I’m not much different than most other females who grew up around the same time I did. We all watched the same Disney movies and obsessed over Wesley in Princess Bride. We actively consumed the fairy tales of Princess’ being swept off their feet. Add in some religion, and there was always some illusory man who was suppose to show up and sweep us off our feet.
By the age of twenty-five, if it hasn’t happened yet, the internal worry mixes with the biological clock and things start to get a little weird.
I didn’t start building strong female relationships until about that age. I started to embrace the feminine in myself and with that came a new feminine energy. At times I would think that I was the most “girly” out of the group, even though I considered myself far less “girly” than my cohorts.
I’m certain when I went for a dog, I didn’t care what gender it was, but for the first time in my life I was starting to really make female friends and I am sure that played a role in how everything unfolded.
During this time I was becoming very aware of the emotional pain many women carry with them. It was a suffering that would come from competing with other women more as an unspoken way of being than a logical reaction. I was going out of my way to express appreciation for women, even ones who I interacted with just in passing. It could be as simple as saying “You look fantastic in that shade of blue.” or ” I really love your hair, it looks so soft!”
I could see that women on the daily were not only trying to meet the world with some beauty, but they were trying to convince themselves that they were worthy of love and attention and the most basic way we are taught to seek that out, is by outward expressions of self care.
I knew I wasn’t out there trying to steal anyone’s boyfriend. I was trying to find some loyal female friends while seeking love, and if you want to get a lady’s attention, give her a sincere complement.
When Claddagh came into my life, it wasn’t complements that won her over. In fact it wasn’t complements that kept her around. But while I was trying to figure out how to bring more love into my life via friends, she was sitting right beside me as I hashed things out.
In February of 2009 I received an art commission to paint a mural on the inside of a pump house at a tree farm. For a week, Claddagh and I camped out while I painted the mural. In the evenings I would sit by the fire with a headlamp writing about the various musings I may have had over the day.
Here are my scribbles about “What the fuck the roller coaster of love is”;
- Doesn’t know what love is but aches for it, due to fairy tales and day time drama.
- Meet someone who likes you and you couldn’t care less for as an individual. Sometimes it matters not, for the first timer. It’s the wanting of love so badly that most novices force it based on lame criteria.
- Settle into that “like-ness.” For some this happens faster than others.
- Grow personally or experience partners growth. Get annoyed with everything you previously adored as “quirky.”
- Jump knee deep into the dramatic experience of separating ways and the fucked up boomerang that always brings you back.
- Wrestle with emotions vs. a need to get laid, enduring attitudes turn into pet peeves and the struggle to stay seemingly sane through the process.
- Question life; it’s meanings and what could possibly be next.
- Waste a few months feeling bad for yourself and procrastinating making a big decision.
- Finally settle on something, perhaps the easiest thing….
- And just when you think you are on the money…..
- The Universe says “I’m sorry, actually you are going to do this ____.” Which was your least favorite option from the options you initially had to choose from.
- Just when you resign to your new circumstance, this new, interesting and attractive person comes in and because you haven’t lost all your hormones yet, your body says “HELLO!”
- Knowing that you just experienced “love” and you have a lot to deal with, your mind says, “OH NO!”
- Undoubtedly you spend time with this new stranger and your hormones won’t quit screaming “OH YES! PLEASE, PLEASE!”
- Since you realize we are all animals who are most responsible to responding to our physical instincts,
- Consciousness takes a back seat in decision making
- Cave in and let hands graze nameless places- get high on pheromones.
- Act like sad orphans literally dying to experience affection. Once is never enough.
- Realize that all of a sudden this indulgence and connection produces a a desire to satisfy something primal.
- Intimacy becomes a third party to rugged and animalistic behavior.
- Start feeling things for a stranger while temporarily avoiding the recent void of failure, hoping to be re-filled.
Claddagh sat there as a silent bystander as I purged what could be seen as the worst flow chart for “love” to ever exist. But what do I learn from this when I go back through it with that knowing?
My views on love have been quite askew. Claddagh showed me another way to love, and it wasn’t based off of some unrealistic script that we are fed through entertainment. This is why it hurts so badly. We didn’t follow predictive programming in the unfolding of our friendship. Even up into the minute I had to choose to let her go, I had no idea what I was doing and I was simply hoping for the best for both of us. There was an undeniable trust that we were doing the best we could.
I learned that I need to further listen to my instincts. Love doesn’t really exist in one-sided affairs and one sided affairs have seemed safe. It’s easier to reject than to be rejected. But what does it look like when both parties love? It is harder to walk away, and I have been good at walking away… but I couldn’t walk away from Claddagh. She made me look at the worst parts of myself, and she could have disappeared at any point in time to find a new home, and she didn’t. She pushed through my wreckage.
Thanks to her, I can sift through it, and see more of what she was showing but I was only recording in passing. Thanks to her I can see love outside of that wreckage.