My mother always warned me about never loving too hard. She would tell me to always remember my own name. You can love someone, but you can never love someone too fiercely…because what will happen when they leave the room? Will the air go out with them?
I erase every imperfection that I have ever had in my past relationships. At night when I dream, I rewind every minute, of everyday, so I can start at the beginning. This time I can be perfect. I can take back what I’ve done and every word that I’ve ever said so that this time, perhaps, if I’m lucky, the feelings I have will be requited.
I take it back to the very start to the moment that I meet them.
Like one night, I was sitting under some dim lights in a club in the early hours of the morning. I had my hair tied up and my coat around my shoulders. I was approached by someone who would look good in any light and it was the beginning of a love affair that wasn’t so grand. In between kisses, several weeks later, he told me that he liked me better with my hair down. Now when I dream of meeting him that night, I always dream of sitting down under the same dim lights with my hair out. I regret every single moment that it wasn’t that way, like if I left it down for one day longer, he would have loved me back.
I remember when he touched my skin, he whispered to me how much he loved it. It was so soft and he loved it. Now when someone asks me what I like about myself, I tell them about how soft my skin is. If it was so deserving to be loved by him, then it must be perfect. My skin is what I like most about myself. I always thought I was funny and I always thought I was kind, but ever since he touched me, the surface has been all that mattered.
The first time we sat together on his bed, we listened to the soundtrack of Drive and his eyes lit up when he talked about all the music he’s collected since he was 18. I remember that I had never heard much of what he was talking about, but that night, I went home and everything he showed me suddenly became my favourite song. I knew the songs off by heart even when there were no lyrics. I could hum the beat and I could tell you when the albums were released, because from that day, it was my favourite kind of tune to listen to. I had a favourite band before this, but it sounded nothing like this, so I never shared the albums that I liked before I met him.
And when he left me, I wasn’t surprised. I never saw him with a girl like me. Even in my dreams, I never dreamt of him with me, because every detail of myself couldn’t live up to what I dreamt I should’ve been. So I take myself back to the beginning to when we first met, and I want us to meet just one last time. I want him to feel what I felt and this time, I want to feel nothing. I want to be him and this time he can be me.
I forgot everything about myself. I willingly gave it all up as if one little detail would make it all okay, as if one second can make up for a kaleidoscope of wrongs. If I wore my make up differently, he would have loved me. If I changed my hair, he would have loved me. If I was just not me, he would have loved me. That was the solution. If I was anyone but myself this relationship could have worked.
Now when I think about it, how long would that relationship have lasted anyway? If I had gotten what I wanted so desperately where could I even go from there? From the very first moments that this “relationship” formed, it would be on the weakest grounds that could be taken down by the slightest breath. If I were to wake up from a car accident one day with complete amnesia, I would have to find a way to remember the person that I carefully crafted in this relationship, because if I woke up as myself that would be the end. Goodbye. You don’t love me anymore.
I like the wrong things and I don’t laugh at the same things you do. I am myself and myself is not enough in this scenario, yet I’ve committed myself fully to making something impossible work. The flaw is not me–the flaw would be us, and if I changed myself to make this work, I would be putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound.
I thank god that some of my past relationships never worked. I think back of them so poetically; I build dreams about how every detail could be perfect only if everything was different. My fault is that I am a builder of the most delusional fantasies.
My fault is not that I’m not good enough to be loved. I do not need the validation of someone to tell me who I am. I don’t need to hold someone’s hand to feel less lonely. The air won’t leave the room when someone leaves me. I can close the door and I will be okay. There is no detail of myself that needs to change so that I can find my way into someone else’s heart.
I will always remember my mother’s advice. I will love fiercely, and I will love greatly, because it’s never a crime to love, but I will never let a love consume my name again. I will always be my own grand love affair before I am anyone else’s girl.