Hello! I promised myself I’d continue so here I am. Olivia is currently using her laptop for her essay so I’m in my room typing this up on my phone. I know if I don’t do this now, I won’t find a moment to for the next couple days because I’m going to be busy as hell.
So, where was I?
Ah yes, when I asked him why jiu-jitsu!
He seemed pretty surprised, but he explained that of all the martial arts or MMA, it appealed to him most. The technique, the artistry, the skill behind it all. He mentioned that it John Kavanagh inspired him a lot, and McGregor too. But he also said that it helped him to get over his ex, and to come to terms with his relationship with his dad. Getting into jiu-jitsu changed a lot for him, and he was so grateful and thankful that it found its way into his life.
Afterwards, he asked me why I asked him that. And I simply stated that I was curious. He didn’t think his story was all to interesting, but I told him that anyone who had passion would always be interesting.
He told me a couple inspiring stories of people he’s met through bjj, and the conversation kind of took on its own pace from that point.
And then, finally, he explained why he could relate to me and my familial situation as well as he could.
His uncle was an addict, not just to gambling but to a plethora of other hardcore drugs such as heroin. He told me about his uncle’s life – how he had a lot of money at such a young age, which opened up the doors to a lot of different temptations. His fiancée left him, and he was diagnosed with depression, and it was a downward spiral from there.
He opened up a lot – and not just about his uncle. He talked about his relationship with his dad, why it was rather strained from an early age. He confided in me about moments that no kid should remember.
He also explained that addiction ran in his dad’s side of the family, for a lot of his dad’s family members.
There was a lot that we could relate on, but in those moments, I just listened as he spoke. For once, my mind went silent.
And once he was done, I in turn opened up about my own life and what I’d gone through with my dad. The gambling AND alcohol addiction, the terrible memories, the lengths I’d go to to protect Olivia.
I told him about my suicidal breakdown, the ways in which I bounced back from it, but how I also struggled through school because of how it all affected me. I told him everything.
Afterwards, he just stared at me. And that eye contact… it was so intense. I felt as though he could see right through me, and I had to look away.
He told me that he respected me so much more now, having learnt all of that about me. He acknowledged how much I’d been through and said he felt almost as though he didn’t know what to say. And I told him that I wouldn’t change any of it at all, because I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for everything I’ve experienced.
That conversation was so intense that when I think back to it in my mind, I can see and feel the way that everything else in the restaurant just fell away – all I could see or hear was him, all I was focusing on was our conversation with the utmost intensity.
After we kind of settled, we both sat back and kind of breathed and all the sounds and atmosphere returned. Such a strange feeling.
But the conversation didn’t end there – after all the heaviness and depth, we returned to more light hearted topics.
He told me that he wants to travel so that he can help out too, and volunteer his time; there’s a priest who organizes a trip to Dominican Republic to teach baseball to the kids of the villages, because they play with sticks and rocks. Dylan said that the priest really struck him when he explained that there was no feeling like putting a new baseball into the hands of a little kid.
After that, we asked for the bill (he wouldn’t let me pay even though I wanted to, literally such a gentleman). As we walked out, it began to snow, much to my delight (and not so much his – he was wearing a jean jacket). We talked the whole way to the car, and we even sat and talked in it for a bit while we waited for the car to heat up. We talked more about meditation, about how it physically affects the body. We talked about energy, how powerful it can be, how you can literally sense someone else’s energy or the energy of a room.
As we drove towards my house, it was one of the last things he said that made me realize where his mind was at. That made me realize why this was kind of an end, in the most bittersweet kind of way.
He told me that he wants to leave the country, that he wants to live somewhere else, for at least half a year to a year. And when I asked why, he explained that it was because he’s been here all his life. His family, his friends, they were his comfort. He didn’t know who he was outside of all of that. But he wants to know.
He wants to know who he is when he’s outside of his comfort zone. When he’s somewhere completely unfamiliar, meeting new people and experiencing a different culture. But most of all?
He wants to do this alone.
He still feels like he needs to know himself deeper, experience more of life, and he’s very aware that all of these things need to happen while he’s on his own.
I commended him on his self-awareness and told him how impressed I was. Not a lot of people had the real desire to be alone. To strengthen their sense of self. Truly, I was so blown away.
So why did this feel like an implicit end?
Because to me, I feel like he’s self-aware to the point that he knows that he doesn’t want to engage in a relationship until he’s completely comfortable with his sense of self. Until he knows himself completely. And I couldn’t be happier for him, honestly.
That’s why this is so bittersweet. Because, a part of me is thrilled that I’ve met someone like him. Someone so mature, self-aware, intellectual and intelligent, open-minded, sincere and genuinely kind, someone who truly wants to give back to the world while experiencing everything it has to offer… but I can’t be with this person because he’s not where he wants to be, in his life. And I myself admit I still have tons to learn.
And you know, maybe he is seeing other people and doing what he’s got to do for the time being. Regardless of self-aware he may be, he’s also young and human, and we all crave that contact and that intimacy.
But for sure, there is an old soul in there. A wonderful one, at that.
I’m so utterly and completely happy and thankful for last night. It was all I wanted – to connect. It was real. Just like that moment beneath the stars. It was real because my ego-mind went quiet. It goes silent when it has nothing to say or nothing to project onto the moment at hand.
I’m so happy that he felt comfortable enough to let me in, after all. So truly humbled.
I don’t expect anything more than this. I would love a friendship, and I definitely don’t want to lose this person from my life. But, he admitted during dinner that after this Christmas season, he wouldn’t be returning to the Bay anymore. So… these next few shifts he works may very well be the last ones we’ll ever work together.
Will we see each other outside of that life? Are we meant to, even as friends? Or was last night meant to be the answer I was searching for all along? Was last night meant to be that goodbye?
I don’t know for sure. All I truly know is that going with the flow seems to be the best way to go about this, so I shall continue to do that.
I know for sure now, without a doubt, I will not settle for anything less than this, now that I know it exists. The amazing conversations full of learning and growth, the introspection and genuine connection. The self-awareness and striving to better ones’ self. The positivity and strength and kindness. The adventurousness and humour, the incredible and inspiring sense of independence. That’s what I want in a partner. That’s what I want in myself.
Anyways, it’s getting late now and I should sleep. I’ve thanked the universe but again… I’m so grateful. Thank you. Last night was more than I could have asked for, in so many ways.
Until the next time I write!