Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Of Young Love and Uncertainties

This story has never been and will always be true.

High school, May 2010. My knees shook as I stood there alone with her. I had rehearsed this moment, planned it, executed it a million times in my head. Plans within plans, outcomes judged and anticipated, acceptance, rejection, hesitance, eagerness.  But the illusion of control quickly vanished in the shifting sands of reality. My world fell apart, my carefully constructed artifices shattering, crumbling as quickly as my hopes for success.

-God help me I’m not ready I can’t do this she’ll say no she doesn’t even know me that well she’ll never speak to me again I won’t even be able to ask she’s so beautiful I’m not ready-

"Hey... so... I was wondering if maybe... you'd like to, maybe... go with me to a movie or something, at some point..."

The moment of suspense. Thoughts racing. Wish I could see what she was thinking. Wish somehow I could know, wish I could get inside her head and see what’s going on, but I can’t, so time just goes on and on and it really hasn’t been any time at all but at the same time it feels like it’s been forever as I look at her and wait to see what she will do. What if she says yes? What if we go to a movie, go to coffee, go to a nice restaurant, go to school together, slowly build a life together? What will this moment come to mean? Will my future self look back upon this moment as the true beginning of a beautiful life? What if she says no? What if we go our separate ways, lose contact, go to different schools, find different friends, and build our own lives apart from each other? What will this moment come to mean? Will my future self look back on this moment as the true beginning of a crippled life? No matter what she says, am I prepared for this to be one of the most significant moments of my life? With the myopia we have about the future, is it even possible to be prepared for something like this? Is it possible to be prepared for any significant event in one’s life? What does it even mean to be “prepared”? Does it mean an encyclopedic knowledge of all possible outcomes of a complex moment in time, the ability to anticipate everything that may happen, and the readiness to have power over any potential future? This is impossible. But perhaps it means something else. Perhaps being prepared means possessing a willingness to live in the present without disregarding either the past or the future, to see that one’s actions have consequences but to be content with making decisions without having all of the answers. Perhaps being prepared means understanding that one will never be prepared, but that life is there to be lived, difficult decisions and easy ones, beautiful triumphs and crippling disappointments, and that all one can do is embrace that difficult, easy, beautiful, crippling life. All one can do is live.

She is about to speak now. And I am ready to live.

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