Let me start off by saying that I cried today. I cried real, raw, gritty tears of exhaustion, love and blessings. Now that the tears are gone, I am feeling on top of the world after securing tickets to see my home girl Adele when she tours Australia in March next year.
Words could never actually express the importance that her music has played in my life but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. As I sat in rain drenched traffic this afternoon on the way back from work I played through Adele’s first album 19. I was reminded of just how brave, catchy and fucking relatable it was and still is.
The entire album transports me to another time, a completely different, unrealized version of myself that I don’t even recognise anymore. There are tales of self discovery, self loathing and utter disruption of peace and knowing.
It took me right back to my first long-term relationship, looking through the photographs in my mind of my first real love, my first real heartache and the totally unrealistic notion that I would never meet anyone else willing or able to see me, feel me, love me.
Thinking back on that love I can see how toxic and controlling it was but in the moment, in my naivety, it seemed right. She was older than me but only just discovering herself and we spent the better part of 3 years pushing and pulling against each other. It was as wild and passionate as it was disastrous.
I was convinced that somehow it was healthy to torture each other instead of letting each other find a love that would calm, support and encourage the other.
Forgive me first love, but I’m tired.
I need to get away to feel again.
Try to understand why,
don’t get so close to change my mind.
Please wipe that look out of your eyes,
it’s bribing me to doubt myself;
Simply, it’s tiring.
This love has dried up and stayed behind,
And if I stay I’ll be a lie
Then choke on words I’d always hide.
Excuse me first love, but we’re through.
I need to taste a kiss from someone new.
Forgive me first love, but I’m too tired.
I’m bored to say the least and I, I lack desire.
Forgive me first love.
This song gave me the courage to see just how dangerous and unsafe our relationship had become and how unrealistic it is to focus all of your energy on changing someone when it is clear how much of an impossible task that is.
Almost 7 years later I would reach out to her just as I was losing my Dad, a man she truly adored and even though she didn’t have to, she showed up. Meeting her gaze and knowing there was someone in that room who knew a younger version of myself so intimately that she knew exactly what to say was a relief. We talked as though no time had passed and I was finally able to let go of residual anger, resentment and heartache from my first love.
I have used this space to talk a lot about never dating anyone who was good, kind or true. The truth is, that isn’t the truth. I have been unconditionally loved, I have been loved so hard that I had no idea how to hold onto it without killing it like that unfortunate incident with the mouse and that large lad Lennie in ‘Of Mice and Men’.
‘Make You Feel My Love’
Is blowing in your face
And the whole world
Is on your case
I could offer you
A warm embrace
To make you feel my love
Make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends
Of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love
So desperate to find a way out of my world and finally breathe
Right before my eyes I saw, my heart it came to life
This ain’t easy, it’s not meant to be
Every story has its scars
When the night keeps you from sleeping
Just look and you will see
That I will be your remedy
When the world seems so cruel
And your heart makes you feel like a fool
I promise you will see
That I will be, I will be your remedy
No river is too wide or too deep for me to swim to you
Come whatever, I’ll be the shelter that won’t let the rain come through
Your love, it is my truth
And I will always love you