Failure and Success: Telling Someone About the Crush (Part II)

So I’ve talked about how to tell someone you have a crush on them and why you’d want to do that. I figure now it’s time I share a couple of stories from my own life. Just a little while ago, I told you about one that didn’t go so well. Now I’d like to share a much more positive experience.

History Can Brighten the Present

As I’ve mentioned before, in high school there were many, many, many girls I had crushes on. Some of those crushes left me blind to other opportunities, but mostly I missed out on things because I just couldn’t fathom anyone actually liking me. Too many years of rejection and too much feeling like an outside will do that.

But, as the years went by, I came to terms with my high school (and middle school) experiences. I accepted that I was at least as much responsible for my situations as anyone or any other force was. Many of those crushes developed into decent friendships, and that let me keep in touch with people, at least for a little while.

When I moved back to my home town after college, there were still a handful of people I knew there. Others weren’t that far away. Classmates and underclassmen from my high school years. Some people I expected to see. Others, I was pleasantly surprised to run into or hear from.

Kerry was one of the latter. She was a constant in my high school days. Not in many of the same classes, but thankfully often on the same schedule when it came to lunch or gym or a study hall. During college, I’d lost touch with her. Once or twice our paths crossed. I hadn’t expected to run into her again… but I stumbled across some contact information and, just before Christmas one year, we got back in touch.

She invited me to a little party her and her boyfriend were throwing within sensible driving distance. There’d be a handful of people from high school there. It was one of my earlier chances (way before Facebook would make it easy) to reconnect with my own past and gain some perspective.

I arrived and, before long, the conversation turned to those high school days gone by.

At one point, Kerry lamented, “No one liked me back then!”

I laughed and told her the truth. “Everyone liked you. Most of us had a crush on you. I know I did.”

And she looked at me for a moment, then hauled back and smacked me in the shoulder, just like old times. “You should have said something, idiot. I would have said yes.”

Everyone got a good laugh out of that.

We can’t change what is in the past. But sometimes revisiting it with new eyes can give us a different perspective.

For years, both her and I had thought we were outcasts and unloved. A nearly a decade later, we proved that perception to be untrue.

Through that one, simple, honest and unconditional declaration, both of us whisked away some small bit of darkness that had been holding us down for years.

A better understanding of the past, brightened our day.

This is the kind of crush reveal that often goes over best. There was a good distance between the actual crush and the admission of it. Circumstances at the time of the reveal made even the thought of exploring the old crush in anything other than an academic manner an impossibility. It happened naturally, in the flow of a normal conversation. And there were no expectations on anyone’s part of what the revelation would lead to.

Granted, if either of us had been in a negative headspace at the time, it could very easily have set off a negative spiral of lamenting missed opportunities of the past. We were both in good spirits, though, so that negativity was avoided.

This experience is similar to many I’ve had over the years as I’ve confided in past crushes how I felt about them “way back when”. In fact, it’s kicked off some better communication and planted seeds for better friendships that I had with them while I was crushing on them.

Love, even old Love, has a wonderful power to transcend time and bring with it a bit of joy.

We just have to be willing to share it.

When we do, we can see that history can brighten the present.

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