The classic high school break-up: The tears, the depression, the theatrics, sitting alone in my room listening to emotional music. And then the rage, the rumors, the drama, the parents telling me to grow up. The not-so classic (but just as cheesy) recovery: The revelation, the realization that I was talented and beautiful and was loved not only by an amazing family, but also my incredible friends, the ones who were willing to side with me (because it isn’t a high school break-up if there aren’t sides to take). I was completely decided that I did not need a boyfriend to stifle me. What I needed was to “grow up” on my own, independently, and develop into the strong woman I wanted to become… This was a pretty monumental belief, but it didn’t last very long.
I did manage to stick to this resolve even when a boy caught my eye. And even still when I told my friend that that guy wasn’t her type (although I couldn’t think of anything negative to say about him). And still again when I went to his soccer games and cheered for him and his energetic yet not-so-serious soccer team. And when he asked for my number and wrote it on his friend’s chest for lack of paper. But by the time we started lying in the grass saying the exact same cloud was the exact same ridiculous thing at exactly the same moment, I was smitten.
I fought with my emotions for a long time. I didn’t want to get hurt, I didn’t want to trust. And I didn’t want to be committed to anyone when I was trying to grow up independently. I thought of a relationship as a garden pole, and the people in it as tomato plants. If the pole is taken away, the plants that have grown to cling to it will collapse.
But nearly two years of finishing each other’s sentences later, I am more in love with Jesse than ever. I’m convinced that if our garden pole was removed, we’d be so intertwined that we could simply support each other. I’ve come to a new revelation, a product of unconditional love and devotion instead of solitary confinement and wailing music. Before, I believed that the only way to grow up strong was to live independently. Now I believe, that while some need to be with the person they see themselves growing old with, others need to be with the person they see themselves staying young with. I need nothing more than to be with the immature man I love.
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