The one I’m speaking of is “My first, my last, my everything,” surely that’s not how it goes for most people, right? Yesterday I woke up and asked Tre, J, and Person if they thought we can ever love someone as deeply as we did our first love–back before we knew any better. J and Person said yes, and Tre and I had a similar answer in that, we think its possible but so damned hard we don’t know how. Now, let me preface by saying that my first love was reckless and very much a non-relationship while my last relationship was committed and monogamous, very different in a lot of ways and I am not comparing them in terms of anything other than how I felt in them. I am an academic…I have to look at case studies.
Now, the reason I think first loves set the bar is because, duh, they were first. The first time you opened yourself up to loves possibilities. The first time you let your guard down. The first time you shared yourself with someone. The list goes on. Once that ends and you feel all that pain (switch song in head to Sheryl Crow’s cover of ‘First cut is the deepest’) you really have no desire to ever hurt like that again. Then when the next guy (or girl) comes along you hesitate. Even if its for a split second.
For me, my first love…(now let me say this–many of my best friends who know the dramagedy that is E and me know that he is 100% a jerk. That being said, he was never my boyfriend so I found some solace in knowing I never willingly entered a committed anything with him.) So what was it? Quite literally friendship that just caught on fire. We would talk for hours (literally like 7 hour marathon phone chats) about any and everything. Mostly we laughed. That’s what I remember. Of course there were disagreements, and the tender sweet moments but I think those come with any relationship, even platonic ones. However the thing that stands out to me most is how much fun we had. It was like that Awkward black girl moment with her and White Jay “OMG You get me!”
My Person asked me what I learned from my relationship with both E and Deeds. I told her from E I learned the importance of being friends. From Deeds I learned my capacity for loving. Neither of those is a small lesson and I think both of those will be important in my next relationship. Recently E text me and said “I’ve been with (insert name of his girlfriend that I refuse to say out loud) for 3 years now and I still think you are the person who knows me best in the world.” I responded back and said, “We were young and dumb, we didn’t know to lie back then.” I wanted to just dismiss it and ignore it but I couldn’t because #1 I knew he was serious, he doesn’t drink so I can’t even blame it on the alcohol #2 I knew he had no ulterior motive–we’re not going to get together and we both know that #3 I knew it was true. Just speaking for myself, I know how hard it was to “go there” again and I…pause
So when I was dating Deeds, I often thought that with me and E couldn’t have been love…this is love. Because the feelings were so different. I have already voiced that I think with Deeds and I, I was trying to be something and someone I wasn’t. Which is mainly why I ended it. I didn’t like how I felt about myself there. I constantly felt broken, and like I had to prove to myself (by staying and staying committed) that I was capable of loving someone. Well DUH I am. Look at my friends. Look at my family. I had convinced myself that I was wrong for so long that I thought all my definitions of love were askew.
The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook
I didn’t know how to let him love the me that was okay because I didn’t feel okay. When I walked out of what felt like a two year fog I grew very angry and resentful ( at myself) for having believed I needed to be fixed. I had been telling myself I was enough and that I was okay but I didn’t hear it. When I heard it I think I looked at him with disdain because it felt like he must have believed it too. Then he said to someone, “I always end up with broken women.” And I was done. If ever a movie line were true, at that moment this one was:
ALICE: I don’t love you anymore.
DAN: Since when?
ALICE: Now. Just now.
Quite honestly, its still hard to think about where I was then (with Deeds) moreso than where I was with E and I believe a lot of that has to do with my state of mind. We…um….entertained each other from 18-23…I was pretty phenomenally happy then. When all of my drama came I never told him mostly because we were over. He was dating PlanB he told me she was the one. Whenever I think of that moment my breath gets short.
Looking forward, I don’t want E. I do want to be friends with the man I love. I do want to have fun with him and be able to laugh with him and be myself around him. I want to be as open with him as I can be with Ken, or Jennie or J, etc. CR says I’m cliche when I say I want to quite literally marry my best friend. I’m not looking to be swept off my feet or rescued or fixed. I’m just looking for someone to walk in the rain with.
Straight up allusion to Midnight in Paris, my new favorite movie. Check out this rant from Hemingway:
That is the love I want. The love that makes you fearless and free if only for a moment in the act of love making, so that you must continue it (infinitely) in a grand, futile effort to be immortal. To have a witness to your life. To have affirmation that you have lived. Isn’t that the same as someone to walk in the rain with? Not my first. But my last. My everything.