Thursday, May 9, 2013

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

“But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need,” continue Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’ lyrics.   And sometimes, it takes a long time before you realize you got what you needed instead of what you wanted.

When I was in high school, I had a huge crush on this guy.  I’m pretty sure everyone knew it, too.  He was tall and cute and our intellectual sparring rivaled Elizabeth and Darcy.  I wanted to date him so badly, that when he started dating someone else, I joined the track team just to stop myself from being depressed.  I never liked running.

It wasn’t until fairly recently that I realized although what I wanted (and our family and friends expected) for most of my teen years was to date him, what I needed was to not date him.  I didn’t get what I wanted, but I sure as heck got what I needed.

He was, and still is, one of my closest friends.  We’ve been on lots of adventures together and through a lot of growing pains in the 20+ years we’ve known each other.  He’s a great guy.  He also has a very strong will, stubborn temperament and red-headed Aries fury. 

As a young girl, had I gotten my wish of being in a relationship with him, he would have totally controlled me.  Not because he’s a bad person or anything like that, but because I would have let him. 

Most teenagers are still figuring themselves out, and I was as naive and impressionable as any of them.  My world would have revolved around him, and he would have let it.  It’s just the way our personalities were then.   I would have missed out on a lot of my own growth.

On the simplest level, there would be no varsity letter on my jacket.  More deeply, if I ever did find my current ability to stand firm against peer pressure, it would have taken a lot longer.  Most importantly, I may have wound up losing him as a best friend.

Looking back, I’m very glad things turned out the way they did.  He has a wonderful wife who is absolutely adorable and a very good match for him all around.  And we still have our friendship, with a ton of great memories.  The current reality is well worth all those teenage tears.  That makes me smile.  It’s also very helpful when dealing with current tears.  I may not always be getting what I want, but I’m likely getting what I need.

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