• brynnoconnor

The Renewal of Attraction

It almost seems unfair how you can put so much time and effort into suppressing a feeling, only for it to resurface so easily. It’s like using all your strength and determination to extinguish a fire, staring at the ashy fumes once the deed is done, huffing and panting, feeling the smallest sense of relief after all that work—only for the fire to start back up again from the tiniest of sparks. Except this time, the fire is bigger and brighter, posing more of a threat than ever before, and you find yourself surrounded by flames, helpless and weak, unsure of how the hell you’re going to get yourself out of the situation this time around.

The renewal of attraction after a period of freedom from that feeling is exhausting and despondent. It takes so little to reawaken that irrational beating heart of yours. You finally find yourself in a position where you’re no longer thinking of them, convincing yourself that you’ve successfully moved on. Yet, one accidental run-in, or even the simple yet crushing sound of their voice, and you’re right back where you started.

Artwork by Jamilah W

It can make you feel so fucking stuck. You evaluate that “period of freedom” you thought you earned, wondering whether or not the attraction truly ever faded, or if perhaps you were just quite good at ignoring it for some time. You begin to question if you should even fight past this feeling anymore. Is it really worth it to try so hard to finish something with an indefinite ending?

But what happens if you cave in and give up your attempts to control the emotion? In essence, you’re feeding into the feeling; fueling the fire, if you will. You allow yourself to become engulfed by impossible notions of romantic hopes, envisioning scenarios and outcomes you know will never see the light of day. Each second you continue to think about them is an additional step deeper into the realm of fantasy. You encourage the image you have of this person within your mind, painting them as somebody they just aren’t, that being somebody who feels the same way as you. It will drive you insane.

And so here you are, driving the backroads at night, finding relative meaning behind every song you play, pinned down by the re-establishment of these overpowering emotions of yours. You turn down random streets and find yourself circling about your small hometown, wishing this sinking feeling would pass with each mile driven. Your fingers tap against the steering wheel at the stop lights, the flickering fluorescents of red and green mimicking your wavering mind; should I drive to their house? Would they even want to see me?

The only way to cancel the continuation of your attraction is to somehow move on, as you’ve been told. You remind yourself of this as you drive deeper into the dark, counting the days until you can look back at this moment with indifference.

With time, you’ll gather enough strength to put out this burning fire, and tread with hesitance that your flammable heart won’t light once again.

Read more about Brynn here!

Read more about Jamilah here!

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