Ain't that the truth. I remember my first experience of this that really got to me.
It was my HS senior year state meet (I guess I cruised through life for 17 years?), when it all is supposed to come together one last time and it didn't.
It happened again in college, when I bought into what I thought would be a dream school, and it wasn't.
When my dad started having problems with his health. When I got thrown into the world of teaching. When the surfer hunk saw me as a sister. When I moved to Chicago. When I was reintroduced to winter in the Midwest. When I got cancer. When no one wanted to treat me. When I experienced Nicaraguan health care. When I was told I was infertile. When I got shoved out of the place I thought I'd change the world with. And most definitely, when I met my boyfriend, Jeff.
But, I've lived a pretty extraordinary life in my short 27 years and cannot complain too much about all of the times I didn't get what I wanted. I have been blessed with wonderful friends and family that are always eager to support and encourage me. I've faced various moments of struggle, ultimately all of which have proved to be opportunities for growth. Obviously, cancer was one of them.
A lot of damage happened when I was sick, the most devastating was to my self-image. I spent 23 years without insecurities and overflowed with confidence. So much changed so quickly, and I while I smiled a lot on the outside (genuinely) there was a lot broken on the inside.
Now I am a notoriously private person when it comes to relationships, I like to keep things between us. Things always get messy when others get involved. So many of you probably know very little about my boyfriend, Jeff.
I met him bald as a baby, which he found to be quite attractive and still encourages me to bic my head whenever. I was at a point in my life where I was just starting to lose my trademark shine. A slow friendship built but our lives didn't really intertwine until I moved back to California and he came along for the ride. I remember telling him something along the lines of, "You're probably gonna fall in love with me by the time this trip is over, just a warning, everyone does." I was at a very Kayla-centered focus of my life and had zero interest in men. I was making myself a priority and didn't want anyone to interfere with my healing. But I didn't get what I wanted.
Instead, I got a wonderful human that I connected with in a new way and made me want to be vulnerable and share myself with another. It was a classic happening of "the second you decide you want to be alone, your person walks into your life." I got someone who made me think outside of myself and feel pretty normal around. With him, I started to see things in myself that I thought were lost forever. I got a fast best friend and someone I knew I had to hold onto. I had lived enough life and relationships to know that this feeling in my tummy and chest was quite unlike any other feeling and I just had to hold onto him. And I wanted to hold onto him. But I didn't get what I wanted.
Instead, I got a guy who was going to leave me in a week to move across the world to continue to fulfill his dream of playing volleyball professionally. Whose interests included anything BUT being held onto. A guy who enjoyed every second of his "childhood" he got to continue living out there, playing a game and hanging with his friends all day, sans responsibility. So a special friend he remained. And through our friendship he continued to push me to grow into whomever it was I was becoming. Eventually, I started to believe the things he saw in me and I gained the courage to not only seek help with my problems but to solve them. I knew what it would take to love myself again and eventually be able to really love another too and it was time to do that.
Timing is a funny thing. It's everything. And when it's off it's so frustrating but if I've learned anything, it's that it's always off for the right reasons. It was frustrating to love someone a world away, but truly I wasn't ready for what I wanted. I am so thankful for this slow timing. If I had gotten what I wanted then, I probably would have become so dependent on him for my happiness and self-worth. I needed to have time to heal, to stop hating parts of myself and find love and respect and praise for every inch inside and outside of myself. I needed to do that on my own. Luckily, the man I loved happily encouraged this because it also allowed him to do the growing and searching he needed to. So I didn't get what I wanted but instead I got what I needed.
Our whole relationship has been a bunch of ebbs and flows of missed timing. Distance separating us, wanting different things at different times, and just not being ready for what we had together. A whole lot of not always getting what I wanted. But, like with all stories that end happily, one day life happened and we had that coming to Jesus moment of "Hey, are you ready for this?" And when that moment (finally) happened, we both had the same answer... "Yes."
Looking back, am I so thankful that it has all happened when and how it did. When we were both truly ready. When I knew how to love myself. When he truly learned how to love another. Jeff brings out the best in me and all along the way has been the biggest aide to my healing and rediscovering love for myself. I am so thankful for the man I get to call mine. And I am so thankful that I didn't get what I wanted for as long as I didn't so we could get what was best for us instead.
Be thankful for the times you don't get what you want because sometimes something better is on the way. Trust the timing. Try to be honest with yourself about when is the right time for what. Because when it all comes together, exactly as it should, magic happens.
Check back in for part 2 to read about the magic I'm talking about...
Love Conquers All