I’ve been sitting here for over an hour making grand statements of life, sharing with you profound thoughts of enlightenment, and force-feeding some of the worst bullshit I’ve ever concocted. Why? Pride, sorrow, confusion, and lack of closure have made me more of a narcissistic prick than ever. Instead of dealing with the crux of the issue, I self-project mildly thought provoking ideas as amazing personal epiphanies. By convincing you that I’m a profound, put together, self-aware individual on the cusp of greatness, I may just convince myself as well.
I was rejected. While I have been rejected thousands of times professionally (the music industry is quite subjective), I have never been rejected on a personal level. Throughout life, I have had support. My teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, friends, and mentors have always told me that the sky was the limit. I could achieve anything I ever wanted, and that I would. My parents are the worst offenders. They have unconditionally supported me in anything that I wanted to do and believed with their entire heart that I could do it.
On top of all of this, they have all been right for the most part. I wanted to surf: I have surfed all over the world, have been published in surfing magazines, and have personally met and surfed with some of biggest professional surfers of all time. I wanted to do music: I’ve worked at record labels, I worked for Sony, I traveled all around North America on tour bus, and I have become friends with some of my favorite artists.
I now want to fall in love. I’ve had exactly 10 years of traveling, partying, adventure, inconsistency, and all of the randomness that goes along with “finding yourself”. I’m ready to start the middle section of my life- the part where I’m not so self centered, where I devote to woman rather than career, and care more about my family than anything else on earth. I would like to coach a little league team for my son before I’m 65 or teach my daughter how to catch a wave while I can still stand up. I want to smile secretly each day in disbelief that this woman chose to be with me, but also know that I’ve truly earned her respect and love.
Now, these are all grand notions and I understand that things never work out as planned- but you have to start somewhere. In order to even have a chance at any of this you have to say hi. You have to be genuine. You have to become vulnerable and leave yourself in the hands of someone else.
I recently did that. Now, it wasn’t nearly as serious as what I just described but we were quite close, I saw pieces of myself in her, and I adored every moment I spent with her. I had no idea if she was going to be my wife or the mother of my children but it was the first time my gut didn’t reject the idea. I mean, every girl I’ve dated has been awesome but deep down I knew it wasn't going to last… I didn’t know that with this one. She had… potential.
I suppose it’s pretty sad to be in my late 20’s and just now dealing with being rejected by the opposite sex. I mean, I’m not that good with the ladies but any time I sincerely asked one out, they always gave me a shot. I know I’ve been rejected by girls in bars and clubs, but that didn’t matter because it never meant anything. A stranger telling you to get lost doesn’t have the same effect as someone you already care about.
I’d like to say that this has been a good lesson, but I truly haven’t learned anything. I could have approached things differently, maybe not have been as bold or let things develop more organically, but that’s not what I’m hung up on. After laying it all on the line and telling her how I felt, all I got was a polite “no thanks.” No explanation, no rebuttal, no stupid “it’s not you, it’s me” or “hang in there, tiger- there’s plenty of fish in the sea.” A simple “no” and me quietly accepting and going my own way.
At this point I’m not sure if a reason why even matters. An explanation would just further dilute the end result of her not wanting me. It’s been tough to swallow, especially now finally being in the mindset of actually wanting to care for someone. Maybe this is karma- me starting to pay off my 10 years of debauchery and girls I said “no thanks” to. Maybe she made the biggest mistake of her life and that 1 cat will multiply into 4 by the time she’s in her mid 30’s. Or maybe it took her “potential” to help bring one chapter to a close and a new one to begin with an entirely different outlook.
In the end, the thing I can take away from all of this is that I tried. Trying and failing feels much better than never knowing- maybe that was my lesson…
Peas and carrots, you ask? Yes. You see, peas and carrots can't be more opposite from one another- yet they compliment each other perfectly. Think about it, you wouldn't want to eat mashed potatoes and a baked potato in the same sitting, even if you love spuds. They're essentially the same thing. Yep, peas and carrots.
I'm not looking for my mirror image, I'm not looking at a compatibility rating. I don't care if our Top Ten lists match, and I am no longer looking for some dream girl I've been fanaticizing about my whole life. I'm looking for my counterpoint. I'm looking for my perfect compliment.
The point of this trilogy is not that I want to get back together with my first love, it's that I am now ready to experience love once again. I've come full circle. The first go around was pure dumb luck. I truly was Forest Gump. I didn't know any better about love and relationships and I leaped. I saw something in her and I took a chance. We had no long friendship where I knew it was safe, I didn't make a pros and cons list to help me decide, and I didn't sabotage it because it seemed unlikely. Many years later I've finally figured out that there is no recipe for love- just ingredients and the chance that they might go well together.
The first person who saw a long orange stick and a tiny green ball didn't know what they were getting themselves into, and neither do I. All I can do is hope that my combination is as timeless…
The absence of love hasn't left me debilitated. Well, it did for a while but overall it has been a positive experience. It has motivated me. It made me want to become a better person, more mature, and secure. It made me want to become successful, stable, and accomplished. It made me want to have all of my issues sorted out so when I find love again, I'll be ready for it. Ready for her.
