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My Love Rollercoaster: Being a “Love Bird Canary”
My heart is like a caged fairy, a love bird in a cage baying for everything sweet, tender, and affectionate.
Coasting, and coasting, and coasting, and up, and down, up, up, and down, down down, up! I have been in love a couple of times. I have felt love in the deepest levels, the turmoil, the pain, the ecstasy, and most especially, the forever wishes. “I love her”, I thought. “I found my one!”
Love for me has been something I have really treasured in my life albeit being very picky, having such high standards, and being very protective of someone I love. My heart is like a caged fairy, a love bird in a cage baying for everything sweet, tender, and affectionate. Love for me has been in many ways my kryptonite, the thing that speaks to me in the deepest and inveterate parts of myself. I, myself, am a love child, born to two very loving people. Two people whose destinies were intertwined. I remember my father sharing with me that my sister had come into the world. He took me to a bar somewhere and was so proud. He told me “You have a new sister, and she is just as beautiful as your mother!” I remember him being very happy and seeing him very very proud. The only other time my father was that proud was when I got an admission letter to one of the country’s most prominent and best-performing high schools. This time he also took me to a bar perched somewhere and pointed to the hills showing me where the school was. He was very proud.
Love for me, therefore, is a part of who I am. It’s sacred to me. Something like the statue of Buddha to a Buddhist. Love is my forte, my rock, and the thing that makes me who I am. Falling in love for me is like touching the sun every time. It’s something that makes me feel so high, in the annals of ecstasy, and like I never want to come down. Problem is, love is never a straightforward thing. In scientific terms, it is never static. It morphs and becomes this dynamic thing that has a life of its own, most often something I cannot control.
I am not sure I would call myself a control freak but when I find someone that I love and who loves me, I immediately think of marriage and start this ‘scientific study’ to see whether this person would be fit for a lifelong partner. I do everything in my power to try and see to it that the relationship lasts. Sadly, often the other person will feel controlled, steered like a bull pulling a plow, toward a destiny and commitment they may not be ready for. Sometimes she’ll feel that she is not ready, as I have in recent months, for a lifelong commitment.
I’ve always believed in living a full life, a life without holding back, especially when it is something involving passion. I do my best to not only fall in love but drown in it. I love with my whole heart and everything I have. The person I love immediately becomes a goddess in my life, and needless to say, I become a god. In my mind, we are rulers of this little kingdom of our hearts. A place where we share a deep deep feeling of affection for one another. A love so intense that even volcanoes erupting couldn’t measure up to the eruptions of ecstasy that we both go through. I have a saying, “let’s live like there is never tomorrow. Let’s be and let be!”
I fall so deeply in love that my girlfriend’s clothes, her scent, and everything about her become home and feel like home. I laugh sometimes saying that out there I am a big bad grizzly bear but when it comes to my girl, I am a little puppy. A little pug who is so furry and full of love. Often I’d see my girlfriend and immediately cuddle her and get myself in her arms, in a tender embrace of softness, gulping in breathfuls of her scent, and kissing and tagging on her furry coat. I remember having to be away from my girlfriend for a month or two at a time and immediately when we met, I’d have her sit on my lap and give me one of those never-ending hugs. She knew this was what worked for me and she’d sometimes enter the door, put down her bag, and open her arms wide, with a breathtaking smile saying “Hiiiiii!”. I loved that and we’d hug for about three minutes, our hearts beating next to each other as we became the same being for a moment.
I remember reading somewhere that no one knows why some things succeed and others just fail. In essence, there is a way to the world, and doing everything you can to make something succeed doesn’t always spell success. Even more, anything can fail no matter how hard you’ve tried to make it work. That hit me so deep. My heart was tarnished after the first argument became constant berating on WhatsApp. I hate WhatsApp for that. I never interact with someone I like there. It is a bad omen for me. I realized that I am an ‘oversharer’ of sorts. I would get so worked up when we argued that I’d just spew and express my anger in a tirade of huge paragraphs. As a writer, I would fork out huge paragraphs every few seconds, bombarding the poor soul with expressions of my anger and dissatisfaction. This quickly became very draining for both of us and I remember her asking me whether she should just cry about this that night, and not let it go on for another day, and just get over us. She did.
