well this sums it up.
So for my college English class we were given the assignment to write a narrative essay about something that has changed us. Instantly my relationship came to mind, I knew that it was what I needed to write about. I needed to let it all out and let someone read it. So here it is, enjoy...
Nick and Taylor’s relationship was the closest thing you could come to conventional. They were friends throughout their elementary years and as they made their way into high school their innocent and carefree friendship started to blossom into the possibility of something more. They went on many group dates and eventually became “official”. Nick has since left on a mission and my sister dutifully awaits his return all the while studying to become a music education major and planning the dream wedding we all know they’ll have. For Taylor this was her first relationship and first love and she knew instantly that her and Nick would be married and sealed for all eternity. I shunned the idea of marriage to someone without having fully played the dating field. I asked myself how she could possibly know that he was what she wanted out of life without even having had a second thought about dating around. That was until I met Caleb.
Based on my minor judgment life is for two things. Experiencing the wondrous creations of this world and finding love. In my short 18 years of life I thought I knew what love was. It was the person you could always count on, the person that would listen to all of your darkest secrets but still see you through the same pair of eyes, a person who would adore you for everything that you were. In my mind Caleb was everything I had wanted and more. Our relationship was more fun and laughter than hardcore romance and when we rarely talked about our future together we spoke of parting as happy friends. Then our kisses became longer and our feelings became deeper. And with those three words I knew I couldn't live without him. During the course of our relationship I really struggled with body image and the ever consuming thought that I wasn’t pretty enough or skinny enough for him. Demons lived on my shoulder and weighed me down to the deepest pits of self-loathing. I hated who I was and who I was becoming. As I thought about our future I had to force myself to be happy with the path that I chose. Here I was settling with the notion that I would be with my preemie boyfriend, of four short months, forever. And I was coping with the idea that I would mold him and myself into what I wanted. I was willing to compromise my future plans and blindly follow Caleb’s beliefs about what was right for me. He wanted me to switch schools for him while he played college volleyball, with me as his personal sideline cheerleader and groupie girl. Not once had he even entertained the thought that I’d want to do something with my life other than cheer him on from my designated spot in the bleachers.
Then he started to talk about marriage and for an 18 year old girl it's a bit overwhelming. When I had planned for college I planned on leaving home with no strings attached, a fresh new start in a new town; not an almost husband. It was finally time for me to grab life by the reigns and make the decisions that would affect MY future not ours.
My feelings of "love" and "forever" were quickly starting to fade. Then as the last rays of summer faded we moved off to different universities and parted as friends. I inhaled a breath of fresh air and started to find myself again. I started to remember what it was like to be single and taught myself to be happy alone. I learned that I only really needed the company of my thoughts and the Spirit to keep me occupied rather than anxiously awaiting another text from him. I was finally starting to grow and mature in the direction that my life so desperately needed to take. I felt like I was waking up from a summer long slumber and our entire relationship had been a sluggish dream that I had ultimately clawed myself out of. I felt renewed and born again ready to face the world without Caleb by my side keeping me in his shadow. But I knew that I had one last thing to do before I would be able to completely heal and close that chapter of my life.
I still had one token left of from our broken relationship, his favorite flannel. He had given it to me while we were still together. That thing had kept me warm in bed, was comfy and worn, and paired great with a pair of leggings. But I knew that it was the last memento that I needed to get rid of. That loose fitting button up was the last string that I needed to cut, so that there would be nothing else tying myself to him. So with my willpower to leave my past projecting me into the post office I grabbed a box and shoved the shirt in there with a short note expressing my apologies and recent realization. I wrote, “Sorry I’ve been holding on to this for so long I think I was holding on to the memory of what we used to be rather than the reality of what we actually are.” And with that closing assertion I sent the box back to the home of the boy I thought I loved.
Love is a tricky thing. It can make you feel like you’re on the top of the world; soaring far above the clouds free of any cares and worries. You will do anything for that one person even if they don’t ask. You will change yourself; inside and out because you think that deep down it’s what they really want. You will argue that you are in control and no one will be able to change your mind. But then one day you will wake up to the cold, stark realization that you’ve changed into a person that you never dreamt you’d become. I thought the love I had with Caleb would makes us everlasting and would save me from the trials I was too scared to face but I came to the understanding that no matter how much I tried to hide from them they’d always find me. There is a time for everything: learning, happiness, trials, and even love. The Lord’s timing is everything when it comes to us making our own decisions and I thought I was exempt from that rule. I’m learning to become older, less of a flower and more of a sturdy tree. I’m making more responsible choices and trying to think with a wiser mind. Although there are things that I miss about my childhood and my flimsy ideas of love after high school, I’ve come to realize that I'm more excited for what my future has to offer. The countless possibilities that await me as soon as I'm brave enough to make that first leap into the real world.
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