You’re not hopeless or helpless
And I hate to sound cold
But you don’t know what love is…
You just do as you’re told.
– The White Stripes, You Don’t Know What Love Is
It’s a very bad idea to fall in love right when the weather changes.
The air smells different, the world looks different, and there’s a chill and a crispness that surrounds you. Things are getting brighter, either with leaves or flowers or the sun. Your skin tingles. Everyone around you is coming home, leaving, or changing their schedules. They’re all different and they look different. New haircuts. New clothes. New music, new TV, new books and new… everything.
When the season changes, the world essentially changes, too. So when you fall in love with someone at the beginning of a new season, it feels like they’ve changed your life when in truth they were just… there.
You probably shouldn’t fall in love with someone when you’re about to embark on a new career or major change in your life, either. You’ll end up giving that person credit for all the new luck, or you’ll blame them when things turn sour. “You’ve changed. You’re not good for me,” you’ll say after a bad day of work. Tragedies are the absolute worst place to meet people, especially if they’ll be around you for a long time after that. We all need disaster buddies, but don’t mistake the safety of the moment for a permanent attribute.
My ex-boyfriend and I had our first real conversation – the kind where you share secrets and ask questions and bond – on 9/11. I don’t remember who suggested climbing on the roof of our school, but that’s what the two of us did after everyone else went to bed. There was an unspoken rule to not talk about 9/11 at all. We tried to think of as many funny, embarrassing stories as possible to keep the mood light.
Regent’s College was bombed to the ground by the Nazis during World War II, so when I sat up there and looked at the sky, I felt a strange sense of security. I knew that eventually things would be okay. They would be different, but they would adjust and move on. What else can you do? You just have to rebuild. And there I was, in this awesome place that had seen fire and bombs and Nazis, for pete’s sake, and now it was rebuilt and covered with ivy and I was sitting with this new fascinating person and almost feeling all right.
That’s one reason why I loved him so, so much… in my mind, he’s attached to this moment that I discovered strength and security and sagaciousness within myself that I had never felt before. I used to think it was all because of him – that he made me stronger or safer or rational. I know now that’s not true.
I fell in love with him in the fall. That’s the same time I fell in love with TSGoC. There were big changes in the air, there were big changes in my life, and I needed a shoulder to cry on for one reason or another. The fall will always make me miss them and I find myself searching for someone new.
Now that I’m approaching autumn on my own, I’m realizing how much credit I gave them for things they had nothing to do with. Maybe I’ve just been going about this all wrong. Maybe it wasn’t even love to begin with.
After all, they certainly did not love me.
3 responses to “A Total Temperate Climate Shift of the Heart”
Empowering words that render one speechless.
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