My parents were high school sweethearts. They met, fell in love, got married and created a family all when they were very young. They were almost my age, exactly. I thought my life would go just like that.
I dreamt of all the ways in which I might meet my future husband. We would bump into each other in the hallway and look into each other’s eyes. He would be a football player and I would be the cheerleader. He would ask me to prom and I would say yes.
None of those things happened. I went through high school completely single. And that didn’t bother me. I had my friends, my sports (cheerleading and track) and my sister just right down the hall from me. My life was full to the brim of things that kept me busy.
But I still wanted someone to notice me, to choose me in a crowd of a thousand. In a large high school and all of my extracurriculars, I thought someone would. I eventually concluded that I was too young and naive, my head was too in the clouds and that it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. I figured, if not now, then in college.
As a freshman in college on the first day of orientation, it happened almost like a movie, like in Clueless when Cher saw Christian for the first time. I sat next to him and it was electric. I felt sparks when he touched me and I am pretty sure my eyes filled up with hearts when he said my name. When he talked to me, I felt like we were the only two people in the room. Cliché, but true. We were on the track team, in the same friend group and even in some of the same classes. For a while all went well— we weren’t together but it felt promising. We were friendly (joking over text message) and we were flirty (lingering hugs and long glances).
College allowed me to figure out who I really wanted to be. I decided that I didn’t want to be the shy girl from high school who waited around for someone to notice her. Instead, I decided to be the girl who went for it.
I made the first move because I wanted to and it seemed that he was interested too. I took chances and made passes. At most, it was a crush, a kiss or two and a few moments that stood out (for me, I don’t know about for him). It was never a relationship, but instead mutual interest. He was everything that I thought that I wanted. In the end, I came to the crushing conclusion that he wasn’t interested in a serious relationship. I should have figured this out considering he never even took me on a date (all talk and no walk).
Fast forward to sophomore year. Years behind my parents, I went on my first date at 19, with someone else (not said crush from before). After all, this was the girl who went for it, the girl who didn’t want to wait around for someone who would never grow up. I had another chance and I took it. My friends eased my nerves before this movie date when they reminded me that we wouldn’t have much time for talking (and I was glad for that because I had no idea what I would say).
Unfortunately, this didn’t resemble the kind date where everything clicks. I’ve watched and read too many romantic stories and have a it hurts-so-good relationship with Romeo and Juliet, Twilight and others. This left me discouraged. I wanted the great love story, the one that lasts. I wanted to be the Gabriella to his Troy, the Giselle in Enchanted that rides off with Patrick Dempsey or the Bridget Jones that marries Mark Darcy in the end.
Those things might still happen, but who knows? I won’t have the same story as my parents. Instead, this is my story.
I am currently a senior. Right now, it almost feels like freshman year (very deja vu). It feels the same—the excitement, the nerves, the butterflies and the I-dont-know-what-to-do-with-myself feeling. Maybe it feels like this because it isn’t an ending. Maybe it is a beginning in life and love.
I am finding out who I am and who I want to be. I am not the same girl I was in high school, and I am miles away from the girl I was freshman year of college. Now, I take chances. I write, I think and I feel. And I let people see who I am and what I want and that is a big change for me.