I watch him. With his get ‘er done attitude. The way he gets stuck in. The way he says an emphatic YES! to everything. He’s always up for it — a laugh, a dose of culture, another drink, a good chin wag, an adventure. He doesn’t resist. He goes with the flow, no matter how strong the current or how choppy the waters. He swims along, arms flapping, smile on his face. Like an otter. A really adorable otter than you can’t help but love. And he doesn’t complain. He never complains. He always finds something good and fun in everything. “Well, at least it’s not raining”, he’ll say. Or “The good news is, we’re together.” Or “It’ll be fun!” I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a bit of contentious issue (surely, certain things are meant to be taken seriously?). But, truth be told, I am in awe of him.
This whole time I thought I was the adventurous one but it turns out, I’m the quiet one, the introvert, the dreamer, the reader, the “let’s stay in bed another half hour”, the one who seeks out a cave to digest all that she’s gathered. I am the emotional one, the planner, the over thinker, the worrier, the one that needs her hand held under the table.
I forget sometimes that we have only just started dating, in the grand scheme of things. We just happen to have wedding rings on our fingers. I forget that we are not the same person. I forget to honor and celebrate or, at the very least, accept those differences (in him and in myself). We are like these photos. Double exposed*. We are not picture perfect. We are superimposed and flawed at the edges. I am Montreal, he is London and we are a thousand and one things in between. I forget that we are only just getting to know each other. And ourselves, for that matter. Sometimes, it’s not until someone holds a mirror up to your face that you actually see yourself. And it’s so easy to want to run away from it all. In fear. In shame.
And maybe that’s what love is. To be vulnerable, to open oneself wide open to judgment and to have the other person say “It’s ok. I love you anyways. I’ll help you through this part.” And then to be strong enough to let them.
*OK. So how awesome are these double exposures by the way? A little collaboration between yours truly and Miss Wise. I shot the first series in Montreal, shipped the roll of film to her, then she shot over it in London. Parfait, oui? She explains the whole thing here. I am so giddy with the surprising results and the serendipity of some of these shots and I can’t wait to play with her again.