One year ago, I kissed a woman in a dark bar on our first date. It felt exciting and filled me with hope. I was looking for a feeling I lost a long time ago. It felt so good that I still refuse to believe it wasn’t the right thing to do. After a decade, I’ve found someone who saw me for who I was and who I wanted to be.
Later, she would say that I walked into her life at the wrong time. I disagreed.
Bad timings are the mushrooms in life’s version of the Super Mario Bros. game: you need them to grow. They help you improve, and you become wiser and stronger. They are also painful, but that’s why they work. We don’t see this instantly when it happens, but pain can be motivating. It can liberate you from all the burdens you carried until that point. The expectations you were pressured to meet, those responsibilities that weighed heavily on your shoulder, or the endeavors you were constantly pushing to undertake: emotional pain liberates you from them and can help you reflect on your past.
My dream woman was ten years older than I and knew what she wanted from life. She warned me several times early on not to fall in love with her. I nodded my agreement, knowing full well it was already too late.
Bad timing is when your closest friends are avoiding you because you’re depressed. It is when a loved one dies of cancer in the middle of February, and the ground is too frozen to dig. Bad timing is a breakup before an hour-long trip home, or a pregnancy when neither one of you are ready for it.
Every minute of life can be poor timing if we look at it that way, but there are perfect moments in those bad timings. Moments that are short but can also feel like they last for years. Like when I held her body against mine and the world stopped shaking. When I breathed in the sweet smell of her neck and knew I was safe. When I caressed her soft skin in a stolen second that made me feel like I was a teenager again and that the future couldn’t hurt me…the moment I confessed my love for her after she told me she had had an abortion without telling me; so many “unfortunate timing” became magical moments.
I don’t believe in bad timing anymore because the idea is a paradox. It’s up to us to decide if they’re right or wrong for us.
A year after kissing her in that bar, she decided to break up with me. You know what the strangest thing is? I’m not mad at her. For the first time in my life, I don’t hold any anger towards the woman who shattered my heart into little pieces. I think that’s what other people call growth. I’m sad, I feel empty, but I don’t feel used or betrayed because she was honest and stayed true to herself right from the beginning.
She didn’t cheat on me or leave me for someone else. She didn’t fall out of love because I did something unforgivable or treated her badly. Maybe she didn’t love me, but she never took for granted my genuine feelings for her, not for a second. Even on our last day, as she was kissing me, she told me, “I might not love you the way you love me, but I have feelings for you. This is hard for me too. I will probably regret it.”
I finally met a woman who respected me as much as I respected her. Even when I yelled, cursed, and raised my voice in the heat of the moment, she said I would reach my dreams. She believed in me: all the way.
How could I be angry? It’s life, and I can be mad at life any time I want, but I can’t blame her or myself for whatever happened between us. It doesn’t make it any easier. For the first time in my life, I just don’t know what to do. How can I explain all of this to my ‘rational’ brain when my ‘feeling’ heart hurts so much? It makes sense, but it also doesn’t? How can I force myself to forget you when I have nothing but good memories, and how is this even real?
But then I remembered something from ten years ago: love doesn’t make sense. It’s irrational, destructive, and unpredictable. I knew this when I decided to pursue the relationship despite her warnings. I was fully aware of the risks of being vulnerable and the possible rejection, but I wanted to give it a shot. Why? Because love is also hopeful, comforting, and exciting. It’s not easy to feel or admit to, and it’s the hardest thing in the world to get over.
There are no bad timings. I lost my job, and then my girlfriend left me. Some would say that I have nothing right now, but that’s not true. This isn’t a bad timing, this is an opportunity. I’ve been stuck in my life for more than a year, unable to make a big decision that would bring about change. I’ve allowed my fears and insecurities to keep me from moving forward.
I’m fully aware that change is inevitable, necessary, and a good thing, however, it still paralyzes me. I’ve been planning to leave London for a while because it doesn’t fulfill me anymore. I’ve done everything I wanted here, and it’s time to move on. Now I can do it, and I’m going to.
One year ago, kissing her in that bar wasn’t the wrong thing to do. It was the first step on a new path that I couldn’t have found without her. Loving her unconditionally wasn’t bad timing because I had to know that I was still capable of having those feelings I thought had been lost in the past. I don’t think I walked into her life at the wrong time, nor did she into mine. I needed her, and she needed me. I still love her and saying goodbye destroyed me, but it’s time to face my fears alone, and when I do, I hope I’ll be able to thank her.
Until then, I’m going to save my love for another moment of “bad timing” that I’m sure will lead me to more perfect moments; hopefully the next time, they will last forever.
Previously published on medium
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