When I was 16, I met… a guy.
It was winter time. I was young, naive. He was (still is) one of the most unique, intelligent, creative human beings I’d had the pleasure of knowing.
& when I was with him, I felt unique, intelligent, & creative (I still do).
We all have that one person who we can’t seem to fully let go of, & it should come as no surprise that he is mine. I’m not in love with him. I’m not obsessed with him either — I feel the need to clarify this, given my history — & I know on some level that we would never work. But whenever we cross paths I feel pulled towards him. I revert to my 16 year-old self — the insecure girl in too-tight jeans & with terrible hair — & he will always be (to me) the teenage version of himself that I was enamoured with.
I can close my eyes & smell his 90-something Ford Escort; I can feel the course denim of his fashionably ripped Diesel jeans beneath my inexperienced hands. It takes no effort to recall his long blonde hair, draped artfully over his forehead, framing his brilliant blue eyes. His smile — oh, that smile. The corners of his mouth were permanently upturned in an expression that could grow effortlessly from his signature grin to a toothy smile, lighting up his whole face. I can hear our soundtrack to that summer: the Beastie Boys, Justin Timberlake, Beck, punctuated by heavy breathing & the gentle, uncomfortable laughter of first time lovers.
We had so much fun together. He was the first guy who ever made me feel pretty, girly, relevant.
& even now, when I feel… less than myself, I know that I can crawl to him & he will make me feel the exact same way. Without even trying, he can validate me with a single word; a single touch.
He’s a magnet. More than that, he’s my security blanket.
& it’s not healthy. It’s not fair. I don’t feel the same way I felt about him when I was 16 — I just want to.
Maybe part of the reason I can’t move forward is because I’m not allowing myself to let go?
Yeah. A good way to stay single is trying to make old, broken relationships work. Nothing says “date me” like baggage, am I right? SO, I think I’m going to stop doing that, or at least try to.
It’s not that my past relationships aren’t important. I mean, they shaped me into the emotionally-unstable, occasionally confident woman I am today. &, they have their place in my past… But that’s where they need to stay.