written by Stargirl
A while back, one of my friends said to me “why would I settle for less just because I want it now?” it was a bit of off handed commentary on the current state of our dating lives. She had just suffered through a rough summer with her ex, and my girlfriend had just broken up with me. I wrote it down immediately in my notes app, only to stare at it later and feel a sense of emptiness–I knew even then that I was going to have to wait a while before i found someone worth loving again.
That same friend directed me to an album about nine months later. Florence and the Machine had just released Dance Fever, a collection of music fueled by divine feminine rage. “I think you’re really gonna like ‘Girls against god’” she told me–and boy was she right. Expecting a powerful scream-ballad from Florence like the ones I know she does so well, i was immediately put in my place with the soft instrumentals and opening lyrics.
“What a thing to admit that when someone looks at me with real love I don’t like it very much, kinda makes me feel like I’m being crushed”
What I had been trying to figure out about myself became so clear as she put it into words. At the time I had been going on dates with people who were so nice, so funny, so attentive. And I just couldn’t be that for them. With every ounce of affection, I had to turn away. I was brought flowers for the first time in my twenty years and it made my stomach churn. I hate being crushed. Its a painful feeling–to not be able to give love back to people who love you, or to people who deserve it. But over the last couple years I have found myself in a pattern of self-fulfillment. I journal, I take walks, I go for runs, I dance to my music and scream in the car. I take myself on dates and I love every minute of it. Once you add in another person, I suddenly can’t tune out the rest of the world. I can’t be alone with my thoughts. Friends are one thing, and I enjoy every second with them, but for some reason the pressure of dating someone is entirely out of my abilities. I am single, but i have no intentions on finding someone. I am doing nothing to put myself out there, and I am purposefully avoiding going on dates. I exist for myself only. Its a beautiful lifestyle.
So why does it hurt so badly sometimes?
It is true that in the middle of the night, I think fondly of the people i have loved in the past and wish I could hold on to them for just a few minutes. It is true that when I see my roommates experiencing all-encompassing relationships overflowing with love i feel left out. It is true that when i see couples kissing at parties or walking downtown holding hands or posting stupid pictures together I feel it in my chest. I dont think im broken–I know what its like to be in love, I know it will probably happen again. But where did all of it go?
Thankfully, Florence had a lyric for this feeling too.
“And, in my darkest fantasies I am the picture of passivity, waiting for you side of stage, suppressing all my private rage. But as my sister said, I’d probably last six days.”
Hearing this made me realize again how much better off I am not settling for less, even if I want it now. Though feel gross admitting it, there has always been a part of me wishing for the dull domestication of being in love. But I don’t have the time nor energy to put into anyone else. And I will not be pacified for someone else to mold me into their perfect little plaything–I am not in the business of sitting down and shutting up. I wouldnt last six days! I think that as a woman right now, there is no man that would be able to understand the raw emotion that comes with the way we are seen and treated. It makes me want to burn, to rage holy war as florence says. A girl against god. My whole life everyone has told me how loud or intense I am, and whether its come from a place of annoyance or amusement, I finally feel like I want to wield that power.
It makes me feel powerful, it makes me feel confident in who I am. Even if that change is not necessarily something picked up on by someone who doesn’t know me, all this time alone has made me carry myself differently. I think a younger version of myself would be shocked at how brave I can be these days. And while my darkest fantasies revolve around settling, I am now in a position of power over these feelings. I will not wish away this freedom I have, and I will not reduce myself for anyone, no matter how long it takes for me to find a fulfilling love.