“There are Plenty of Fish in the Sea”
Having the vivid child- like imagination that I do, I can’t help but picture the dating scene as tiny heads bopping up and down in the ocean every time someone says the above quote. I have a fair idea of who the sharks would be, the sting rays that would hopefully be avoided, and the schools of tiny eligible fish that float along without appreciation. Thanks to Finding Nemo, it’s easy to personify the ocean and the amount of possible suitors in the world.
Of course, Tinder is increasing the possibility of finding the ‘one’ at rapid speeds, and RSVP allows us to flirt with Ketut in Bali to Luda in Eastern Europe (they don’t even have to be real). What does need to be real, however is the ‘connection’ and chemistry (dah!).The soul- altering, messy, crazy, illogical, but passionate, fun and fulfilling shit that whips us out of reality and into ‘mooshy- gooshy’ happy land is hard to find and impossible to forget (oh- so cliche, but kinda true).
Unfortunately, there is no simple way of sourcing out our authentic match: the mirror, soul sista/ brother who ‘gets’ and accepts you and your suit case of shit, bringing out the best in us and challenging us too. But once the stars do align, one thing is certain, y’all know you’re into something magic. Maybe at the time, or maybe, much later.
On Friday I cleaned out my bedroom. In doing so I opened the box that has been collecting dust on my desk for a good few years. Weirdly apprehensive, I opened it to find the ‘memorabilia’ I have accumulated from past relationships.
Due to the unhealthy state in which one particular relationship had ended, I had attempted to bin every ‘stupid’ present and letter associated with it, including the un-read one thrown at me a long time ago. However my wise mother had secretly tucked the papers into a hiding place for me to one day stumble upon. Oh and stumble I did, as I read the words I had once refused to.
Not only had the boy listed all the qualities that I has been unable to see in myself at the time, the pages were filled with the words I had wanted to hear for so long, things I wanted to say to him, and have said to me.
Thanks to time, experience and maturity, I have come to realise a lot of the stuff said, about myself and our relationship, by myself. The wounds have well and truly healed and I can now confirm that he kept his concluding promise; to never give up on me until we were at least friends again.
Amongst the apologies, recollection of every date and memory we made and acrostic poems (BLESS) was the declaration that I had been his ‘Nemo’ once in a life time person, without knowing how or why, and that he didn’t know if he would find ‘it’ with someone else, or me, again. As ‘hollywood’ as the story is, the thought still crosses my mind occasionally, too.
Looking back, I know it was best for the relationship to end when it did, and as the very emotional Fault in our Stars film confirms, infinities have different durations, which doesn’t mean they are any less valuable. It is comforting the think that relationships can have their own infinity, and that we can carry the lessons learnt into new ones.
A day before I read the letters, I saw a blog post written by a guy who was infuriated by being told there are ‘many more fish in the sea’, after breaking up with his girlfriend. I commented by simply saying that humans are not replaceable, which lead to a long conversation.
I remember reading once that we spend our lives re- writing the first poem we ever loved. Whether or not this is true, it’s clear that the heart does things our minds cannot control and once someone is imprinted on it, they are there for life.
I guess what I am saying, is that there may be billions of fish in the sea, but not all are designed for us, and finding one, two or three that are, is a tough gig that doesn’t deserve to be brushed off in such an emotion-less way.
One of the many lessons I gained from this relationship, which was pointed out in the last letter, was that when things are meant to be, they find a way. Without force, defying all barriers.
Finding Nemo is hard, but trying to force it- by turning someone into ‘the one’, or settling for something anything less than fucking magic, I think, would be tragic.
I feel so lucky to have experienced all that I have in life, especially that particular relationship, and until I find the spark- flying craziness again, I guess I’ll keep on swimming.