Note: This blog entry has not been written for the sake of other people. If you wish to read it, thank you for giving it twenty minutes of your time and attention. In reality, its purpose is purely therapeutic and it has given me the necessity of reflection.
Documenting my own personal thoughts, issues and emotions isn't something that I necessarily do often, but on this windy spring afternoon in Tasmania, I'm making an exception. I'm sitting here outdoors in a recreational reserve, leaning against a foreign fence and reflecting upon the last four years of my life and just how magical they have been. In front of me there is a little creek complete with a miniature little waterfall that interrupts my thought process. I can hear the laughter of children in the distance perhaps as they prepare to propel themselves down slides or compete with each other to see who can swing higher and daringly jump the longest. As a sidenote, I must remember to thank the owner of the property whose fence I'm currently leaning on - their unrestricted wireless internet connection is very much appreciated even if it does occasionally, sporadically falter and fade like the afternoon's sunshine in and amongst the clouds. There is a reason why I'm here, but it is merely just to get away, to escape, to break down where nobody can see. 1373 days after I found and fell in love with the girl of my dreams, today marks the day where we officially called our relationship off and I consequently lost my best friend.
Four years ago, I was seventeen years old and I had essentially given up on the prospect of love and relationships. They felt like compelling illusions and I was so exhausted when it came to making them work. I had only recently stepped out of a turbulent eight month relationship with a girl who I had affections for during high-school, and that ended so disastrously that at the time I was certain that I just didn't care anymore. Towards the end, we became nothing more than prolonged silences in cigarette scented rooms, and instead of confiding in me, she turned to substances and opted to pour all of her emotions into overfilled ashtrays. In what is still to this day one of the worst and most regretful things that I have ever done in my life, I left this girl without a semblance of goodbye. Although we later solidified remnants of a friendship years later, I vowed to myself that I would never be a person that gives up easily, that hurts or disappoints people in the process, and instead I want to be positive, supportive and willing to put other people before myself - I hope that I've accomplished this and that I continue to do so.
During this period, I focused predominantly on my studies, my sporting pursuits and I quickly learned how therapeutic music can be when you need an escape. I was playing Australian football and enjoying every individual training session, every intensely competitive game on the weekend, and then I would return home and lose myself in the music that I adored. People often say that you find the person you're waiting for when you stop looking and subsequently least expect them - I'm delighted to say that this was an accurate representation as to how it happened for me. It occurred from essentially the moment I found her. I was captivated by her words, I was mesmerized by her charm and playfulness, and I was lost in her inviting ability to engage anyone who wished to spark a conversation. She was breathtakingly beautiful in such a natural fashion, and her smile remains the very best and sweetest that I have ever seen. She could make anybody smile with apparent ease just by smiling at them first - and I loved and gravitated towards that.
It got to the point where we would be talking and writing to each other every day, I would often find myself dropping everything I was doing just to spend an extra ten minutes with this girl, and her company was soon the highlight of my day and would continue to be nearly four years onward. It took me a few months to work up the courage to tell her just how much she meant to me. Even then, I was verbally clumsy and although I desperately wanted to do so, I didn't mention how I felt for her outright. Instead, I was quite cryptic and often concealed my emotions, but she picked up on it and before long she had cleverly maneuvered me into a corner where I could do nothing except express my love for her. However, it wasn't all fairy tales and sparks flying from the outset, she had been hurt by people before and was reluctant to open up and trust so quickly. We took baby steps together, I reinforced my appreciation for her when she was at her lowest points, and eventually she told me three of the most amazing, poetic, life changing words that I've ever heard; I love you.
The first year was unbelievable. I've used the term 'perfect', and I maintain that belief because everything just felt right when we were together. We made it to our first anniversary and I remember wanting to do something so special to celebrate it. Twelve months is such an important milestone that deserves to be recognized and acknowledged, and I needed the right gift. I had began searching desperately in the weeks leading up to it - I had subtly asked all her friends what kind of gifts she treasures, what kind of jewellery she prefers to all others and eventually I got the answer I was looking for. She had fine taste in silver, and so I searched hard for a beautiful ring to fit securely on her finger. I can't even begin to express the number of jewellery outlets I visited, the number of times I retraced my steps walking back and forth whilst peering down into all the display cabinets. Eventually, I found the piece of jewellery that I had so painstakingly searched for in the form of a beautiful, elegant $550 ring, and I couldn't have been happier with my purchase. Deep down I told myself that the next ring I buy for her will signal something so much bigger, almost as big as the journey I wanted to take with her.
