Is there a moment in your life when you think, “If I had said yes, my life might have been totally different”?
I wrote a series of essays about my (non) romantic life back in 2006. I’m not sure how much of it I’ll be willing to post, but I’m treating you to the first because it serves a larger purpose in my recovery journey.
EPISODE ONE: The One with the Quarterback (1991)
It all began in my seventh grade history class where I developed a crush on a blond boy who sat exactly opposite from me. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I dreamed about, well, talking to him. Finally, the day came. I was busy with the usual, sneaking glances at him during the completely boring lecture, when to my surprise, he caught me looking! I was mortified, until I realized that he was, in fact, trying to get my attention. (Because, really, if someone “catches you looking,” they were themselves also caught looking, as deductive logic would lead one to conclude.) First Crush held up a piece of paper that said,” WILL,” in big capital letters. Perplexed, I stared and then he held up another that said, “YOU.” One word at a time, he asked if I would eat lunch with him after our class was over. Has a twelve year old ever been so romantic? However, terrified, of what I don’t know, I shook my head and never looked at him again.
(Picture this guy…BUT CUTER.)
My crush moved away during that year, and I doubted I would ever see him again. However, five years later, he reappeared during my senior year of high school, returning with a vengeance as a varsity football player, and of course, he dated a high-profile drill team member, who (of freaking course) had been my best friend in kindergarten. I reviewed the scenario, and decided I had jinxed myself for all eternity from successful relationships.
It would be a full decade before I would have my first kiss, at the age of 23. It would be a couple of years past that to actually experience any version of requited romantic interest (which is actually questionable on my part to this day, as you may get to read later), at the age of 25. It would be 17 years later, at the age of THIRTY, when I would have my first boyfriend.
For a full 17+ years, I wondered:
- Had I jinxed myself from love? Was that 7th grade opportunity my one chance and I had missed it?
- Why is EVERYONE else around me dating, finding people that interest them AND that are interested in them? Why not me?
- Is it my face?
- Is it my personality?
- Is it my body?
- Am I unlovable? Undeserving?
- Now that JJ says he loves me, I’d better stay with him because…will anyone else ever love me, ever even look at me, again??
What would have happened if I had said YES?
- Would I love and accept myself?
- Would I believe in myself enough to take risks?
- Would I feel confident?
- Would I be balanced in my relationships?
- Would I trust that I could be loved?
- Would I have been okay after my parents both died?
These are the questions I’m realizing are below the anorexic surface.
What is your “What if” moment?