People often ask me, how I knew that I was in love. Even though you never held my hand or caressed my neck nor whisper honeyed words into my ears.
I still knew.
I still knew that it was you.
I told them that it was the littlest things that would suffice. When you would walk into the room and you would smile at your friends and then look around to catch my eye and warmth would emanate through the dust particles between us, only to make everything more pure. The way the sound of your laugh was more than just a laugh and a sweet melody like Mozart to my ears. How your smile was my secret hiding place on days when I felt the weight of my own thoughts on my shoulders. How our little conversations were the music that put me to sleep and how they were the first remembrances in my mind at 7 AM when I woke. That’s when I contemplated as to why people phrase it “falling in love” because you were a manifestation that I rose to every single day. But that part comes later, because only if I knew. Only if I had payed enough attention to the red traffic signal instead of getting consumed in the joys of the green one. If only I would have shut the windows a bit tighter to prevent the rain from seeping through, onto my wooden floors, turning them a darker shade. If only I would have blown out the candle a bit earlier.
But those few moments with you were bountiful and full of life- endless exuberant sunlit days of a young girl, of a one-sided kind of love. The rush of adrenaline by just thinking of you. The unforced and natural smile on my face and the irregular thudding of my heart against my cage. If it wasn’t for all these, then would true love be? I used to think that maybe one day, I would wake up and see your face next to mine, how your caramel hair tousled callously around your temples. How I would know how you like your coffee on Sunday mornings and how we would bicker about the most foolish things, only to come apologizing on each other’s doors in the evening. Ever wondered if “maybes” just remain “maybes” or turn out to be “never”?
I was unsure as to what possibly went wrong. What shift had taken place in the cosmos, where was the faultline under my earth, that I had to reassemble myself from the doom of unrequited love. And that’s when I realized why they call it “falling in love”. It’s a sudden dive into the depths of the oceans where nothing but your feelings and affection matter. Everything else becomes unimportant and secondary. You lose grasp of your own belongings and your own-self whilst in search of the rare pearl.
And how foolish was I and still am to let those memories of you make my bones warm on a winter’s day.
Living in this modern day and age and being the only one among your group of friends who has not experienced “falling in love” can be pressurizing. Pressurizing because you constantly feel like the world is rushing you into wanting to experience all these rampant emotions when you aren’t even ready. And also probably because you just not have been able to find that one person who you can just naturally connect with on numerous levels. It can be overwhelming to feel that distant in a crowd of people who are in the dating game or are seeing people and are constantly updating their love lives on social media and are gushing about the little arguments they have and whatnot. When you have nothing and nobody to relate to.
But you are not alone. Believe it or not, there are millions like you out there. “Falling in love” can often get twisted into a lot of different things like getting intensely attached with someone or having periods of infatuation and crushes on that cute guy in the corridor or at work. But it isn’t. Love-in whatever sense, takes time. It is something that build ups and strengthens itself. Like a new building being built on a strong foundation with strong materials which will survive in any atmosphere and weather that is to come. You build an emotional connection. You slowly let yourself become vulnerable and completely naked- in the literal and figurative sense. You share things and experiences and stories that you would normally hesitate to open up about. You let all your insecurities show and for the first time you let your guard down because this person does not make complete you, but this person helps you complete yourself. And finding this kind of an energy in someone and building a life out of all the moments that you two spend together does not happen overnight. It takes time, courage and patience. And you completely have your right to make this decision and choice for yourself. You should not feel obligated to experience the process and the feeling at a certain age. There is so much more that you can do in the meantime. You can reinvent yourself and find your muse in something that you are passionate about. You can earn some money and travel. Or you can just simply meet new people and do that one thing that has always been out of your comfort zone. Fall in love with yourself instead of wasting your time and energy and something that is only capable of being fictitious. Wait for something that will be real. Have patience because what’s the worst that can happen?