I had never been happier in my life. There were times we argued and days where we remained upset and distant, but we knew that we were strong enough to overcome any obstacle that attempted to prevent us from where we were heading together. Over the next year there would be many more indescribably amazing moments to share. She was fiercely passionate about her favorite bands, one of which happened to be All Time Low, and I recall how her friend had been in a position to hear their new album, Nothing Personal, before her and the remainder of the general public. That set about a chain of events that made me pursue a career in writing and reviewing upcoming album releases. I began writing with the sole intention of obtaining an advance copy of All Time Low's next album, whenever it came to writing and recording it. Eventually they announced a release date, I received the album two months in advance and we listened to Dirty Work together in what is still one of the best moments and memories in my life. I guess you could say that she is the reason I write and also the reason why I'm unafraid to showcase it.
She finished high school not long afterwards, and she was to be going off to a prestigious college such was her educational prowess. She was placed on her school's honor roll, she was inducted into the National Spanish Honors Society, and her grades were all fantastic. Despite all the awards and achievements she accumulated during her education, it wasn't even the fact that she was regularly being the best, I found myself swelling with pride at just the amount of effort she continually put in. What I loved most though was her desire to make a difference and to immerse herself in extra-curricular activities. She was involved in the theater company where she played on-screen roles as well as did much of the work behind the curtains, she spent countless hours in charge of editing her school magazine and yearbook to make it as lovely as it could look for all the departing students, and she was a vocal and passionate voice speaking out in favor of equality. Perhaps the biggest and most touching thing that I can remember about her high school education is that she loved the thought of, and opportunities relating to volunteer work. There was this one memorable conversation we had where she was searching for direction, and so this lead to her becoming involved in Project Teammate. It's where she helped an intellectually disabled student, she built a friendship, she made the student positively glow in those small hours for one day per week. She would come back and tell me all about it, and you should sense the happiness, the satisfaction and the fulfillment that she felt.
That summer was difficult, though. That very same prestigious college had accepted her application request and from then onwards, she was in two places at once both mentally and emotionally - the college where she knew her future would take her, and a small town she knew she would be soon departing. She spent the holidays with friends she would hardly see for twelve months, and I suppose that's the beginning of how we started to drift apart. With the benefit of hindsight, it was mainly my fault. I had become so attached, I was selfish, I wanted to make the most of those three months before the world as I knew it was to be thrown into spontaneous chaos. I wasn't a very supportive person and I think I made her feel guilty about spending time with friends as opposed to focusing on us. I have no excuses, but in my defense, she was soon to be rooming with multiple other people and we would be apart and unable to communicate for large portions of the time. If I could go back, I would've never stepped in her way. Mistakes have a habit of derailing everything.
That year while she was away at college was without doubt the hardest thing that I had ever done. She was in a room with three other girls, we had no privacy, we were unable to webcam without getting interrupted and towards the end it wore us down and I believe it became too difficult for her. Once again, I shoulder the vast majority of blame. She was spread so thin, she tried to please everybody, she was caught between being social and going out with all of her friends and knowing that I was probably waiting on her. When you're young and you've never experienced the kind of freedom and rush that the college lifestyle can potentially give you, I should have known to be more understanding. We were on the verge of breaking up numerous times, but we managed to somehow keep it together long enough to make up and work it out. The end of year vacation came, but I think the year we had just experienced had taken its toll on our relationship - at least in her mind.
Three weeks ago, just when she was on the verge of leaving to resume college, we made the decision to break it off. Originally it was planned to be a break but it soon became apparent that she was unable to deal with the pressure of be without each other for another nine months. As any person would when they're about to lose the person they love more than anything else in the world, I tried to be reassuring that everything would be okay, that I could deal with being a last priority in her insanely tight and difficult schedule, but unfortunately my words had lost their meaning. Today I admit defeat and everything that has come before it has culminated in this break-up. I keep thinking about the quote that says, "If you love them, you'll set them free and if it's meant to be, they'll come back to you." And as I continue writing this, the children long since having vacated the park I currently occupy, I'm also marginally comforted by the thought that maybe in five years from now, we'll start again and live happily ever after.
Because you see, I love this girl and I forever will.
I've spent nearly the past four years of my life devoting myself to her to the point where she has now became part of who I am. She has assisted in making me the person that I am today. Likewise, I'm so proud of the person that she is and I hope that there's a fraction of me that she can see in her someday. I now know that in order for her to fulfill her dreams and to pursue all of her goals, she needs to be weightless, unrestricted and free of the burden that both I and the relationship have placed upon her. I owe it to her to let go, so that her dreams can move mountains and hopefully change the world - at the very least, she's managed to change mine and make it illuminate more than it ever would've if she hadn't been in it. Sometimes to let go of someone or something you feel you can't live or go on without is to prove that you love; in this case, I hope I've just proven it to her one last time.
As I finish that last paragraph, I suppose I should leave the comfort of this secluded portion of the recreational park for although the afternoon is a pleasant one and radiates with the warmth of spring sunlight, I feel it's time to close a chapter that I never wanted to finish. I know that when I finally finish here, I'll prepare to walk home in the same manner that I walked here three hours earlier - alone and vulnerable for the first time in nearly four years.