It happened in my dorm room and when it did I just felt shaken under the green lights I hung up around the window. I didn’t see it coming. One bit. We ended for reasons I still don’t understand. I don’t think I ever will. To try and explain it would just be a waste of time and energy. It’s one of those things that just can’t be explained.
The next night, I went bowling with a bunch of people. I had spared most of them the news, but the way I was acting that night, I wouldn’t be surprised if they all knew. I barely focused on the bowling, not that I would’ve been any good anyways. I was surrounded by pink and neon blue lights all around, a floor that lit up with different patterns, and colors and thumping bass everywhere. The sounds of the music, the crashing of pins, and the clapping of the bowling balls as they bounced into each other blended with the machines and the fifty simultaneous conversations. And none of that was getting to me. I felt like my body was some sort of room. I stood stoically, like a room, not moving. Inside the room was the real me, sprawled out on the floor.
I felt like suddenly all the fortunate events in my life that led to each other suddenly went nowhere. I felt like the period of good things in my life had effectively come to an ending. I felt no love. I didn’t think I could ever find anything good again. I figured that I had been with her against such great odds, and none of my other relationships before were ever anything as serious. Having lost that, none of my world made sense. I didn’t think I was loveable. I couldn’t really imagine anyone seeing me as someone that would interest them and I figured I would be alone for a long, long time.
Alone. That was the big thing. I never felt so alone. One of the best things about a relationship is how it helps keep loneliness at bay. You have someone to spend time with and to do things with almost on call. They stayed by your side and talked to you regularly because that was the thing to do. You would eat together, listen to music together, all kinds of things. Suddenly, I lost my conversation partner, my dinners for two, and my “list-of-movies-we-need-to-see-together.”
I hated feeling alone. I never saw life as anything good if you couldn’t share it with other people. I think one of the worst things I can imagine is being the only person on the Earth. I know all the people on the Earth mess things up a lot, but being the only person would be terrible, boring, and lonely. That was how I felt. I had made several friends on my floor, but there were only a few I had things in common with. A lot of them I couldn’t relate to very well. At this point I had yet to feel like I knew anyone well enough to share how I felt. I was pretty guarded about it all. Also, among the friends I made on the floor, many of them had coupled up by then, and it wasn’t helping the situation one bit.
Little did my friend know that her question would prompt me to begin ambitiously pining that question. I had been discovering that our lives contain stories, are stories, and are part of a bigger story, and connecting with these stories and their Author results in a life really being life.
Over the course of a month and a week in Argentina, I would spend nights in my homestay without internet just typing furiously away my story. It didn’t feel like work at all, it was as natural as stream of consciousness writing is. When I finished, I wound up with over 200 pages on Microsoft Word. Single spaced.
What I had was my story on paper. It was a story about redefining love, rediscovering faith, and releasing hang-ups. It's a story worth telling, as is anyone's who pays attention to story in their lives.
In a culture so focused on facts and arguments, it's important that we don't lose sight of how humans really experience the world: through story.
This is my story. I'm just putting it out there. There will be some moments I look back on fondly, and there will be some moments where I will be very vulnerable with you.
I will be posting a bit from my story everyday. It's a long read, what I wrote. This will probably be a lot more manageable.
Thanks for following along.
The story begins on 30 January. Subscribe via RSS.