February 7th, 2011

I remember being 13. I had a crush on the neighberhood bad boy.  It was a very long crush. Kinda like the ones you see in the movies. I was 16 when I finally let go.  It was my mom who said, just love him period honey. Don’t do anything else.

Just because we care about people, doesn’t mean we have to DO anything about it. Just loving them, period, is enough.  Sometimes that’s all we can do, sometimes it’s the best we can do. It was right after that the man who would change the way I related to men forever came into my life. I learned some hard lessons that year.  They were good ones, that served me over the course of the last  15 years but they were tough to learn.

I learned to respect people’s advances, to respect their hearts, not to beat around the bush. And I learned not to play hard to get.  Which, in many respects, probably doesn’t serve me well but it does make me a woman of high integrity. Something that I very proud of. This means that when relationship exchanges start taking the shape of tit for tat or become fear based.  I’m out.  I just don’t participate in that kind of behavior. This means that I will tell you how I feel at all times.  This means that I usually focus more on telling people what I appreciate about them, what I love about them, how much I care for them the opposite. I would rather hang in there in my integrous ways through my own blood sweat and tears than to play ridiculous mind games that serve no purpose but to deteriorate today’s view of dating and relationships. Or, better yet, now, I’m  learning to just to walk away.

When I moved last year, I came across my highschool graduating yearbook, where I read the wisdom I had enscribed as a token of my highschool experience.  It read something simple like, ”don’t play games”. But my whole life I’ve always valued other people’s hearts as sacred. I’ve always believed to enter in a relationship, of whatever form, with another, means you have a human responsibility to make that space sacred for your exchanges.  I owe all that to the man who came into my life after my first crush.  I remember him telling me as we said goodbye, ”You have nothing to be sad about, now the bar is set really high, and that’s a good thing. ” I cried for three years after that. We always stayed good friends.  Life has taken on and off eachother’s paths several times since then.

Another thing I stumbled across in last year’s move was the singing Christmas teddybear he’d left in my mailbox one year.  After much fighting with my girlfriends, I, white knuckled and all, let them chuck him, and let that part of my life go.  Not thinking that’d ever cross paths again, even less, just shortly after that.

And so it is, I find myself, at 32, caring for a man that deeply cared for me so many years ago. And yet, still, our story remains unaccessible. Impossible. And the why of it all, which I thought was solved so many years ago, is an even bigger question mark than ever before.  I walked through the underground mall at lunchtime, on my way back from the shoemaker. Catching glimpses of the colorful spring lines in the shop windows, ivorys and pinks, floral print knits, remembering my mother’s words, so early in my romantic life, just love him period.