|- Adlai E. Stevenson II|
I first heard, or saw can't really remember, the above quote in high school. I thought it was nice, but a little cheesy back then. However, it stuck around, and I quickly grew to believe it. I find it incredibly true, especially in my own life. And, as painful as it can be at times, I try to stay open to the way people touch and change me. To me, this is the human experience; to me, this is how we truly live and love.
A chance meeting? Oh, I have had so many. I have a quarter of a lifetime of people coming into my life and staying with me -- physically or emotionally or both.
Today, I am going to tell you about the one that is currently in my heart and mind, the one I cannot let go of. Almost seven years ago, I was in an interesting place in my life. I was finally falling in love with myself. I had let go of my ex-boyfriend, a process that took years, and I was living life on my own terms. I was happy and content for the first time in a long time.
This coincided with my best friend's wedding, which was good because I was in a great place to be happy for her and support her. I planned her bachelorette party with enthusiasm, determined to give her the perfect night out with all of her girls.
We ended up in Newport, R.I., at a bar with live music -- the bride's favorite form of entertainment. As soon as we heard these guys play, we knew we had found our spot for the night and we were in for a good time. They were playing all of our favorite covers, and they were entertaining as anything. They treated us well, pulling the bride up on stage and giving her multiple shout-outs. I was thrilled.
During the band's break, I went up to one of the guys and told him I thought the band was great, and I thanked him for providing us with a fun night. We chatted for a bit -- the usual questions when you first meet someone. He bought me a drink, and he gave me his business card. He told me to give him a call.
Well, I knew better than to think anything of this encounter -- just another dude in a band. I filed away his card, and I started following the band's website, checking out a few more shows when they were in the area. Months went by, and I was at one of their shows talking to said guy again. He asked me why I never called him. Um... What? Apparently this was not just another dude in a band. Apparently this dude was looking for more.
I know what you're thinking, and it wasn't quite that. To make a long story short, I fell in love with the band and the members of the band. I followed them, stayed in touch, built personal relationships... especially with above-mentioned guy.
It's a little tough for me to put into words what he has done for me at various points over the last six-plus years. He has inspired me, pushed me and encouraged me toward my goals and dreams. He has given me a safe space to be me and shine. He has listened to me and shared with me. He has made me laugh, and rarely, he has made me cry. He has lifted me up when I was down, and he has made me smile with just a thought. He has opened my mind and my heart, and through that, I believe I have become a better version of myself. I miss him when he's gone, and I feel complete joy when he's around.
I pushed him out of my life once, when I thought that was what was best for me. True, that time was crucial to my development, but I know that I am better when he's here. I can't define him or our relationship, but I know I will never been the same because of it. He keeps me in that space of being happy and content, of living on my own terms. He gives me that strength and courage. He stays with me, even when he's not here.
This post is part of the Scintilla Project. Today's prompt is: Write about a chance meeting that has stayed with you ever since.