I never had a boyfriend in high school. My hair was too long, my eyebrows looked like black caterpillars on my face, and my crooked, humped parrot nose was my signature trait. My light brown eyes garnered an occasional compliment from a boy, but eyes alone wouldn’t get me a date. It also didn’t help that I had conservative Indian parents, who translated a homework phone call from a boy as a sign that I was pregnant.
In high school, I excelled at reading, writing and arithmetic, and after-school, I would attend my many club meetings, everything from Student Council to the National Honor Society. Walking the halls of my high school, I would smile, watching girls who wiggled themselves into their boyfriends letter jackets, while I loaded up books in my backpack and slammed my locker shut, ignoring the talk of movie and mall nights with their significant others.
The words “He loves me” or “He told me I was beautiful” would come out of these girls’ lips. I imagined hearing those words too, in my head of course, practicing what I would say if this ever happened to me. Every night I would stand, with my hands clasped, eyes closed and I would talk to God. Telling him, that if he let me fall in love, I would never ask for anything ever again.
That was 1991. Fast forward nineteen years. It is now 2010.
I am awake tonight and enjoying the quiet solitude. My husband is next to me sleeping. I look at him and breathe. So often, I pinch myself, not believing that I married someone who not only loves me, but accepts me for who I am.I thought about my conversation with my husband earlier this evening. I was in a quandary on whether I should write or go back to the legal profession, and I confessed my inner turmoil to my husband.
“Hey, you know what. I don’t know if I am cut out for writing. Some days it is so hard. I don’t know if this is what I am meant to do.” I look at him, a boy I once knew, now a man and a father.
“You are meant to be a writer. You talk about it all of the time. And you know what, you are happy. I haven’t seen you this happy in a long time. No matter how long it takes you, I will support you. You have my word. I believe in you. You just have to believe in yourself.” The words aren’t hanging in mid-air. I hear them and I believe him.
I flashback to all those moments when I talked to God to send me a boy I could love and that would love me back. I realize those were conversations I was having with myself, mostly because I figured God had better things to do other than hear the heart of an angst ridden teenager.
All those times when I had doubts, I really had nothing to worry about. My husband isn’t just a husband, but my best friend, my number one fan, and a kind and generous spirit.
Everyone needs a personal cheerleader. A go to person. For me, that is my husband.
I clasp my hands and look up and say Thanks.