Monday night ~10 pm. I am laying in bed watching the closing credits of “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Part 2”. It’s a chick flick, girl-power, aimed at teens and young women. I know this. But I had rented it off of ITunes the night before to watching on my IPhone while at the gym. Now, I am finishing it up. The Ukrainian is in the South Bay at a technical business conference. The dogs are asleep on the floor next to the bed on their own beds.
I am crying a bit.
Why? Because in one of the final scenes, the friends of the Alexis Bledsel character ask her why she won’t take back the beautiful, kind man who loves her so.
“Because he broke my heart!!!” she cries out, sobbing uncontrollably afterwards.
Because he broke my heart. How often have we each felt like that? Once? Twice? A thousand times over and over again? Or maybe just the once or twice and then never again. Because we are too afraid to love.
That was me barely 2 years ago. It had become an annual birthday occurrence 3 years running to be truthful. Oh, sometimes it there were more pieces on the floor than others. But the pain. Oh the pain. Even the little breaks were just enough to crack open all the other little pieces that had been shattered before.
By the time I met the Ukrainian, I was done. I wanted a boyfriend to have fun with, but I had just finally sealed myself all up to not need anybody but myself. Love? I could sort of say the word, I could just about almost but not quite mean it. But feel it? Feel the tenderness and the care and devotion for another or that s/he has for you. No. I felt smothered. I wanted to be free. I didn’t even know the way into being a heartfelt, warm human being again.
Repeatedly, I told the Ukrainian “Love needs room to grow” whenever I thought we were spending too much time together or he was being too affectionate. I didn’t want to fall in love.
You might think that because the Ukrainian and I got married and we have lots of fun and I finally let myself love him and he has always loved me that all is fine and good now. But no, you would be very mistaken to think that. Frequently, I still find myself shutting him out. Sometimes, I immerse myself in my work or in CWTV marathons. Other times, I become overly obsessed about the tidiness of our house or in the status updates of all my friends on Facebook. Sometimes, I simply write in this blog, when I should be spending time with him.
But often, I have no choice. The Ukrainian is finishing the last term of his schooling and he is working a full-time job. His time at home is limited. My old call to “Love needs room to grow,” does not get spoken so often anymore. If anything, I long for his presence, his smile, his witty humor unlike any I’ve ever encountered before. And, in the uncertain economic times, I truly do think to myself, “It will all be ok, because I have the Ukrainian.
Sometimes though, I just don’t show him enough of these thoughts. I don’t act how I feel. I am afraid to fully let down the walls that would keep my heart from getting completely shattered if anything were ever happen to him.
And then, Monday night, I watched Alexis Bledsel cry, “Because he broke my heart!” over why she couldn’t let herself love a particular man again.
But the Ukrainian hasn’t broken my heart. If anything, he does all that he can so that it will heal.
And, and minutes later, after the Alexis Bledsel scene, the phone rang. It was the Ukrainian.
“Where are you?” I asked, hoping it would only be another few minutes before I saw him again.
“I am driving on 101 by Menlo Park. I will be home in 40 minutes.”
“So late?” I asked, disappointed that I’d most likely be sleeping by then.
“Yes, but I have the car until tomorrow. Do you want to go Ocean Beach?”
“Tomorrow? When I have to work. Or do you mean tonight at midnight?”
“Tonight, he replied. “Tonight at midnight, let’s go to Ocean Beach.”
“Ok,” I responded after carefully weighing how tired I’d feel the next day at work after going to the beach in the middle of the night and then throwing all the weight off. For really, what did it do besides get in the way?
“Really? You want to go to Ocean Beach?” The Ukrainian was used to me not wanting to let go of any control in my life ever…my sleeping time…my work productivity…anything. Little did he know how spontaneous I was before I had lost myself to heartbreak.
“Really. I want to go to Ocean Beach with you at midnight.”
We didn’t go to Ocean Beach that night. Indeed, I had fallen asleep by the time he arrived home despite my best abilities not to. And he told me in the morning he’d been up until 3 studying. But it didn’t matter. In our dreams, we were at the beach. And in reality, I momentarily gave up control and my fear of what will happen if I fully let myself love my husband.
I just hope the beach is still there at another midnight. That fear, I still can not yet lose.