I Fall in Love Every Day

October 28, 2020
the earth framed by a window, and two potted plants adjacent
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

I fall in love every day. My boyfriend worries that I’m unfaithful. Little does he know.

There are nineteen glow-in-the dark-stars on the ceiling of my childhood bedroom. I know this because when I was little I could never fall asleep. Bedtime consisted of a distraught ten year old staring at the ceiling, counting stars that had already been counted and had nothing left to share. I hated the thought of being the last one awake — which is ironic now because I love the night, but also un-ironic because I still depend on 10 milligrams of melatonin to make my brain shut up at night. As a ten year old, I quickly realized that creating stories in my head made me feel a lot less lonely— company made sleep more inviting. So, I made up love stories. I packed imaginary bags for imaginary families going on imaginary adventures. I created endings to the books on my bedside table. I made false realities out of the night air, stilling my childhood anxiety with the promise of worlds outside of myself. 

 

I live my life waiting on the unachievable to happen, falling in love with strangers on the street who pass me, oblivious to my mental subjections of their privacy.

 

The older I get the more my imagination dwindles— but I still revert back to my childhood coping mechanisms. I still fall in love every day. I make to-do lists, allowing myself to fall in love with the idea of contentment, fulfillment that I will surely find when each responsibility on my list has a line drawn through it. I imagine scenarios with people I care about, falling in love with moments that will never exist. I live my life waiting on the unachievable to happen, falling in love with strangers on the street who pass me, oblivious to my mental subjections of their privacy.

I feel like I spend my life waiting. I wait for things to make sense, to “settle down.” I wait, and I let myself fall in love with fantasies of what my life will be when it finally falls into place.

 

If a month could tell me that life will never make “sense”, September screamed it. I’ve been waiting my whole life (all nineteen years of it) for stagnancy, for routines to stick, for something to prove to me that this is it, that this is life. 

 

And then months like September of 2020 happen. I spent ten days in isolation. Started taking an antidepressant. Rode in an ambulance with one of the most important people in my life. Cried a lot of tears. Did a whole bunch of online school. Learned that being an adult is hard because apples are too expensive. Went for a lot of runs in which I didn’t make it far. If a month could tell me that life will never make “sense,” September screamed it. I’ve been waiting my whole life (all nineteen years of it) for stagnancy, for routines to stick, for something to prove to me that this is it, that this is life. 

I’ve been passing the time falling in love with dreams when I should be loving moments, letting the love turn ugly realities into beautiful truths -- or just letting them be ugly realities I can love anyway. I’ve been falling in love in the wrong ways, and I want to start re-writing the scripts. 

So.

I spent ten days in isolation, sitting outside becoming friends with the hummingbirds in my mom’s backyard. I put the tired ten year old to bed with the promise of stability as I began taking medication for the anxiety that haunted her and followed me. I rode in an ambulance because I love someone enough to experience all moments with them--the good and the bad. I am getting my education through the chaos of 2020. I make it a few miles on every run. Reality is not falling in love with imaginary futures. Reality is loving the Septembers of 2020. Reality is accepting that “settling down” is probably never an option, and reminding yourself that even if it were, what a boring existence that would be. 

Reality is making the hard moments loveable, in whatever way you can.

 

Fall in love with the damn moment. It’s 2020 and everything sucks — you might as well.

 

Cryptic and cliche, maybe. But seriously, I’m a sophomore in college and I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced, like, three mid-life crises already (example; this September), which is what gives me the agency to instruct you on how to live your life, I guess. 

Fall in love with the damn moment. It’s 2020 and everything sucks — you might as well.

 

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