Everyone is looking for love. Especially high school students and young adults. It seems like everyone has someone to love except you. Every time a birthday rolls around, you’ve lost another year to settle down and raise a family. Thirty is unspeakable- you might never find the one and that little girl you’ve always dreamed of may never come to be.
But Love doesn’t seem to come to those who go looking for it. Love seems to come in the most unexpected places.
Please indulge my anecdotes in illustrating my point:
K pulled me aside in the hall as we left Spanish and whispered just loud enough for me to hear, “S likes you!” “No, he doesn’t,” I laughed off her comment, but then I began to wonder. I started to pay more attention. “And you like him,” she added some time later- which I vehemently denied. But soon I found out that she was right. I actually had a crush on the long, greasy-haired boy who sat at the back of the classroom and mumbled when he talked. Who cut his hair that summer so you could see that his eyes twinkled when he teased. Whose nice arms showed when he ran cross country. Who was the first boy to hold my hand and tell me he liked me. Who earned a “You held hands with him?!” from a proud Vivaz.
I don’t remember much about how or why it happened. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten the most important detail: why things changed. A and I had been friends for years. Best friends. I could tell him anything, and we were inseparable. One day, we decided that we wanted to give it a try- that we wanted to be more than friends. Everyone had been saying for years that we would end up together. They had to be right. Right? Best friends end up married all the time! We had to be missing what was right in front of us. By trying to fit our puzzle pieces together, we lost some of the pieces… our friendship.
I only saw him every now and again. When he got called up from the back to help bag during rushes at the store. I don’t know how things got started, but he had a certain kind of gleam in his eye. The kind that grabs your attention and makes you want to know more. He didn’t talk to the other girls on front end- just me. And quickly, we grew accustomed to teasing each other, making funny faces whenever we’d pass. A guy I would never have “picked out” for myself. and one who I don’t want to leave behind as I go off to college.
I’m sure you can put two and two together to figure out why I told you about these three guys that I have loved each in their own time. It was better when I didn’t go looking for Love. Things didn’t end well with S or with A, but in the end, S and I were on much better terms. And the major difference between my relationship with S and my relationship with A is that S and I didn’t force it. We didn’t become a couple because we thought it had to be the next step. Or because it “made sense.” Or because other people thought we should. These very wrong reasons are what brought A and I together, and ultimately, it became clear that Love isn’t an equation. You can’t plug things in “perfectly” to get the expected (or desired) outcome.
Sometimes, the best people in your life are the ones you never expected would matter to you. If you told me even three months ago that I would look so forward to going to work where I knew D would make me laugh, I wouldn’t have believed you. He came out of left field and into my life.
Love is elusive to those who actively seek it. Instead, you must be open to it, ready and wiling to give and receive freely. Because there are lovely faces in unexpected places.