I have always fancied myself a cynic of sorts after a teenage breakup that ripped my self esteem apart and everything in between. We have all had our share. But I was the classic case of once bitten forever shy.
I thought the closet romantic wanted to stay right inside where she was, inside the closet never to see the light of day. I went through a phase of utter aloofness and sheer caution to the point it became a way of life at least in romance. I put myself in the zone where you assume the worst and are so prepared for it to happen that it actually does.
Then you go through this utterly liberating phase where you do whatever, go wherever, say whatever, eat however. And it’s awesome. The freedom is addictive. It has a high like no other. Then you get used to it. If you do it right, you get to become self aware, know your likes and dislikes. Some people don’t work out. They make sense in theory and make a mess in practice and make you thank your lucky stars that you are still your own person. You are unwilling to compromise and make sacrifices. Because that is what they feel like. Like punishment.
I also always fancied myself a one man kinda woman, the typical there is only one great love kind of woman. And I imagined I had had my share whatever had been served. Never known it for myself but felt it for another. And then I grew up. Then I grew up to learn there are different kinds of love. Some loves you can define. Some loves you can limit. Some loves you rather not have. Also to learn that sometimes it is everything you ever needed and wanted and nothing like what you imagined. And then sometimes you meet a person who makes you forgo all preconceived notions.
Then you meet a person who makes the grown woman feel like a child again! Then you meet the person who simplifies everything to a point where everything is crystal clear. Suddenly the fiercely protected independence doesn’t feel threatened. Suddenly you know you have the space to be yourself while belonging to another person while letting them be themselves too. Suddenly consequences are irrelevant. Where there is no place for confusion or need of games. I always thought they were beautiful lines when I read them but I scoffed at them and sniggered too. But suddenly, unexpectedly sometimes you meet someone whose very existence explains why no one else made sense at all.
Sometimes this person is a stranger. Sometimes it is an old dear friend in a new light. But it is a kindred always. Because you are just happy even if you are not doing anything in particular. Because in the end no matter what, there remains a distinct inexplicable fondness. This fondness that makes you smile. And sometimes that is enough.
It is strange. It is a strange thing. This thing called love.