So there’s This Boy, and he walked in on my heart one day, all of a sudden, kissed me and made me love again like I hadn’t done in a very, very long time.
I’ve come to believe that the best kind of love is the sort that’s unexpected and I really wasn’t expecting this one. I had sworn off relationships forever, determined to despise men for the rest of my embittered, jilted life. But of course, the more you resist, the more it’ll persist, so along came This Boy on a giant cloud when I least expected him to and I fell in love in the way I least expected to.
Conventionally, we’re probably the most mismatched couple I, and many people, have known; nobody would have ever expected that a girl like me would be with a boy like This Boy. But then again, when did we ever have to be conventional? There have been stranger couples! And while people scrunch up their faces and wonder how this will work, cast their doubts and judgements, I say, Meh! (Which means: Who cares what ‘people’ say”. Who are these ‘people’ anyway and why should their Opinions be so important?).
This Boy has been amazing to me in so many ways, in ways I would have never expected and never really thought quite possible from a partner (is that me just being narrow or is that just saying something about my previous relationships?) As I fell apart so, so many times in the last 6 months – waking up in the middle of the night filled with anxiety and constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown – he was there to hold me together, stroke my hair, kiss away my tears and wait out those overwhelming dark moments with me. As I worried constantly about whether I was good enough and felt my confidence plummet to zero, he would hold my hand and tell me I was beautiful so that I even began to believe it. As I told him not to fall in love with me because I know how difficult a person I can be, he loved me even more.
Most of all – beyond all outward gestures and far beyond our mismatched outward appearances – he is kind. Such a little simple word but which, at the end of the day, is really what counts in someone you choose to love and be with. He has seen the worst of me – oh, absolutely the worst – and been with me at my lowest. I’m not sure I would have had the strength – and kindness – to have been able to stay with someone like me, especially during that time; not the way he did.
He is a joyous boy, which is what I have needed more than ever lately – one who lives calmly and easily, and maintains a tremendous amount of energy and positivity. He doesn’t hold grudges and lacks the ability to remain upset at anything for too long. For every moment that I have felt down and hopeless, he has brought equal parts of laughing and comfort and safety, just by being there. As I’ve been trying to Put My Life Back Together, he has been there to prop me up and believe in me, cheer on every madcap idea I have said I want to do, learn, try, explore.
With This Boy, I feel like a Meg Ryan Rom-Com, a giant, romantic cliche. While I balked at the mere idea of being this kind of person, I’m learning to enjoy opening up all these crazy, mad feelings and loving with abandon, no matter how corny it may seem. This Boy brought with him all the cheesiness of 1980s love songs, love letters, surprise presents and good old-fashioned flirting. For the first time in my life, I’m starting to understand why, despite the incredible gag-inducing corniness of it all, millions and millions of people around the world are still so enamoured by all this fluffy, mushy stuff. Heck, it actually just feels so damn good.
I’ve had years of fighting it, with all my feminist intellectualising and cynicism. It wasn’t fun nor joyous. And we all know the old adage that if you can’t fight it, join it. So I’ve jumped on the pink, heart-filled bandwagon and I’m enjoying every moment of it. More than anything, This Boy has held my hand, stepped on a wonderful yellow brick road of adventure and shown me that it really is okay – even joyous – to love again, which is a whole kind of journey in itself.
This Boy has been a huge, huge part of me Putting My Life Back Together. But more than that, he’s helped me uncover new parts and aspects of This Life that I’d either never even knew were there or never dared to believe in – things as far-fetched as starting my own business, becoming a financial journalist or daydreaming about weddings (people who know of my tremendous disdain towards marriage will probably find this most shocking in me!).
In spite of myself – and all my protestations against going into a relationship so many months ago – I have grown to love This Boy, much more and far more deeply than I would have thought. Everything about being with him has been unexpected, from the way we started to the fact that he’s now still encouraging me towards new challenges and prospects that I had never considered. Like I started off saying, the best kind of love is the sort that is unexpected. Coming from a girl who was a hardened, well-seasoned cynic, that must mean that what This Boy has brought to me – catching me off guard and so surprisingly – is pretty, damn amazing.
And I must say, hand over heart, that it absolutely is.