Left: A candid photo secretly taken by my first fuck buddy, a 35-year-old French guy, back in March 2013 on the morning after our first night together when he asked what time it was and I looked outside the window to check. I remember being surprised when he messaged me the photo at his last-night party.
Right: Photo taken by our wedding photographers at the top of the church after our wedding ceremony 2 months ago.
When I was shown the photo on the right, I instantly got a déjà vu flashback of the other on the left. When that photograph was taken I remember feeling like I was searching for something, though I didn’t know what; fearful yet intrigued at gazing at the future with the early sun blinding my eyes to what that future could possibly be – such a heavy thought eventually obscured by the loud buzzing of workers and farmers under the tropical heat below us. Naked, my lover sleepily lying beneath me.
On the right I recall feeling a gentle wave of nostalgia lap over me upon seeing the winter sun lazily soaking the chilly, quiet cobblestone streets below us. It was somewhat like literally and figuratively looking down at the past one more time. All my past lovers, all my past adventures, all my past mistakes, lessons, pain, emptiness, memories – glistening to be remembered under the afternoon light. Here, I am fully clothed, my love standing beside me.
I’m struck by how hauntingly similar these two photos are on the surface despite being taken at markedly different points in my life. The first at the beginning of me running away, headed towards a journey of conscious self-destruction. And the second at, finally, the end of finding my way back home to myself.
When you think about it, you don’t really have any control over who you meet, when you meet them, or how much a person can affect your very existence.
Had you decided not to kiss that boy too quickly, your story might’ve been different. Had you decided to, you might’ve gotten another outcome. What if you got sick and didn’t go to the pub that weekend? You might not have met your best friend. What if you got to the library an hour late? You might not have met your ex-boyfriend who would later screw you over so bad you’d escape to another city, experiment with different things, meet several people, stumble across a soulmate or two, and relearn to be at peace.
Isn’t it strange, where life can take us?
How everything you know right at this second can just suddenly change in a snap?
Isn’t it strange? Isn’t it amazing? Isn’t it stupefyingly terrifying?
Left: Love letter and card my first love (ex-boyfriend) sent me from Switzerland 9 months after we broke up in 2012, trying to get back together
Right: My last love’s (husband’s) handwritten wedding vows in Danish he kept and gave to me after our wedding in Denmark 2 months ago