half a year

If I catalogued my life by half-years, well I’d be strange, but if I did it this one would fall into the ‘half-years of note’ category. It’s been a rollercoaster. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been hurt. I’ve hurt. I’ve learned how it feels to lose friends. I’ve learned that some mistakes are unforgivable. I neglected good lifelong friendships while trying to save something that apparently wasn’t worth my energy. I didn’t listen when everyone told me to give up. I know now that you can’t fix some things, and continuing to try only leads to heartache for everyone involved. I’ve learned some people just won’t like me, and that’s their prerogative. I’ve learned how to like myself in spite of that heartbreaking notion.

Above all else, in this half-year of my life I’ve learned that there are levels of love I never even really knew existed. I don’t mean to be sappy, but it’s inevitable. Those of you that know me very well have seen me get weepy at hallmark commercials. I’m not going to sit here in front of my macbook and carry on about how incredible my boyfriend is, or how love is perfect. That’s not what this is about. It’s not about trashing people in the past. It’s not about overcoming bad relationships. No, I’m grown up enough to know that every person I’ve let in my life made me happy in some way at some point, and that’s really all that matters.

This isn’t about any of that.

It’s about me and the women like me. It’s about those of us who sort of gave up on looking for love. It’s about the surprise that comes after you just stop worrying about it. It’s about how love, of any kind, can save you from your worst moments.
I didn’t really date much as a teenager. I had a boyfriend for two years in middle school, but we didn’t go out. I guess we were technically each other’s date to every Friday night dance, but we spent most of those just hanging in big groups of friends. In high school I had one, yes ONE boyfriend and it lasted all of six weeks Freshman year. I was a late bloomer. Nothing to be ashamed of, but something that makes any girl feel like she’ll probably never figure the boyfriend thing out. I’m not going to go all through my dating history since then, but let’s just say it wasn’t super packed with boyfriends and dates. I never considered myself all that, um, desirable.

To be honest, it mostly didn’t bother me. When you live a certain way, after a while it just feels normal. You fill your life with the love of friends and family and occasionally go on a couple dates with some guy you’ll never really end up with. It all feels just fine. You’re happy. You’re focused on other things in life, and it’s all good.

Eventually, if you’re like me, you just stop trying for the love thing and hope maybe one day it’ll work itself out.

What you don’t expect is for it to actually work out. You don’t realize that someone amazing really could come along and make you believe in all that stuff you wrote off. You don’t know that some guy is going to leave you the kind of sappy notes that used to make you roll your eyes right out of your head, but this time it’s different. This time those notes feel raw and honest. This time they make you teary, like a hallmark commercial would.
If you’d talked to me seven months ago I’d probably have told you I was absolutely content with the way life was. I had plenty of free time to write. I made plans only when I wanted to. I hung out with various friends at various spots downtown. I jumped from concert to concert, sometimes by myself. All of it felt great, but I didn’t know how much better life could feel.

If I measured life by half-years I’d tell you this one has been one of the most difficult of my entire catalogue. I’ve learned some -rip your heart out and stomp on it- lessons about friendship. I’ve learned some things about myself that I didn’t like. Among all of the crap, all of the drama, all of the mess I’ve put myself through in six short months there’s been an incredible bright spot.

And I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I hope all of you have that. I hope at some point in your lives you find the kind of love that can make you forget how much everything else hurts.
…or at least give yourself a break and let it find you.

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