The life I’ve become accustomed to for the past eighteen years ended today. There will be no planning my life around 3-4 month long semesters. There will be no 3-month long summer holidays, or spring breaks, or Christmas breaks. I’m an adult now. It’s a wild mix of emotions I can’t sufficiently describe. The people who came out for the celebrations today made my heart swell with happiness and love. My 10-second walk across that stage signified so much; carried so much weight. My stoic, solid-as-a-rock mother cried like a baby today because she was so proud. I cried because my momma cried. Today was a great day.
Yet hours later, while I have delicious coconut rice and curry potatoes coming out of my ears, I am undeniably sad. I managed to successfully graduate from college as a 22-year-old woman who’s never been pursued – not a single date nor a kiss nor a “hey I like you” nor holding hands – ever. Ah, the shocked expressions when I tell people that. The “I find that so hard to believe because you’re so beautiful” comments have overstayed their welcome. Frankly, attempts at empathy exhaust me. Because this place, this journey, this lonely heartsick feeling is mine and mine alone. At least it feels that way.
It’s a nice idea that my heart is still completely whole – at least in terms of romantic experiences. It’s nice to think that maybe I can offer this whole heart to someone someday, completely unsullied. It’s nice to think that God has been saving me, like the last piece of chocolate in the box, for a special someone at a special time. It’s nice to think that the first one will be the one. What’s not nice is the realization that my life is not a romantic comedy – it’s more like a documentary you fall asleep watching. What’s not nice is the achey feeling making itself comfortable in my chest like it’s a worn out arm chair. What do I even ache for? I have no memories to mourn over, I have no prospects to pine for. The ache, then, must be innate. And it certainly isn’t nice.
The dear ones who say, “I’d give anything to have what you have, instead of all the mistakes I’ve made,” are well meaning. I’d give anything to never hear those words directed at me ever again. Yes, your heart was broken but for a brief two months or two years, someone cared enough to want to get to know you, to spend time with you, to be completely goofy just to make you smile, to hold you when you cried, to fight with you, to pursue you. For a period of time, no matter how short or long, someone looked at you like you were a conglomeration of a thousand brilliant sunrises seen from atop a mountain. You can’t deny that, therefore, you can’t empathize with this lonely heart.
Oh, I’ve found contentment in this place. I’ve found solace in the arms of the One who created my fragile heart. My life is full of love and support and joy and laughter. I know so many wonderful people who love me, and are patient with me. Most days I’m wonderfully, peacefully content. But maybe it’s because I’ve supposedly been too busy with school to want a relationship. Maybe it’s because I’ll have no shortage of time from now on and I’m worried that I’ll have no one to spend it with. Maybe it’s because I’m now a college graduate, yet still so innocent in so many ways that I wish not to be. Maybe it’s all the recent engagements; maybe it’s the fact that I need a date for a wedding in three weeks and I don’t know who to ask. Maybe it’s because my mom keeps asking me what I’m doing wrong as though I wear a sign on my forehead that reads, “WANTS TO DIE AN OLD MAID. BACK OFF.” Maybe I do. [Maybe this post didn’t need to be written for the public to see.]
Whatever the reason, my heart has forgotten to beat tonight. The silence hangs thick and heavy, like the lonesomeness. The clock forgets to tick and I, the same.