To be able to breathe at that that very moment I needed to be resuscitated by hope.
I didn't need his pity or his condolences. I just needed his voice. I needed the way his voice made me feel. And because he was (and is) a good person, and because he was (and is) gentle and kind, he took the call and gave me something to cling onto. I knew in that moment that my heart, though broken from the loss of my mother, was reparable. And because he was good and kind, he even came to my Sweet 16, and danced with me at our senior prom.
While the teenage me fancied him to the point of scribbling our names together and whispering goodnight to him before I fell asleep, the person I am now is so very thankful to have had him in my life even though nothing ever came of it. Why? My crush didn't crush me: instead, he helped me through the worst part of my life just by being himself. (I was reminded of him by the calendar — today is his birthday.)
I think it's because of this (and also my personality) that I willingly, happily, and sometimes even recklessly fling myself at love, even if I know it's unrequited, puppy-dog, never gonna happen love. Of all the different iterations of Robby, the one that I most adore is the courageous lioness created and emboldened by love.
However, if you know me or have read my blog for any time you know that (1) I rarely talk about my personal life and (2) I tend to talk about the past and not the present. I am going to stray from that to share a few revelations that happened this weekend (partly in response to this article):
1) Being single prevents me from being the joyful and loving person that I like to be. I'm my best person when I get to love someone. I'm my best person when that love gives me the confidence to shine (she was there all along, but just needed a venue). And for me, that joy is in the details of sharing a life together with someone in both meaningful and trivial ways: to bring someone into my family, or to just read books on opposite sides of the couch, stealing glances every now and then.
2) All of my crushes have helped me understand what it feels like when someone's interested in you and what it looks and feels like when they're not. Unfortunately, many guys view dating as a battle of who can care less. Not my thing. Woo the crap out of me cause I'm worth your time and energy. And you know what? You get steak in return. Woo --> Steak.
3) I love love love being proud of the person that I am with. I love giving compliments and encouragement. I love bragging. I love basking in his glow. I love it when he does the exact same thing for me.
4) Everyone says that I'm intimidating and come off as dominant (as if those things are bad in a woman). I'm really a kitten. I like it when a guy takes the lead, makes the first move. It's not about machismo or anything like that. My kinda guy is willing to take a risk. I'm intimidating because I am self-aware and confident; I come off as dominant because I'm not willing to let any man make me small just so he can feel big.
5) Other people say that I come off as needy, emotional (and try to shame me about being that way). Well, damn straight I am. It's way worse to think that you don't need the people around you (also, other people need to feel needed and not just a fashion accessory). It sucks when you feel like a convenience to someone versus them thinking you're a missing part of their life (even if that's a small, temporal part). It's way worse to shut down your emotions because you're too afraid of feeling them or because you've been bloodied and beaten up by love before.
6) At 33, I fear that I've realized a lot of this too late. But also that particular fear is a bit irrational and a bit common among my generation. There are other things that feed into this fear, but they're all things that I have some control over and can change. That's a whole other blog post. But just as I've been stuck in my weight loss/health gain/athletic life, I've been stuck in my personal life. I've realized that to fix both that I need to find hope again. I need to heal a little bit and also remember that on the other side of this fear (re-injury of back, being a spinster) is the life that I want.
What am I willing to do in order to be the person that I want to be? (Yes Doug -- your book is getting to me in some unexpected ways).