Dear Caitlin of a year ago:
Love is harder than you think it is.
I know, right now, you are having a lot of trouble digesting the idea that you are actually capable of love. I know certain people have instilled in you recently that you may want more than random sexual excursions – and you do, and maybe you won’t admit it to them because your path is the path you are on right now, and these random sexual excursions are teaching you things of incredible value.
I know, right now, that love is really hard for you. Not being in it, but the idea of getting there. It seems that you have great difficulty just placing it anywhere, and this is fair considering your history with the thing… Love, that is.
Right now you are trying to shape in your mind what it might be like for you to fall in love. You imagine how absolutely madly passionate it will be. You do not doubt for a moment that you would be capable of some form of monogamy if you tried.
Dear Caitlin of a year ago: love is a lot harder than that.
A year from where you are, you will try to be a girlfriend.
People around you will convince you that love takes on this peculiar form that involves delving into your own history and pulling out all the potentially damaging memories that occurred in your past and calling them ‘issues’, so that when you cry at the movies, your partner will understand that is because of a deep-seated fear of abandonment from your parent’s divorce when you were five…
People will convince you that relationships are built upon conversations. How do you feel? Tell me what you’re thinking. Are you okay? How was your day? Why won’t you talk to me? You will be in constant state of frenzy because you aren’t sure you recognize how screwed up you actually are…
You will love all other boys while loving this one boy, but you will keep it in your pants and call it determination. You will think you can do this out of sheer willpower to prove you can be monogamous, to prove you can be the girlfriend.
You will drink two glasses of wine in order to ‘pour your heart out’ because you have no idea if you really want to start connecting your ‘Daddy Issues’ with your partners financial status, but this is what monogamy is. This is how people interact.
And you lie in bed with this person, sleeping soundly with your orange earplugs sticking out from your head, and you will think “Look at me go! I’m doing it! I can be a girlfriend.”
And you will listen blankly to stories about your partners day and then try really hard to remember the names of the people he just mentioned to prove that you were listening. And you can mark ‘plus one’ on that wedding invitation and wear matching colors and introduce him as your ‘boyfriend’… Boyfriend… What an icky word. But you will use it anyhow.
And then. When everything is going smoothly, there will come a point when you are sitting across from someone you love dearly with all your heart. And this someone is not your boyfriend, and all of the rules of monogamy are marching around your head with picket signs reminding you of how to stay in line, how to be a decent member of society. But the moment is so intense and incredible that you cannot hold back how important this person means to you… and you whack down the pickets and aim for his lips and then… you don’t know what rules to follow anymore.
You don’t want to hurt anyone.
But you will.
You will really wish that someone was here telling you what to do. You will wish this so hard even though you know, somewhere in your head, it is there.
You will wonder if you will feel trapped in six months time. You wonder if you will be okay being alone. You will wonder how hard you should have fought. You will wonder if you are worth it.
Dear Caitlin of a year ago:
It is okay to be wherever you are at whatever phase you are at.
Because it happens as it happens. Life will give you what it gives you and trying to rearrange the order of things just won’t work. Desire will come galloping through your barriers and kiss you softly and you’ll remember why you love it all over again and get swept up in sweaty beds and wine drinking and dousing yourself in the essence of someone just for one night.
It is okay to stop and question the pre-arranged relationship constructs that society has built up for you before you were even born. It is okay to love multiple people. It is okay to hold one person’s hand and mean it, and then hold another person’s hand and mean it just as much. It is okay to have sex. It’s getting to the core of someone. Seeing them naked. The dichotomy between who they are when their clothes are on, and when their clothes are off. It is also okay to like sex just for the delicious carnality of it.
Mostly, want I am trying to tell you, is that it is okay to be a slut.