can’t even pretend it’s not happening:

I was minding my own business on my dusty trail, and then there she was. Nora, I have no. words. I am dead. She is either going to break my heart or keep it.

I would say I am falling hard, but that’s not even the right description. I’m jumping, or being pulled, or both. Jumping out of an airplane, falling and really, really hoping my parachute opens…

But every cell in my body told me I needed to jump. And now, for better or for worse, gravity doing what it does best.

You know how I said I’ve been dating not to lose? This one I am dating 100% to win. I want to have no regrets. If she doesn’t pick me in the end, I don’t want it to be because I held anything back. OhmygodIcannotmessthisup.

To my amazement, I have no hesitations. It is a pure “hell yes”.

Also, btw, an alien has taken over my body and my brain and I have zero control over any of my faculties at the moment. Like, it is almost midnight right now and I’m baking her cookies because she likes cookies. A normal, sane person doesn’t do that. They bake at reasonable times, and not after 2-ish dates. Aliens do that (I assume?). I have no appetite, I’ve been getting little sleep. The butterflies are ridiculous. I am always counting down the days and hours until I see her again. She’s going to do me in.

The most INSANE part of it all? She seems to be feeling the same. All of it. What is happening??

If I write you next time and I’m a puddle of mush after my fall, please just refer back to this post. I know I will sound like an idiot when I say this, but I’m going to say it anyway: this one is different. Laugh all you want. The world can look at me and think I’m a fool. I definitely should not be writing about this so soon. But honestly, I don’t give a fuck. I am a fucking fool for love. There is nothing casual about this for me and I can’t even pretend that it is.

ANYWAY.

I was thinking the other day about how I should probably feel dumb about things I’ve written on this blog. Because I feel things strongly, and I write about them, and then things have changed and life happens and I learn things and afterwards I look back and sometimes judge myself for what I was feeling.

But then I decided, you know what? I’m not ashamed of who I am. I like that I see possibilities, and I go all in, and I take risks. If someone judges me for that, so be it. I’m honest with people about my feelings and I’m not careless with the feelings of others, to the best of my ability. Somehow I’m always bobbing back up to the surface, just as hopeful as though I’d never dipped below. Some lessons learned – of course. But hope suppressed? Seemingly never.

Security is mostly a superstition. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold…. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. (Helen Keller)

Me and the universe are playing a fun game right now where I write something on here, and then it proves it wrong (the universe is winning the game). For example: I wrote I was looking for –”Falling in love… not in a dramatic, flash of lighter fluid burst of flame, but in a slow and steady build of warmth–lit for a longterm burn.” HA.

first date = perfection

*ahem* Ok, now to respond to your letter. My apologies for my incoherent ramblings. Don’t blame me, blame the aliens.

You covered so much ground in your letter! I can’t even believe what a whirlwind you’ve been in. Are you exhausted? You have been undoubtably slaying 2017 like it’s your job. Also happy to hear you’ve made time for some new boos and for “lips with the magic of the oceans”. You are overdue and you deserve that. Get some!!!

borrowed from instagram

I had an audible reaction of disbelief to your statement about being 30 and having nothing (not that you’re not entitled to your own feelings about this, but I’m going to respectfully disagree). You have huge accomplishments! You moved to a new country as a teenager and fluently learned a second language. You have supported yourself for so long! You put yourself through school and now you’re working to further your education, with your sights set on medical school! You’ve moved across the country twice. You’ve made good friendships. You write this lovely blog with me. You are a wonderful dog mother. You know yourself deeply. You totally “still got it” at thirty, but more than that I think all the best things are still to come for you. You have worked hard and set yourself up for an exciting future full of love and career prospects you’re passionate about. You are loving yourself and shedding unwanted baggage. You’re in a growth period and that’s not always glamorous, but it is the part you should be most proud of. How can you say you’ve done nothing with your life? You put most thirty-year-olds to shame. In SPITE of financial stress AND lack of support system, you are persisting. 

Plus, you’re an excellent knitter.

There is this quiz called American Dream Score, created by PBS. I think you should take it. I took it and I got a 60, which basically means the majority of factors have been in my favor in life. I want you to take this quiz and then tell me you’ve accomplished nothing at 30. 

A fifteen month pre-medical school program sounds intense. I will try to be more patient with letter responses while you are focusing on studies.

I love seeing all your pictures. (If you love all the greenery of the Philly area, one of these days I’m going to get you out here to the PNW and I will take you to see all the wonders. In my 2.5 years here my jaw still drops.) But perhaps I should take a trip out to Philly sometime! Maybe next year I can get back out to the east coast.

This is the actual blue of a pool tucked away in the woods of Oregon. It turns blue because the water runs through the mountain instead of down a waterfall, and picks up minerals. But I like to believe it’s just magic.

I hope your new community forms quickly, but also that the right people come into your life for this stage.

