We all have them… that person in your life whom, without, you would be on an entirely different path than you are. For some of us, it’s a parent or teacher or spouse… but for others, it’s someone who came completely out of left field, changed the course of the game, and then disappeared before you could even blink.
My catalyst is a dear friend, but a friend I cannot keep. It’s someone I’ve loved, someone I’ve hated; someone who has shown me that crazy passionate love still exists- when I thought it ended with our high school boyfriends leaving for college, and taking our hearts with them. This person also taught me what true pain, longing, and heartbreak feels like. From this person, I’ve learned that people don’t always hold up their end of the bargain, and that’s okay, because feeling pain is better than feeling nothing at all, and you will make it through, and be stronger for it. This person has taught me to forgive, and that friendship can sometimes be the best apology. This person is also someone who has shown me that courage and strength are all you need to change what’s wrong in your life, and if you don’t take that chance, then you’re not really living. This person has been the catalyst I needed to make my life what it is today, and for that, I have never ending gratitude.
It seems silly not to ask the question, ‘Why aren’t you together then?”. There was obviously love, respect, friendship, so- what more do you need? Maybe the answer is that you need nothing more, in fact, you need less.
I am a better “me” for knowing that passion and love exist so that I don’t settle for anything less. I am better for knowing what pain feels like so I can be more sensitive in how I treat others; especially those I love. And I am better for knowing that I have the strength to make courageous changes in order to live a more fulfilling life. But, it’s like letting all the air out of a giant helium-filled balloon. Once it’s done floating, and all the air has been drawn out, it’s left depleted. And even if you tried to refill with more helium, the balloon never looks or feels the same; it’s overstrained and distorted.
And why can’t we be friends? Because to give a new love a true chance, you have to let the old loves go. You may not feel anything for them anymore, but it doesn’t matter, you have to clear out all the space in your heart possible and give it to someone who can fill it up completely. You can take the experiences with you, but not the conditions.
There will always be a place inside me for this person; not in my heart, but in my head. And if I had never known him, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today, nor would I be where I am today. And I do have to say, I’m pretty happy about where I am right now. The amount this person has changed my life is incredible, and I don’t think he realizes it at all. It raises the question, “Could I have altered someone else’s life completely and I don’t even know about it?” I’d like to think so… it gives hope that we are all here for a reason, even if it’s unbeknownst to us.
So, to my catalyst, thank you. And cheers!