"Hold your head up, you're on beacon." - Matt Duncan
I am not too sure when I realized that I was a storyteller. To be quite honest, I think I was just born this way - to tell stories, that is. As a child, it was always so hard for me to keep secrets, because I always wanted for everyone to experience the excitement, joy, and happiness that I was feeling, from whichever secret I was holding. As a result, my family quickly learned to not tell Jo (me) anything, because It was almost guaranteed that whoever wasn't meant to hear the knowledge that I had, would somehow hear it. No matter how natural is comes, being a storyteller is hard. Rarely, is there a simple story to tell, and often times, it's the tiniest of details that truly make a story come to life, from one individual to another.
Today is Valentine's Day and I realize that it can be a little overwhelming especially if you're not celebrating. Whether you've recently gone through a breakup or just decided not to celebrate, I still think it's a great time to be extra mindful of the things and people that you love and that bring you joy. I love everything about love. My mom probably thinks I'm a serial romantic, but there's something so amazing about delving into a person to know who they are from the inside out. I love listening to people's stories, so it makes sense that I love the feeling of love. A few days ago, I asked my Instagram followers to message me with their love stories. I didn't give a specific criteria, I only said that it should be about love. I could've have been a story about love and lust, about a new relationship, an old relationship, about a breakup, about love for a friend, family member or even a pet! Pet love is real, y'all. I received a few different stories, but one story stood out to me in particular, because of how normal, balanced, ridiculously sweet, genuine, and detailed that it was. I want to share it with y'all, because I hope it reminds you to be present with your love, to be detailed with your love, and to be mindful of all of the ways in which your special someone is truly amazing.
My girlfriend is tall, with short brunette hair.
We started seeing each other around this time last year as I was leaving a relationship. In short, my ex did me dirty and I knew I deserved better. Still, it was just one month later that I would meet Jessie* and I was still sensitive about my previous relationship. From the beginning of our relationship, we were both so clear and honest with each other... We talked a lot about our parent's divorces and about what exactly it meant to be vulnerable and open with and to someone. Funny enough, I first met her at my orientation! I think it's kind of cute how people can really fall in love in college, especially when you thinking about the living situations. Dorms can be very ugly, but it's the memories that you put in them that mean a lot.
I met Jessie* at the transfer student orientation at Boston University, there weren't any romantic feelings there just yet. Eventually, I added her on Facebook, and then we exchanged phone numbers, but initially, I just really admired her. I remember that I would stand and sometimes look at her and think "I really respect that person." I don't know why, but that's what my first reaction was. She definitely thought I was into her before I actually was, but I guess I just really loved hanging out with her as a friend!
When I think of Jessie*, I think of how when we first started seeing each other, I'd go to her room A LOT. We had so many sleep overs, because at her place we had privacy. I noticed that she'd clean a lot and always to music, but the day I realized that I liked her was when she was cleaning to this song called, "Beacon" by Matt Duncan. (Listen to the song, it'll make you cry. You're welcome.)
Maybe it was the fact that we'd been spending so much time with together during that snowy February, but at that moment, it just sort of clicked! Two or three weeks of hooking up and I knew I really liked her. One of the lyrics in the song goes, "Hold your head up your on beacon." When I thought about it, from the time that we started dating Jessie* really felt like a beacon to me. She is a beacon to me. She also lives on Beacon Street, so it's kind of neat!
One night we went to a bar in kenmore square and I remember specifically I ordered a glass of whisky (neat) and Jessie* ordered a glass of Malbec. We both only had one drink and spent the evening reminiscing on our day. I had a paper to write that night so I decided to sleep at my place that night. Before I left I remember standing on Bay State Road with her and she asked if she could kiss me. Now, we had already been in bed together, so kissing wasn't new for us, but the way she asked me, combined with very public setting, felt very intentional. I said yes, of course, but Jessie* tells me that at that moment, she knew that she really liked me.
The toughest aspect of our relationship is that sometimes, I'll just take off somewhere and she'll hit me with the "without me...?" So I've learned to remember that she wants to do things with me. She's super independent, but loves to be booed up with her man, it's about balance. Overall, what I learned is that everyone heals at different times. For me, it was quick, but it was just there. There's absolutely no formula. Some people leave you so enamored that you just have to say fuck the conventions!
At first, it was difficult, there wasn't much time to transition. If you want me to be honest, when I first asked her out, I got cold feet and ended up taking it back. Then once my ex found out that I was with someone new, it didn't go over so well. My ex is a whole ass pile of salt. Fortunately, we don't see her anymore, but she used to grill Jessie* in the dining halls. My ex and I only dated for 3 months, and in comparison to the year that Jessie* and I have spent together, it feels like days, but shit... I did love my ex - and I have loved other people in the past, too. However, I don't believe in trashing them or invalidating who I used to be just because we have gone separate ways now. To me, resiliency is to be allow yourself to to really allow yourself to enter all of your feels for someone and to bounce back with hope.
*Disclaimer: God's good grace brought this blog to life.
**All names have been changed.