I am impossible. A mess of disparate wants. A tangle of contradictions.
I want a big life. And also a very, very simple one. I want to write in a public way, but live as privately as possible. I am desperate to leave New York, but still here. I want all the avocados, but worry about the water shortage in California.
A while back I dated a very, very good man. And walking down the steps towards him was an exercise in looking into the face of the unknown, into the face of what is good and possible, and allowing desire to trump fear.
I am compelled to write about it because writing is the only way I know to make any of this bearable, to wrangle the affection when there’s no one left to receive it, and to find meaning in the chaos. And the meaning was in his goodness, of this I am sure. His goodness was the point of our small mess. And for that I am so, so thankful.
I was having a drink recently with a woman I was too quick to call a friend. She asked me a question. About the realities of my wants in the next few years. And I answered in a way that seemed tremendously rational to me. Essentially I said that it’d depend on who I end up with. That I am both preparing for, and very excited about, that day when the decision is no longer mine alone. She laughed to herself and said something quite cruel. I won’t say what it was because she might read this and that’s been getting me into trouble of late, but I will say that, offhand as it was, it was deeply, deeply hurtful.
Years ago I wrote that my sadness is the truest thing about me. That’s no longer the case. Now I’d say it is my desire to love. To give and receive such a thing freely. To experience the divine within that act.
I believe in love. In the mess of it. And the grace of it. And, frankly, in the mundane of it. In crawling into bed night after night next to it. To returning home and opening the door to it.
Because sometimes you just need a person to be quiet with, and sad next to.
But the desire for it feels so exposed and so delicate--a thin, translucent membrane. Sticky and fragile and terribly tenuous.
It is the truest part of who I am. And the most vulnerable. And when brought into the light, and exposed to the wrong person, easily damaged.
Because, honestly, I’m not sure.
I’m reading Donald Miller right now. Scary Close. And there’s this bit about how doubting our ability to be loved is actually doubting the ability of those outside of us to love in an unconditional way. Which means the fear--the fear that we’re not good enough or it won’t happen for us--is short-sighted and selfish. Because to not believe that I will be loved, mess of disparate wants that I am, reveals a deep lack of faith in the man who will eventually call me home. A deep lack of faith in the grit of the human heart.
But good things can feel quite uncomfortable. And terror and excitement run on the same neural pathway. And faith isn’t meant to be easy.
Because if love is divine, then the want for it is human.
And good men do exist.