Thursday, April 21, 2011

....than never to have loved at all

I spent a few hours in Cedar City recently, attending the bridal shower of my soon to be sister-in-law.  On our way to the shower we drove past an old apartment building.  The very same apartment building I lived in 14 years ago.  

A rush of emotion that I wasn't expecting, flowed through my heart, and suddenly, I could see my 19 year old self standing on the sidewalk watching our car drive by.

I realized that this little college town left a huge emotional mark on my life.  My short time there gave me my first introduction to living in the moment.  Somehow I was able to know and feel how amazing and meaningful my experiences were while I was experiencing them, not afterward, but right there in the middle of it all.  I think of myself with all of my insecurities and hopes.....everything that laid before me, and how excited I was to grow into myself.

I got to spend nearly every precious moment with my cousins that year.  I got to live out on my own for the very first time, and I got to feel love in a way I had never felt love.

He was a neighbor boy, and I adored him.  I laid awake at night thinking about his smile, and the way his blue eyes peered out from under the brim of his baseball cap.  He asked me questions about myself and he shared his french fries with me.  He was charming, kind and funny and my heart ached for him to love me......even just a little bit.  I think he knew, and I think a tiny part of his heart did love me, but always in a distant way.  He watched out for me, checked up on me, asked me my opinion, and I waited patiently for him to realize that I was the girl he loved more than any other girl.  Looking back now, I was so silly and young.  I wasn't ready to be that girl.  I loved, but I also pushed away.

The last time I saw him, was right before my mission.  I was visiting Cedar City, and my cousins and I made him some cookies, just like we used to.  We delivered them, and he was warm and kind and once again my heart ached.  After a while he gave me a hug and said, "I guess I'll see you in a year and a half".  When I returned home a year and a half later, I found out he was married, and once again I couldn't breath.  All of my hoping and waiting stared back at me, finally telling me the truth.  I would never be that girl....not for him.

I think it is funny that my first great love, wasn't anything more than a friend.  It wasn't some passionate love affair gone wrong.....I just simply loved him.  Something in our interactions always kept me hoping, that possibly he felt the same.  He always showed me just enough attention and emotional affection to keep me hanging on....and waiting.  I know it may seem silly, but there was something about this boy that bonded my heart to him.  I have since wondered if we are in fact bonded to some people in ways we are not able to remember.  If possibly that smile and those eyes were familiar to me before I ever met him here. 

Two nights this week I have seen him in my dreams.  I have been reminded that he is still there.  His memory still bouncing around in my heart somewhere.  

The good news is, I know how it feels to be loved.  Real reciprocated love.  My life is good and my heart is Tyler's, but sometimes the haunting begins and for a short time, I wonder where he is now, what he is doing.  I wonder if he ever loved me and just didn't know how to tell me.  I have made a few attempts to reconnect with him, but none have been answered.  And so I wonder.

Love is a much bigger thing than me, and I am so grateful to know what it feels like.  I am a feeling person, and when I love you.....I love you.  I guess it doesn't really matter if I have been loved as much as I HAVE loved.  Love can be lasting, even when it is not given back.  I have known rejection....a lot of rejection, and I think I have created more of it than I realize, but knowing love and knowing pain remind me I am alive. 

I have spent so much of my time guarding my heart over the years.  I don't want to be hurt.  I don't want to foolishly give something that isn't wanted, but the truth is love is a risky business, and at some point along the way I decided to be a risk taker. Who cares if I have to feel pain in the process.  

My discovery is that it IS better to have loved and lost, because when it comes the experience of love, there really isn't anything to lose.


  1. that last line says it all. you're so right. thank you for sharing your gorgeous words.

    and can you believe i hadn't heard this adele song yet?! so powerful.

  2. I love this line: "Two nights this week I have seen him in my dreams. I have been reminded that he is still there. His memory still bouncing around in my heart somewhere." How powerful is love, that we can feel it so much later? :) You write beautifully.