Bit of Happy #36: Make Mistakes

2 Nov

Reese, a close friend of mine, claims not to be much of a writer, so he left it open for me to write most of the entry. However, he did add in his two cents, and what the quote meant to him personally. Thanks again for submitting a quote, Reese. Means the world!

Reese and I when he was visiting from Australia

“I just reckon it’s a good thought. It’s okay to make mistakes, but we need to learn from them. Mistakes lead us to greater experience in life. Life shouldn’t be spent wrapped in the safety of the known. We need to push into the unknown, enjoy it and learn a thing or two.”

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Easy going and adventurous, Reese is one of those people that I will forever hold close to my heart. There aren’t enough words in the world to say about him. He and I met when he was visiting the States (as he would say) for a cousin’s wedding. He was only in for a few more days after we first met, and there was no way I was falling for a guy who lived on the other side of the world. He left with a twinge of heartache – not knowing the next time he’d see me. I, on the other hand, had protected my heart against any type of butterflies I could possibly feel for him – or so I thought.

Long story short, he slowly reeled me in. We grew close – from friendship to a little more. We talked through email and on Skype all the time. That was pretty much all I had – we had. I found so much passion about life and travel in his eyes. He would tell me story after story about living in Australia and what it was like – he still does. I had stars in my eyes. Before I knew it, I was in deeper than I every wanted to be. He was coming back the following summer for another wedding, but that was a year away!

He was always encouraging me to try new things and not live in fear of making mistakes. He was always outside, going on ridiculous adventures during his holidays. He wanted me on a plane to Australia as soon as I had the money. I even looked into studying abroad a semester, but I wouldn’t have been able to graduate on time. So, we left things open. The only fair thing to do. Neither of us wanted the other to miss out on opportunities with other people. We were both in agreement that if someone came along, we wanted to let the other explore that chance. At the same time, there was a part of me that didn’t want someone else to come along.

We were each others’ comfort, and at the same time, our long distance relationship made us feel even more lonely at times. We would sit on Skype and wish somehow one of us could be on the other side of the computer screen. Just to touch his face, hold his hand, hug him, kiss him… The experience certainly made me realize that I would never take the little things for granted in any relationship that may bud in the future.

Do I regret the time I spent with him? Not for one second.
Do I regret giving him a piece of my heart? Not for one second.
Do I regret waiting for him to come back the following summer? Not for one second.

Those few weeks were some of the best days of my life. Days that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Memories that will last forever. I felt so alive. He got me to try things I would never dream about doing. He brought out the spontaneous, carefree side of me – the best side of me. Before he came the following summer, I contemplated even seeing him. I was afraid I’d fall in love with him and bury a deep, dark hole when it came time for him to leave. But I took that chance. I risked making that mistake.

Was it hard having him leave? Yes. It was one of the most difficult good-byes I’ve ever had to say (well, not good-bye – see ya). I never say good-bye. If there’s one phrase I hate, it’s that.

Anyway, the point is… I tried something new. I took a chance that I was hesitant to take, and he ended up bringing out the best in me. And when it came time for him to leave and go back to Australia, our relationship was so free and happy that not even him going back to the other side of the world was going to squander that. Not to mention, I think a big part of me not grabbing a shovel and starting the dig to my deep, dark hole was the fact that it was our norm. Being apart was our norm. As much as we hated to admit it, as much as we cherished every moment we could spend together… we both knew that he belonged in Australia. And I belonged here.

The distance is ultimately what made us separate enough that we could remain close friends, while living out the lives we were meant to without holding back. It was difficult, but gradual. It was necessary. I didn’t want to take him out of Australia as much as I knew I couldn’t leave the States. So, there was only one mature and logical thing that we could do. The only problem was… hearts are blind to things realistic. My heart will always have a special place for him. My mind will always have a tiny thought of ‘What if things were different…’

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I wasn’t surprised for a moment when I read the quote Reese chose to share. It shows so much about him in just a short phrase. He’s a great person with the whole world reflecting in his eyes. He’s someone I’m sure I’ll mention again and share more stories about because some of my happiest and best moments were spent while with him. Some of my greatest times of growth were spent while with him. Some of the biggest realizations and dreams of life were recognized while with him. And even now that we’ve taken the level of a friendship, he still has the power to make me smile no matter what the circumstances. No matter what the stress. No matter what new boy I’m crying over. No matter what the obstacle or challenge I’m facing. He encourages me to get up every morning with a smile on my face and the optimism to try something new. And even though you never know when that chance may surely turn into a mistake, it could also very well turn into something quite perfect.



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2 Responses to “Bit of Happy #36: Make Mistakes”

  1. twotoned November 3, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Oh my goodness Stephanie! We both have the same story!

    First of all, your picture with Reese is so perfect! Just look at you, you look soo in love.

    And now when I was reading your post, I could not believe how much our story is almost the same! I can finally relate to someone.

    We did the same “mistake:” We took the chance to be in a relationship even if it was only 3 months. We knew what was the consequence and we took the risk. But like you said, “And even though you never know when that chance may surely turn into a mistake, it could also very well turn into something quite perfect.” Everything was indeed perfect! We cherished every little thing we did and before we know it, we were falling in love to each other and it felt like our souls were connected.

    Beppe was also an adventurer and he has the passion to travel. He fueled my desire to explore many many places, especially in Europe. He taught me so much and changed me into a better person. He inspired me to dream of many things that I’ve never imagined before. But of course, life moves on and 3 months went by so quickly.

    We could have been in a relationship, but with the same logic and mature step that you and Reese took, we decided to be friends and have ourselves meet new people. However, it wasn’t really such a bummer since it’s not like we will never see each other again. I remember Beppe telling me this in his recent e-mail:

    “It is better for us to separate and learn from other people so that someday, we could be more mature and confident to carry on our relationship next level.”

    Everything wasn’t a mistake and our relationship truly was a love story, better than Disney’s. And of course, even if several guys will come along the way, there will ALWAYS be a part of me that will love Beppe no matter what and a part of me that will always have him inside my thoughts.

    Stephanie, I think we are very lucky to experience what love truly is. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, there will be a someday for all of us ☺

    • Stephanie Frances November 6, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

      Originally when I had read through some of your entries, I felt the same way. That’s what I meant when I said I’d been through a similar situation that you were going through. It certainly wasn’t easy, but never something that would fall in the regret category. Not for a second. So if you ever feel alone or need someone to talk to about it, I don’t know if I’d even be able to help – but I’ll definitely listen! 🙂 And who knows, maybe I can at least offer you my story. Maybe that alone will bring you some comfort.

      Thanks so much for your comment! Means the world. It’s great to know there are still people in the world that are willing to risk their heart for the possibility of something amazing – even if it can’t last forever.

      Cheers!

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