At the beginning of the year, I gave a toast to love in 2013. Love of family, of friends, of my career, of me, and, not to be left out, romantic love. Halfway through the year, I’m drowning in love, overwhelmed in all directions by it. Some of it has been tough love, some of it deliriously happy, some of it sweet, and a lot of it confusing. My parents, my friends, and my colleagues have all played a big role in supporting me and loving me, and for that, I thank you.
When I began the year, I knew some changes would be coming in my life, but I wasn’t quite sure how it would play out. I knew I would be leaving DC, but I didn’t know when. I knew I would be changing career paths, but I wasn’t sure how. I knew I would be leaving friends and making new ones, and that was both sad and exciting. What I definitely wasn’t sure of though, was where the romance would come in. I felt I had hit a roadblock in that department, and my impending move made it even more of a challenge. It didn’t seem to make sense to try to date in DC at that point, but it would be perhaps months before I was settled into a new area and meeting new people. I was pretty sure that my romantic life would just be dormant for awhile, and that the love in my life would be filled in other ways.
But life has a funny way of throwing curveballs when you don’t expect it. Spring was wedding season for me, and right in the middle of celebrating the nuptials of a close friend, a chance connection with someone I didn’t even see coming bloomed, and suddenly, I was like, now what?!
All the reasons not to start a relationship with someone when I was moving across the country in two months stared me in the face: it would be hard, time was short, I didn’t want to do long distance again, we just met, I have no idea what I’m doing in a few months, etc. But there was no denying that we enjoyed spending time together and felt an intense connection that we wanted to keep going, even if it may end just a few months later. We weren’t the same people we had been a few years ago in our previous relationships, and as adults, we decided to just go with it and see where life and love took us for the ride.
Two months go by quickly, especially when you’re in love. It had been more than three years since I had felt loved in that way, or loved back. It was happy, it was simple, it was tender, it was comfortable, it was without drama or egos, and it was exactly what we wanted and needed. It caught me off guard at first, to be treated the way he treated me, with such affection and consideration. It wasn’t flowers and fancy dinners and adventures, but it was words and touch, and all heart. Not everyone gets to experience that – no matter how old you are.
The days inched closer to me leaving and I stressed about what to do. Should we give it a shot and see what happens? Should we end it and say we had a great time? In the end, we said “see you later” instead of goodbye and decided to try it out, even if for a few months, until we could check in and figure out next steps together. We talked, we texted, we wrote, we missed each other.
And again, life does what it will.
After a month apart, the magic had begun to fade, as had our feelings, and the distance had started to do its damage. No amount of communications or respect for each other can beat out what our hearts tell us, no matter how much we try. It’s not about rights or wrongs, or one person or the other. Sometimes, it’s simply time, distance, circumstances, and where we are in life that shapes our decisions and our feelings. And as adults who cared (and still do) very deeply for each other, we knew that it wasn’t working, as much as we didn’t want to admit it.
Who is to say that it would have worked if I hadn’t moved? Or if we had met earlier and had more time together as a couple? It may not have, or it may have, but we can’t dwell on the what ifs. What we can cherish and remember is the time we did have together, and what life will bring us in the future, whatever that may be. I don’t regret for a single second that I was able to experience love again, even if for just a short time. I don’t regret meeting someone that made me very happy in a time of transition, in a time of anxiety, a time when I was leaving so many things and people I loved behind and trusting myself to a new adventure and a lot of unknowns.
We can’t know where our hearts will lead us – sometimes it’s across the country or the world, sometimes it’s to different people than we imagined. I’m not a strong believer in fate or destiny, but I do believe that people come across our path for a reason, and their time may be long or short, but their impact may last forever. That’s how I feel about this experience.
So, with much in store this year, here’s to more love, from wherever it may come. And thank you, for loving me, and giving me the chance to love again.