I never dated anyone until shortly after my 16th birthday. My best friend (we'll call her Shy) was dating this odd country boy (we'll call him Jack) who had a best friend (Alex) that tagged along to just about everything they did together. Well, Shy and Jack started inviting me along to things to keep Alex entertained. I didn't really appreciate the gesture. I honestly loathed Alex when this started. But, it kept happening. We'd all four hang out all the time. Then Jack gave Alex my Snapchat. And of course I felt like an awful person if I didn't reply because he could if I had opened it. So I talked to him (sorta). I didn't really contribute to the conversation much, often replying with only one word. So, he had to work pretty hard to keep me talking. Then, we got a streak and obviously he wanted to keep it. One more excuse for him to talk to me right? Well, that's what he was thinking. I was following a different, less kind, trail of thought.
But, he eventually began to grow on me because he was rather persistent. He talked to me everyday on Snapchat and kept me talking for the majority of the day. I eventually started talking more because he appealed to my love of nature. He took a trip to Minnesota and visited Yellow Stone National Park. The pictures he sent me of the landscape...I fell in love with the park and I wasn't even there. He quickly used this to his advantage to get me talking. That's when he appealed to my nerdiness by sending me random bits of info about the park. The conversation quickly became easier to maintain. I started to find him rather charming. My cheeks would turn bright red when I messaged him, and I was constantly checking my phone. Eventually, he gave me his number, and I was always texting him.
I fell for him slowly at first. Holding my heart at bay, afraid of getting hurt. So many other people have hurt me, and I was afraid that he would be one of them. When he asked me out, I almost said no. But he was so nervous and I could tell he had rehearsed. It was endearing, and I fell for him a little more in that moment.
When we started dating, it was great, but as I began to like him more, I was a mess. Here, I had this amazing guy who would do anything for me. He was such a gentleman and so kind and caring. He made sure my every need was taken care of and always made sure I was ok. For crying out loud, he knew that he was the first guy I've ever dated and therefore also my first kiss, so he asked for permission before kissing me. But, that's not what I was looking at. I liked him, but I didn't really want to. He wouldn't go to church with me and that was really big. But bigger still was the fact that I was terrified that I liked him for all the wrong reasons. I was afraid that I liked him more because he was so kind and caring and less because he was him. And I compared him to boy's I had liked before. He also didn't give me butterflies which I thought was a huge issue because aren't boys your crushes supposed to do that? So naturally, I freaked out and broke up with him one month in.
We got back together not 24 hours later because I apologized and admitted why I freaked. I told him I was an indecisive idiot and that I probably should have talked to him about all this stuff before hand because relationships are all about communication. Plus, I hadn't even given him a chance. So he gave me a second chance.
A month later, he was my best friend and I told him literally everything. Three months in, the L-word started popping into my head. I wanted to tell him about it. But I was certain that it couldn't really be love. What does a 16 year old know about love? Nothing because 16 year olds are ignorant. I was scared. How could I feel so strongly for someone only after three months? I had this overwhelming need to break down all my walls and open my heart to him, and it terrified me because I've been hurt every time I've ever even begun to take a brick out of the walls that protect my heart. So naturally, instead of talking to him, I freaked out and broke up with him.
24 hours later, I was laying in my bed, broken and crying as Mom came home from somewhere (I don't remember where). She laid beside me and asked what was wrong. I looked at her still crying and said "I made a mistake. I miss him. I miss him more than I've ever missed anything or anyone before. I feel like I'm missing something extremely important to me. There's an emptiness in my heart I've never felt before. I miss his messy house, his good morning text, his sweatshirts. I miss his voice. I'd give anything to listen to him talk about anything. I miss the sound of him bickering about fantasy football and singing along to the radio, not hitting a single note. I miss leaning against him as we watched his favorite show on Netflix. I miss the smell of his truck. I just miss him, all of him, every little thing about him. I miss all the annoying things he did."
She smiled her knowing little mother smile and told me that she thought I loved him. I told her about why I broke up with him and how I didn't think someone my age could possibly be in love because we are so young. She laughed at me. "You have a lot to learn," and with that, she told me to call him. So, I did, but he didn't answer. I text him, but he didn't reply. I was on the verge of driving to his house when he showed up at my door. We went outside and sat in his truck to talk because it was pouring rain.
"What's wrong?" His voice was choked and he wouldn't look at me.
"I love you," I said, but once the words were out everything else tumbled out with it. I rambled on and on telling him everything. I told him why I panicked, why I broke up with him, why I missed him, why I loved him, why I needed him to come back over to tell him all of this. I told him that I've never felt this way about someone else, that my feelings scared the crap out of me because I didn't understand them. I told him that if he still wanted nothing to do with me I would understand. I just thought he should know all of this other stuff before he decided. When I was finally done talking, he just kind of sat there. I could tell I caught him off guard and I was about to ask if he wanted me to leave when he said those three words back to me.
And now, I've been dating him for a little over a year and let me tell you, those bumps were just the beginning. I'm rather insecure when it comes to my feelings, and I have a really hard time expressing how I feel. But because of him, I have come so far. We are slowly learning to work as a team and help each other with all of our insecurities. We are learning to talk instead of panic, talk instead of argue. We have had many issues for many reasons, but we have conquered all of them. We have come so far. We have learned so much. I have learned so much.
I've never allowed myself to be so vulnerable in front of someone before. This boy has my heart. I am in love with him. In my head, I've always thought of love as something unbreakable, something that only brings joy. But I now realize that is a fairytale. It's as unrealistic as Peter Pan and Neverland. People fall in love all the time. That's why they get married right? But those marriages sometimes fall apart. I read a quote somewhere (probably on Pinterest) about how some people fall out of love for the same reasons they fell in love. And in my own personal experience, I've found that this happens because love is hard. It's hard because love is more than just an emotion. It's a commitment. It's saying I'm going to care for this person. I'm going to accept them, flaws and all. I'm going to love them even when they're annoying and angry and hateful. I'm not going to give up on them. I'm always going to be there for them even when I'm tired or mad.
And being in love is more than simply saying, "I love you." It's your actions as well. You show your love when you take them on a date to their favorite restaurant or pick up their favorite snack on your way to their house. It's the sandwich you make them for their lunch break or the note you leave in their car. It's the goodnight call and the good morning text, the "How are you's" and the "wear your seatbelt's". You show your love for another person not in words, but in actions.
And I feel like as teenagers, we often get into the mindset that love is just a feeling. But it's not. It is so much more.
"Anyone can show up when you're happy. But the ones who stay by your side when your heart falls apart, they are your true friends."
I am Samantha, and my goal for this blog is to basically share my experiences as a teenager. Basically, I am a teen. I have many hopes and dreams, many fears and insecurities that I let hold me back. There is so much that goes on in my life. Sometimes it is a struggle, and that is what this blog is about.