Notes on destinations

All roads have to lead somewhere; if not then we’re all just wandering, aimless and lost. That was what I meant when I asked, “What do you want from this?” What I wanted to hear was “You. Every part of you. The ones you dare to show, but especially the parts you tirelessly hide from the world. I want you.”

But you sat there, pale-faced in the blue hue of a 1.5 apartment lit only by a laptop screen. And though you sat motionless, pondering on the weight of my question, I could see you inching back slowly; your mind miles away, running like a dog alerting a sleepy village about an impending fire. Slowly, delicately, you came back to life: “I don’t know. You seem like a cool chick. I’m just trying to get to know you.”

It was my turn to freeze, to delve within the well of my bottomless mind and retreat into the pits of the uncertainty I had been presented with. I was 19 and in my first year of university, following two years in an all girls Catholic boarding school that had only further instilled principles Disney had imparted 18 years before that. My belief in love was akin to that of a 5 year old: When a man and a woman love each other very much, they get married and have a baby. No tidbits for what would happen in between. No warning about hookup culture and nth wave feminism. No map, no GPS, no self help shelf. I only knew I was lost because I knew there had to be a destination. I only gave into that realisation when I gave you permission to lead me there.

If I could give first year college me a piece of advice for the rest of her 3 years there, it would be: stop asking people “What do you want from this?” and ask yourself, “What am I doing here in the first place?”


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