I love to run. When I take off, I feel the earth reaffirming me and pushing back at my feet. The evening chill contrasts sharply with my heated skin and my staccato heart struggles to deliver oxygen to my limbs. I love to run because sometimes I can see the stars - a rarity in polluted Manila — and because for an hour or so, I have my mind to myself, free from pressing emails and Twitter updates. Sometimes I mull over mundane things or think of ideas for illustrations.
The other night, I realized that I miss being in love.
I’m not looking for an immobile Greek statue. I want to fall in love with a human, all flesh and heartbeats and breakable bones and indomitable spirit and annoying traits and quirky habits. Someone with rough hands, because he molds life into something wonderful. Someone whose eyes light up when he’s excited; someone who’ll critique my work and push me to improve. Someone who loves to travel and feel unschooled with me as we sample new cultures and dodgy street food. I’ll love him for who he is, not because of a fairy tale I’ve made up in my head, and I’ll look forward to turning the pages and discovering more about him.
Falling in love is exhilarating but what I really seek is the calm after the storm. After all the furtive glances and first dates and shy proposals, I want a strong and uplifting relationship. And even though I’m not religious, I want to be with someone who brings me closer to God. Not because of Sunday habits, but because he’ll help me live a genuine life. We’ll find our own worship in kind words, good deeds, and adventures spent appreciating what life has to offer.
I guess the reason I haven’t been dating is because I’ve been running toward myself first. These days, I’m not trying to escape from the demons in glossy magazines. Being fit is part of the picture, but I also run because I want to reclaim myself and settle my fears and apprehensions. It’s true when they say, how can you love someone if you don’t love yourself first? But after some very lucky breaks — getting my dream job, settling into my career path, rediscovering myself through art — I’m feeling happy and blessed. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll find someone to share it all with.
I guess our paths will cross when we’re ready. And when I meet my forever boy, we’ll run this race together.