The Beginning of Things

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I don’t do well with the beginning of things. I’m a puddle of anxiety most days, but this puddle is more of a small pond or lake when change or newness is happening to me. Even if it’s good. Even if it’s exciting. Excitement feels like anxiety and vice versa to my body: the fluttery tummy, the surreality, the quick heartbeats.

I’m in a new relationship with someone I’m super duper into. For the first time in my dating life, things feel effortless. Obviously, a portion of this is mostly due to the “honeymoon” period we’re currently in, but it also just feels so different from anything I’ve experienced before. It’s beautiful and terrifying.

I have a wealth of relationship trauma (as I’m sure many of us do), and I realize that since the ex who cheated on me in 2014, I basically start relationships preparing for breakups. This is complicated by the fact that you can’t actually prepare for a breakup—or any shitty thing to happen—but damn, does my brain like to try!

It always starts after I know I really like someone. My mind weaves in and out of worst case scenarios. My fear of abandonment comes in like the tide—little waves at first, then big, heavy, unbreatheable waves. I try to stay grounded. I try to feel worthy of goodness. I try, I try, I try. And it’s exhausting.

This is why those women who live to 100+ who are single have lived so long. The anxiety of a new relationship is viscous.

But love means more to me than anything in this world. Not just romantic love, of course, love-love. All love. So I keep trying. I fall in love so easily. And I guess that’s an enviable trait. But it’s hard. It’s hard for my brain to keep up with my heart and vice versa. It’s hard to love so hard. But I keep doing it, because I don’t know another way to live.

Fuck a career. Fuck money. Fuck capitalism. Fuck productivity. I know we need these things to live (duh), but they have never been my focal point. My forever goal has been to be in love and for that person to be in love with me back. And for it to stay. I want a staying love. I want a forever love. I want a love that I can rest into, be energized by, and feel at home.

If you have that, you’re lucky. It’s all I want in life, really. And I might have that now, but it’s too early to tell. And it’s lovely and terrifying.