He is the one who showed me what it felt like to make love like a woman. She convinced me that I could, in fact, make a living as a writer. He made me believe that love is never quite what you expect. She introduced me to the miracle that is the Miracle Bra. He made me addicted to sushi. She taught me to be a best friend, sometimes the best remedy for anything is a little wine and a hell of a lot of nodding along. He showed me everything I never wanted in anyone and how to walk toward something that’s might be worth the risk. She gave me the friendship ring that would remain in each and every jewelry box I’ve ever owned. He opened my eyes and my heart to the exhilaration that comes from liberating yourself from self-imposed rules. She held me steady and made me exhale with a single text message thousands of a miles away.
People have entered my life in a variety of fashions – through a friend, through a class, through a shared interest, through a job interview, through a blog post, through an affinity for Mac Viva Glam #5 lipstick, and even through public transportation. The ways the faces of the he’s and the she’s cycle through my life, some staying longer than others, seems magically planned by a divinity that I can never entertain. By a force, that no matter how I may try, I can never reckon with.
If you ask your mother or your best friend who both try to say the right thing at the right time – they’ll tell you that people come into your life to teach you something and that the higher power of your own belief gives you what you need, no necessarily what you want. And if your fate director is anything like mine, my life always has playful and unexpected turns that makes every experience unpredictable.
Last night, New York was radiating in 50 degree weather, making my blazer, jeans, and high heel trio a hit on the streets. Between the blinking buildings and the waves of sidewalk congestion, an encouraging wind made its way to me. And in a language that only someone who loves the city as much as I do can understand, something spoke to me. It went straight to my core, dismissing any chills, barriers, or worries and it promised me that I’m always exactly where I’m meant to be…
…with whoever I’m meant to be with or without.
Time, sweet, time has a funny little rhyme about it, but I’ve somehow managed to always have exactly who I need, exactly when I needed them the most. Even if at the moment we met, became friends, fell into bed, or had our first date, we couldn’t understand why in the world we came to be whatever we were.
Sometimes that second chance I would have done anything to be given comes in the form of a person I didn’t initially desire or in an opportunity I would have missed if the someone I wanted back, didn’t leave. Those prayers that I brought me to my knees over and over again, desperately needing a solution to the trouble brewing in parts I didn’t know could feel pain – turned out to be best left unanswered. The partners in crime growing up that I surely couldn’t imagine myself without, have become strangers whose name only pops up on Facebook occasionally – but I don’t mind. The miles that seemed to separate me from where I was and where I knew I belonged disappeared in an hour-and-half plane ride that was delayed two hours. Those dreams I dreamed, those men I melted into, those friends who knew my deep dark secrets, those days where the second-hand couldn’t have gone slower, turned into memories signaled by simple reminders in uncommonly common places.
But the trick of it all is to take people for who they are. To realize that only one man will be meant forever, the rest are merely chapters and courses to pass before the final exam. To know that the person who knew you best five years ago, most likely won’t be the same lady who plays the part of best friend in a decade. To be able to see when a relationship, a friendship, or something undefined has run its course, or maybe, is finally getting the fresh start it needs.
To know that time and space, miles and hours are sometimes temporary and sometimes forever. To remind yourself that while your heart wonders if you’ll feel that thing again, if history is an indicator of anything, you know you will. To accept that not everyone will give you what you need or be able to give you what you want – but the good ones, those worth the trials and the work, will do what they can to make you happy. To let people go when they want to leave and fight for the ones you know you’d regret to see walk away. But if they do anyways, rest assured someone else will eventually fill the shoes and perhaps be even better suited to you.
Without certain interactions, each relationship, or the phone calls that lasted for hours, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. People may try to break you, but in so many ways, they make you. Some I may never see again and a few I may be lucky enough to know a lifetime, but regardless, I’m glad to have met them and I thank them for molding me into the woman I am. While I’m not sure if life is a series of fleeting images and experiences that become part of my past faster than they were part of my present – I do know all of the people I’ve met are the he’s and the she’s of me.