you could say it’s my instinct, yes, I still have one. there’s no time to second guess it. yes there are things that i’m still so afraid of … but my courage is roaring like the sound of the sun.
here it is, what seems like the requisite “airplane ride home from new orleans processing life” post.
recently, i’ve had a few separate things happen which i described later as “not knowing how much i needed that until it was given to me.” and i’m sure this stems from working through my minor issues around ‘feeling’ and ‘needing.’ the thing about these silly issues that that there are two levels to actually work through. first, there is actually allowing and admitting to myself the feeling or need. second, the conversation about or expression of those needs and feelings with whom you hope to validate or fulfill them. and all of this plays out practically in my life as me trying to stop my ‘play it cool’ (ie: have no needs) attitude with people i care about.
that’s where getting something i didn’t even know i needed comes in this time: the initiation of a tricky, feelingful conversation that needed to be had (that i never would have actually had if not for his initiation). mostly because it was a conversation about a need (that i wasn’t allowing my self to need).
anyway, in this feeling centric conversation i reacted with my typical mode of operation: play it cool. i didn’t respond, in the conversation. i reacted. without conscious choice in the matter (i even thought, ugh, why am i saying this?). but in this conversation, my ‘play it cool’ flat out lie (to myself and him) was not taken at face value. it was actually met with understanding. and then i was called on my bullshit.
he didn’t take ‘play it cool’ as an option. and he called me on my bullshit in a perfectly kind and understanding way that actually allowed me to open up. and discuss my feelings honestly. and he cared enough to get to that point. he didn’t take the easy way out, initiate a conversation about needs and feelings because he knew it was the right thing- but then jump on any chance to end the conversation before having to discuss them.
and this conversation keeps replaying in my mind because every single thing about it represents exactly what drives me to do and love all this relationship stuff that i write and discuss. stress and highlight the importance of talking. of actually communicating in relationships.
we just get so scared that our needs won’t be met, or that someone won’t want to try and meet them, that we stop asking. we stop talking about them. because if we’re not asking for anything, we can’t be let down. and that’s precisely where i was.
but in this conversation he not only allowed me to have feelings, and discuss them, he demanded it of me.
i guess that’s the thing. when you care about someone it’s not actually hard to talk about the tricky stuff because you care about their needs, and feelings.
it all seems so simple.
and overwhelming, actually. i am overwhelmed with ‘how to process this’ thoughts about the validation i felt after the interaction. and it’s weird. sometimes getting what you want is scary. and when things happen exactly how you need them to it can be as emotional as if they went disastrously. validation is an intense and powerful thing. to give, and receive. and when someone close is able to validate a need that you didn’t even know you had, you can’t help but to be a little overwhelmed… and thankful.
so this particular love letter to new orleans is in fact a note of thanks to someone in particular. someone who had the difficult conversation. because it was the right thing for me. not the easy thing for him. to someone who most certainly has no clue how much he has inadvertently taught me about myself and relationships in general. who seems to, oddly, know more about some things that i need than my overly reflective and analytical self.
all done with simple, and genuine acts.
so as i ponder more and more what this all means in life. and why things are the way they are, i say thank you one more time. for demanding that i be true to my feelings. and being willing to deal with whatever that meant. for validation, kindness, authenticity, and care.
yes, there are still things i’m still quite sure of. i love you this hour, this hour today. and heaven will smell like the airport. but I may never get there to prove it, so let’s not waste our time thinking how that ain’t fair.
i’m an animal, you’re an animal too.