Have you ever felt those moments when you realize that you’re falling in love with someone, over and over again? It’s a subtle moment, and you don’t really realize it until you’re stuck in the middle of it.
I sometimes wish life were as subtle and moving as those moments. Well, let me clarify, I wish that life had more slow and ‘epiphanic’ moments like that. Because only during those times do you realize that you don’t really care for life’s demands and mannerisms. You don’t have to pretend. You don’t have to ‘fake it till you make it.’ But, you’re utterly yourself and sincerely vulnerable. That’s the most scary part of those moments. You feel a sense of intimacy and you realize: you’re not acting. You’re just living the moment. You’re just laying there, or sitting there, or laughing there, or crying there, and that other person is looking at you as if they see something beyond your skin. And for once, you’re not forcibly thinking about what you ought to be or how life should be. You just are. When these quiet moments submerge you in a sudden kind of stillness, for once, you are happy. You really are. And it’s scary.
I’ve been having these moments a lot lately. They come and go. They always end up with me in Josh’s arms or him in mine. They always end with us whispering nonsensical things in each other’s ears, or saying something about the past that we’ve hid from each other. The other day, I admitted to him that whenever he sang a specific tune from Oliver! (the song that goes, “I’d do anything, anything, for you!”), I always wished that he sang it for me. He admitted to me that he always sang secret songs for me, like “I Think I Love You, But What Am I So Afraid Of?” by Partridge Family. He also sang that Oliver song for me too. I can’t help but remember all the silly games of love we used to play. Sometimes, I can’t believe how honestly simple these moments are with him. It’s strange to be in love, sometimes. And yet, I cannot help but feel that I’m alive during those moments. My relationship with him hasn’t been the best. It’s been turbulent and moving at most, but I cannot say that there is any other woman out there who is happier than me. To know in the fullest extent that someone else, someone who you gave your love to, does in fact love you in return is the happiest feeling one could experience. To know that is life-fulling, in all its scary implications.
Though, there are days when I wish I could go back to LA and live my life as it were, or, how do I say this, live it in a trend-eating melting pot. That is what I call LA, or any big city for that matter. When I look back at my times there, from jetsetting to club to club, margaritas to mimosas, from mandating fake eyelashes on each outing, from requiring short skirts and high heels (even wore these insane stilettos up and down the hill at the Hollywood Bowl), I realize that that fast-paced life is all what it was meant to be. It was fun, and I would do it again in a heartbeat (as long as Josh were by my side). And you know, I miss it. I will always be a crazy LA princessy bitch at heart. But I also realize that, during those times, I was not who I wanted to be. It took a lot to change. It took almost too much. And, back then, I did not know how to write. I still don’t, but at least I’m finally figuring it out. The most important thing about writing is time, and in LA, I had none. I was too concerned about being what I thought I needed to be and placing my identity on what others thought about me. I, in turn, forgot about living and being, or in other words, there was no balance to my life.
South Carolina has given me a stillness and a slowness that opened my eyes to a lot of very subtle things. I rerealized how beautiful trees, lakes, swamps, and the sky was. I rerealized how good food tastes. I rerealized how simple it was to fall in love (again… and again). I rerealized my anxiety over my weight is sincerely an unhealthy thing. I rerealized, most importantly, that people are not ideal and expecting them to be only hurts. I rerealized that it’s okay to hurt when you are hurt. It’s okay to cry, okay to be imperfect, okay to be wrong sometimes. But, I also rerealized that life is too brief to live like a straight idealist. We ought to live happily and try our best in difficult times because, well, it would be a shame not to.
For the most part, throughout this journey from coast to coast, I’ve come to terms with myself in a most unlikely and slow way. It took a lot of time. It took a process that almost blurred out the identity I rooted my whole soul in.
But, strangely, I’m happy. For now (ha!).