Scott Starin is an aerospace engineer with a specialty in spacecraft dynamics and control. He works at NASA, but of course he does not speak for NASA or the Federal Government in any way on this site.

Related Post Roulette

12 Responses

  1. Avatar Maribou says:

    “I was no longer the person I was used to. That, I think, is the essence of falling in love, and why it hurts so much when you realize it’s happened.”

    This whole post is amazing, but I particularly resonated to this bit.

    I’ve fallen in love in a way quite close to the particular way you describe twice – Jaybird was one of the times – and I have recently come to the realization that part of the reason THOSE times were so terrifying, so different, is because those times, once I’d accepted the importance of what was happening and stopped walling myself off from it, I was willing to change almost anything about my life at the other person’s need or behest. If they asked me to, I would. Scarier yet, I would *want* to. I would be eager to do so as quickly as I could.

    I mean, we all change for the people we love – or at least I’ve changed in many small ways many times to make my life more suited to the people I wanted in it – but generally for me that is a grumpy, balky thing, one that happens with foot-dragging and (in secret) snarls and not at all if I feel like the other person expects (or worse yet, needs) me to do so. They should take me as I am, or we just don’t need to be friends, I mostly think about people. That’s how I treat people, after all, generally speaking – I like them how they are, not some idealized version of what they could be, and I’m sort of horrified by the idea of anyone changing anything about their lives on my account. So many wonderful people in the world, why wear yourself out trying to suit each other if it turns out you don’t. Over time, sure, one realizes that the shape of one’s life has changed because of various people one loves, and that’s actually quite nice and the world as it should be – but I would never *set out* to change something about my life for someone. Even if I thought I should, I’m just not able to be that sort of person.

    Except those two times. Those two times, once I’d gotten past the terror/flight response, what I felt was much more like – Sure, I’ll change. Whatever. Is the new person I need to be still a good worthwhile person? Okay then. Let’s set about it. (I should note – usually I didn’t have to change ME all that much. Mostly, I am the me I was when I met Jaybird online at 17 – but I’m not the same one I would’ve been if I hadn’t eventually, suddenly decided it was okay to fall in love with him. And some of the changes I made were to things I hadn’t previously seen as changeable at all.)

    It fascinates me that for you, it was that the change happened in the moment of deciding. I’m not sure whether that’s true for me, as well: I experience my decisions as less momentary and less rational.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      I think it’s the moment of recognition that hurts; it’s like in the fairy tales, the giving of your heart opens you to dangers you did not face before even as it imbues you with magic.

      On Mike Dyer’s most excellent post on marriage, I told how my Sweetie expressed it in terms of trees; there’s him, there’s me, and there’s this new tree that sprouts of ‘us.’ Sprouting is painful, root and leave intermingle.

      Beautiful, beautiful post, @boegiboe. I’m so glad we live in a world where you and Jason can openly express love; a right that too many of us take for granted.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      @maribou we met our mates at the same ages, too.

      I think we may be secret sisters, a different kind of love. I’m very glad for it, too.Report

    • Avatar Boegiboe says:

      @Maribou, for me it wasn’t so much that I would change in ways Jason wanted, though that turned out to be true, but it was that I was no longer in control of myself the way I had been before. I was two people, and one of those people would do as he wished. And I think I agree with @zic that it’s the moment of recognition when the pain strikes. Years later, Jason spent a year in Paris working on his dissertation. One evening, I found I just couldn’t sleep, and I couldn’t do anything else, either. I ended up bawling my eyes out on the bathroom floor until 2:30 in the morning, when I knew Jason would be awake. I called him and told him what was happening; that it felt like someone had cut off my legs or something. Thinking about that as another moment of recognition of being in love makes a lot of sense.Report

  2. Avatar NewDealer says:

    S’wonderful S’awful nice S’paradise that you should care for me….Report

  3. Avatar Michelle says:

    I’m verklempt. Thanks for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes. Love transforms us in ways we can’t predict.Report

  4. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    “He tried to get rid of me by making me read Atlas Shrugged”

    This may be my favorite line from this site, ever.Report

  5. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    It’s so personal. Thanks for sharing.Report