Last night was the first time that I felt like I understood something without having to focus on anyone else’s explanations. I have never been good at relationships. It’s not because I have trouble being monogamous or because I’m selfish or because someone doesn’t interest me but instead it’s because most of my time spent in relationships is contemplating their end. I am a thinker. I will sit there and think away my days and rationalize every possible reason why or how something will not work out. I will watch someone else do something better or not in the same way and suddenly my thoughts will conclude that something is not right. I focus more on the future than on the present or the past.
I met Shay about six months ago and he’s told me from the start he doesn’t do relationships. He is not the type of guy that’s going to be my boyfriend and that’s just that. This fact has never been easy for me to swallow and it’s not been something I can rationalize. We fit together. It works. It’s natural and it’s real and it makes sense by making absolutely no sense at all.
Something I tend to do and I’ve seen so many others do is focus on the to-do’s of a relationship. The anniversary presents, the formal introductions, the necessary steps in the “right direction”. A lot of being in a relationship is making sense and structuring yourself around someone else. I used to envy the storybook couples with their cliché rituals. I thought that buying flowers meant emotion or going on extravagant dates was an omission of love. I had never had anything else, seen anything else, known that I could want something else.
I’m twenty years old. My life is forever changing. I’m not going to be the person I am today in six months, or in two years, or in ten years. I may be someone similar, someone better or someone worse, but there is absolutely no guarantee that what I feel today will be the same I’m feeling tomorrow. That is more clear to me than any idea or notion of a relationship ever will be. Even if you are the exact same person you are today in ten years, that does not mean that everything around you in your life will remain the same and therefore there will forever be change. You can have the same feelings for someone for how ever long but other factors will come into play and you will have different priorities some days. That’s just life. That’s simply existing.
Shay isn’t too big on the concept of love. He’s older than me. He’s twenty-six. He has six years of memories over me and has seen six more years than I ever can. This doesn’t mean he’s any more mature or significant than I am or than my memories are. It just means he’s had a longer time to experience life. Age however does not mean you experienced anything right or more. It’s just the opportunity that you were given as an advantage. He’s loved many people. He’s been in love with many people. I can’t say I’ve done the same. I can’t say I’ve been in love too many of times and I can’t say I will be in love many more times. But I do know that there are going to be other people out there who are going to make me feel something or nothing and that that will mean something to me. There are people who are going to change me and are going to mold me and are going to break me. I may not fall in love with all of them but I surely could, or might, or would. I don’t know any of that for sure.
What I do know is that I have something powerful. I found a person who has changed my life. Who I will always know as the person who changed my life. He does not have an introduction, he does not need an object to justify my affections or his, I have shared moments and memories and time. I have shared minutes and seconds and hours and in those lapses of the present, I didn’t need to focus on the future because my reality was on fire. I met someone who made me feel something overwhelming and extreme. I may continue to feel that every day or I may never feel that feeling again. I don’t need to think about it. I found something real. Not surface level and it’s going to be significant to me for the rest of my life.
I don’t know what life is going to be like in a month’s time or in weeks or in years but I know that right now I am happy. I am happier than most couples that I see and that’s what’s important to me. That matters. I’m always going to remember these times, these moments, these feelings and a label or pricetag or namecard is not going to make that reality any less real.
Life has limitations that control your future. It’s important that in the present you are limitless because there is never a guarantee of anything from your past to be in your future.