Warning! Deep Holes. Dangerous Current. Slippery rocks.
Ya, but that view, though!
It’s our song. We don’t know how it happened exactly, how it came to mean so much to us anyways. When we first met Colin lived in Vancouver (Port Moody, actually) and I lived in Calgary after having formally lived in North Van in another life. We met through mutual friends at the time and I just knew he was my husband. In the beginning, I was so drawn to him that my heart raced and I had to stop myself from reaching out to touch him – the first night we met! He drove us home the second night we knew each other and I sat in the front seat. It took all my might not to reach out and touch his hand and I’m certain there was a look of complete fear and confusion just plastered on my face. What was going on with me?!
We got out of the car, our friend and I. We were staying with a lovely friend of mine in Burnaby; in town for a Ben Harper concert (of course!). My friend hugged Colin good-bye. I hugged Colin good-bye. We started to walk away. And then out of nowhere I yelled, “WAIT!”. I turned and I ran back to him and hugged him again. Probably with that very same look of complete fear and confusion just plastered on my face. What the hell just happened?! How embarrassing!
Minutes later I remember telling our friend upstairs over a Guinness on the patio that, had I still lived in Vancouver, that would be the exact kind of man I’d never let out of my sight.
After a long drive back to Calgary the next day, Colin and I chatted into the late evening. The details aren’t as clear anymore, but I suggested that I come back out to see him. It was undeniable that we had chemistry, but was it real? Enough? As strong as we’d imagined?
Jorja (the beagle) was skunked a few days prior, so we arrived on Colin’s doorstep on September 8th, 2011 nervous, full of wonder and … stinking like skunk. If he was going to love us, this is what life looked like! I was on the phone with our mutual friend as though we were 14 again talking about our boy crushes and giggled with our hands covering our mouths so no one else could hear us. I’ll never forget these chats. It was the last time I’d feel butterflies for a new man.
We spent five days together before I drove home again. There was an earthquake just off the coast of Vancouver that week, I remember a friend of mine who lived on the Island had sent me a text to let me know he was ok since I should have been in Calgary and known nothing of this earthquake. Apparently, Colin and I were there and we always joked that we must have been so wrapped up in the start of our relationship that we just didn’t even notice.
The morning I left, we cried. I packed up the car and remember feeling empty, like I couldn’t wrap my head around how I was going to go back to my life and he to his. After the car was packed and Jorja was in her crate, I went to say one last goodbye. Warning Sign by Coldplay (who had been my favourite band for many years during my early twenties) was playing on the radio in Colin’s house. “And the truth is, I miss you.” The song depicts some of the angst in the beginning though – the excuses we tried to make so that we didn’t have to do the hard thing. Be together and figure it out. Deal with our shit. Get over our pasts. Stop living life with a woe is me attitude. Whoa. Tough stuff.
Fast forward almost 6 years later and we’ve never not once listened to this song without crying. It’s layered, for us. And symbolic. There were many times we were warned that we’d get along so well. There were many times we saw warning signs and knew it would be easier if we just decided to not be together. There were warning signs that “you were an island to discover”. Sometimes I cringe at the terrible things we’ve been through – put each other through, even. Listening to Warning Sign by Coldplay makes me cry because our story is amazing and also because there are so many things in the past I used to wish I could take back.
Then I read Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass, which we’ve talked about here. Chapter 15, I turn the page to Chapter 15 and I read the single most important quote of my life.
“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past” – Lily Tomlin.
Nothing matters about yesterday. None of it. Not the friends you used to have. Not the fight you caused. Not the bill you didn’t pay on time. Yesterday you did the best you could and you’re where you are today because of it. You’ll do the best you can again today.
No relationship is ever picture perfect, but I like to believe that, especially in the beginning, despite the hiccups (what seemed like natural disasters at the time), our story was romantic. I look over and we’re holding hands walking through a field and our hair is blowing every which way. That’s life. The tornado is all around us and nothing else is in focus except for him, and me. Holding hands. Walking. Through life.
Listen: Warning Sign by Coldplay