One of my bestest girlfriends in the whole wide world returned from a 2 year stint abroad last week. As usual when we haven't seen each other in a long time, we eagerly made plans to meet up and then recounted our lives to each other IN ENTIRETY since the last time we were together. We talked through two rounds of food and drink and practically missed the fourth of July fireworks.
My friend returned older. She returned wiser. She returned engaged.
I'm still getting past the shock, the excitement, the 'are we really old enough to be married?' and 'damn, I'm pretty sure nobody is about to put a ring on my finger.' *sigh*
It all happened so fast. To hear her tell the story was like listening to a fairy tale in which she and he "just knew."
She'd been dating her boyfriend prior to The Fiance for a year. But when mr. right showed up, the former relationship was over. So over in fact, that she remarked "He's entirely gone. There aren't any traces of him. He didn't leave an imprint on my life."
That stuck with me. What man has left an imprint on my life? I think about all the men I've dated who I refer to by some nickname: Mr. Great First Date, The Texter, Milton from Macy's... Clearly I'm detached and probably wouldn't care if I ever saw them again.
I think about the men in whom I've actually invested feelings.Their imprint? Lessons learned. But don't I learn lessons everyday?
The man my friend chooses to marry is the one who feels like he's been there always and she can't imagine living without. He is the man with whom she wants herstory to be intertwined with history.
I think about all the relationships in my life. Relatives, immediate and distant, who have molded and guided my story... my outlook on the world. Friends who are so close they are my family; they are relationships in which we reciprocate selfless love and support. Even teachers and mentors have made a significant impact, indulging my intellectual and artistic curiosities, shaping the direction of my career. These are the people who have left an imprint on my life. These are the people, who when they are gone, it makes a difference.
I can't help but wonder if every time I start to build a story with a man, how will he affect me? How will I affect him? And will it be enough for forever?
What do you think?