It’s the end of the movie, and the scene cuts all the way back to the beginning, where the boy and the girl spend their first day together. I’ve seen the movie, I know they end up together, at least in a way; I know how they feel about each other, I know how it ends. But all I can think, when I see them laughing and running in the tall wild grass up on that windy hill, is this–this is the beginning of their something.
Until now, I never quite understood what my friend said, all the way on a little island in the middle of the ocean, just two kids enjoying being wild and free and navigating the world all on our own, reveling in the little mistakes and trip ups we made along the way. She said that labels are overrated–what’s the point of labeling a relationship as something, when it is what it is anyway? Good communication she said, that’s what’s important. Ah, I said, nodding. Yes, I see. That makes sense. But it didn’t really. Two people either were something solid and particular or they weren’t… I didn’t see the point of avoiding clarification. It felt dangerous otherwise, communication or not.
But now–I’ve got my own something. It’s amazing and wild and precious and magical and sweet and gentle and messy and oh so darn hard and even more comfortable. It’s belonging and giggles and a bit fragile and determination. It’s living and warm and always changing yet always somehow the same. It’s a person. It’s something that began when I didn’t even know it was beginning and when I wasn’t even expecting it and now I just don’t want to even imagine myself without it and I don’t even know what that would be like and yet at the same time I do know and it’s too awful to think about yet I know that we’d be okay at the same time, somehow, someway, even though it doesn’t feel like that–and gosh darn it, all I know is that this something is part of my heart and I don’t want to lose it.
The boy and the girl in this movie–their something inspired me. They didn’t try to label it. Yes, it was messy and even dangerous–they definitely should have defined it more, contained it more. But in some ways, their ‘we’ reminded me of our ‘us.’ They were best friends, and something more. They were together, and yet not. But they always fought for each other, even through the years, and in the end, their something ended up working out, even if it wasn’t in the way they thought it would. They just remained dedicated to their something, without thinking too hard about what it should be, and just focused on what was. What is. They focused on “Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today.” Gosh I’m trying… I’m trying not to squeeze the darn life out of today because I’m terrified of tomorrow. I have to remember that today is good, and just live in it and be ridiculously joyful in it, without breaking all my rules somehow. I have to make as many beautiful and bright memories as I can without being painfully conscious of the fact that I’m making them, that one day they will just be memories–tomorrow in fact. But today, today, today–gosh, Jesus, I am so thankful I have today. Help me live it right.
“Listen, listen. Nothing truly good was ever easy,” the boy said to the girl. Listen, listen, I’m listening. I’ll try to walk it out, balance the curb, toes pointed, eyes straight ahead, feeling my way through the bumps and dips, alive to the world… focusing on the person holding my hand, keeping me balanced. Focusing on that grip, not worrying about when it will let go of me, and when he does, whether we will ever hold tight to each other again.
When we hugged back in November, I didn’t realize that it was the beginning of my something. That the moment would change my next year and even my very self forever. I didn’t realize ‘we’ would become so much a part of my vocabulary and my way of thinking. I didn’t realize that I’d finally have a something. And as crazy and hard and scary and beautiful and wondrous as it is–I want to thank you. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Thank you for being just that–my something. And I am so so grateful, that we have today to live it.