The problem is that I'm not ready, or didn't think so. Sure, I believe I am a much better person now than I was when I first discovered love. There's no doubt that I'm much more mature. I am also self-confident now, completely secure with who I am as individual. However, I'm severely lacking the success, stability and accomplished requisites. To my own credit and demise, I've removed myself so far from relationships that I have no room in my life for one. I've focused so much on becoming successful and accomplished that I've forgotten how significant a significant other can be.
There was a point when that lifestlye was proper and founded, it can be a great way to live a period of your life. In order to be successful in a relationship, you have to be comfortable and confident with yourself. As soon as you can truly enjoy life on your own merits, then are you able to fully enjoy it with someone else.
I took it to an extreme though and it wasn't until a recent epiphany that I realized as important as it is to find your independent self, at some point it's just as important to rely on others. As simple as that is, it never crossed my mind. I honestly never considered anyone helping me before and certainly not someone I was in love with. I always thought that I would become successful and accomplished all on my own. I would build greatness by myself and then one day share it with the woman I felt worthy. That seems so crazy to me now but before I truly believed there was no other way.
Never once, when I thought about my life and future, did I think about falling in love right now. In my dreams I always "got the girl" later in life. I did even think it was possible to find love in my current state- all potential with no credentials. But what if I did? How amazing would it be to grow and achieve dreams together? Each of us working side by side, just has hard as the other to accomplish both of our goals in life. Two forces who have nothing separately but when combined can achieve greatness together.
I can't imagine anything more satisfying than helping the one person in the world I love the most achieve their biggest dreams. It must be astounding. It just seems so logical now. Of course I can't do everything on my own. In all honesty, I wouldn't want to.
I always thought that I needed to achieve greatness before I could ever be happy with someone. The only way I see it now is that I could never be happy unless I'm achieving great with someone.
I miss love. I miss the physical torture of longing for someone. I miss the piss and vinegar that comes with the reckless loss of inhibitions. Spitting the face of anyone who dare doubt your devotion. I miss the most honest tears I've ever cried and the piercing words that caused them. The amount of vim and vigor someone can stir inside of you just by a single glance. Trusting someone enough to become venerable and not even thinking twice about it. I miss saying the words and truly meaning it, with every conviction of my being.
I think I had it once. I don't know if it was love or not, but I certainly felt everything I just described. It was the most intense experience I've ever had in my life. The goods were the best and bads were the worst. It nearly ruined my life. Hell, maybe it did in one way or another… It was a traumatizing experience. When it ended, I thought I ended. It's been seven years and I don't think I'm over it. I've certainly accepted it and moved on, but I can't help but think about it from time to time. Feeling that passionately about someone leaves a permanent footprint in your psyche. I'm not saying that's a bad thing or that I'm damaged goods, but it's certainly something that will never be forgotten.
I'm concerned if my thoughts and feelings are rational, maybe even normal? Is it okay to think and feel the way I do, even after so many years? I guess I'm getting scared. Time is supposed to cure matters of the heart but here I am still thinking about it. Since my experience with love, I have been with several amazing women. Amazing relationships that, on paper, should have been light years beyond the one I'm speaking of. However, I haven't felt that earth moving, moon lassoing, raw, unfiltered deepness since being with her.
Don't get me wrong, each relationship has been special to me. Each has affected me in some way and taught me a great deal about life. Likewise, none of them have been quite on the same level. Maybe it's because I had never really been hurt before her? I didn't have any walls, preconceived notions, any reservations. I laid it all out on the line with her, totally oblivious to the consequences. Totally unaware of what true emotional pain was. I am now fully aware and equally as scared of it.
This is what I'm having a hard time figuring out- am I holding myself back because I haven't found "my" girl or "the one" yet? Like, I will know when it's right and all of my relationship insecurities, walls, and restraints will become nonexistent when I meet her? Maybe because of my experiences and fear, I'll never be able to be as fully reckless and unabashed? I will always hold back a little or it will take a lot effort and time to let my guard down? Or, and as scary as this sounds, will no one else ever quite match up? Maybe she was "the one"? Maybe I am the Forest Gump to her Jenny and I have just suppressed it? After all, it has been a long time and I'm still thinking about the relationship.
Seven years later and I don't know if I truly miss her, or I just miss being madly in love. Either way, I haven't been able to fill the void since she's been gone.
Someone once told me that a true judge of character is how someone reacts after they’ve made a mistake. I’ve made a lot of mistakes lately. More in the last two months than in the entire last two years. The realization I’ve come to is that I’m absolutely no good for anyone, but that I’m unquestionably great for someone.
In a time such as this, I like to turn to my good friend Sam Malone for some advice. I mean, making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot… Sam is undoubtedly one of the best womanizing characters in television history. It has nothing to do with the quantity of women he’s had relations with but it’s the fact that everyone still loves him afterward. That’s what elevates Sam into legendary status, he possess a certain charm which we all wish we had a piece of.