Tuesday, November 23, 2010

that girl & that boy

When I was a young girl, and even into my teens, it never occurred to me that I couldn't be or do whatever I wanted to be or do. That thinking just didn't exist. My parents were very clear that my sisters and I could have any future jobs and lives we wanted. They encouraged us to be open, to explore the world, and to try anything that interested us.

For me, that often looked like disappearing into the worlds created in books, which had me excel at school. But I also played a wide variety of team and individual sports with fair-to-middling success. I took piano lessons. Played the flute. Acted. Sang. We hiked and did farm chores and pretended to drive Dad's Willy's Jeep. I skiied at 5, and fished at 7. If I wanted to try something, by and large the access was there, and I was encouraged and supported in making it happen.

In all of those amazing experiences though, one was always missing. There was never a time in my life when I got to be 'that girl.' In grades 10, 11, and 12 I spent much of my social time with a group of three guys (Snake, Mongo and Blinky - seriously!) who treated me like any one of them. I was never sure they knew that I was there because I wanted Snake to notice me. Like, really notice me. We'd hang out at each other's houses. Cook dinners en masse. Study. Act/direct in the senior play. Snowmobile in the winter and hit the lake in the summer. And the whole time I was just one of the guys. Being 'that girl' in that environment wasn't an option. I graduated High School having never been on a date.

You'd think that'd be something you get over eventually. Snake and I reconnected a few years ago and he apologized. He said he knew, that he'd wanted to be with me to, and that he had his own things going on back then that kept things the way they were. It was a great conversation that cleared a lot up for me. And yet, it's been a lifetime (or at least several decades) and I still wonder - will that story that I'm just 'one of the guys' ever go away? 

I know who I am. I know I can be and do anything I set my mind to. Some people think I should be happy with that. But I want to be and do everything AND be the girl who gets the boy. Not just any boy - THAT boy. Until this week it's never occured to me that I could be THAT girl and get THAT boy. I thought it had to be one or the other, and that even then he probably wouldn't be THAT boy.

But guess what. I want to change the world and come home at night to someone who makes me smile and laugh and sometimes cry and who finds me in his sleep everytime he moves. And when THAT boy is ready, I guess I will be as well.

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