I’d joked that eventually someone would have to come into my life that was the complete opposite of the one who had come before. That person I had let dominate my life, without regret on my part, who had proved themself to be less than any potential I saw in them. At some point someone would show up and be everything they weren’t, my reward for time served. Only I never quite believed it.
In a moment when I acted most (un)like myself, I invited them in. Something within me knowing that though they owed me nothing, they would never disappoint. How right I was. In the moments before and the moments since, we came to know each other through captured glimpses. Their presence in my life unmistakable. Even those that did not know of them, knew something else. They saw what I did not want to be too quick to admit; I had found a true friend. Someone who saw me the way they did. Someone who would come to show me my own worth.
Words are easy. Stories unfold with nothing hidden, no detail glossed over because I am afraid of what they will think, or of what judgements they will make. Laughter. Actions that are undeniably and uniquely them. The kindest of hearts. Situations that could only be a part of their life. A comedic reel playing out before me like my favourite comic strip on a Sunday afternoon. I find myself, for the first time, giddy. Shared thoughts and memories lived separately. No need of explanations, everything understood. A secret code spoken only by the cool kids.
Because of them I know of beginnings. Not just of others but my own too. I look at the people around me and I remember how they came to be in my life, and how, if the story is followed – how fortunate I am to have these friendships. Our own story too, equally unexpected. One of my favourites. On that day, in those moments, I was probably more myself than I ever was. Their presence in my life not changing who I am, but instead finally convincing me that who I was has always been enough.
Sometimes I fear I step too far, that I am too much. Their smile reassures me. My past insecurities betraying me as I re-learn that sometimes there are no limits. That there are some with whom you can simply be, and that person will be embraced in the biggest hug. So much for me still to learn. I am better.
We accept the love we think we deserve. Because they are in my life, I know what it is to feel infinite.
And how I smile.