I’m always amazed by the times in our lives that bring us total clarity, if only for a moment. Those brief seconds of seeing the world, and ourselves, in complete truth and honesty. When the lies we tell ourselves, if only out of protection, fall away and the naked, honest truth stands before us.
I had one such moment yesterday, parked overlooking a hilly expanse in southeastern Arizona. The warmth of the sun, a cool breeze and a feeling of safety lulled me into a state of complete contentment. I felt myself drifting off to sleep when a thought came to me, totally unbidden and unexpected, that hit me like a truck. It was the realization of how I felt about the person in the seat next to me, whose steady breathing and solid presence had produced such a feeling of safety and contentment. That moment of utter clarity made me realize I had been lying to myself for a while now, thinking I could play with fire and not get burned. The realization that I feel for him far more than he feels for me was brutal. I’ve been fighting hard to keep my heart in check and thought it was. But in that moment of sunshine and sleepiness, I realized my heart is involved far more than it should be.
In a way, I don’t want my heart involved. The impossibility of a relationship anything more than what we already have is undeniable. If I’m being totally honest, I don’t want to feel this way. Not because he isn’t an amazing man who means a great deal to me, but because I’m the only one feeling this way. And when you are trying to hide your true feelings from someone, it creates complications and struggles in a relationship that only the person who is doing the hiding can understand. No, I’m not usually this cranky or moody…I’m just trying with everything inside of me to keep from confessing that my heart is tangled up in you and that is why I am sometimes so difficult. And I try desperately not to let my heart get hopeful and linger in “what ifs.”
I don’t want to lose what we have. This man makes me laugh. He supports me and pushes me to be better. He calms me down when I get upset and makes my heart smile. We have long, stimulating conversations that last for hours and can also act like kids on a sugar high. Just being with him is balm to my nerves and emotions. He’s changed me in a million little ways- opened my eyes and made me reconnect with the girl I used to be before adult responsibilities became so heavy. He makes me happy and I know that is a rare gift. I know that the friendship we have doesn’t come along every day and is something we are both willing to fight for.
And that will always have to be enough.