Still Running

I want to write about both of them, again. There are all kinds of red lights up ahead. We’re seeing but not seeing.

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I want to write about the one that I met when I was 17. He was sitting in the sun with a baseball hat on and paying absolutely no attention to me. In true 17-year old fashion, my first thought was he’s cute. I spent the rest of the afternoon making friends with his friends and hoping he would notice me. (It took forever.) And then I spent the next four years making a million mental notes about him. Dimples when he smiles. Grumpy when he’s woken up, but only pretend. Impenetrable wall, when he’s mad. Not a big forgiver. Fiercely loyal. Loves lakes, tricked out trucks, Italian food, hockey, and me.

We agreed on 5 things out of every 500, but I loved him. I loved him so much. My parents came up to school and took the two of us out to breakfast, and I remember saying this is the one, Pops. I’m pretty much sold.

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The one that I met when I was 21, almost 22? When I was older and wiser? We agreed on all of the major things and most of the little things. (I just really didn’t like mushrooms, and he just couldn’t be coaxed into going to bed at 8 o’clock.) We made a lot of plans. Didn’t make any effort to tone down our intensity. Tacked a thousand dollar plane ticket onto every date. Talked about little bilingual boys and girls, with British accents and French names. We ran together, lifted together, grocery shopped together, cooked together, relaxed together. It was different. New. I guess it’s never the same, is it?

Leaving was the right choice, though, both times. (At the time, anyway. Certainly at the time.) But now…being alone is starting to feel an awful lot like the cowardly choice. We might need to think on that some more.

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“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” -Joan Didion

“She was a person you would not be surprised to find sitting by herself in a corner of the world where she didn’t belong, writing things in a notebook to prevent the rise of panic.” -Alice Munro

“You can only give your heart away once. After that, everything else will chase your first love.” -Tarryn Fisher

“Falling in love is not a rational process. It can’t be planned or avoided. It happens — for good or bad, it simply happens. I knew he’d eventually leave. I knew we couldn’t be together, but I fell anyway.” -Suzanne Selfors

“You will fall in love with me. Then, just months later, you will fall out. I will pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.” -Miles Walser

“Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.” -Mitch Albom

“No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.” -Haruki Murakami

“We never stop loving silently those we once loved out loud.” -Marina Abramović

“Sometimes, when it’s raining, I think about you. I think about you all the way over there, with all that ocean and all those years between us. I think about if you’re doing well, what your bedroom looks like, if you enjoy your job. I think about the times when there wasn’t any ocean between us and my time was your time. I think about when I knew the answers about you, because they were my answers as much as they were yours. Sometimes, when it’s raining, I wonder if it’s raining where you are too.” -Kat George

“I knew it wasn’t too important, but it made me sad anyway.” -J.D. Salinger

“Part of life is a quest to find that one essential person who will understand our story. But we choose wrongly so often. Over the ensuing years that person we thought understood us best ends up regarding us with pity, indifference, or active dislike.” -Jonathan Carroll

“We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love.” -Lori Deschene

“If I am lost, it’s only for a little while.” -Unknown

“Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.” -Paulo Coelho

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