November 30, 2010

Part One: Sam

I found this photo earlier this summer while organizing computer files. How young I was! And beautiful! And (compared with the day when I found the image) ... thin! i wanna go back in time and hug this kidI took this photo six years ago, at the beginning of my sophomore year of college. I was living in a suite with seven other Honors students - a "learning community," they called it - in a dorm typically reserved for juniors and seniors. We fought for the suite, saying we wanted a place where we could all study together - but really, it was about drinking and partying with older boys. I was never much of a partyer, but my college friends were, so I followed.

This picture makes me a little sad, if I reflect on the little girl that I was here - totally innocent, totally naive. One month after taking this photo, I met a young man who would set in motion several events that would change my life. His name was Sam, sort of. His name was actually Harrison, but he always went by Sam - his parents had named him after Harrison Ford, and when his grandmother heard that, she said that they were crazy and that she refused to call him that. She called him Sam, and so that's what he went by.

While working in the building having the residents sign in their guests, I became smitten with this boy that I always saw walking around. He had brown curly hair and always wore a sport coat, and I thought he was beautiful. I never spoke to him, but occasional glimpses always left me breathless. It was exactly what I thought my first real love would be like. there are far worse things to regretI finally got up the courage to talk to him, and as it turned out, he was even more incredible than I had imagined. Creative, artsy, interesting. We got to talking, and one night when all my suitemates had gone home for the weekend, he came to visit me.

We spent the entire night together listening to jazz music and talking while a thunderstorm raged outside. There was a little lamp in the common room that set a soft blue ambiance, and we talked about many things, eventually ending up talking about love. Laying on the common room floor, curled up in a blanket next to him, I admitted to him that I had never done anything like this before with a guy, and he responded in a surprisingly critical way:
"Really?! That's what high school is for, you know."
We need to step back a little, then, to talk about what high school was like for me. I was always very academically motivated, I was active with lots of afterschool clubs and organizations, and I had a part-time job in a florist shop. Dating was not a high priority - in fact, it really wasn't a priority at all. My grandparents met on a beach and my parents met in an elevator; I assumed that this part of my life would fall into place when the time and the circumstances were right.

When I went off to college in 2004, I decided not to go to UConn like half my graduating class, but to a different school in Connecticut to try and meet new people and make new friends. I loved my friends very much, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and start over. My friends were good students, quiet and shy, but we were all ready to get to college and experience all of it fully. she's my rushmore, maxAnd among my friends, it was universally decided that I would be the one most likely to meet my husband in the first week at college.

So to hear this from Sam, that I was innocent to a fault? My heart was broken. With all the wisdom of a nineteen-year-old girl, I interpreted his comments as meaning that I had catching up to do, and so I decided that I needed to cultivate sexual experiences so that this boy could love me, and so that I wouuld know how to love him.

Six years later, I can recognize the flawed logic. But at that moment, all I wanted was for someone to love me. I'm not proud of what I did, but at the time, I believed it to be necessary.

Tomorrow, part two: Scott.


Amy said...

It's funny when we look back on our early experiences with boys and see where it all went wrong. I was definitely in your boat in first year university too. All I wanted was to be loved. I had never had a boyfriend before and hadn't even had my first kiss until that later part of the twelfth grade (which was drunk at a bar...classy I know). I met a guy my first week of university and was soooo smitten with him too, so much so that I let him treat me like crap and I spent the next two-three months holding my cell phone all night praying he would call... which rarely ever happened.

Tim said...

I went to an all boys school so meeting girls was pretty non-existent until I started college. At that point they scared the hell out of me. No longer could I talk about soccer and farts without hearing a tut or getting told off and instead I had to try and become more mature. I'm not sure if it's worked or not but I try my best! :)

It's funny looking back how people change when the opposite sex suddenly gets involved in our lives.

Jessica said...

I too had my first relationship my first year of college. I think one thing you should remember as you think back on your past relationships is that these bad relationships will help you to appreciate the man you will spend your future with...that is how I try to think of mine. If you never have a bad relationship, I think it is harder to appreciate someone that treat's you like a Queen :)

ps..My new ipod is pink :) I like it, even if I am not a very pink girl :)

pss. So you have a case/cover for yours? I've looked a bit online but haven't really seen anything I liked, plus I can figure out how the clip will work with a case :)

Anne H said...

Chalk it up the the folly of youth, eh?
Glad we can look back and without judgement,
just let it go! and move on - for real!

Unknown said...

Looking back at how naive I was during my freshman year in college makes me want to slap myself silly. Then I just realize that I was very, very sheltered and that's just the way it was. Wanting someone to love is the ultimate human condition, I think. Looking forward to part II.

Anonymous said...

Reflecting on the past helps us grow, but forgiving yourself and others for harm is to gain strength - strength that you should never allow anyone to take away from you.