Do you remember your first crush? Well, I don’t remember my first crush because I was three years old and practically came out of the womb boy-crazy, but I do remember the first time that I actually felt “real” feelings for a boy. I was in third grade, and we were the cutest couple on the playground (probably). I remember chasing him around the playground until he would agree to play with me, and I remember racing him in math class to see who could get the multiplication sheets done the fastest. (I almost always lost, but in my defense, he was really friggin’ good at multiplication!!!)
Anyway, my point is that I remember those feelings as if they were as strong as any of the feelings I’ve ever felt as an adult. I remember getting butterflies on the playground when he would finally agree to play with me (I was really persistent). And I remember thinking he was the cutest and funniest kid in the class, even though I hardly even knew the other boys. I was only eight years old, but I was certain that we were going to last forever. Little did I know, I was going to “date” four more boys before I even reached middle school.
But that’s pretty much how my whole life has gone so far: find a cute boy, chase him around, try to impress him, repeat.
When I first moved to Seattle, I had this fantasy that I’d meet a cute Seattleite, and get married within a few years. Obviously that hasn’t happened. But more than that, I just wanted to meet someone – any cute boy would’ve been fine. But that didn’t happen either. You see, when I first moved to Seattle, I was still getting over a heartbreak that happened a few years prior. (That sounds super dramatic, but it wasn’t until I moved here that I actually addressed the heartbreak and allowed it to heal properly.) But after I was over that heartbreak, I constantly craved that feeling you get when you meet a boy for the first time who you immediately fall for. You know – that boy who gives you butterflies every time you see him. Or the boy who makes you constantly laugh out loud, even though he’s really not that funny.
That’s what I wanted. The feeling a brand new crush gives you that makes you feel silly things and say even sillier things. I wanted to feel that rush of emotions, even if he didn’t feel the same.
For the first year that I lived here, I didn’t meet a single boy that I was attracted to (this is unheard of for me – I mentioned earlier that I’m boy-crazy, and I was not exaggerating one bit). In fact, by the end of the year, I was starting to believe that I just wasn’t attracted to boys in this part of the country, and I was fully prepared to move somewhere else just to find love.
One time, I even complained to my best friend that I couldn’t wait for the day that I had a crush on someone again just because I missed the rush. I was jealous of my friends who were in committed relationships obviously, but I was more jealous of my friends who were going on dates in coffee shops with cute boys they barely knew.
But then. I met this boy. And he’s really cute and really funny. And for the first time in two years, I have a crush on a boy (and I swear, Mother, if you call me and ask me about this, I will lie straight to your face). It’s that kind of crush that makes you feel like you’re eight years old again and running around the playground. The kind of crush that gives you butterflies no matter how many times you see him. The kind of crush that makes you say crazy things to your best friends even though you barely know him.
And sure, it would be fun if it went somewhere eventually, but right now, I’m not worried about that. Because for right now, I’m having plenty of fun just running around and trying to impress him. Sometimes, that can be the most fun part. You know, that small window of time when you’re constantly imagining conversations and dates that might not ever happen. When you spend everyday daydreaming about a boy who hasn’t even considered you romantically.
And if these crushes last too long, they can become heartbreak. But in the beginning, they bring out our imaginative and free-spirited sides that we so often forget are there. And I could choose to spend my days worried that there’s a 1% chance this relationship ever makes it past the “crush” stage. But for right now, I’m thankful for this rush of emotions. I’m thankful for friends who wait for me to finish getting ready after an hour and a half just because I’m going to see him for five minutes. I’m thankful for the people around me who will listen to me talk about him for hours even though I can count our conversations on less than one hand. And I’m thankful that there are little moments in life that can still make me feel as whimsical and carefree as an eight year old on a playground.
Today, I’m thankful for cute boys and crazy crushes that make life so much fun.