They asked me how many people I had been in love with.
It was an honest question, and one with a presumed answer larger than zero. Yet, that was my exact answer. Zero.
In my head I cued the pity-party and braced for that confused look and muffled expression. I wasn’t completely disappointed.
It was honest, though. I was speaking my truth, all the while knowing that this truth was not what I should say.
What should I even say? That word, should. What’s up with that?
Not having loved another person, to me, was not a lack of something but rather an abundance. It was an abundance of expectation, presumption, and an uncanny knack for knowing exactly which Jenga piece to pull from the stack to make it all fall down.
There’s definitely something about equating your success with your state of perceived independence to the point that you’ve convinced yourself that your achievements are all contingent upon that state of solitude.
Maybe it was this expectation of success, built on the presumption of independence, that had distanced me from love this whole time. Yet, this idea seemed incomplete. Why did I value success so much. If this success and independence was the goal, then what was this new feeling of yearning?