There isn’t much detail I can give. There isn’t much I can say. The innocent need to be protected. With all of this in mind, I still must attempt to tackle the two summers before I left Oklahoma. There is no doubt in my mind they were the most formative of my life. Over the course of six months spanning two years, I learned about pain and passion, joy and betrayal, love and loss, needs and wants. I was shaped and molded because of these interactions. I will never forget them.
One day in the future, I will look back at the moments that forced me to change course and take a different path. College, moving, relationships, volunteering, getting involved in my community, travel, and these two summers all share something in common; when the dust settled I had grown into a new version of myself. The person who began each of these journeys is not the same person who emerged on the other side. These were trials filled with tribulation and, on occasion, sheer joy, but they were so very necessary for my personal development.
What made these two particular summers special was how wild and unexpected they were. Never in my life have I been so free. Sure, pouring my heart out to someone and letting relationships progress naturally was fraught with danger. There was always a chance someone could get hurt, but in the end, none of that mattered. The two individuals I found myself consumed by wanted to be with me and when we weren’t together phones rarely allowed silence to linger.
Two summers, two different individuals, and I felt myself falling in love for the first time in a long time. At that moment, these people were everything I needed them to be. For a kid full of self-doubt, I felt confident, loved, strong, and needed. After these relationships ended, I left Oklahoma a surer individual. I possessed a new understanding of my capabilities and knew I could make it anywhere in this world. I had set my sights on Seattle and there would be no stopping me.
These summers also did something else. They hurt. Both relationships ended. Thanks to circumstances beyond my control, these briefly illuminated moments in time when out with a flicker. At the time, I thought irreparable pain had been done. Little did I know then, but this was good for me. We need to feel loss in an effort to make our love that much stronger. The next face I would say I love you to would get the best version of myself because of these two summers. For that, I am forever grateful.
There are moments when I wish I could get these moments in time back. I know they are gone forever. In acts of desperation, I have sent messages trying to rekindle something lost to summers long ago. At the time, the physical was consuming, but it wasn’t the whole story. I needed to be emotionally and spiritually served more than anything else. To those on the receiving end, I thank you for your patience and everything you taught me. My life is a collection of moments in time that I measure myself against. Your moments were pretty special and something I will hold forever. I will always be filled with regret for how things turned out, but thankful for the journey.
Be good to each other,
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