Two kinds of love

Seychelles, 2012

Months after entering my twenties, I fell in love for the first time in my life. My twentieth year was a loaded year as it was simultaneously the best and the worst year of my early twenties. And truth be told, I fell in love twice that year, split in half by two choices I made. One led me to such beautiful memories, I still talk about it today, ten years later, with the same breathlessness and awe as when I first experienced it. The other choice, on the other hand, led me to some of the lowest moments of my life.

I believe some of the most important and impactful choices we make are made out of sight. So deep within our subconscious, there is no way to actually know who’s really pulling the strings. There’s a solution to this problem, but a lot of us ignore it daily. It’s our intuition. Intuition knows our truest self. The one before everything changed — before we were hurt or neglected. I’ve noticed in my life, my intuition is at it’s loudest when I’m in crisis. Even when I made the wrong choice, and went against my intuition — I still knew what could have been the right choice. We all do.

Following my intuition at 19, led me to Thailand. It led me to the ocean — the biggest and deepest love I have ever felt. I found a dive school in Pattaya, offering a program referred to as “zero to hero”. It meant they taught people how to scuba dive from Open Water all the way to instructor. I was still living in Small Town, Quebec when I found their website. It offered dreams of sunny beaches and a happy life when all I knew were murky lakes and short summers. I wanted it out and found it in scuba-diving.

I had no idea if I would even like diving, let alone want to teach it, but there was now no question. I was going to Thailand. I booked my spot for the next year since it was an expensive program. And planned to be gone for at least six months. I bought every diving magazines I could find, daydreaming of endless sunny days on the open ocean as I ripped out pictures of whales and marine life, pasting them all over my apartment walls. My intuition had been loud and clear then, and I could do nothing else but to listen.

Unexpectedly, a few months after booking my trip, I moved to Montreal. I went to live with my sister until my trip to Thailand — nine months later. My social life exploded when I found a job as a waitress in a bar. That’s where I met Sawyer, my first love. Sawyer was my daddy issues personified, fourteen years my senior and emotionally unavailable. He reminded me of my teenage crush, Johnny Knoxville, and I was in love. He was still in a serious relationship when we began an affair a few weeks before I was to leave for Thailand.

By the time I left, I had made my two choices. The first was to leave and become a scuba-diver. But my other choice was made subconsciously. I had fallen so deeply enamoured with Sawyer nothing else was making sense. Or mattered. I needed his love and he gave it to me in drips, promising me he would leave his girlfriend while I was gone. I’ve written an entire memoir about our relationship and the choices I’ve made along the way. My choices fascinate me, especially the ones where I knew better.

I knew better but to fall in love with Sawyer. I knew better but to allow him to treat me how he did. I knew better but to take him back time and time again, as we broke-up countless times in four years. Why couldn’t I leave him? As much as I knew my intuition told me to run, instead, I stayed and listened to the broken voices inside. They were stronger, and much more powerful. It was simple, I hated myself. A concept I only understood later in life when I discovered self-love and compassion. An indescribable detail which led me to plead for Sawyer’s love, even if his love was destroying me.

It was easy to convince me, Sawyer would repeat it often. “No one will ever love you like I love you.” In my head in translated into “, no one will ever love you again.” I was unlovable, but at least Sawyer was loving me through it all. Sawyer is right. No one has loved me like he has. Because his love was manifested by the darkness inside of me. And by the shame crawling throughout my entire body. But hey, at least Sawyer loved me.

I am grateful I was able to discover the ocean when I did. Sometimes, I even think it is the reason is am still alive. It was a balm for the wounds I continued to lacerate, a balm for the wounds I didn’t know I had. I now understand diving was helping me heal my body dissociation. Even before I knew I suffered from such a thing. I used my body daily, immersed in the vastness of the ocean. I was present, and not trapped in my head. The water was therapy for the traumas trapped inside my body. I fell deeper in love, while another kind of love was waiting for me back home.

Anytime Sawyer would break up with me for a long period time, I listened to my intuition and booked a diving trip. I left him three times total, to be closer to the ocean. But his manipulation was always stronger than my intuition and I always came back home. But the third and last time I left for a diving expedition, I left for good. This time, I travelled to the Seychelles and surrounded myself by nature. I swam in the ocean every single morning, as I tried to heal through the pain. What I found in the Seychelles, I haven’t found anywhere else since. A peace so profound, I was able to contain it and keep inside me as I moved forward in life. It is a peace I still feel today, five years later. And now, as I watch the snow fall through the kitchen window, I wish I was swimming in the ocean. If only to whisper words of gratitude as I float, immersed in love.



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Naomi Loud

Witchy Writer. Currently living in Montreal, QC. Podcast : The In-Between. Insta: naomi.loud