A year ago today I woke an unbeliever. Sure, I believed in love, but I viewed it as the culmination of a series of choices. It was a systematic thing. A person loved because he or she chose to love and that love was based on similar worldviews, attraction, personality and most importantly commitment. The butterflies always fade so, at the end of the day, there must be more than lust and attraction as the ties that bind together a relationship. I thought anything else was an illusion. I lived in a black and white world. There was committed love and passionate lust. I didn’t allow that there might be something else… an other, a gray area where science and reason ceased to exist.
I scoffed at the romantics, the ones who told tales of love at first sight. The idea of “falling” in love was as foreign to me as mobile phones would have been to the Knights of the Round Table—simply unfathomable. One didn’t just fall, and people who said they had were just confusing lust and love. Soulmates were a myth; compatibly was truth.
I didn’t believe love could show up in a garden, that it could take one so completely by surprise, that it could develop, blossom and grow so rapidly that a lifetime could be lived twenty hours. Now, three hundred and sixty-five days later, I believe. I believe in past lives or genetic memory or something that’s within that recognizes its counterpart on sight.
I believe what happened to me is rare. I don’t believe it will happen again. The soul, after all, can only take so much. And that makes me even more thankful that it happened. I think of all the people who will never know such joy, such elation and, inversely, such despair.
A year ago today I had never had my heart broken. But I believe I’m fortunate, lucky or blessed to have experienced a depth of feeling so great that, when I realized the utter hopelessness of a future together, the actual physical pain that followed was unlike anything I could have imagined. To attempt to describe it seems futile, but I attempted to once.
I will go through the motions today, appearing to work, perhaps even getting a few things done. But in reality I’m a ghost. Today I replay my memories. Like a grainy black and white film, they flicker across the screen of my mind. I still need to finish telling my story, but that won’t be today. February eleventh will forever be my silent anniversary, one no one knows about but you who read my innermost thoughts. Today I recognize the day I became a believer. Today I acknowledge my awakening.