I’m in the kitchen, prepping my roasted potatoes and chicharron de pollo before Boo gets home from work. Christina Aguilera‘s “Walk Away” plays in the background. It’s one of my favorite songs and I sing along to the lyrics.
I can’t mend
This torn state I’m in
Getting nothing in return
What did I do to deserve
The pain of this slow burn
And everywhere I turn
I keep going right back
To the one thing that I need to walk away from
Immediately, I am transfixed. I remember crooning to this song in my cousin’s living room on Bailey Avenue in the Bronx. How I’d get goosebumps whenever it played. How this song was once my anthem because Aguilera’s wounded voice and lyrics resonated with my romantic experiences.
Every time I’d hear “Walk Away” I’d close my eyes, sway and think of Elijah – yearning for his unattainable love. I thought love was complicated and dramatic – a chase where I needed to be the initiator, always trying to fix things and make the relationship work. Like Christina, I was addicted to the lure of the slow burn.
Then I met Boo.
My life changed in an instant.
Now, I’m in the kitchen, our kitchen, cooking a meal for the love of my life: a man whom I plan to start a family with me; a man who continues to love me for me; a man who chose me as I chose him.
As I season my chicken and cut up red potatoes, I sing along to “Walk Away” and feel no remorse, regret or sadness. All I feel is relief and gratitude. I am blessed for this real love and to no longer desire unattainable love.