I knew a guy a while ago that would always tell me that he was jaded; that love had made him jaded. That life and disappointments and sacrifices and time and heartbreak had just left him jaded. Anytime we didn’t full agree on something, I chalked it up to his jaded nature. He identified with that wretched word just as strongly as I identify with being black or a woman or a Christian. He was jaded. It was synonymous with his being. Almost as if he was proud of it.
I began to ponder on what it meant to be jaded. What it looked and felt like. What the opposite was. Naivety? Youth? Optimism?
I turned 24 a couple of days ago. Twenty Four. What a God awful age. Old enough for everything but cheap car insurance. Old enough to care that you can’t get cheap car insurance. Old enough to have your mind set on things like your wedding and houses and what you’ll look like pregnant. But still far too young to complain about anything. Ever.
As I am pondering on this 24th chapter of my life, I can’t help but feel jaded. Numb. Weathered? Apathetic.
Let me specify. I am currently in a pretty great position, in life. I live with, hands down, the best roommate in the history of life. She is one of my oldest friends who I have literally only had one argument with in our 10+ years of friendship. She’s probably the only friend I have that I know truly cares about the state of my soul and my mental well-being. Who can see through my fake smiles on Instagram or inspirational statuses on facebook. She’s my sister. The kind of person who gives me just as much space to be as myself as I need—but still makes herself available. I’m eternally grateful for her and her friendship. She’s the kind of person you can go a full 12 months without speaking to and will still sincerely accept you when you finally reach out without a chip on her shoulder or even an ounce of resentment. She’s just genuinely good. I’m very, very grateful.
I also currently have the best job I’ve ever had in my 7+ years in the workforce—in a field that, Lord knows, I was never prepared to enter into. And I’m already making a name for myself. I actually just spent 4.5 days off of work and I (dare I say?) missed it. Gasp!!
Add to all of this that I am completely submerged in the vast ocean that is romantic bliss. Drowning. Sinking. Unconscious. Water in my lungs. If love were, in fact, an ocean, I would be the original Titanic. Covered in algae. Housing fish. Completely one with the water and all it held.
I haven’t felt like this in years, my dear friends. Years. And it’s a scary feeling. Dreadfully scary. So many variables hang in the balance. What if he realizes that he can do better? What if we have moved far too quickly and our time ends far before I’m ready for it to? What if someone newer, shinier, prettier, thinner, thicker, better—comes along? What if he decides that his fingers are too wrinkly, and this algae growing on us is gross, and he misses feeling the sun and land and sand—and swims out of this love-ocean we’re existing in?
Well—thoughts like that have left me jaded. Jaded because I know that in time, my roommate will probably do something to piss me off, or vice versa; that I will grow weary of the monotony of my job, even if it is insanely interesting right now; and that, very possibly, one day I will no longer be able to classify my relationship as “romantic bliss” or “Titanic in a Love Ocean.”
This is not to say that my roommate and I will stop being friends or stop being roommates, or that I will quit my job and live a life of constant un-satisfaction. Or that Wesley will ever leave me. (I truly believe he is far too kind to put my heart through that kind of pain.) It’s just to say that I’ve lived long enough to know that hills come with valleys—and that joy typically comes on the back of sorrow.
And thoughts like that have left me jaded.