WARNING: If you’re not interested in hearing about my personal life, I’ve got this great post about riding elephants. You should check it out. But whatever you do, don’t read further.
I’ve written this post three times already.
Seriously, I can’t figure it out. Somehow it always turns into a rant on the insincerity/casual attitude of most teen relationships, the aggravations of being a teen in a society where teens and young adults “like” each other because so and so is “hot” or “cute”, the mindset and terminology associated with the word “boyfriend”, the way adults actually expect bad behavior from a pair of teens who “like” each other… I could go on for pages. I HAVE gone on for pages.
So here I am, back at page one, staring at my computer screen and hoping (please, please, please) that this will be the last draft; that this time I’ll finally get the words right.
I have a sweetheart.
Which seems to have come as a bit of a surprise to the various friends, distant relatives, acquaintances, and so on. I get it. I was always the kid that swore up and down that she’d never grow up, never live on her own, and never, EVER, have a boyfriend. I still don’t. If you want to hear a good rant sometime, ask me why I hate the word “boyfriend.”
It’s been amusing to me to see people who’ve known me a while react to the news that I’m in a romantic relationship. Almost all of them have been surprised. Most have been curious. A few, almost disappointed. Not one, but two people admitted that they had honestly wondered if I was lesbian. Sorry to disappoint. It would’ve made for a much better read, I’m sure!
For those of you who’ve asked: There’s been a few reasons I haven’t bothered with a relationship up until this point.
1. I’m a thinker.
Seriously, I over-think everything. Every emotion has to be analyzed and carefully considered before I act on it. Experiences need to be picked apart again and again. I’m always looking for “the point.” There has to be a point to everything, a lesson waiting to be taken from each experience, and then it all needs to be “written out.” When it comes to decision-making, outcomes need to be considered, risks weighed. It’s very, very rare for me to act on impulse. I can’t decide if it’s a good or a bad thing, or if that can even be judged.
2. I’ve never found someone who outweighed all the risks.
Sure, I’ve had crushes. Anyone who claims to never have had a crush can’t be taken seriously. But someone willing to have a long-distance relationship, someone worth the time and effort? That kind of fella doesn’t show up every day.
3. I’m weird, and a total dork.
‘Nough said. “Compatible dorkiness” is next to “smells ok” on my list of great qualities in a potential love, and finding a guy who can keep up with my level of weird takes some doing.
4. Um… I travel… A lot…
It’s not impossible to have a relationship while on the road. Tons of people do it. But it definitely weeds out the guys who actually care from the ones who think you’re ok. It takes a special kind of relationship to survive long-distance for years at a time.
So why now?
Because I hit the jackpot with this one. He’s sweet. He’s funny. He’s even weirder than I am (yes, that’s a good thing). He’s been with me through thick and thin for the past seven years, loved me when I couldn’t even love myself, and gave me his all without asking for anything in return. He’s my best friend.
His name is William Wellman.
He’s not quite a year younger than me. There’s a 21 day period he’s very fond of when we’re the same age. He’s got rust-red hair that sort of sticks up in every direction, unless he’s wearing his trademark leather hat. He’s an aspiring illustrator, a fantastic writer and story-teller, and a gifted photographer.
He’ll spend hours in ancient bookstores and comic book shops searching for weathered old treasures or role-playing game guidebooks. His whole face crinkles up into the biggest sunshiny grin you’ve ever seen when he laughs. He can make the mundane into an interesting adventure with his untamed imagination and fun-loving spirit.
He absolutely sucks at getting angry or irritated. Little kids adore him. He’s wise beyond his years. He makes me laugh. He’s one of the most respectful, kind-hearted people I’ve ever met, bar none. He takes care of me above and beyond what I ever imagined would be possible. You know he once sent me five bags of specialty German licorice overseas just because I mentioned off-handedly that I liked it? He also likes to type me letters on his old typewriter or mail me my favorite kind of tea, soap, you name it. He’s an over-the-top romantic… which often makes me want to hide under my hat, but I’m not really complaining.
The best thing about him? He’s also my friend. It’s not all sparkles and teeny-bopper romance. We goof off together. We collaborate on stories and ideas. We snark at movies and pull off ridiculous shenanigans. We have adventures. We’re imperfect, messy oddities who leave our socks on the floor and miss deadlines and get irritated at each other sometimes, and even our worst days are the best of my life thus far.
It’s been a year, almost exactly. Six or so since we first swapped imaginary worlds in Germany and became instant friends. He’ll join me in Guatemala for New Year’s, and we’ll start another 365 day adventure together. Our years together have been hardly any time at all in the grand scheme of things, but I think it’s high time I let you all know. Consider this post a status update. I’m tired of repeating myself. ;)