I was attending a student camp during my third year at university, and at that time I still struggled a lot with anxiety, especially in social settings where it gets crowded and loud.
It was the last day of camp and our last event had just ended, so most of us were taking photos together and saying farewell to friends before we parted ways for our school break. Back then, signing and writing messages on each other’s camp booklets were still a thing, and we were busy doing that too.
I was feeling rushed and pretty flustered at this point, and I discreetly stepped aside to a corner to catch my breath on my own, facing away from the rest. It was the outside of the central hall, and there were people everywhere, laughing, shouting, talking loudly, and it was too much for me.
I was trying to calm myself down when I felt a hand placed on the top of my head.
Surprised, I turned around to see who it was.
It was a guy I knew from the same university.
One year my senior, and we had common friends from the same social groups.
Although he hadn’t participated in the camp, he had come to the camp to pick up his girlfriend.
He looked at me and smiled, hand still on my head.
I looked up at him and I felt relief.
I immediately calmed down and everything became quieter.
It was as though I could now process my surroundings better and I was able to control my intake of the stimulation around me.
I can’t remember what we said to each other, other than he had seen me and wanted to say hi to me.
But I remember how I felt when I met him that day.
A few years passed before we got together as a couple.
This was one of the memories that I remembered of us earlier on, way before we were together.
The effect he had on me surprised me.
I knew he wasn’t going to be like the many others I had in my life.
We got married a few months after I turned 25.
Occasionally we meet people in our life who we know that they will become significant to us.
It could be a friend, a mentor, and in my case, a lover.
The connection we formed is strong and not easy to come by.
It reminds me of a line from a song by The Fray called ‘Look After You”.
The lyrics of the chorus goes like this.
There now, steady love, so few come and don’t goLyrics for the song entitled Look After You by The Fray
Will you won’t you, be the one I always know?
When I’m losing my control, the city spins around
You’re the only one who knows, you slow it down
So that’s my mopey recount of the beginnings of my eventual love story.
How was yours?