At the beginning of my 4th year in college, my life took an unexpected turn. I had stayed in Arizona (I was attending Arizona State U.) for the summer instead of going home to New Jersey or to my dad’s in Texas after my 3rd year. My roomate and good friend Marles and I got a summer job at the same company. It was a wild and crazy summer, which was what I needed after a difficult break up from my boyfriend Scott for whom I had been with for over a year. At an early summer pool party I was introduced to Steve. We hit it off immediately and spent most of the summer partying together with friends, hanging out, as well as a fun weekend trip up to Flagstaff.
The end of summer came quickly and it was time to get back to school. Marles and I had found an apartment together, then later she decided to move in with her boyfriend John. So I had to find another room-mate. It turned out that Susie, a former roommate, needed a place to live.
Steve and I continued to spend a lot of time together and I knew he was head over heels in love with me. I had deep feelings for him as well, but was still a little cautious because of my recent history with Scott.
One day to my surprise, Scott showed up at my door and wanted to talk. He told me he had a new girlfriend, was getting his stuff out of storage and would be going back to Nebraska. He was dropping out of ASU to get his act together closer to home. What he said made perfect sense, but to my surprise, it hit me hard emotionally. I told Steve I needed a few days alone and assured him I was not saying good-bye. I just needed some space. I thought he understood because we made a date for the coming weekend.
That weekend came and went and no word from Steve. I was a wreck! Had I blown a fantastic relationship with this wonderful guy? Was I nuts for doing this? All I needed was a little space for a few days to get my head screwed back on straight.
School had started and I jumped head first into my school work like I had never done before. My room-mate Susie wasn’t a student and worked as a waitress at night, so we barely saw each other. Marles was busy in love, plus we had very different schedules. My other closest friends had transferred to other schools, so I was pretty much alone. I tried calling Steve many times, but got nowhere. Weeks went by and then one afternoon there was a knock at my door. It was Cory, Steve’s best friend. I was so happy to see him and I begged him to tell Steve I missed him and to please come see me. I needed to explain myself. Cory said he was only there to get the albums that Steve had left in my apartment. I told him if Steve wanted them back, he would have to come get them himself.
Well, I still have the albums, I never saw Steve again, Susie decided to move in with her boyfriend and I had no one else to share the apartment with. I had spent every night alone in my apartment for months, my social live was pretty much non-existent. Now, you would think I would have become depressed, but no. This was what I had been given for some unknown reason, so I was making the best of it. For those few months I worked my hardest at school and got the best grades that semester than any other semester before or after. I worked at Dunkin Donuts, which was right out my back door and saved my money. (FYI: I don’t eat donuts.) By the time I moved out after that fall semester, I had spent more time with me than ever before. It felt good too. But, I did need a place to move to, so I moved in with Cathy, a new friend from school. She had two small children and lived in Mesa, too far for me to get to school on my bicycle. Some times we drove together in her car and other days (she was part-time) I drove her car to school. In exchange for minimal rent and just putting gas in her car, I baby-sat her kids when she went out with her boyfriend. It was a good arrangement that worked for me.
At the end of the spring semester I went back to NJ. I had made arrangements with a friend of Susie’s, Norma, to room together for my last semester when I had to do my student teaching. I met Dianne, who lived down the street from my new apartment, at the student teacher orientation and a God send. We decided to carpool together since we were assigned to the same two schools. I had my brother’s truck every other week, so it worked out perfectly. It turned out to a great semester with a good balance of work and play.
Dianne and I are still friends to this day. We’ve stayed in touch over the years and manage to get together from time to time when I go out to Arizona or she comes east. I consider Dianne to be one of my soul-sisters. We get each other.
One day during that last semester while I was out with Dianne and the girls, I ran into Cory. I gave him a big hug, asked how he was and Steve too. He said Steve had joined the Navy because of me! Steve was so upset about what had happened between us that he had to leave Arizona. Now, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I told Cory that I still cared deeply for Steve and had never wanted our relationship to be over. Steve joining the Navy was not my fault.
Now, you may be wondering what this long-winded story has to do with the title above, Love Connection. During this Valentine month, many people feel sad and lonely when they don’t have a special someone. But we often forget that it’s not other people or things that make us happy. That can only come from within your own hearts.
You know the line “looking for love in all the wrong places”. We need to move from looking or seeking love to finding love. And, it may be in the last place you would think to look. You!
First, it’s important to be open to change and be present. Staying with an open mind opens doors to new possibilities. Staying open in our hearts keeps us connected to our spirit. When we separate, we become dis-connected with our inner-self. If we continually forget the love that we are and look outside ourselves for it, then it’s like having an umbilical cord in hand and trying to plug it in somewhere. That kind of searching has no end. Also, being alone does not have to lead to depression. Instead, begin with forgiveness within yourself and stop believing that something is wrong with you. Recognize that you are already what you seek.
After all, love doesn’t live outside of you. It’s within your heart and has been there all along.
Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!
With Much Love and Graditude