Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Lessons :: A Year to Search and Recover
I didn't mean to meet someone right after breaking up with my long-term boyfriend.
It's not my fault that he started talking to me at a party. It's not my fault that he was tall and wearing flannel and liked the same music that I did. It's not my fault that he asked me to write the name of my blog on his arm, but maybe it is my fault that I agreed to.
When I got home that night, I already had an e-mail waiting for me.
Seven weeks and six dates later, he handed me a mix CD. The texts he sent afterwards have long been deleted, but I still remember exactly what he wrote: "Today, while we were in the bookstore, I was just too overwhelmed with... feelings. I'm sorry, baby. I'm trying."
I never saw him again, because he got back together with his ex-fiancee. I suppose he wasn't ready for someone new, and perhaps I wasn't ready for anyone at all. But at the time, I didn't care -- all I wanted to know was what I could have done to keep him around.
I wish I could say that this was the first and last time I felt deep infatuation followed by an ending with no closure and the aftermath of brutal insecurity, but it wasn't. I wish I could say that I didn't predict everything from the beginning, but I did. I was just so, incredibly desperate to prove myself -- and the naysayers around me -- wrong.
After that, I didn't know what to do. I hadn't been single for an extended period of time since high school, and I thought that I'd be able to slide into another relationship with ease. Since that plan failed, I decided to do the opposite: try to have fun with dating, meet as many people as possible, and play the field. This was not the norm for me, but it became so; I had a new story every week.
As long as no one gets hurt, right?
But maybe one of us did.
There was the writer I liked that stopped talking to me.
"We'll hang out soon, I promise."
There was the banker my parents liked that I stopped talking to.
"Do you miss me? You don't hate me, do you?"
There was the neighbor who told me how he really felt.
"You're just a friend. You're just like anybody else."
There was the artist I turned down.
"I want to take you out for Valentine's Day."
There was the British hipster I met in Vegas.
"You unlocked an emotional part of me."
There was the friend who wanted to love me.
"I don't trust myself alone with you."
There was the friend who did.
"You're amazing and if any guy can't see that, then fuck him."
I stumbled upon the CD the other day while flipping through a stack in my car. I'd completely forgotten about the mix -- and the man made it for me. It's amazing how we tend to let go of our hurts without realizing, but when we're trying, it seems painfully impossible in the moment. Perhaps that's just how life is; we don't realize how much has happened or how much we've grown until we look back.
Throughout the ups and downs of my unhinged rollercoaster ride of a year, a select few positive spirits stayed in my life, speaking to me without judgment. They reminded me that I would find someone, someday, who encompassed everything that I wanted, who felt the same way that I did. And it would be someone I didn't expect.
They were right -- I did find that special someone, in a place that I had failed to look before. Between the bad dates and first kisses, I found someone to provide me with true happiness and unconditional love. There are no questions, no confusion. Obstacles occur, as they naturally do, but it's nothing that can't be conquered. I found someone who has the ability to cheer me up after a rough day, someone who lets me express emotions and opinions without calling me crazy, someone who thinks I'm pretty no matter what I look like, someone who spoils me rotten, someone who embraces all of my flaws -- oh, and is also tall, and wears flannel, and likes the same music that I do.
I never expected for this person to be myself.
I already had who I was looking for all along.