When she told me that she found love, I felt genuinely happy for her. For a large part of my life, I felt as if she were the love of my life. It wasn’t surprising to think why despite my never having expressed those feelings to her, or perhaps only expressing them at the wrong time. But I truly did, and do, love her as a person.
We met at a young age, but always there was some unspoken understanding that we would be there for the other. Her for me, me for her. And young as we were, we honored it pretty well. In our hardest moments, we were there, often with confusion about the feelings we felt for each other. Or, what I can say with more certainty, the feelings I felt for her.
In every relationship outside of ours, I felt uncomfortable with being her friend and I drew distance between us. This is among the many mistakes I have made in the relationship department. I did it as a matter of respect, because I knew what I felt then, but when I look back it was a horrible justification to be a terrible friend.
But even when we didn’t speak, I still thought of her frequently. As her birthday approached, I thought about her and wondered where was she in the world, did she have good friends around her, was she happy with herself. Her birthday is shared with my cousin Eli. They were both born on March 22nd, and so I never forget it because both are important people to me.
I realize now that growing up, and making mistakes, is a part of life. But even having that knowledge one goes to question why it should hurt so much to make those mistakes. Despite it being a natural part of the process, it really is something we cannot grow used to bearing in our lives.
I have to forgive her for the moment when I felt she broke my heart, but I also have to forgive myself for having treated a friend, a person, a human being as a commodity. Someone to nurture me, to love me, conditionally – based entirely on my conditions. But I do not feel unlucky. It is impossible. Because seeing her happy makes me so happy, and she is very deserving of love, but also so much more.
What I am happy about is the experience of new love, the renaissance in her career, her growth and blooming into the person she is today. I would be lying if I said that the person she is today is better than any version of her past self, because we shouldn’t make those comparisons. Her past self is as lovable as any version. And if I could, I would go back in time to all of the moments when she felt alone and I would be there, close by, for as long as I could.
I spoke to my friend about her, and how he also deserves happiness. But more important, a dedication to forgiveness and acceptance of self, past, and others. We all struggle through life, but even when it feels like its all doomed, there is hope. Hope that we’ll cope, but even more than that, hope that we will smile a wider smile than we ever have.
Today, I sat across from my Master Chief, and he said to me that any path I take will lead to personal success. He isn’t a reader of palms, but it became clear like a crystal ball that there are people who believe in me. But do you want to know a secret, that even I didn’t know? I am one of those people, and I doubted it so much.
At the moment, I feel incredibly proud of the choices I have made. I have created a life for myself based on one simple premise, I know myself better than anyone else. What does this mean exactly? I will trust myself to make the right decisions, and I understand that I am more reliable and resilient than I have ever let anyone believe, including myself.
Today, I pushed myself to go bike riding despite fatigue from last nights ride. I am thankful for that decision. I went so fast, and I rode almost 35 miles. This isn’t a number I am accustomed to reaching on these rides.
Anyway, things feel good lately, and I am perfectly fine.