We’d been physically separated due to circumstances needing her to be somewhere away from where I was and I couldn’t bear it. Distance kills love for me every time. I am a very tactile person. Like a little pup always wanting its pet parent around to hold, touch, and be close to. That’s exactly how I feel. I need to physically be with the person I love to really feel in love with them and to experience and enjoy our love. Unfortunately, for her, she’d be okay with us spending a month or two away from each another. “A whole month?!” I thought. What on earth am I going to do without seeing my love for a whole month? We drifted apart due to this distance.
To make matters even worse, COVID came along and we both had to be apart for longer thanks to lockdowns and COVID restrictions. It really hurt me not being able to see her for long periods, sometimes up to two or three months. It tore me apart, a slow burn and a death of 1000 cuts. At the same time, I lost my writing job just when I was doing so well. I had hoped that she’d move in with me and had moved to a bigger apartment and bought everything I thought we’d both need. Her clothes and some of her other things were also in my place, after she had to go away for a while. Everything was ready for our life together, except just her being there with me.
I was heartbroken when the distance became something she got used to. I wondered how on earth she’d be fine with us being away from each other for so long. I felt betrayed that she was okay without me, and deeply sad. Here I am preparing our life together and all the while she is getting used to being away. She had to be away, don’t get me wrong, but I had hoped she’d at least make some effort to come and see me. I was convinced that if I was in her shoes, I’d steal even just a day from my schedule, and go see my love. I’d even have crossed the ocean just to see her, even for a few hours, but unfortunately, she saw no need to make some time. Down our love went, falling to the ground.
My world was shattered after her absence became the subject of our arguments. Like coming down from the topmost part of a rollercoaster ride, down our love went, falling to broken pieces. It felt like I was on a speed train that got derailed. I was deeply hurt. The kind of hurt that traumatizes you. Why on earth would God give me something that really makes me very happy only to strip it away? Why give me the one thing that makes me feel complete only to take it away in a slow painful burn?
Fast forward 3 years later and now we are in a weird place. We both moved on. Sadly, like two soldiers from the same platoon retiring and not getting enough time to share that brotherhood that had saved their lives in battle; that bond that had kept them alive when the guns were raging. I forgave her. I understood that most people aren’t as passionate or needy as I am. I understood that I am an intense lovebird. A caged bird who sings songs of desolation and pain. A caged bird who wouldn’t know what to do when freed and one who’d rather stay caged and in love than be free and out of love.
Needless to say, my life was never the same. I never really got over her. I couldn’t also hate her or feel bad that she had moved on. I loved her and my consolation was that she was happy. That is all I ever wanted for her. I never considered that she could also be happy with someone else. I accepted that. I thought, “If she’s happy without me, I’m happy”. It was never about me owning her or owning that relationship we both so sweetly shared. It was never about ownership. I understood that if you truly love someone, you let them go. If the jailer of the caged bird truly loved it, he’d let it fly away to its destiny. What I knew and learned is that love is never about holding on too strongly. It is everything but. Love is letting someone go and if it was truly meant to be, then the three sisters of fate will lead her back to you.
I don’t know if I’d ever be able to love her again. I don’t know if my heart has the mileage to be with her again. I text her and joke that she is my ‘LOML’, the love of my life, but I don’t know that I would be able to love her again. Not that I don’t love her. I have always and will always love her. That much she knows and I make a point to tell her ever so often. It’s like being Christian, once I am in, getting out is very difficult. In the same spirit, once I love someone, I cannot ‘unlove’ them. I love them for the rest of my life, even when we are apart and we cannot be together. There will always be a piece of my heart carrying my love for them. They will always be someone who will be, or is my wife in a parallel universe. I will always love them. That is who I am. I love.
I give everything I have every time because, for me, a tragedy far greater than heartbreak is not giving your all. I cannot live life dispassionately. Like the Italians, I live with passion and enjoy life and everything in it. Love for me is like going into an overcrowded pizzeria, shoving and pushing, only to eat my pizza on the way back from a box, marinating it with some drink, and enjoying every bite like a kid from Africa who’s never seen a pizza who’s tasting it for the first time. That’s how I live my life. Indulgent and with extreme feeling. Why else did God give me breath if I would spend my days shy of enjoying the very life that he personally gave to me? Yes. Love is a rollercoaster for me but I love being rocked. I hate stability and I will always enjoy the joyride. Like Lil Wayne says “I’m dirty Harry”.. “Love bird Canary”.
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Read the story of ‘My Epic Heartbreak’ on Mania Inc.: https://www.maniainc.com/my-epic-heartbreak/