I have had a fair amount of love affairs. Perhaps I shouldn’t so callously call them “love affairs”, they were relationships.

We spent no time questioning the “yeses” and we basked in the ability to forget how to say “no”. It felt like there were only two of us against the rest of the world. That fire in the gut sort of magic where you feel nauseous as soon as you get in your car when having to leave.

Simplicity in grocery shopping for the first time you’ll cook together intertwining with the slow dances to Marvin Gaye sort of moments while the water boils over the edge of the pot.

You just don’t question anything. You go forward. There is no map, there is no destination even – it’s just there. It’s just a collection of moments that fit for a small while.

And then it breaks.

The nights get shorter and the couch grows bigger as the distance between your mingling arm hairs part. Suddenly your car becomes your escape, listening to your favorite song 12 times in a row just to justify not walking in the door and having to face the reality of predictable nights, pecks over kisses, dirty dishes and fights about who cleans more. Suddenly everything looks overcast, the shower stays on longer, the clothes go on faster after, and the once-intense-heat smothering your pillows has asked for a rain check. This is where you both break, sometimes one more than the other. Sometimes the breakage happens once you close the door for good.

Years later, you look back and wonder if you just took it all for granted. The countless mornings you were never too sleepy to tell me that you loved me, or the endless hours we cried and laughed within the same breaths while forgetting what we were even finding ourselves apologizing for.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I shared these moments with some really wonderful people. People who didn’t deserve to be left. People who were vulnerable and had to pick up the pieces after.

I would like to think that my ability to sit and articulate my apologies and what they’re for, means that I’ve somehow grown a bit. Perhaps I will even gain the capacity to fully love one day. I keep taking steps towards figuring out where my map is leading to these days. I keep coming up lost. The pressures of age, starting over, beginning new chapters in a book that already feels half over…it’s what makes me take longer baths, write it out, and feel it over&over&over because feelings are real and deserve to be felt, even if it hurts & confuses.