He said goodbye and immediately an empty space grew inside of me, as if he was blowing up a balloon in my stomach, filling it up with nothingness, all while maintaining the small sparkle in his eye. I was perplexed by his carelessness. What made it so easy for him to walk in and out of lives as if he hadn’t left something behind? It was as if the life in front of him wasn’t a unique and beautiful expression of humanness, as if he could find another. It was as if my life had just been slotted into a blank space where many lives had been slotted in before and many more would at one point or another be slotted in. I was horrified by the thought of being a placeholder and disturbed by how easy it was for him to fill the place. My shape was different; it had edges and smooth sides, spikes and fuzzy parts. He wouldn’t find another like it, but he seemed so sure of himself as he stepped away.
When I walk into a life I want to stay a while. Look behind the books and deep into the cracks in the walls, find the places of beauty, revel in the messes and love the parts that are broken. There’s so much to learn, experience, love, and delight in. I want to learn all of it. I guess I think differently about people though, I don’t expect anything of them, other than to show me who they are. I am not on a mission to find one person, the perfect one, I am just here as an explorer. I walk in to discover, for adventure, and maybe for a chance at love.
It seems that this is not how the world is built. People aren’t in the business of staying a while or lingering without a purpose, they are in the market for getting in and out, picking up a meal without leaving your car, taking a photo and moving on, swiping to find a match, and clicking a thumb to show friendship. In a world where everything is immediate it is no wonder commitment is sparse and exits are frequent and quick. We live in a world that is more connected than ever, but the connections are thin and short. A world of moving fast and moving on. A culture of stepping in, getting it done, and walking away. I’d rather savour the moments that leave me wanting more. I’d rather love slowly and generously.
I’d rather stay a while.