I've grown used to living mostly alone in my little half apartment at the back of my house. The shower is always open. I feel no guilt when my room explodes with clothes in a pre-school wardrobe crisis. And I get to go to bed and wake up whenever I want.
But I would trade it all for my old room mates back.
There's nothing that equals the companionship of someone who gets you, someone you can respect and look up to but that builds you at the same time, someone that you can talk about everything with; from the sublime to boys.
Last night, I crashed at some old roommates' place. I got to do my favorite thing of staying up late and talking about nothing and absolutely everything until the early hours of the morning.
While our topic of conversation ranged from the Hudson River School to Rosemary's Baby (don't ask) we mostly talked about relationships.
Timing, and why it doesn't work out even when you want it to more than anything else.
I was able to put a voice to some things I've been thinking about all week. This week I've been able to fully appreciate the weight of my past decisions. I may be more invested in academics than I've ever been. And I'm beginning to realize this hopeful vision of my future as a teacher. Where my success is measured by my passion for what I do. And there's no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't be here, at this happy place, if I had gotten married at 20, or even a year later at 21. I think my passions would have been consumed by those men, by those relationships. And I would have never learned that my heart can make room for multiple loves: love of companion, love of art, love for what I do, love for humanity.
So when we talked last night about the essentials, and timing, and the intimacy of knowing someone, I came to this conclusion that I still have no idea what I want or what I'm doing. Sometimes my "essentials" have been there but the timing hasn't been right. Or the timing's been perfect, but that intimacy and understanding is lacking, based on physical want rather than spiritual communication. Or the worst I've experienced: the most important factor of your souls matching is there, but the timing is off, and so are the "essentials".
That's why dating sucks. Even once you finally move past all the pretenses, there's a chance it still won't work out.
But even as discouraging as it all can be, I think the late nights of deep soul-searching conversation can give us hope. Hope that one day, if we keep trying the person, the timing, and the place will all be right. And we'll finally be able to understand the true meaning of the word companion beyond what we've already discovered from each other.