Since I was a tiny girl my mom has told me, "People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime." And since I was a tiny girl, this has rung true in every relationship I've ever had. I've had temporary friendships that lead me to stronger, permanent friendships. Reasons. I've had wild, reckless relationships during the hot, sunkissed summer months that float off like fallen leaves come autumn. Seasons. And in a couple, miraculous instances, I've had friendships that just stick, no matter where we are or where we go or how long we go without talking, they will always be counted on the hand of trust. Lifetimes. The difficulty with this concept though is that its something that is always realized in retrospect.
I have never met a person and instantly known, You are a lifetime. I have never gotten all dressed up in a frilly outfit to go to a freaking street fair and thought, This kid won't even a blip on your radar come October. A lifetime & a season are both very clear, distinct measurements of time though. Once you figure it out, you know how long these people stay and you know what you can expect from them. Seasons manifest themselves as fond memories that drift into your heart from time to time while lifetimes grow to become your heart over the years. The one I struggle the most with, though, are the reasons. Reasons do not have a set, measured time to be in your life. I hear reason and my heart cringes. My reasons have mostly taught me painful things about the world, but things that have made me stronger. Most of my reasons have popped up into my life multiple times; usually when I needed to relearn their lesson. The reasons are not people I look back on and smile and giggle, they are people who altered me, changed my stuffing, ripped me apart, taught me what I'm capable of, and showed me what it means to really, insanely, sacrificially love someone.
Usually reasons are people that we expect to be lifetimes, people that consume our hearts and keep our secrets and wipe away our tears. Our best friends, our first loves, people we bring home to our families, who become parts of our families, people that we can't imagine the world without. And then one day something happens to make us realize that they are in our lives for a REASON not a LIFETIME. We realize reasons in hard ways. Believe it or not, the person you trusted everything with, is perfectly capable of hurting you. Believe it or not, your expectation of people is often much higher than their capacity. Believe it or not, things fall apart, always, recklessly, without any immediate explanation, and we are left with fragments of a heart, a friendship, a love, a memory, a plan that was once so whole and pure.
And then one day, or month, or year, or decade down the road, you have an epiphany. Someone tells you a story about their friend who is in a dark place, and you look at them and nod knowingly and tell them exactly how to help her, because you've been there, more times than you can count. You're playing catch and someone notices you can throw a spiral, and you just laugh and think, "So that's what I got out of that." You can curl hair a certain way, you know proper party etiquette, you know that if a guy is worth your time, he'll always text you first. You know how to roll a joint even though you've never been high and you can recognize just about any rap artist's voice within 5 seconds of a song. These might not be things that your reasons taught you, but they are some of the more trivial things that my reasons taught me. Things that will never fade from my repertoire but may always come with a little tug at my heart strings.
There are big lessons too. Like how to drive a pickup truck, how to kiss, what is okay to say to a woman & what is not, and who to call when you're too drunk to drive or walk. And there are bigger lessons than that. Like the differences between love and obsession and lust, to not get so drunk that you cannot walk, the importance of looking ahead, recognizing where you are, and appreciating where you have been, and the significance of telling people how much they mean to you, before it is too late. And then there is the biggest of them all.
It is so cliche, but so true to the human condition. Life goes on; even when you cannot fathom your next step, even when you have spent every day living one way and will have to wake up tomorrow living a different way, even when you are angry to your very core, and even when the betrayal or hurt or disappointment is overwhelming. This is what reason people teach us: how strong we are, how capable we are, and how much you will go through in this brief, beautiful experience that only makes you better in the end. I love my reasons, each and every one, even the ones who I will never speak to again, even the ones who taught me lessons that left scars, even the ones who come with a fitting, "What the fuck Chloe?", and even the ones who I don't even know are reasons yet. I am who I am today because of Reasons, Seasons, and Lifetimes, there will be so many more and I welcome them with open arms.
Whether you are here to get a tan, here to teach me something, or here to stay, welcome. We could hurt each other, we could get coffee, we could have a ridiculously hilarious time together, we could never interact again after this moment, we could do everything & nothing. Just know that we are constantly leaving our marks all over each others' hearts & I'm glad to have all of your lovely fingerprints.
P.S. Maybe I just wrote this blog so that I would know the true spelling of the word repertoire. Because now I do. Reason.