When I found out I was being given the opportunity to guest blog while Kim was on her honeymoon, I was excited. Knowing the subject was love made me ecstatic. But when I sat down to write it (this is my 3rd try) I could not figure out what I wanted to write about.
So, I decided to tell you all a story about a boy and a girl. It all started on a football field one chilly fall afternoon – truth be told, it was probably actually the 11:00 a.m. hour, but afternoon sounds more poetic, don’t you think? – in 2006. Our director called the marching band to a particular set of steps that needed some serious work. The boy in front of me was an upperclassman and I a lowly sophomore. I knew better than to think anything could ever happen between us, but I was thankful for the eye candy at practice nonetheless.
This particular day, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped as clouds rolled in. But Mr. Cute Upperclassman was in typical high school male attire: gym shorts and a t-shirt. In a move made up of equal parts bravery and humor, I offered him my jacket – sure to be a slim fit on him. Much to my surprise, he took it. Was it a little snug? Yes. Did he look marginally emo? Absolutely, but he also looked completely adorable.
That was how it started. Marching band season gave way to jazz band season and I had formed a friendship with that cute upperclassman whose name had become a fairly regular part of my vocabulary – Andrew. Early morning jazz band became something I looked forward to more than the usual good music anticipation. I was seated (stood, really, which is how we do in the trumpet section) right next to him. Taken aback, but immensely pleased, we flirted. Oh, did we flirt. Naturally, I was on Cloud 9. When pep band opportunities came up, I always managed to make sure I was sitting next to him.
It was official. I was crushing. Crushing hard. To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to ask – but I invited him to the winter choir concert – as friends, of course. That night, we held hands. As a sophomore, this was ecstasy and scandal. It took a couple weeks and some prodding via one of my good guy friends, but something blossomed. The rest, as they say and cliché, is history.
Almost 4 years later, I am still with that cute, totally out of my league upperclassman. Sure, we’ve had our bumps and bruises, our bad days, our close calls, and even a painful, if brief, break. But the thing about love that astounds me most is that if it is strong enough between two people, you will always come back together.
I could tell you not to pine after someone, not to over analyze or lose sleep or look at them sideways to see if they’re looking at you. I could tell you not to take a chance in getting to know them, or jumping in not knowing if the feelings will be returned. I could say don’t waste your time crushing, don’t give into your heart. I could sit here and tell you not to gush and have puppy love, not to ever fight, or even risk it all by really letting your guard down, but if I told you any of that, it would be doing you an injustice. Because that’s all a part of the game, and all of it, even the hard stuff, is so worth it when you find someone who becomes not only your best friend, but the person you hold dearest in your heart.
Love is this amazing, ever-changing thing that is absolutely worth the work you have to put into it. And make no mistake, there is work required. But when you can open yourself up, and share with another person everything you are – and they do the same with you, and there’s just that connection. That warmth, that spark, that….indescribable feeling in the pit of your stomach. That, my friends, is love – and what they say is true. It is worth everything.