The Instinctual Knowing

By Shayna Gutridge

Hello, my name is Shayna Gutridge and I am a hopeless romantic! I am a sophomore at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally from Potomac, Maryland, I grew up spending magical summers in Bethany Beach, Delaware. I live my life following my heart and intuition to the people, places, and ideas it leads me to, which is what inspired me to share this story. Music: “With You” by Monk Turner. 

Shayna Gutridge’s Essay
Picture by Shayna Gutridge

I believe in an instinctual knowing. A divine assurance that transcends notions of logic, propriety, and predictability. An inflicted rumbling lodged between your ribcage that quivers up your neck and rattles around your head, only to be tamed through the art of ignoring your mind and trusting your intuition. What I speak of possesses a power so frightening to humans that the telling tales told are considered merely myth.

My tale begins in coastal Delaware, during a summer framed in blues and yellows. Blueberry ice cream stuffed into homemade waffle cones, our pale yellow townhouses that appeared flat in front of the blue sky, the ever-present golden sun that sat afloat the inland bay.

One June morning, as I rolled out the door in a honey yellow t-shirt, my gaze was met with something it was not familiar with. In the streets in front of our townhouses, I first witnessed the blue-haired boy. He had a smile that created embers around his face and ocean eyes that matched the top of his head. What captivated me about the blue-haired boy was the freedom and weightlessness of his aura, one that danced and twirled through life on the pursuit of happiness.

Perhaps it’s the media’s money making schemes to sell hallmark happy-endings that makes even me skeptical to believe in the substance of a sixteen-year-old’s summer love. But in this moment, it was not about the validity of a future love. It was an ease of clearness that spoke only in concise certainty. A gravitational pull that would be disobedient to the universe to ignore. It was a knowing that lacked logic, a love that may very well be improper, with a future that was unexpected.

Eventually I would go on to meet the blue-haired boy and share sacred summer nights with him, but like all summer loves it was destined to come to an end. When I retuned to Maryland, he returned to Chicago. And while the blues and yellows of the summer faded, my pull to him had no give.

From 700 miles away, I was entranced by love at first sight.

Months later this overpowering knowing would lead me onto a flight from Baltimore to O’hare, where me and the no-longer-blue-haired boy would solidify the feelings that dizzied our minds since the first day we had met. When I landed and saw his blue eyes against the morning sun, my doubtful mind had settled, my intuition boasted, and my heart rejoiced.

Perhaps it is true love, and perhaps it is not. I do not claim to believe in any aspects relating to the quality or guarantee of love, but rather the power of the intuitive knowing of love.

To this day, I live my life following my intuition to the people, places, and ideas it draws me to. Through listening to my own voice, as well as the forces of the universe, I have begun to weave myself a beautiful life colored with many great loves.