I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love. And I don’t think that love is here, in this expensive suite, in this lovely hotel in Paris. ~ Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
I’ve always considered my ability to compartmentalize and emotionally disengage one of my strengths. It has certainly helped me deal with some devastating situations my life.
I am far more Piscean than I care to admit (I’m actually not admitting it right now, it’s the internet balls talking and I am therefore absolved from all accountability). The stereotype that I have rejected for all of my 31 years is one of unrealistic expectations, impossible emotions, and magic. I have vehemently argued that my feet are firmly planted on the ground and my head is screwed on the right way. For the most part, that’s true. I wear my cynicism and humor on my sleeve, but I can’t possibly put my heart there because that’s just asking for trouble. (I know, I know…bitterness is unattractive. Work with me here). I have embraced practicality as some kind of refuge from what I am at my core – a dreamer in search of fairytale love. There, I said it.
I can pinpoint the exact moment that my heart was broken. I was 21 years old and I was at the international arrivals gate at Tullamarine airport in Melbourne, Australia. The story leading up to that moment is too painful, so I’ll cut to the chase: I waited at that arrivals gate until the cleaners started polishing the floors. I saw the pity in their eyes. My heart turned to stone that day. It seems dramatic, but that’s what it felt like. I set that moment in a block of concrete, and threw it into a river. And the lump that I have in my throat right now is purely coincidental. It’s probably allergies.
I can honestly say that year was one of the worst of my life. I didn’t just sink into depression, I plummeted. I was an emotional train wreck. I filled the emptiness with more emptiness. I kept the soul-shattering disappointment of that day at the airport pushed so far down, I became cold and hard. Well, I pretended to be cold and hard (you’re still supposed to be working with me, remember?). Actually I have spent the last ten years absolutely terrified at the thought of ever having to go through that again. I am strong, but I will admit that there were times when it almost destroyed me.
For a decade, I was comfortable accepting the idea that I would never again find what I once had. I’m not comfortable with it anymore. The question is how should you cross a raging river? Do you do what’s expected and walk across the bridge you know is safe? Or do you hold your nose, jump in and trust that wherever the torrents take you is where you were supposed to go in the first place?
It’s a good thing Pisceans love the water.