I wish I could put into words then the ones I can now that are telling you I wasn’t ready.
I wasn’t ready to accept love, because I was nowhere close to accepting myself. I was nowhere close to wanting to. I wanted to figure out everything else before I wanted to figure out me, before I wanted to figure out the possibility of a you and me. Even to this day, there are parts of me that I’m uncertain about, but back then I might as well have been blank.
You were my best friend back then. I trusted you when you said we should go out. I didn’t like it when you kissed me, not because I’m not straight, but because I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to date you. I didn’t want to date anyone. Period. Honestly, I thought kissing was pretty gross until my late college years.
A career was always the thing I wanted most in life. It was what I looked forward to – the idea of being someone bigger than myself, of achieving what most couldn’t or didn’t want. Meanwhile, I was the odd duck, because I wasn’t interested in dating. I was the one who wanted what most didn’t.
I wasn’t interested in falling in love. The thought of it kind of scared me. I wasn’t ready.
I was young and immature at the thought. I was defensive and selfish. Some might say a late-bloomer… I wasn’t your typical small town girl, but you knew that. As a consequence of not being able to communicate these words, this sentiment, I was mean to you, and I faced the consequences of those actions at the time. In high school, when you don’t want to go out with the nice guy, they call you a b*tch. It was more than that, though, but the immature way I handled your rejection. I’m sorry, deeply and truly sorry, and I hope you know now it had nothing to do with you.
I hope you found the person who was ready to accept you, because even if I wasn’t, I was aware you deserved more than my apprehensiveness. Not everyone is ready for love at the same time, but it doesn’t mean the person who’s not ready doesn’t find the person who is compelling or worthy of love. It means they, I, wasn’t ready to give it, give that romantic sort of love to anyone, period.
If you really want someone, sometimes you need to be patient, but sometimes it also means it’s not meant to be between you. Peripheral vision is an adult quality most high school children, lack. I, for example, had tunnel vision most days, which was guiding me straight to New York City, where I later landed after college.
There was another after you, though, the one I was too afraid to admit to liking, though I revealed it in less words. It was only years later I could say it, and what a fool I was.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love waits.
I haven’t found my love, if this is true, but I’ve reached a stage in my life in the past few years that I didn’t think I would achieve – wanting to be with someone, not wanting to be alone. It might sound strange to those who live for love, who thrive with dating, but that was never me. I’ve only just discovered that side of myself.
So, to all of you other late bloomers out there, I want to reassure you, as I have myself, that it will be okay. People are generally more open than you would assume, and in today’s digital age, it’s of great value to step back from your computers and step outside yourself, to see the world with greater perspective, and to value each other with the same vision. You’ll get there when and if you want to.
Some people just take more steps in the process, and that is nothing to be sorry for or ashamed about. As a great romantic comedy would have us believe, after all, “love is all around.”