My yoga instructor had a sad voice today. Something was angry in him. And somehow it brought out this in me. This song is probably 100 years old in pop-culture years. But I don’t care.
There was a moment during yoga where my legs felt yards and yards and yards away from the rest of my body. And I realized that my whole life they’ve always been yea-far away from the rest of me.
When I was 2 years old. When I was 11 years old. When I was 17 years old. And now at 24. They’re still exactly as far away as they’ve always been.
Through my personal time-travelling voyage my legs and the rest of my body parts have been present. Through all the feelings of coming apart and coming together, moving forward, moving on, moving around, my body remains. I’m so lucky.
And there are some things I carry with me always. Memories of my 3rd grade lunch. Memories of pre-swim meet jitters. Memories of what nature was doing when I was in the backseat of my super-cool-edgy-punk-rock first boyfriend’s car, kissing someone for the first time. Memories of leaving home. Memories of planting my feet on new ground. Memories of wanting something so much and getting it — and not getting it. Memories of taking a deep breath (did you know every city has it’s own smell?)…
I’d like to think that I have an active role in deciding what stays and what goes. But I think everyone can attest to the fact that there are some things you just can’t unfeel. So in this quiet stillness, full of appreciation and full of missing something that was never there, I return to part of myself I will always carry with me.
My first boyfriend I loved. But the first boyfriend that I truly learned how to love with all of myself was further down the line. He had this brown Oldsmobile that didn’t have divided seats in the front — perfect for curling up on the drive home from a night out. We’d sit in that thing for hours, mostly just talking (for serious). About the day, our lives, our dreams. We’d make big plans, tell each other secrets and show our bones. He liked to get dressed up and I loved to have a reason to. We would write each other notes and hide them for one another. He thought up elaborate schemes to make me fall in love with him all over again on the regular. They always worked. We were impeccable bakers and world-class adventurers. We also could have classified as world champion MMA fighters when we were mad at each other.
I can’t remember when we started dating, because that was one of the memories lost in the split. But I can remember the whole first three months of our relationship the Garden State soundtrack never left his CD changer. I mean never. Not once in those mornings he would pick me up for school, drive me and my sister home, pick me up 4 hours later to hang out, and 4 more hours later to take me home did we ever stop listening to it. Colin Hay’s I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you was one of those tracks.
When we were dating, it was clear we’d never get over each other. When we broke up I couldn’t fathom ever getting over him. Now, so many years later that we’re friends, I hope I don’t. We were wrong for each other, but a lot of good came out of that wrongness.
I think in many ways, that’s the point. You take the good parts, dust off the not so good parts, selectively block out the bad parts and line them all up in your heart as a reminder that you may not know how many pints are in a quart, how many wheels of cheese it took to make the moon or what the cubed root of 246 is, but you know where you’ve been, where you’re going and the path from “then” to “now.”