Ok, I know this is getting long. But I need to talk to you about “the one” for a minute. We seem to be misunderstanding each other on this. I must not be explaining this well.

My two cents:

What the one is nota single person walking on the face of the earth who is literally the only person I can end up with and be happy with.

What the one is:
The one is the one my heart will feel at rest with.
The one is someone my gut confirms feels right.
The one is the one I will invest all the work of a relationship in.
The one is the one I will feel every cell in my body at peace when I’m curled up next to her.
The one is my biggest, deepest love yet.
The one is someone my soul will recognize.
The one is the one I will still be able to hold onto 100% of myself with.
The one is the one my mind will feel content with.
The one is who I would move heaven and earth to love and support.
The one is the one who sees me as her one too.
The one is someone who’s all in with me, and I’m all in with her.
The one is someone I will fight for once I’ve found her.
The one is the one I will choose to keep by my side.
and I will keep her by my side for as long as life lets me.
whether it’s 3 months. Or 3 years. Or 3 decades.

And if life takes her from me, I may search for “the next one” as long as my heart is still wanting to find that. 

I don’t think there is only one person out there who can fill this role. But I hope I am lucky enough to have the privilege of spending my life with just one person. I would be so content to find her and grow old with her, through life’s trials and joys. I want that. 

It’s not about only dating someone if they can promise me forever. It’s about me being able to envision a forever with them. If I can’t see that, then I have to let them go their own way.

Why would I spend time with someone I don’t see a forever with when what I want is a forever?

All the examples you gave were geographic and time obstacles. Those things won’t matter to me when I choose someone. I would move for “my one”. And if she only had three months to live, I’d spend it with her and make the most of every day. 

I know this sweet and wonderful woman, I’ll call her Sally. Sally had a great love. It lasted for 15 years, and then her partner died of cancer. She spent years in grief afterwards, and alone. She gave her heart time to recover and heal, and never stopped loving that soul she lost. And then, just the other day, she met someone new, 9 years after her partner had passed. I could see this new light in her. She was like a teenager falling in love for the first time. She had found her “one” once. And now I could see her opening up, ready to find her next one.

And when I find them it certainly does not invalidate the other love stories I’ve been so lucky to have so far. Those loves are what have prepared me for it! Those have been vital exercises of my heart that have taught me about myself and about love and what I want and deserve and they were 100% real. There is nothing more “real” about the relationship I end up choosing to stay in, the only difference between it and my other love stories, is that it’s the one I keep and I’m at rest in.

What role does love play in this search? It leads the way, a torch burning in my chest. I have so much love to give. I don’t know what form this person will take. But I’m not ready to give up my hopes of finding her. And so I will continue to do my best to be open to what the universe sends my way. I will be honest with myself about what I feel in my gut. And if I can’t see a future then I will let that person go and continue on the dusty trail alone until I meet a traveler who will walk by my side.

With Hannah, I had a lot of love for her. But similar to Lily, it wasn’t the fully rounded out in-love romantic kind of love I needed to and my gut told me something was missing.

My requirements are quite simple actually: I will be in love with her, she will be in love with me. And it will feel perfectly right to both of us to spend our lives together and we will both feel like the absolute luckiest. I mean, I do have a lengthy list that I’ve sent to the universe of some particulars. Some of the things it includes: She will love herself. She will have a heart of gold and a grin of a troublemaker. She will be moved by compassion. 

Also allow me to clear up my remark about idealizing stuff with Kay. This has been a more recent “aha” moment for me. When I referenced that, I was not referencing her as a girlfriend. Let’s be honest – god bless her – but she was not her best possible self in our relationship (NOR WAS I). Kind of immature and selfish and very non-committal and not accepting of herself. Cowardly when it came to do the hard, right thing. Non-confrontational and avoidant of tackling her shit. Ashamed to be gay and wouldn’t hold my hand in public or say I was her girlfriend.

What I loved about that relationship, and what I miss, was the way I felt when I was in it. I was  deeply content (in spite of all those things–I didn’t know better yet!). I was 100% in without hesitations. I was at rest and at home and in love beyond a shadow of a doubt. Our cores matched, even though some other parts were imperfect.

That is what I want again. Like, that is the bare minimum of what I want. I know it’s going to be so much better the next time my heart is rested with someone because I’m sure as hell not settling for someone who doesn’t treat me like I deserve. I will reach potentials I could never have reached with Kay in the versions of ourselves at the time. I totally agree that that relationship was the scratch of the surface of what happiness can look like for me.

Sorry this one is a doozy. I’m not quite in my right mind these days. Send me updates!

Love, Ruth

P.S. Question for tarot cards: Is this girl going to break my heart?

 P.P.S. Magpie really likes hugs actually. I gave her one from you. When I walk in the door every day she wants to be scooped up and I toss her in the air and hug her and kiss her and she purrs contentedly, before she’ll even go have dinner. It is the cutest thing.

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