In the almost four years that I have kept this blog, I have shared perspectives about almost every aspect of my life. A big exception has been my relationship with Erik.
I place a high value on my privacy. Considering that there may be no more public forum than the internet, the fact that I keep a blog may seem at odds with this statement. But, keeping a blog allows me to choose what I share, and what I keep private. For those things that I choose to share, writing in this way allows me to i) preserve a memory, and ii) develop a deeper perspective on the subject. Of course, I could keep a diary, but I lack the discipline to do so without an audience (hi, mom). It's kind of like how I could work out at home, but I only work out at the gym.
That I choose not to write about and reflect on all parts of my life is really my own loss. But, maybe it's not too late to try.
It was September 1990; grade 7 science class. Mr. Roberts was explaining the science behind lightning. Interesting and relevant science, no? We were all
paying attention, though most of us were a bit dumbfounded. Then, a kid at the back, a skateboarder with ear-length, peroxided hair, raises his hand. And, he asks a question that the teacher can't answer! The guy was cute, and smart
. I was hooked.
He didn't know who I was for a long time, but I was friends with his girlfriend and that was good enough for me. For a while.
My chance came six years later. First year of university. I was studying biology and was completely lost in life. I hadn't seen or talked to Erik for three years. A lot had happened in those three years; but, somehow, the sight of him brought back all of my childlike optimism about the future. My life changed track at that moment. For the better.
Erik introduced me to bikes, which has become a passion and one of the most positive influences in my life. He inspired me to reach for higher standards by example. He taught me to be (more) organized. He challenged my perceptions about my own limitations. He was an amazing partner in adventure. He encouraged me to carry on when I struggled with the pressures of work. He introduced me to the idea of business school when I was determined to move on to something new.
But, after almost 14 years, this chapter has come to a close. I can choose to look at it as a tragedy or as a blessing. It's probably both. I am extraordinarily grateful for the impact that Erik has had on the direction and quality of my life. I passed through my 20's completely free of the drama of hook ups and break ups, and of douchebags and dirtbags.
As much as Erik helped me to become fiercely independent, I'm crazy with anxiety about how to deal with his absence in the role as my significant other. But, I am extremely fortunate that he will not be gone from my life completely. In fact, he came all of the way to France so that we could spend some quality time together to close the relationship. Our uneymoon. I consider the fact that we can have an enjoyable vacation together to be a testament to the quality of our relationship.
We may not grow old together in the sense way that we had once envisioned, but I know that we will still grow old together as the best of friends.