Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I hope you think my favorite song...

For the second time in this blog's history, I just titled a post with Taylor Swift lyrics. But I thought it appropriate. As I was attempting sleep just now, my eyes flew open remembering a dream from LAST night. About him. And it got me thinking.

This isn't the first time my adolescent summer love has visited me in my grown up dreams. Despite all the pain and heartache he once caused my 18 and 19-year-old self, I find that every time, I am always happy to find him there.

We were just kids. Wild, crazy, reckless, often stupid, very often drunk. But we were always having fun. There was no baggage to carry, no dealbreakers, no painful questions we would have to answer. Every day was new, every night was new, and three months might as well have lasted forever. In many ways for me, I guess it kind of has. It's funny how my opinion of him and how he fits into my story has changed over the past five or six (?!?!) years. Yes, he broke my heart once. He took away what I perceived to be a huge piece of my innocence at the time. There was a point where he was the one who hurt me the most because I'd loved him the most. So far. My most recent love and I talked about him once, and in the great drama of THAT relationship, my summer romance seemed to fade into nothing. It lost so much significance in the wake of a much more adult relationship, and subsequently "adult" breakup. I was certain that because of the intensity of that grown-up relationship and the lessons learned at its end, nothing prior was of any consequence. And then I had this dream.

I was somehow back at his best friend's house on the lake. He threw the front door open and saw me and smiled. Oh, that smile. It was a perfect day, and he took my hand and walked me down the dock and onto the boat. He drove us into the middle of the lake, stopped the boat, threw me into the water and dove in after me. I screamed and laughed, splashed and cursed at him. He just laughed and kissed me, with his wet hair and wet lips. And I was 18 again...crazy, happy, innocent, FREE.

I woke up at 4am, still 23, to the sound of the rain. In November. But for a minute there, it was like the last 9 months, or, hell, the last 5 years--had never happened. They did happen, of course, but somehow a piece of that girl has been restored. And I am, once again, thanking God for unanswered prayers. My summer love was nothing less than love, I get that now. Young, fumbling, impossible love, but love just the same. He wasn't the man for me, and still isn't. But he was the BOY for me. I have no idea where he is or what he's doing now. I hope he's happy. I hope he's still that kid, with no agenda or inhibitions, somewhere deep inside.

And if I could, I'd thank him for dropping in to let me know that real love doesn't always have to be jaded, scarred, dramatic, and sad. You know, all those mature things with which I've become so familiar. Real love makes you happy. Makes you feel alive, and free. And for the reminder that it's okay to want that. It's okay to seek that, and to find that now, just as I had then.

There was a time when I was convinced he was the one for me. I prayed that God would let me marry him, and we could live in the country in a big beautiful house with cute kids running around in the yard and country music playing in the background. God didn't go for that idea. Thankfully. Instead, I have the (admittledly creepy) dreams and memories to shine a little light into this particular November. And the really well-timed reminder that there is still a piece of me that remains innocent, free, and able to love without hesitation or fear. And that, I have to say, is incredibly good to know.

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