there a boy somewhere in central america right now, thinking about leaving home. perhaps he is going to leave tomorrow. he will travel into the mexican border and north all the way to the american border. his life will feel like it has shattered when he is arrested. he will be in a jail cell for maybe a day, maybe two. then he will get on a plane, come to chicago, then on a bus. he will get off a bus and i will take him down a hallway and tell him to wash his hands. then he might hear me or one of my co workers say “bienvenidos, les quiero decir antes de empezar que nosotros no somos imigracion, y los vamos a ayudar a llegar con sus familias….” and then there will be a small sigh of relief. i will know him for maybe two weeks, most likely 2 months, hopefully not 6. but he will make me laugh. i will make him laugh. he will be mad at me. i will be completely irritated by him. but he will change my life. and i will hopefully change his.
for the past 10 months this has been my life. i have met over one thousand boys and girls probably. and then they leave. and a day or two later it feels like a distant memory. but there are always those few that stay with you. that you think about at night.
there are the kids that you wonder about. you wonder if their parents welcomed them with open arms after having left them at 2 weeks old and starting a new family in the states. you wonder if they welcomed their new families by letting them in. you wonder if that boy that you care about so much has carved on his arm without you there to tell him not to and checking it every evening. you wonder if someone has told that boys he’s wonderful, because he truly is. you wonder if he still knows that you meant it when you told him you only wanted him to be happy. you wonder if that boy is still dancing in his room to michael jackson songs. you wonder if you will ever see them again. and you sit and hope and wish that you will see them again. and that they will be okay, that they will love their family, and that most of all they are happy.
Since moving to Chicago I have often found myself going on various dates. But every single time something goes wrong. I say the wrong thing. They say the wrong thing. Something happens. Every single time there was Alex to go back to. To sit with late hours into the night and just talk to, laugh with and every single problem would go away for just a moment. The next day I’d walk around with a silly grin on my face and the happiness would last about 2 weeks. Sometimes 3. Then it went back to the various dates, the countless disappointments.
It never really mattered because I was so focused on finding other things that I could love. I wanted to find a job that was fulfilling. I wanted to be able to say that I was financially independent. I wanted to buy a car. I wanted to do all the things that would finally make me feel like an adult. I talked myself into thinking that adulthood would not happen until all those things fell into place and that having a serious relationship before that happened would not work. Suddenly, one day, all of those things were real. I was sitting around reading about my retirement investment plans, deciding which health insurance was the best for me, signing off on a car that was completely and fully to my name. And suddenly, I felt so unaccomplished.
I let go of so many wonderful people. I said the wrong things too many times. I did things that I probably should not have done. I stayed home when I should have gone out. Or I went out when I should have stayed in. All opportunities to find that one “love of your life” seemed to have passed me by. I thought about my ex boyfriend from college, and realized how frustrated he must have been with me. I realized that I couldn’t go back to Alex this time because going back to Alex would mean never finding anything concrete. Going back to Alex would mean a giant broken heart in June when he leaves Chicago.
So for the first time in my life, I actually WANT to settle down. I for once want to give time to someone. But I have come to realize that I have no idea how to do that. I have no idea how to pick out a good guy. I can’t distinguish between the guy that could settle and the guy that will be going out to party with me and then disappear off the face of the earth. I don’t know how to “keep someone interested” (mainly because I don’t think I should go out of my way) but maybe I do need to go out of my way. And that is my problem. I am lost.
People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.
There is no designated time for anything in your life. You don’t have to have your first kiss at any certain time, you don’t have to get married in your 20′s and you don’t have to do anything just because other people think it’s best. In fact, you will be much better off if you just do what your heart says. The day you stop caring what other people think is the day their opinions don’t mean anything, because you’re not there to give them weight.
You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.
ugh stop sending me pictures of the beach, and screenshots of how warm the weather is, and places I used to go, or anything that reminds me that i’m 1,000 miles from home because it is making me sick to my stomach…..