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October 21, 2013

It’s funny feeling fluttery butterflies for a woman, knowing she feels them back. I’ve never been here. She’s never been here. We’ve both experienced unrequited, tortured love but never mutually expressed affection. We both spent years trying to manufacture that kind of affection in relationships with men but never knew how utterly disconnected our hearts had been.

Until now.

These emotions are wonderfully knee-knocking. It’s new. It’s powerful. It’s also scary. I feel alive yet timid. There are moments my heart inflates with courage and confidence and contentment, and I know I was made for this. But there are also moments my heart contracts in fear and uncertainty. The risk is for real this time, not for show to fit what I “should” want. My heart is exposed. I stand heart in hand, on my sleeve, in my throat before this woman.

It’s first love, 25 years later than most. We are like teenagers, exuberant and gushing. It’s lovely and fun and young. But we’re far from our teens. We’ve outgrown the angst and awkwardness of our juvenile selves. So it’s odd to finally experience what we saw all around us in high school. Back then it was like observing a foreign culture. Unknown customs, so much lost in translation. We were going through the motions without understanding the motivations. Romance felt robotic. All the giddiness we saw in our friends made no sense. That’s not how we felt. We looked on with the head tilt of a confused pet.

Until now.

It finally makes sense. We understand the language at last. And the story is written as we go. It’s beautiful in its hesitating confidence, like a lurching stick shift with a novice behind the wheel.

Learning. Experiencing. Together.

Because isn’t that the meaning of Life? Taking it as it comes, with gratefulness, an open heart, and a hand to hold?

There are no guarantees, of course. Life doesn’t keep promises. Love is an adventure without insurance, risk without mitigation. And it’s glorious in its goodness and beauty. I’ve waited for years to start living, to share the adventure with another, to knit our hearts together.

It’s a lovely picture.

Knitted hearts.

But knitting requires needles.

It’s risky and vulnerable and totally worth it. I’ll take that hand and walk, at times with hesitant steps and sometimes sprinting. But together. And that’s romance. Together. Walking with interwoven hands, working through the needles, toward interwoven hearts.


From → tellings

  1. Ford1968 permalink

    So happy to see this in my inbox…This sounds like a very happy time. Enjoy and nurture it!

    • hballaman permalink

      You’re the best, Ford! Thanks. And I’m definitely enjoying and nurturing it (and her). She’s amazing.

  2. Karin permalink

    My heart is overflowing with happiness for you! For both of you. What a wonderful rollercoaster new love can be. I love you dear cousin and I hope I get to see you soon.

  3. hballaman permalink

    Thanks, Karin! Everything is so new. It’s both fun and scary. All the feelings are good! Much love to you!! 🙂

  4. koshercinnamon permalink

    I found your blog via Registered Runaway and have spent the last hour or so reading through your lovely words, full of truth. I had to pause after reading this post: first, to bask in it; second, to send it to my beloved. You have spoken our reality and it blessed me deeply. Our particular needles seem long and sharp and menacing, but the longed-for interwoven hearts will be worth the pain. Already is, actually.

    Thank you for writing.

    • hballaman permalink

      koshercinnamon, thank you so much for your comment! I’m grateful this post resonated with you. It’s the reason I write, really. To show all of us we are not alone in our experience, to help us find connection and community and a sense of belonging. I’m glad what I have shared has done that for you. Your comment has done the same for me. Thank you.

  5. chobson permalink

    I was just recommended this blog by koshercinnamon. It was a beautiful read. I am just now ‘getting it too’ and the needles are sharp. I sent it to my beloved as well and he is reading it too. Thank you for posting something that I am just recently totally getting.

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