This morning I remembered about a time I was “in love” before W. Do I think you can love more than one person in your life? Yes, we are human and feel emotions for people. But, what I felt for J should probably be classified more as an infatuation or a fling, and because I was so young, I didn’t know any better so I definitely thought I was in love. Although I definitely doodled my name with his last name for a solid month… ah young “love”
After I graduated high school, I decided it was time to get away from life here and start exploring the world. Travel is a big deal to me. Expanding my mind and discovering other cultures and just having new experiences was important. I never wanted to be someone who stayed in the province I grew up in, never giving myself a chance to learn about the world. I had chosen that I would not be an ignorant person. So straight after I bought my car I started saving up for my “trip”.
I had decided I was going to go, by myself, to Africa for three months. I found an organization who needed support and would host me, and after saving another 6-7 grand (flights/shopping/safari/souvenirs) I set off to Namibia in January of 2006 to volunteer in an AIDS orphanage.
It changed my life. It was my first glimpse of poverty and people in real need. This was the true definition of Ghetto. We commuted into the small community of Katatura in the capital of Windhoek daily and it was terrible and beautiful at the same time. But the children…. the children were captivating. They loved life despite what they were going through, yes they didn’t know any different, but they found joy in the day-to-day regardless. My first tattoo was a line from a poem I wrote when I got home to commemorate my time there and the children I fell in love with. It’s written in Afrikaans and translated says “who my love dares”… and to me it means if you love something or someone you should do whatever it takes to boldly show it.
Anyways, J was one of the long term workers at the organization that hosted me. He had grown up in the community and had overcome all that life had thrown at him, only to return and help those in similar situations. Hot right? Right.
We didn’t really connect until a month into my trip, but then it was like a whirlwind. He was writing me love notes and throwing rocks at my window late at night so we could talk. Then sometimes at night we would sneak out to the field and spend hours talking under the stars. It was actually really romantic thinking back. He was older then me and very convincing, and even though I wasn’t technically on vacation, I wasn’t at home in my regular environment either, so I figured I should let loose and went with it.
By the time April rolled around, J had convinced me that we were meant to be together, and that he would find a way to join me in Canada. My innocent 18 year old self totally hung on to each word he said. This man wrote me poems and songs for me which he serenaded me with on the front porch while strumming a guitar (dreamy hey) How could I possibly think any else?
Well, after I returned home, the emails and even a few international phone calls went back and forth for probably 6-8 months… pretty good for a long distance “relationship” at 18. But then…. things just petered out I guess? I’m not even sure what happened to be honest. Over 10 years has past and well… J never made it here. I never went back, although I never said I would. But we both moved on with our lives. At least I did, I never found out what happened to J. And I’m realizing that although I’m sure I was heartbroken at the time, possibly even cried once or twice, it’s basically been inconsequential in the long-term of my life.
I barely even remember that it happened let alone how it ended.
And maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll be at a point in my life one day where I look back and see E that way. Where I barely remember that he happened. And hopefully I’ll also forget how it ended.