Have you ever met someone who completely changed the way you looked at things? A person who, perhaps, without even knowing, had a profound impact on you? These people come in and out of our lives. Sometimes they're meant to stay, other times they're meant to be a fleeting lesson. Gone as quickly as they came. Whether they are to be a consistency in your life or the inconsistency you need; they happened for a reason.
Mine was an inconsistency that I needed. I've seriously dated two men in my life time and to be quite honest, I felt like neither of them ever really 'got me.' It wasn't their fault. I think some people just don't have the capacity to feel and love as deeply as others; and that's okay. But I feel deeply; so deeply it almost feels like no one can touch or understand my depth. At times it's been a curse; to feel like no one understands these range of emotions I cannot control. Other times, it feels like a blessing because I see the world in a way few people see; a brilliant, electronic, dazzling world full of so much than the every day mundane routine of being a human. Even in New York, the men I casually dated seemed incapable of grasping who I was. I'd open up myself to them; pour everything out to try and get them to understand me (because I deeply regret not showing the past people I've dated who I really am). Most would reply with a solemn head nod of understanding (while I'm sure really thinking "this gal is legitimately crazy"), and others wouldn't even try to pretend like they understood. They would look at me with a blank stare, as if I'd just told them that it were to rain tomorrow-- not about all my hopes and dreams and fears and misgivings--and continue on talking about surface level things such as how New York City really is dirty and high school really was the best of days...
And then I met my inconsistency. It was one of those really strange occurrences of it being such a slim chance we would have ever met, but somehow we did. I wasn't completely enamored at first, but something captured my attention that I could not put my finger on. There was an essence. An invisible thread I felt that connected us where we had both been on opposite ends and had followed where it led, rolling up the fine string into a ball in our hands, until we met in the middle. He was handsome in a non traditional way. You could see how life had weathered him and that's what I liked. He looked as though he had lived life; not just wandered aimlessly through it. It showed in the small gray hairs that had begun appearing around his temples and in the soft formation of crows feet in his skin from years of laughing and worrying. But mostly, it was in the look of his eyes. So blue they haunt me still sometimes, and there was knowing and understanding in them. An unsaid agreement of "I understand you."
I saw him four times; three times after the first day we met. It was such a short period of time but it impacted me so much. Through our time together I told him about me and he told me about him. For the first time, I watched unfold before my eyes a person who didn't brush off my depth with scoff; but embraced it and looked at me with wonder in his eyes. A dazzelment of learning the inner workings of another human being and the amazement that figuring out sometimes we're not as alone as we think we are. His story and the way he told it me made me pause and think about my own life. He was jaded and cynical. I was fresh and optimistic. It was the realest thing anyone has ever told me. When he asked to kiss me, he looked at me bashfully, a look of embarrassment and uncertainty on his face, like I would say no. My heart swelled with endearment for this man because he was awkward and I loved that. He was real. And I loved that too. So in the middle of Bryant Park, I kissed him.
As soon as everything was there, it was gone again just as quickly as it had come. I had to leave New York City to come back to Ohio. It pained me so much. Not necessarily because I had to leave him, but because I had to leave behind this city where I have never, ever in my life felt so real. The realness of my life seemed like a dream...a dream from the calculated, stifled, uncertain Lauren that had existed before. I had to go back to my consistencies; and leave my inconsistencies that taught me so much about life in three short months behind.
We still speak a bit. Very infrequently. And that's okay with me. I don't want anything more from him because I know that's not what he was supposed to be to me. I could never take the dazzling, mezmorizing thing we had in New York and bring it here, because it just wouldn't be that anymore. It would become dull and lifeless because it doesn't belong here. It belongs to stay there, where I can always cherish those memories and be thankful for the ways in which he helped me. He probably doesn't realize how much he helped me, or how much he impacted me. I most likely did not help him or impact him in the same way as he did me. It would probably frighten him if he knew I'd written this about him (it would frighten me if someone wrote this about me to be honest). But I couldn't forget about this and store in in the back of my mind to let it collect dust as if it was never really there at all. It happened. He showed me...to not settle for anything less than extraordinary. That so much of life is not extraordinary, but there are moments, and there are people, and there are places...that are. And do not stop until you find them. And do not settle ever again once you do. x
With much love, Lauren.