This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.
This reflective essay by Blikachuka is like a snapshot of how I used to feel all the time in high school. When I thought about my crushes, the things I imagined never really went beyond holding hands. And usually, the guys I picked to have crushes on were at a distance of comfortable impossibility.
Except I never really pushed myself on the “why” of it. As an introvert with some anxiety stuff going on (not that I was specifically aware of this in high school either) I was content with getting my homework done, reading a lot, going to marching band practices and shows, just going through things day by day. Kind of like I was on autopilot, waiting for my life to start.
Going to an extremely liberal college expanded my horizons. For the first time I saw examples of relationships and people existing outside the heteronormative, straight-laced bubble I’d been raised in. I started having real crushes, with real feelings and real kick-you-in-the-crotch-spit-on-your-neck-fantastic outcomes. I watched/listened to/read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and took my first philosophy class with quotes about the Total Perspective Vortex on my mind — “The whole infinite Universe. The infinite sums. The infinite distances between them, and yourself. An invisible dot on an invisible dot. Infinitely small.” (x) I saw a therapist for the first time. I dated my first girlfriend, with no real idea of how dating was supposed to work.
Being able to face that you are a living being and consider what that means is one of the few dignities we have been afforded in this universe. So let yourself feel it, the pain, the fear, the wonder, and all.
After college I stayed with my parents for a while, and kind of went back into waiting for my life to start mode, but at least that time I knew why. I relied on OKCupid for a while to experience any kind of social interaction, because most of my friends lived well out of the area or had fallen out of touch.
Every “date” I went on I approached like I was trying to make a friend first, and it wasn’t until I admitted to myself that I was going on a Date date that I was able to make a connection with someone. We met for the first time at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, an hour’s drive away, though it turned out we lived about fifteen minutes away from each other. I fell head over heels.
Five years later, as I’m only about a month and a half from turning thirty, I’m still head over heels. My partner is transitioning, and by the time we get married next year we’re going to look, to the casual observer, as though we’re one of those heteronormative couples I grew up trained to expect, but we’re totally not. It makes my heart so happy to know that we are just us.