January 1, 2009 by 8junebugs
…and hoping that the next leap will be the leap home.
Home doesn’t have to be a place. It can be a scent, a memory, a taste…a person. When they say home is where your heart is, “they” don’t always tell you that it can move and change, and even get lost for a while.
My heart belongs — has always been most at home — with someone I’ve loved since I was 16 years old. I didn’t know then that it was forever. Who does, at 16?
By the time I hit 22, at least I knew the love was forever. We spent a little time apart, here and there, mostly because I would feel like I needed something specific, something I didn’t know I had because the packaging wasn’t what I thought it would be. But we always found each other again, by accident or by design, and when we did, we were happy.
That last time I wandered off…that was the worst. I’d hit that point in a girl’s life when the long-term relationship with the love of your life is expected to become Something Else. There “should” be Jewelry, and Cohabitation, and a Minister, and Cake. And I bought into it. I was horrifically confused between what was making me happy and what I was “supposed to” want from it, and the result of that was a lot of fighting about nothing. Was I — were we — ready for that Next Step? No. And I was the one who decided I couldn’t wait.
I am still not good with the waiting, but I am trying. Back then, I chose between the Who and the What based on the When. I chose…poorly.
Hear me clearly, if you are ever in this position: the What and the When are inconsequential with the right Who.
“Whoever” is not a valid option. Not if you want to be happy.
Unexpectedly, and not a little courageously, The One that Got I Pushed Away reached out when he heard about my divorce. Not to gloat, not to reconcile…just to offer condolences and support. He was alone as well, starting over, healing from a relationship that had ended badly. Though 2,500 miles away from each other and out of contact for seven years, we caught up quickly — there’s a lot that doesn’t change, and we are not exactly new to each other.
(He was astonished to hear that my cousin is now the mother of three and stepmother of three more, but that’s the standard reaction.)
For all that we were apart and had tried our best with other relationships, neither of us forgot how happy we’d been together. How could we? In some ways, it was clearer than ever — perhaps how well someone understands, complements, and loves you isn’t obvious until you’ve tried to expect the equivalent from someone else. Maybe that’s when you realize what you’ve really lost.
Through what I can only see as grace (and perhaps the well-timed meddling of a dear and much-loved friend to both of us…), we have a chance to restore what we lost. We’ve managed to clear the air and forgive, and to find ourselves again in each other’s eyes.
I am grateful for the forgiveness, but I don’t think we’ll forget. We’ve come together again as though we were never apart, but we were apart — forgetting the reasons just makes it easier to repeat those mistakes and drift away from each other. So we’ll remember how we got here, cherish what we have again, and look ahead based on who we are, rather than on what we’re expected to be.
Without further ado…