Almost exactly two years ago, I had my first real heartbreak over a boy. I remember lying in my bed, in my cinderblock room in the dorms, crying, Lisa comforting me, brushing my hair and rubbing my back and just being a best friend, a roommate, just listening to me cry and telling me that it would all be okay, even if I felt like it was the end of the world. There were nights where I'd take my phone and go to the elevator room, where we all would talk on our phones if we needed a private conversation. I'd go to the elevator room at 2 in the morning, sprawl myself across two of those uncomfortable chairs that were made to not sprawl across for the same reasons they put the "chastity bars" in the couches. I'd look out the tiny square windows and see cars drive past Hinckley Hall and call Garin in Logan, because I knew that he would always talk to me, no matter the time of night, and even if I was being completely ridiculous because I knew that he cared about me in the way only your best friend/adopted older brother can. I remember so many nights just crying to him until he'd ask me if I was feeling better, gently reminding me that we both needed to get sleep, but always willing to listen more if I wasn't. I was (and still am) blessed with so many wonderful people to get me through hard times, to keep me grounded in reality and love even when I feel like I'm worthless and horrible and unloved.
Last night/this morning, a dear friend of mine had to tell a boy that she cares about and likes even that she couldn't date him. I could tell she was hurting when she called me this morning, wondering where I was, because she needed to talk. I had been cautiously telling her to be careful, because the situation was all too familiar to me, like deja vu with my first experience, and it's all too easy for both parties to get hurt in something like that, even when you're being careful and not meaning to, because honestly, no one wants to hurt someone they care about. But at the same time, everyone needs to have experiences, to learn for themselves. And so today, it was my turn. She lied on my bed, silent, and I rubbed her back, knowing and understanding as much as I could. She wasn't crying, not like I would be (or have done in the past); while I'm probably melodramatic, she was just quiet. I don't know what all she was thinking, but sitting next to my bed, rubbing her back...it reminded me of Lisa brushing my hair and singing "No One is Alone" from Into the Woods to me. It reminded me of Garin telling me he wished he could give me a hug and just listening to me cry at odd hours of the night, sacrificing his time and energy for me when he was plenty stressed out enough with his life and school as it was.
I am thankful for my experiences, even trails, in life. For Lisa and Garin and anyone who's helped me through those experiences. And for the opportunity I have to help others through their own experiences, to help them smile and laugh and heal, or maybe just sit there and listen to the silence and just be there to rub their back. In short, I am thankful for people and life and love.