I started writing on a Sunday afternoon. The temperature was in the mid-40s. It was the last day of May. The sky was cloudy and the air was cold. It felt like the perfect time to listen to Johnnyswim and Houndmouth (look it up people. I’m not your personal Google) and write a convoluted post. I apologize in advance for this one. That apology is far-reaching and even extends internally. I have the sneaking suspicion I’ll be mortified by this post a year from now but, for reasons beyond my own comprehension, I felt compelled to write it. So here we go:
Last year I consistently told one of my closest friends that I thought I was broken. “I don’t like anyone. Ever. And I’m not sure I will ever again,” I’d complain. Subconsciously I knew these were hyperbolic proclamations but there was a small part of me that feared it might be true. Maybe I would never be interested in another person again. I wasn’t demanding that my future husband fall out of the sky and bump into me on the corner while I was walking to work. (How do you like that visual?)
Simply put, I just wanted to feel. I was looking for a tiny flicker of excitement. I wanted a connection. I needed that giddy stupidity elicited from your junior high school crush. The feeling that would smack you in the face when you’d round the corner, enter the main hallway and make eye contact with your crush. (In my case, my eyes would quickly dart to the ground and I’d scurry away. Sadly at 33, my reaction is remarkably similar) A tightening of the stomach. A quickening of the pulse. Otherwise known as butterflies. I was complaining to my friends that I thought I was broken because I hadn’t felt butterflies…in a very long time. I had begun to believe that the possibility of developing a crush had dissipated with age or had been destroyed by the realities of multiple breakups.
I was quite busy in the beginning of 2014. I met guys. I went on multiple dates. These guys were tall, smart, interesting, and funny with impressive resumes, good teeth and seemed into me. And, in turn, I felt nothing. I would pantomime through introductory text messaging, first date banter and after dinner drinks. But, in the end, zero connection, zero spark and zero butterflies. I’d walk into a restaurant, spot my date, wave and feel as if I were meeting a work colleague.
Then it happened. Butterflies. Nervousness. Actual feelings towards another human being.
And for the first time in a long, I was able to revel in the simplicity of it. I made up excuses to see this guy. And would find ways to talk to him about…nothing in particular. As my close friend explained it, “You love this guy. Not ‘real love’ but ‘Backstreet’s Back Alright’ love. Or ‘Oops I Did It Again’ love.” (Hands down that quote has become my favorite way to describe a crush of all time).
I wasn’t looking for a relationship. (Truth be told, he wasn’t available anyway) I wasn’t remotely ready for anything. But, after a long time with an empty and sad heart, I felt a little spark of something. Something that I could hold close but also keep at an arm’s distance. And, for me, it was a really good start.
There’s a part of me that wanted to tell him. I wanted him to know that in some small way, unbeknownst to him, he helped jump start my heart. (Wait. Is that the name of a pop song?)
Maybe one day, I’ll tell him. Possibly one day, I’ll thank him.
But for now? Butterflies (and this post) will just have to do.
Oh, and since it’s been forever, I made you lovely people a playlist (I know there is Mandy Moore on the playlist. Just listen. Stop complaining. Don’t roll your eyes at me. I can see you. Seriously, if you can’t listen to the whole things skip to “Heart Beats”. You’ll thank me.). Welcome to June, losers: