Facebook is filled with the joy of engagements, baby anouncments, and love pouring out in every status. The probelm? These girls are so young...they have so much growing to do before they can ever truly understand what love is, how to be a mother, and the kind of commitment it takes to be married. Hiding behind my words...I realize that when Ryan was here I was one of those girls. "I'm out of high school though, I've been living on my own - I know what the world is like, I can know love." That was my thought process...wrong, love. Truth be told - I still couldn't tell ya what true love is. I'm sure its not something you describe, but rather you experience and grow from everyday.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you can only know love when you are all grown up - I don't doubt that I love my family, my friends, and past boyfriends - I had some kind of love for them, but it wasn't the love I thought it was. A few months ago, my high school sweetheart came back into my life. He was sorta like that handsome knight riding in on a beautiful white horse to rescue me from despair. Throw a tiara on me and I would have been convinced that Disney was so right about everything. He came in as quickly as he went again, but in that time he opened my eyes to a lot of things. One day while on a day vacation away from the world, we stopped by a Zales in a mall. When I was 16 and his girlfriend, we used to take day vacations all the time - and every single time I'd beg him to "pretend" we were engaged so I could put one of those beautiful diamonds on my little finger just to see what it would look like. Back then it was always no, of course, but this day it was his idea. He'd done everything in his power to try and pry a smile out of me and thought this might do the trick. "So...I know we're just friends, but I know you've always wanted to do this...follow my lead." He said as he pulled me into the store.
Driving home that night, I found myself staring at that finger that might someday actually hold a wedding ring...I sobbed the whole way. When Ryan was in New Mexico for Christmas he had me convinced he was bringing home a ring, and he proposed to me while he was there. These tears though...at the time they stung for the loss of what I took to be my fiancee...but later they'd come up as I'd finally open my eyes to realize that my life wasn't supposed to end up that way. Ryan knew I was still a child in so many ways...and many times he'd tell me "You need more out of this life...I want you to chase more because I believe in you." For a man as broken as he was, he had no problem showing his faith in other people.
When I was 16 I wanted to get married right out of high school, and tried so hard to make that a reality. When my age and maturity level revealed itself - I lost him. A few years later, my age & maturity level would once again force me to push an engagement - but I was only 19! Two nights before he passed away, I asked Ryan if he was ever going to propose to me. "I just don't think you'd truly be happy..."he replied, crushing my heart. He never felt good enough for the world, and whether he meant that or that he wanted me to chase more than I was doing - he made me find more. He never intended to hurt anyone by doing this, but his story just might save lives and give people a second chance! Including me...
So...tonight I am lonely. It bums me out to no end to know that out there in this big big world - there is no man tossing and turning just hoping I'm thinking about him. Tomorrow I won't wake up to a cute "good morning sunshine" text, and I most certainly will not be coming home to a man surprising me with dinner and a movie, but I'm okay with that. My life is about me now...surviving and learning to do everything over, with me as a priority. No more trying to rush to grow up, its not a race. Life's all about the journey, not the destination. So I'm stopping to smell the roses, and the only rushing I'll be doing is to make it to my next job that I love :).