In You I Taste God. You’ll Be a Lover in My Bed and a Gun to My Head. We Must Never Be Apart

I always thought this was Milla Jovovich

Love should all consuming. It should move mountains. You should bleed for it. You should suffer for it. Great love can lead you to paradise, and it can destroy you. It is the only thing in life that matters. It is what we should all strive for. To live a life without love is to live an unfulfilled one.

At least that is the concept you grow up with when you are a reader. Books tell of marvelous love stories. The kind of love that requires a Faustian pact, a sacrifice.

Anna Karenina throwing herself in front of a train. Madame Bovary eating arsenic. Heathcliff starving himself to death. Quasimodo clutching the bones of Esmeralda. Tragic as they may be, they all experienced “it”. And like Icarus they flew too close to the sun. The gods grew jealous and they had to be humbled.

I grew up with these stories. I was by no means raised like this. My mother is an ardent feminist. But because of them I guess you can say I look at love through a dramatic lens. “I want passion, I want fireworks”. But not in an entirely unhealthy way. I crave stability, and a healthy relationship is steady. So a dramatic love, but like keep it simple. Yeah I'm a total Taurus...

I’ve only experienced that kind of love once, and I’m scared of experiencing it again, but I would be remiss to say I can live without it. If I had to I would have unfulfilled my life’s only desire. Yeah it's probably lame. Why not want to be rich? Why not want to be famous? I don't know. Too much TMC as a child? 

I also blame it on having a great first love. Being a teenager in suburban America is like being in Euphoria High. No rules. Just anarchy. Everyone should be so lucky. I met my first boyfriend when I was 13 years old. It was at a party at my friend Johnny's house. I remember I left early with someone else. Sam was cringey, and I can never watch the Mexican ever again. But two year's later it was Christmas break and my bestie Fallon and I ended up taking a bunch of acid so I can't remember the night clearly, but I do remember staring at Christmas lights and thinking he was the funniest person in the world. I had never talked to him before then. He was Mr. Cool. Every girl wanted him, every guy wanted to be him, but no one ever had the balls to speak to him. When you're on acid you don't care.

A few nights later on NYE eve it happened again, this time shrooms, and that night I ended up going home with him. I was wearing my best friend Katy's Lambie pajamas, and we stayed up all night listening to trip hop records (literal records) and talking. The little white lambs glowing in the black light. The next night I was sad when I didn't see him. I later found out it was two months before he could pry my number from my best friend Jacob, who was in love with me. After that we were inseparable. In two years I don't think we ever went more than 4 hours apart. It was monumental. He was the only guy I ever dated that could match my sexual appetite, and believe me that’s important (as I later found out). I have never been that protected, that cherished, or that revered. "Is it wrong to be swallowed whole, to disappear in him, to give to him the priceless piece of giving up control?", but you're young and you don't know better.

Anything after that was going to be a let down. You can't be loved like that and not expect it from everyone thereafter. I guess I grew up coddled. My group of close friends in high school were 10 guys, and they always looked out for me (like 10 Fezs). My boyfriend was an extension of that. I used to think I was the luckiest girl. Most girls have terrible stories, awful experiences with men, and I never had that because the men in my life took care of me. Imagine your first and only everything being with someone you love, someone who treated you like you were made of glass, like you were the most important thing in his world? I know now it was a curse.

"But for the grace of love I know the meaning of...”

It was 7 years before I could date again. As you can see I don't fall out of love (or fall into it) easily. Arrested development is really bad for you. Worse that I chose to do it in France. I had to learn real quick that men suck. And as an assertive, strong American female you might as well come to terms with joining a convent and marrying yourself to Jesus (author's note my grandmother studied to be a nun and gave it all up when she met my grandfather so...#cursed). Or drink mercury and end it all. Or be really dramatic and just jump in the Seine.

But then "it" happened. Not with a French, but with a Brit. It was like 4 years of living on an alien planet, never being understood, looked at like everything I did or said was crazy, of being alone. I had given up. But then I met this person, and I spoke, and he could hear me, he could understand me, he saw me. Most importantly he loved "me".

I remember a weekend together in October. We were watching Notting Hill on my pink sofa, and I was picking at him (like a monkey) when this huge wave of emotion came over me. I'd never felt anything like it before or since. I still can't explain the feeling. I realized how in love with him I was, how exposed I was, and how much power he had. I had lost control to him. 
I realized that he was now a thing that I could lose, and I didn’t know how to handle that. I had never cared about anything that deeply before. I went into the bathroom and sat on the floor crying. Later that night I killed it. 

He told me later, when we broke up, that was the night his feelings changed. That I could hurt him like that made him see me differently and he closed himself off. Had I been better equipped to handle those feelings I wonder if  

I self sabotage (a lot), so I understand my faults. I don’t get emotionally attached easily, and at the first sign of vulnerability I push people away. Usually I’m not wrong, but I have looked back on certain situations and realized my mistake. I spent two years pushing someone, away and then he went away, and I was like ‘what just happened?’. Billy Corgan playing in my head... To be fair to Christian I pushed him hard, and he never gave up. Until one day he did.

I mean there’s a lot more that contributed to the situation. You can read that with your eyes in the other post, so I don't take all of the blame. I did the best that I could. "Pull down the heavens just to please you, appease you", but it doesn't always work.

My sense of love may be Charles Swann-esque, I can admit to that, but that idea doesn't include perfection. I abscond perfection. One of my favorite concepts is "perfectly imperfect". It's a shame he didn't adhere to that theory as well.

Part of my acceptance is a strong sense of realism. Am I a terrible romantic? Yes, but I try to keep myself firmly planted in reality. And I like being imperfect. It makes me unique. While I may not be on a journey to perfection, I do hold myself accountable. Self reflection and accountability are apart of being a grownup. You have to look at yourself (abandonment issues, anxious attachment style), find cause and effect, figure out what you did wrong, and how you’re going to change those behaviors going forward. Don't get me wrong, I fight against my bad behaviors everyday, and I can't completely obliterate them.

But if you don’t reflect, or at least try, then you’re just an asshole, because growing is apart of life. No one is perfect or impervious to critique. If you think you are, you’re not doing the work that is required to be a better human. We all have to live in this world together, the least we can do is try not be assholes. All we can do is try. 

Accountability is fun!  

Call it reflections on a birthday. "She is Venus, she is Mars, she is tragic, she's electric in the struggle of". There are worse things to be addicted to. Although I really hate the correlation between drugs and love because a once in a lifetime hit isn't quite the same. I understand the brain chemistry but
. My Byron-esque love is. There but for the grace of God I can experience it again. Stupid or crazy like a fox? You decide.

"The nightmare rides on. What I fear is lost here". Paris is a funny little place... Any time I am asked by some bright eyed girl I wonder how anyone can have Paris Syndrome. Have you never seen a Richard Curtis film? Have you just never opened a book? Forget history, did you read Les Miserables and think it was all singing and human resilience? Plot twist, there weren't any musical numbers in the book.

For once in Paris' thousand years the fates smiled on the French and gave them fabulous PR, but

I've always been a Maddy

The next time you feel completely overwhelmed or stressed, first stop comparing yourself to all of those Emilys. We all get emo (clearly), but you gotta ta. I never compare myself to anyone else. Why? "There's a 1000 yous, there's only one of me". The only opinion that matters to me is my own. I'm always sure of myself. You havSure life screws you over every now and again. My problem is I’m stubborn and I’m always looking for a fight. It’s kind of hard to give up and surrender when you don’t know how.