For the longest time I had decided I didn’t want to be with anybody because I didn’t think I could love anybody more than I loved the world, and that would be unfair to anybody because she would always be in second place. Relationships seemed more work than they are worth, and I hardly have time for myself, much less anybody else. I thought it was a cop-out to seek someone to share life with, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share mine with anybody. I wanted my life to myself. I didn’t want to have to consider anybody in any of my life decisions, I wanted to be free to sail the seas, to migrate out of an old self whenever I wanted to, to be lost at will.
Then, she came along. It turns out there is someone who loves me enough to accept second place, yet through her acceptance and generosity I discovered I could love a person more than I love the world. That it doesn’t have to be a binary choice: paradoxically in this multidimensionality I now love the world more, precisely because of her existence.
Some time ago, I wrote this on Facebook:
When we try to love somebody, we are attempting to love an entire alternate universe — an intersection of timelines, decisions, genealogy,genetics, customs, evolution, luck, stories, love, wounds, courage — that is what it means to love a person, to love her in her entirety, everything she was, is and will become, that her being is precious because she can only be who she is in the precise way a person is shaped to be by the relentless forces of nature. Love is being able to hold all of that awe and awareness in the presence of that person. What are the odds?
This string of thoughts didn’t arise out of a deep meditative contemplation, but while I was simply looking at her. I now know what it is like to love a person so much that I am thankful for the millions of years of evolution and stories that had to take place in order for someone like her to exist.
One of the first times we hung out as friends, she made me paint clouds. It seemed innocuous, except I can’t draw or paint to save my life, but I tried painting them anyway, just because she wanted me to. That day, I had felt like a kid again, which is a huge deal for someone who had not much of a childhood. She made me aware of this lightness in me without even trying, just by being merely herself. I am used to feeling a perpetual heaviness since I developed cognitive awareness, so I didn’t know what to do.
This was a theme that would continue to emerge since. It is one thing to transform, to grow, to mature, another thing altogether to discover an entirely new dimension of myself. There were plenty of times I didn’t know what to do with these feelings or with her. I am so good at micro-analysing that I don’t get confused much these days, except when it comes to her. I break things down into minute pieces, whether is it for my work or for my personal life. I have had written long letters to people telling them in excruciating detail how I had felt. Yet with her, I started to find things inexplicable, to stop defining feelings with words, to just stare blankly at her in wonder. It is a very paradoxical feeling, because on one hand I feel like I am being regressed to an infant, on the other hand I feel a sense of timelessness, the awareness I am in a dimension that is beyond language and material.
Through her, I am knowing myself. Through my connection with her, I feel more connected to this world. I love the world more, because this world has her.
I have been wanting to write about her for a while, but I hesitated, as if I was afraid to jinx it, that I would anger the heavens if I flaunted the gifts generously given to me, or if it was too personal.
But I cannot be someone who doesn’t hesitate to share my darkness like an open book, and yet develop this fear of holding too much light. I am emboldened by these beautiful letters my friend Lucian writes for his wife. So many moments in the past decade I had been moved by those words, that a love like his exists.
How can I not write about something so profoundly transformative for me? This has seeped into everything I do, the being I am, my interactions with people, and it has shifted my entire world view. I can only wish that I will have the capacity to continue writing these for her, that in time to come, I will look back at these words, that I could choose to honour a love like ours in a mode of expression I hold so dearly, even though there are no words to do her justice.