The assignment was: after you have died, your daughter/son will be given the gift of seeing a single five-minute period of your life through your eyes, feeling and experiencing those moments as you did when they occurred. What five minutes would you have him/her see?
Choosing five minutes of my life to share with my boys was really hard. I’ve had so many wonderful moments in my life that settling on a mere five minutes seemed impossible at first. But I thought about it. I patiently inserted slides of my life into the projector and this was the slide that made me smile; this was the moment I knew my life had changed forever.
“Grab your camera and let’s go.”
“Where are we going?” I asked while grabbing my camera. I didn’t hesitate. I was ready to follow him anywhere. I trusted him. I liked him. I looked forward to spending time with him. I might even have loved him.
“To the lake. Let’s take some pictures. I’ll teach you some techniques.”
So, we left. The day was chilly, but I was warm enough in my jean jacket. I worried that the wind would mess up my hair because I wanted to look good for him under all conditions. I wanted him to be proud of me; his opinion meant something to me.
Which was weird for me. I was confused, but it was a pleasant confusion. My entire body felt like it was standing at the edge of a cliff, my balance precarious, my arms outstretched and grappling for something to hang on to. But I wasn’t scared of falling into this relationship; it was more of an eager anticipation.
We explored the lake that day. We took a lot of pictures – most of them were mediocre, a few of them were even great. I learned a lot about photography, and about myself that day. I felt comfortable with him. I began to imagine my life with him.
We each brought different strengths to our relationship – he brought clarity, determination, motivation; I brought whimsy, nonchalance, and careful abandon. We both shared an intense imagination.
And we laughed a lot.
Though our relationship was still fairly new, it felt like we had known one another our entire lives. There was the initial awkwardness of getting to know one another, but it only lasted mere days instead of weeks and we soon fell into an easygoing, pleasant and fun relationship. We were honest with one another and after several weeks of being with him, I began entertaining the thought of maybe, just maybe, we could live a lifetime together.
They say you “know” when you have meant the right person and forgive me, but I have to agree. There simply wasn’t one thing about him that sealed the deal for me, it was so many little things and then nothing at all. He simply stepped into my world and staked a claim on the plat of land in my heart that was reserved for that special someone.
I hadn’t even known that piece of real estate existed until he came along.
This should have scared me – the thought of committing to one person had always scared me up until that point. But I think because he was able to step into my world so effortlessly, so quietly, with very little fanfare, that it caught me off guard and I let my defenses down, just for a moment, but long enough for the damage to be done.
I was in love.
I realized my feelings as we took turns posing for one another. I felt free to be myself and I enthusiastically alternated my poses: from goofy to sexy all in an attempt to make him laugh and look at me, to really see me as a person and a possible life partner.
Though my feelings had sort of taken off without my permission, I forced myself to think about the reality of our relationship. Was he someone I could respect? Was he responsible? Did he have goals? Could I live with his bad habits?
And most importantly – could he put up with me and all of my irrational moods and faulty personality?
I had high hopes.
Though we were together at the lake that day, we also took time to explore on our own. The fact that he felt comfortable enough to give me my space was really what clinched the deal.
He was secure enough in himself, and in me, to give me room to breathe.
I knew there would be times that I would crave isolation. I required his understanding.
I sensed his understanding.
We arrived at the lake mere boyfriend and girlfriend – we left the lake that day soul mates.