Monday, July 7, 2008

A Personal Essay

This is an essay I wrote my freshman year of college. It was a personal essay but I've changed some things in it just so people can retain their privacy since they really have no say in whether I post this or not. Things have changed since I wrote this essay. This is not the final copy I turned in, I accidentally deleted the final version. That is why this essay isn't completely perfect.

The Elusive Love

A little more than two years ago, a girl walked into my life. Her name was Heather. I met this beauty at my church youth group, and her delicate and timid demeanor, along with my own shyness, allowed us only minor contact with one another. She sat across the room from me with her wavy, brown hair and emerald eyes silent. At first I did not know what to think of this young girl who I came in contact with. We hardly spoke a word to one another that first month she attended my church. Soon, though, we each began to open up to the other. We found common ground in her sister, who, with a more outgoing personality, had become an instant friend to me. But one night, in December of 2004, things began to change. That night a large group of my friends, which included Heather and I, decided to have a sort of pre-Christmas outing to the city. We planned on going ice skating in West Town after eating at our favorite restaurant, Carlos’s CafĂ©. Despite our initial intent, we ended up not ice skating after dinner for a reason I can’t remember; instead, we decided to just walk around West Town the rest of the night enjoying the atmosphere and one another’s company. Heather and I spent the whole night around each other. As I got to know her more intimately, thoughts of romance soon filled my mind. And during this night of fun and festivities in West Town, I fell in love with that girl.

As the months passed, my days were filled with thoughts of Heather. I found myself wanting to spend every moment I could with her. Sadly enough I never acted on the feelings of passion and love. My emotions were bold, yet I was not. I stuck close to her and tried to allude to her how I felt, but I never told her outright my feelings. This was a mistake. At the beginning it seemed as though she held the same feelings I did. There were moments that I was so sure that all I had to do was the say the word and Heather would be mine, but I foolishly let them pass me by. Half a year rolled by before I finally revealed my true feelings to Heather only to not receive the same kind of love in return. Heather saw me as a friend, nothing more. I do think that at some point she had romantic feelings towards me, but, for whatever reason, those feelings had melted away. Despite this rejection, I did not shut her out of my life. I could not let this girl leave me. Every moment with her was magical and I would not let that disappear. Instead, I pulled her ever closer to me. I was determined to have this girl in my life, even if it meant only as a friend.

As times began to change, we found ourselves growing inevitably apart. With her attending high school in a separate town and switching churches, we were forced to make our own time for this friendship to grow, and those moments were hard to come by. At one point Heather and I lost contact altogether for about three months; during this time my thoughts drifted from the angel of my dreams. As my high school graduation approached, I received a call from Heather. The fire inside my heart was instantly reignited. She and I both were unhappy with the lack of contact and vowed that the summer would be different. With my departure for college coming and Heather remaining behind to start her junior year of high school, seeing each other after that summer would be very difficult.

All the time I have known Heather I have settled for a lesser love than I hoped for, but the love is pure nonetheless. When the feelings of passion aren’t mutual in a relationship the lack of consistency can undoubtedly put a strain on the relationship. Though there may be love in the relationship it is often overlooked by some and misinterpreted by many. The destructiveness love can bring comes when people don’t find this love. Feeling this loss or emptiness of emotion can cause relationships to fail because there may be a sense of betrayal on the part of the seeker. To overcome this aspect of blindness in a relationship there must be and understanding of the love that does exist. I initially found myself in this position with Heather. I was distraught at the fact that I hadn’t found the love I had been seeking. I almost gave up on the friendship totally. My heart was weakened and my mind was in tangles about what to do. My emotions became a whirlwind of anger, fear, and love, but in the end I had the consciousness to realize there was still a friendly love between the two of us.

Another downfall of the elusive love some pursue is not the fault of the seeker but the fault of the one being sought after. When presented with a suitor not desirable to them, a girl/boy may push that person away and want nothing to do with them. This is a route I thought, at first, Heather might take. Whenever I told her of my true feelings she seemed not very fond of the idea. I felt she may have fallen away had I not had the determination to continue to be her friend at any cost. Soon she warmed back up to me and we were as close as ever. Inside her there must have been a love for me that, combined with my own, was, and is, strong enough to bind us together through the toughest of times.

I have recently grown far more intimate with Heather, seeing her at both her highest and lowest points. Before the end of school Heather had began dating a good friend of hers from her school. Needless to say I didn’t like this very much, but still I kept Heather close to my heart. While in this relationship Heather seemed full of happiness. The boy she had began dating was one of her best friends. She told me she felt comfortable around him and he always made her feel safe. The only thing I could think of when she told me this was how I would be so much better to her than this guy ever could be. Something inside of me told me that this guy did not deserve Heather and was not as pure as he appeared—I was right. Shortly before the school year began for both of us, Heather’s heart was broken—her boyfriend left her for another girl. In the midst of the break-up, Heather’s ex had said hurtful things implying she was an untruthful person and someone who he only befriended in hopes of dating her. Heather was devastated because she had put false value in a friendship that was never pure. In this time of confusion and sadness she turned to me for help. I spent many hours on the phone with her sometimes comforting her, other times just listening to what she said. There were conversations where I had to explain to her how that guy was nothing and she had to let him go, and others where we would just talk and laugh about it all. In the course of this healing, Heather revealed herself to me in her most vulnerable state. The type of trust and reliance she had in me could only have come from a binding love she and I both share. I adore what we have and I will always be there for her and I know she will be there for me. But the love we have, strong as it is, is still not what I truly, deeply, madly desire from her.

To survive the trials of love we sometimes face, we must learn to find and exploit whatever love does exist in the relationship. Just as I did amidst the confusion and pain of rejection from Heather, we need to rely on that which we didn’t find in return to get us through—love. Admittedly, this can very difficult, but with hard work and commitment, the value of love can be found and renewed. The love I hold inside of me may not be one that I was able discover within the heart of Heather, but my situation of love is one of success, nonetheless. In my experiences, though they are limited, I find that love is confusing and sometimes difficult to endure, but if the love is pure it will find a way to survive. I have uncovered the true love of my life and whether that love grows into something more or it remains where it is, I will always do my best to keep it intact. The search for elusive love can be one full of confusion, loss, betrayal, and, hopefully, passionate determination.

1 comment:

casey said...

do you feel that it's worth it, to keep trying through everything? even though you've been angry and confused through said situation, it seems you still think it's worth it, all for the love you feel for her. that's pretty impressive; not many people would stick by something that wholeheartedly.