A Painful Rational Choice
So I locked my heart away — Asa
I like to listen to podcasts because it has some of my favourite things-smart people, conversations, and stories. I listen to 2 podcasts religiously — Modern Love and Revisionist History.
The former is my favorite.
It is the most accurate representation of how I feel about love. The stories are all I need to know about how love is real and dynamic. It does not happen in one way and sometimes it gets ugly. The end, middle, or beginning of the love of anything-self, family, or other, is a story in itself. A journey that has so many turns that can leave you breathless, in tears, or racked with anxiety. Above all, it is stirring and passionate. I would argue that it is the best thing in the world.
Yet, I do not have the flavour of love I want.
I have always loved love. Wanted to experience it, hold it, have it kiss my forehead, and tell me I am the one for it. There is a degree of security that come with the knowledge of a love unfaltering, secure in itself, ready to take only what you can give and give only the things your body can take. That is the type of love I want.
Not the love for family or friends or neighbours. These are nice and warm and while I have these I want more.
I want a love that unfurls in my stomach and fills my heart with adoration and pride. When I lean against it, it leans back into me and together we are one. Where some of the things I own are accompanied by “we” or “our”. This is the flavour of love I want to taste.
When I get a whiff of this, my hope leads the way. She is a madwoman that likes to run headfirst into situations that look closely like what we want and her stubbornness and unwavering faith make me feel heady. With hope there is nothing we cannot achieve or conquer, the world and the heart of whomever we have set our sights on will be ours, the consequences be damned.
I’d like to say with all the confidence I can muster and declare that it has worked for me. But it hasn’t, if it had, that would be a different line from Asa. The constant rush that my hope gives me, has worn me out. I am tired of starting a race and never reaching the finish line, of having to count my losses in the middle of any situation. How many times can you say “it will be alright” before it leaves a sour taste in your mouth?
For every single time that I let myself feel hope, my hope fails.
I have been asked to be smarter, to play games of coyness, and learn things that are antithetical to who I am. It is too much work, but necessity is the mother of invention. In this case, the need to reinvent myself has risen. This time, I will do the one thing that goes against all of the things I am. I have to take responsibility for the pain and despair I feel at my failed attempts at finding love.
I want to say I am fine, but I am really not. For every time I have thrown myself against the door where what I seek lies behind, it has never opened up for me. I have been badly bruised and now I am fatigued. My body is weary and my heart is weak. And like that final straw and the camel’s back, I am completely broken from my most recent foray into romance.
I love love, but like all the other people who I have wanted, it does not want me back. I am not sad, I am tired. So here is what the person who knows me best-which is also me, has prescribed.
Build a large wall around yourself, for every hour in the day, 7 days a week.
Avoid gatherings. When bored, read a book or go on Tiktok. When you encounter stories of love that cause a stirring in you, bring your knees to your chest and rock back and forth, it will shake the stirring away. Above all, when a new person tries to come into your life, block them out by giving a curt smile and walking away. Best to not start anything, than start and be left sad in 2–3 weeks.
Fill your time with solo activities, hang out with your friends more than ever, and for endorphins hit the gym 4–5 days a week.
The symptoms of desire will persist after a few days or a few weeks but we will ride that wave and keep building. As you build this wall, think of all the peace that you will get within your high wall. The dry eyes and the lack of anxiety. The daydreams will be gone, and maybe then in this utopia, it would seem like the rational choice, and not a toxic habit grown out of fear. This will be my own version of Modern Love-a story that started off as me being avoidant but blossomed into me loving myself the best way for me-alone.
Will it work? I doubt it, hope and my love for love are stronger than me, but by god, I will try it. I do not care if this seems like a cowardly and unhealthy choice. In the array of decisions of what is best for the avoidance of pain, this is the leading choice.