Monday, September 10, 2012

because you like him

It's a gorgeous late summer afternoon here in Virginia; outside my office window is an obscenely blue sky punctuated with tufts of white and gray, tall dark green trees with a sharp early autumn wind rustling through them, just enough nature and sunshine to make me even more restless, here inside.

There is restlessness in this beautiful day: business becoming serious as the long shadows of summer settle behind, seasons on the cusp of change, my own thoughts twirling masterfully. It's the kind of day where not even a thesaurus helps because I haven't a proper starting point, any known word, that, while not quite perfect, would provide footing for this. There is no footing, only twirling and a smile.

What, then? What now?

I battle against the questions, settling only on "quiet your mind."

The official start of Summer 2012, Memorial Day, knocked me off my footing in a heavy way. I am a planner by nature, and finding myself starting the summer, suddenly, with no plan frightened me. I spent the days carefully rebuilding myself on truer footing; a very long, involved lesson in Lauren, a series to learn about myself. I learned to be positive, joyous, and thankful, and shared those feelings. I allowed myself moments of anger and despair, and surrounded myself with friends who would hold me through violent tears. 

I replayed vacations, fights, quiet evenings, and relationship-defining moments in my head, studying them, looking for clues. I determined what I needed to change, what I would no longer accept, what kind of life I wanted. I listened gratefully to those who reminded me "this will not last forever," and I steeled myself that I would not settle. I continued to hope, very quietly.

Life wore on, brightly and deliberately.

Every step I took was toward what I wanted to be living: nurturing relationships with family, old friends, and new friends; developing exciting adventures and enjoying new things; experiencing long, quiet nights of introspection; learning to quiet my mind; learning to hope, a little louder.

The official end to a long summer, Labor Day, found me enjoying a long, surprising weekend with an equally surprising, large smile. We floated on a boat on the Potomac. We sang new music. We swung our legs over the dark water on a midnight dock. We danced under streetlights.
Here, at the end of summer, I know that I grew every day. I still grow every day. I am strong and bright and positive, I know myself, I love my life, and I am comfortable with "me." I can be comfortable with "we," maybe. I can hope.

Because it's okay to hope out loud.

Because I stand on my own solid footing, and comfortably. 

Because I feel more me now than I ever had before.

Because sometimes I try to force what cannot be, and then I sit back and I am surprised. Because sometimes wheels were set in motion a long, long time ago. Because sometimes this is how life goes.

Because every time I question everything, and text a friend in mania, his response reminds me, "it's because you like him."

Because not everything has to be questioned, or answered. Because not everything needs a plan. 

Because there, in a crowded game-day bar, opposite teams emblazoned on our chests, I looked into his eyes and said "I am absolutely in heaven. There is only one thing that could make this any better," when he earnestly asked what, I leaned in and whispered against the scruff on his cheek, "If I could call my Grandma tonight and tell her all about our weekend." He locked his eyes to mine, softly kissed my cheekbone, and wrapped my raw emotion into the forest green of his jersey, into strong arms and soft meaning. 

Because living my life is enough. Because enjoying the time I spend with him is enough.

Because I like him.


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