I like someone. A man. I like a man. Or at least, you know, I think I do.
Crushing on someone is one of my favorite feelings, particularly in the time before anything really happens. Liking someone is the best. It’s kind of the moment I live for. But, of course, with it comes all kinds of other, less fun, feelings.
The first bucket of un-fun is the what-will-happen morass. Part of what makes a crush delicious is it’s uncertainty. But the list of possibilities of how this couldn’t work are long (is he into me, am I into him, is he ready for something, am I ready, are the logistics right, are we compatible - macro and micro, world-view, coffee preferences, sex).
The second bucket is the misery of coming right back up against my own stuff. Am I worthy of this person - or any person? I’m not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not successful enough, not nonchalant enough, not perfect. If he doesn’t choose me then, yes, right, every fear confirmed. The very same internal roller coaster I’ve been on since I liked my first boy when I was four (though one would hope I wasn’t obsessed with being skinny at that age).
The third bucket is how all the ways that he is right for me could also be wrong. What is my thing for critical men? (I know what it is, it’s name is Paul Lavoie). I love them difficult, hard to please, slightly grumpy (because if I can win that person, clearly I’m lovable). This man is exactly my type, a type that has been problematic in the past. Wouldn’t be nice if I liked some sunny, warm, adoring, bouquet-bearing man? Maybe next lifetime.
Liking someone is lovely. But it’s a whole lot easier to not like someone, to move through the world satisfied by small pleasures; the sun on my back, steaming hojicha in an chipped teacup, a meandering novel. When I like someone, I am vulnerable. I am feeling bigger stuff. I’m trying, once again, to navigate my old patterns around love, some of which I understand intellectually, but all of which I feel somatically and seem to be the realest even at the height of it’s absurdity. It's so messy, the moment-to-moment with another person. So many mis-steps, sometimes so hard to hear the sane inner voice (versus the insane one - she's in there, too).
When I talk to him, I light up. When he laughs at my jokes, I know myself to be hilarious. When he listens to my insights, I know myself to be brilliant. When he complements me, I know myself to be beautiful. All that feels elementally good. But that good feeling hinges on his approval, his involvement, his presence, none of which is guaranteed.
Moving through the world with an open heart is painful, that pumping organ ripe for injury. But probably the only way to be alive; vulnerable, awake, rolling with the punches. I’d rather be brave than bored. I’d rather test my mettle, my capacity, my vitality then live in safety.