Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Memories from a time long gone, yet still so close

Being back in my home town puts me into a weird mood sometimes. A friend of mine, who I visited twice by now, lives right across the street from where I used to go to school to for nine years. Every time I visit her I drive by the building that holds so many memories. Memories of madly falling in love with someone completely unattainable. Memories of friendships forming, but also falling apart. Memories of conversations as deep as the most private thoughts and also as eye-opening as therapy. Since I moved twice after I graduated from high school, my time in middle and high school in that same building seems so long ago. It doesn't feel like just three years ago. I'm still fairly young, yet I feel so much more mature when I think of the person I was then and the person I am now. And intertwined with these thoughts are thoughts of the people who help mold me into the person I am today.

I have a special relationship with my first love. She was not just my first love - who ever has a first love who *just* was that anyways? - but she was also a person who helped me get through my teenage years and influenced me heavily. Let's call her Mrs. Teacher, since she was my teacher. Yeah, that old cliché. I started getting to know her better in my first year of high school, when my mom fell ill. None of my friends understood my fears, so I felt like I had to talk to an adult. Since she had told us to talk to her if we had problems, I took her up on that offer. She actually listened to what I had to say and made me feel like I wasn't a child anymore, but actually a person with valid feelings and thoughts. I felt like she saw me, the real me, not the child many people saw in me. Yes, I was only 15, but I felt more mature than that and I know I was more mature than most 15-year-olds. So after talking to her a few times, I started falling for her more and more. She was way too old for me, straight and just in general completely unattainable, but that didn't stop me from having fantasies about our lives spent together. I knew that she was divorced, but in my second year I found out that she was in a relationship. That revelation broke my heart. I cried myself to sleep for days. But, since she was completely out of my reach before I knew about her boyfriend, my feelings for her didn't change much. She was not any closer to being mine than she had been before. Time went on and we continued to talk after school sometimes, forming a teeny tiny bit of a friendship, as much as we could given the whole student-teacher relationship. In my last year at high school, a lot happened between her and my class, so the friendship that could have been after I was done with school was no longer an option.

Since I needed some documents for my college application, I saw her once last year. We talked a bit and she said things that only someone who really knows me would say. We also talked about staying in touch. I wrote to her, but hadn't heard back from her. Since I'm going to apply to universities soon, I will need more of the same documentation I had already gotten, so I called the school and asked her for it. I can still vividly remember how I felt about her. I know and cherish how she influenced my life. But at the same time, the feelings towards her have changed so much. Now, I have a girlfriend I love more than I loved her, and a girlfriend who loves me back. Now, I can't imagine living without my girlfriend and feel so deeply about her I sometimes almost can't handle it. Now, I feel more deeply than I had ever felt for this unattainable woman. Back then, I thought I loved as much as I could love. Now, I know I am capable of more, even without teenage hormones.

I wonder if all people who fell so hard the first time feel that way about their first love. Or if I'm different because of the circumstances and the fact that my first love was in my life, actively, for five years. I still know so well how I felt about Mrs. Teacher, yet the feelings are somehow removed from my emotions today. I still want to know her and I still want to talk to her. I still cherish her as an influence on my life. But now, I want to tell her about my girlfriend, and how being in a relationship has change me. Now, I want to tell her about my dreams, about the dreams I have when it comes to getting married and having kids. Now, I want to talk to her like we're even, the way she made me feel back then. Like we're friends.

I know one thing for sure: whenever I form a deep bond with a person, which I don't do easily, they remain in my heart. I'm loyal and I don't trust easily, but when I do, I do so fully. She has gained my trust a long time ago and even though I wasn't on her side when I felt she was wrong, I still feel loyalty towards her. And even if I'm not in touch with her, I will never forget how I felt for her a long time ago and how she made me a better person.

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