A long time ago—20 years or so—when you asked me what CD/record I’d take with me if I were stuck on a deserted island for a year, I always answered with Paul Simon’s Negotiations and Love Songs.
Mostly because I felt like it had a little bit of everything on it therefore it could always match my changing moods, whether I felt happy, mellow, inspired or low.
I loved that record.
On beautiful days I’d hop in my car, roll my windows down, blast that tape, drive to the beach and write all day long. Then I’d drive home letting the wind tangle my hair while feeling nostalgic for nothing in particular, as if I knew that future me would look back on those days and remember that feeling. Which I’m doing right now.
I felt like I should share this with you because you are like my favorite album combined with the wind in my hair on a sunny, perfect-weather day. You inspire me, you read me and you make me smile all while still feeling a grand sense of freedom.
This is why I love you.
This is why I don’t want things to change between us. I don’t want to date you. I know this. You know this.
I don’t want to date you because I never, ever want to break up with you.
I just want to love you the way I love you in a completely free and easy way. I want to let you love or lust or want whomever you want. I do not need you to be mine. I do not need to “keep” you. I do not need to be jealous. Occasionally you kiss me with uncensored passion and hold me, brush against me, look deep into my eyes and tell me with and without words that you love me, too.
But I’m not “in love” with you.
I just really really love you in a pure, very unconditional way.
Let’s stay tangled up in each other’s lives as long as we’re here on this big beautiful earth.
Let’s laugh, play and be light-hearted.
Let’s give coconut oil foot rubs and plan trips to Iceland.
Let’s lie on the floor of a cabin next to a blazing fire and talk about the stars.
Let’s dance to this tune called life and kiss on the lips when the mood strikes us.
Let’s talk about our crushes, our infatuations, and our loves while tracing hearts on chests.
Let’s be free and wild and tender and understanding.
Most of all, let’s love each other the way we do, and never date.
But, not wanting to date you? This is the biggest lie I ever told myself.
I say I don’t want things to change but my whole being craves every part of you.
I say I’m not “in love” with you but the unquenched desire that falls over me when I can’t be with you spins me out.
The ache in my gut and the numb feeling in my limbs when I think I may never see you is slowly killing me.
My heart fills and breaks between breaths.
I was fooling myself all this time. I honestly had no idea that these feelings existed in this capacity. They hit me in the face like a brick wall at 120mph.
How was I able to lie to myself?
I played the part so well, I was clueless, disconnected from my own feelings. I was amazed when the flood-gates opened, cracking my heart wide open.
I ran to you in the middle of the night. Out of breath. In tears.
I couldn’t speak. I just needed to be held. You held me until the words surfaced.
“I’m sorry,” was all I could say.
You understood instantly and held me tighter.
How did we get here? How did you know and I didn’t? How did I miss every sign? How did you love me silently?
I don’t know how I missed every piece of the puzzle slowly shifting, piecing itself together.
I am willing to be vulnerable, open, free, wild, tender and brave enough to finally admit to both of us that I want this.
I want love.
I want family.
I want us.
I don’t want to miss you.
I want to love you.
And I never want to break up with you.
Author: Shannon Mujica
Associate Editor: Kendra Hackett / Editor: Alli Sarazen
Photo: Roger Shueber/Flickr