Updated: Oct 17, 2022
"Our external reality is an opportunity to heal our internal upset." Jay-Z
So two weeks ago, I told you about my Mom surprising me and my brother with a trip. I know you probably thought it was a nice gesture. But how could a surprise trip to the Bahamas be that big of a deal? Well, I left out a big reason why this trip was so special. Ironically enough, I forgot about this part of the story for years. Then randomly, this memory popped back in my head and I have not been able to stop thinking about it! It would have been enough if this story had ended simply as a surprise trip. But, what I have come to know about God is that he is thee number one stunna! When he decides to bless your life or surprise you, he really surprises you.
So, after having a fancy dinner with my family the first night on the ship. My parents left my brother and I to our own devices. Sam went away to the game room. I discovered the teen club; to my surprise, there were teenagers inside the room. It was mostly all girls and this guy. The guy was cute, racially ambiguous, and given the texture in his afro, I'm pretty sure that at least one of his parents was black. At the time, I had a severe thing for light skins. So, he instantly had my attention. The other girls were cliqued up, and I immediately felt like an outsider. But despite feeling that way, I stuck around.
Luckily I’m me, so the cliquey girls eventually warmed up. We all talked about where we were from and eventually agreed to sneak into the adult clubs. I tried to keep my cool and make it seem like I was a girl’s girl. But my eyes were on him- well, all of our eyes were on him! Yet somehow, he ended up next to me! The two of us began to speak, and immediately the outside world melted away. It felt like it was just the two of us in the disco club under the stroll lights. After getting spotted by adults, we were quickly kicked out, and when everybody went right. He grabbed my hand, and we went left.
On our own, we went to get strawberry ice cream cones and French fries. After our snack, we got Shirley Temples's, and before taking a sip, we did a toast to the evening, grinning into each other faces. After our "drinks," we went outside to explore the ship. It was different from the daytime, instead of hundreds of people surrounding the pool. It was empty with just the two of us, dark skies and water for miles. Under the stars, we talked about what we wanted to be when we grew up, and honestly, everything! That night time stood still. It felt like we were in our own little paradise. It all felt so easy. We got lost in each other and completely lost track of time. I can recall the yearning of never wanting the night to end.
That night, we went to the ship's bow, and, probably against the advisory of the captain, we went beyond the shield. I was so nervous and so conflicted. While there was a part of me that was simply happy about this experience. There was another, more practical side of me that kept thinking, "God, please don't let this white boy kill me!" But despite the panic, the butterflies won, and I joined him. Together we did the Titanic thing, and like any romantic movie, he asked me if he could kiss me. I couldn't find the words to say "yes," so I simply nodded. Being a gentleman, he didn't tongue me down. But I can still recall the kiss being amazing. After that, his hands never left mine. We spent the remainder of the night that way.
When we circled back to the Night Club. It was only then that we realized just how empty the boat was, and reality started to hit us. We were not two adults on vacation. We were kids on a cruise with our parents. Panicking, we quickly headed back to the elevators that led to the rooms. The entire way, I assured him that he didn’t need to walk me to my room. But being the gentleman he was, there was no talking him out of it. Unfortunately, we didn’t even make it to the elevators before both of our parents came marching toward us. He's a small white woman, mine a taller black lady. They couldn’t have been more opposite, but they had the exact same expression. Instantly, we released our grasp, and the spell was broken. We went with our parents, glancing meekly over our shoulders at one another. Not realizing that would be the last time we would ever see each other again. Maybe that is why I buried the memory.
The pain of having such a magical night just ended with no sense of closure. Perhaps the heartbreak was too much. Whatever the case, this memory returned with a vengeance when I turned thirty. Knocking on my heart's door, threatening to upend all of my previous beliefs about love. This moment reminded me just how magical and unexpected life could be! It reminded me that there was a time when I didn’t have to chase love. A time when love came to me freely and easily without effort or worry. I can't help but wonder why didn't I see him again. We were literally trapped on a ship! Now, I see that instead of feeling the joy of experiencing pure romance at such a young age. I used this moment in my young mind to validate my limiting belief that I was "unlovable ." After this beautiful moment, I birthed the belief that I had to "chase" love. But the thing about chasing love is that it's a never-ending cycle. It breaks my heart because I realized that all I have ever wanted was love. I just went about it the wrong way.
As I type this, I wonder how different my life would have been if we had stayed in touch. Who would I have become with that type of love in my life? It also makes me wonder if that's why I love so hard now. Back then, I wanted to be cool, not seem pressed. I didn't exchange numbers with him or even ask him about it, and there were no social media at the time. So, in essence, I just let him go. In my young mind, I subconsciously told myself that I didn't try hard enough. Which resulted in me trying hard in every interaction with a guy after! I called myself making up for this mistake and never allowing it to happen again. But in turn, all I really did was buried the memory and the belief that I was worthy of love. The re-emergence of this memory has been a gift and curse.
While I’m happy that I can remember it. I just can’t help but wonder why now. Typing this, I can see how it helped me clarify why I used to chase love. But I can’t help but hope that it’s for a greater purpose. A few weeks after the re-emergence of this memory, I ran into this movie called Serendipity. It’s all about this couple having a magical night and never seeing each other again. Then, ten years later, they both think about that faithful night and set off on a quest to find their long-lost love. Watching the movie, I was full of warmth and fuzzies. I was sure that this was a sign from the universe.
I know this is my magical, romantic Disney movie mind making this up. But wouldn’t it be so romantic? Like the ultimate love story coming to life. I tried to remember his name, bits, and pieces from our conversation. But it was so long ago that I gave up. Then I remembered the number one rule the movie taught me: surrender. Whenever the couple tried to find each other, they would just miss one another. It was only when they gave up on trying to find one another did the universe finally bring the two of them back together. So, instead of thinking or wondering how it will all happen. I’m just going to open my heart and have faith that it will happen. I am choosing to believe that I will receive that type of love again.
I will use the re-emergence of this memory to remind myself that I am worthy of love because I refuse to believe that I peaked romantically at the age of fourteen!
Have you ever recovered a memory? What was it about?
What did the resurfaced memory teach you?
How did you apply the information you learned to your life?