I met someone in the City of Angels a few weeks ago who illuminated the darkness inside me with a single hello. It was less than a week before I was set to get on a plane to Costa Rica. I was at a friend’s comedy show in Venice Beach at this rad little clothing shop with quirky designer labels and vases shaped like butts. I wasn’t expecting to have my heartstrings tugged—who ever is—and when it happened I barely had enough time to process everything before take-off. I’ll admit, I have a bad habit of connecting to and then quickly falling in love with people right before I leave a place. I think it’s a mixture of questionable timing and the sweet reality that I have only a few hours to live a lifetime with this other human.
So, while the circumstance of meeting someone in this way is something I am strangely practiced at, the someone I met was unlike any of the other people I’ve ever been attracted to. You see, the human I who caught me by the heart and by surprise is a woman. And a fucking marevelous one at that.
I was less shocked by the realization that I’ve been on the wrong team most of my life and more dismayed that I didn’t know this sooner. I didn’t know I was queer. How could I not know? I have built a life mining my feelings for gold and even then, this rather sizable part of my identity has gone unnoticed. Unattended to. And, while my heart would slowly break in the coming weeks as it became clear to me that I wanted more and she—by no fault of her own—could not give that to me, there was a deeper, more felt crack opening up inside me. How is it that I’ve lived this long and denied myself access to my heart in this way?
I know why. And it comes down to love.
When I was 10 years old I developed an eating disorder that would consume me for a decade and require yet another decade of healing after that. I’m almost at the end of that second chapter and am only now able to see that, where I thought I was starving myself of food, what I was really doing was denying myself love. Love, like food, as a basic and essential need. Love as permission for me to feel what needs to be felt. Love as a way to nurture myself into becoming.
Love as something that is abundant and not scarce, as I had previously believed it to be.
I woke up this morning painfully aware of the fact that as much as I would like this other human to reciprocate my feelings so I could be done with this whole lack-of-love narrative, life was doing me a favour putting me on that plane when it did. I have just been gifted the awareness needed to shine a light on the work I need to be doing on myself so that one day I can enjoy the sort of love that has always felt just out of reach. And you had better believe I’m going to do something with this information. I’m fucking starving and now know how to change that. So, I’m going to do everything within my power to shift towards a way of being that is less hungry for love.
Which means looking at my critical and, at times, cruel relationship with my body. It means finally—at almost 30—figuring out how to nourish myself through the food that I eat. It means changing my financial situation because the way I make and spend money is not in the service of self-care. It means being with the less glamorous parts of myself because no wonder love hasn’t worked out for me ever. I’ve felt so unworthy of it that even if a woman did offer me her whole heart, I don’t know that I’d be able to accept it.
It’s 4:30am and I’m going to write in my morning pages for a bit before I go surfing. I’m going to give myself some time to process all these realizations out in the tender—and sometimes tumultuous—embrace of the ocean. I’m going to figure out how to love myself even though that feels like I need to learn how to walk again. What are my other options? Starve my heart until it forgets that it needs to beat? No, I don’t think I’ll do that.
And as overwhelmed as I feel right now, I am hopeful. Hopeful that this is the last piece that needed to fall into place at the end of what has been a very long healing process. And the very beginning of a future where I don’t have to battle these familiar beasts anymore and can just let in love.
I think I understand why it’s called the City of Angels now.
I met one and she changed everything.
Stay bright lovers.