Friday, September 27, 2013

An Anniversary Story (A Few Days Early)

One night when I was 24, I heard my roommate come home after a night out with co-workers. I was already in bed but wanted to hear about her night. She mentioned everyone who was there, including this one “weird” guy who didn't talk much and kept to himself. Sweet but a bit gawky, he was more apt to pine over someone than to date them. He was tall and skinny with a face that said “character actor” instead of leading man.

“I love him,” I thought, rolling over and nestling into my pillow. The thought came instantly and involuntarily—about a guy I had never met, about a guy who was “no one’s” type. My roommate continued to tell her story, but I just heard white noise and saw her lips move. My heart felt like it was expanding to fill every corner of my body. It was completely irrational; completely unlike me and my usual level-headed self. I laughed it off and went to sleep, but some time later I discovered this gut reaction was true. I guess you could say my soul knew waaaaay before my head knew that I loved JAR.

Truth be told, this kind of “involuntary” love can be a very challenging love. While there are things you like and admire about this person—like their kindness, their wit—you don’t necessarily love them for their personality or their values or their ambitions. It’s not about common ground or money or great abs. Simply put, you are deeply and undeniably drawn to this person and can’t imagine your world without them. You don’t discuss kids, goals, or long-term plans (though it's probably not a bad idea). You just take a deep breath, close your eyes, and let it unfold.

There are fights and disillusionment and cultural differences and communication breakdowns. But there are also moments of magic when you realize that this is the exact person you needed in order to grow in a specific area; to shine a light on the dark spots and reveal the real you. This is the person you were built for.

And so, you say THANK YOU—laying in bed, riding the bus, shopping for groceries—you say it multiple times in a row, before slipping back into everyday concerns. “Thank you,” you repeat, pushing it out from your core, into the ether.