I met a man yesterday; a new friend of an old friend. We started talking and he asked me if I was from the city. I told him the abbreviated version of my backstory: born in Zimbabwe, left when I was three, spent my formative years in upstate (not Westchester) NY. I then asked him where he was from and he told me that he had just moved from Utah. “Utah, wow” I said. “What would bring you from Utah to New York?” He answered “A woman” to which I quickly muttered my rule of life: “Never make big life decisions based on the opposite sex.” And then he responded: “She is dying.”
I was left speechless. All I could say was “Sorry.” He told me that she had a rough life and had harbored feelings for him since college. A lady of means, she offered to move him to New York in exchange for companionship. I asked if he loved her and he said yes. He wanted to make her remaining years the best. He stated he himself had once been an asshole and now he wanted to do everything he could. I asked if it was an attempt at redemption for his previous actions, but he didn’t really answer. He only said that he wanted to do a good thing.
Fresh off having my heart eviscerated, it got me thinking. I had reached the point in my most recent relationship where I was willing to consider someone else in this way. And I know I told this man that you should never make major life decisions based on the opposite sex, but I have before. The last time I did I was 18 and in “ love” (I’m using the term loosely.) I wanted to stay close to my boyfriend who wasn’t going to college, so I picked a school in close proximity to him. That lasted approximately 2 minutes (2.5 months) into the school year.
Fast forward to my current jilted state, where I found myself happily considering moving in order to appease my last partner. I have an affinity for the hustle and bustle of this city. It quells my soul to try and keep up, though I will be the first to admit there have been many times this city hasn’t been so kind to me. She’s a cruel mistress, odd enough that she just seems to invigorate me. My partner, on the other hand, felt the city was a source of anxiety; he was so eager to leave while I was so eager to stay, at least for the time being.
I asked myself, if I left for him before I was ready would I resent him? Is love enough to uproot your life for? I think it can be when the love is reciprocated, but in our case it wasn’t. In my case, the love available was an indecisive one; a love that came and went and could never fully wrap itself around me. We came together and went our separate ways, and I was always trying to figure out when he would be able to love me fully. Ultimately, I don’t know that he was capable of loving me even if he wanted to. It hurts and I miss my friend, but I resolve to continue loving, even when it feels like someone knocked the wind out of me and I can’t catch my breath.