Trust. Once upon a time, trust was only a feeling. I'd go with my gut, and I usually couldn't completely explain why I trusted one person, but not someone else--it was just a feeling in my stomach, a peace or an uneasiness, and never in between. I see now that I was just a child. Though I am not saying I am all the way grown-up now, I am definitely older than I used to be.
It began this past month, when my world decided to do a headstand and stay that way. My dearest friends moved away, and with that came expected changes--lonesomeness, less social life, and the sky-rocketing use of cell phone minutes. I didn't expect trust to be a big issue, especially not with the man I've been friends with for almost eight years, and who I've loved for almost half that time. Long story short, we got burnt with dishonesty at about thirteen-years-old and made a pack to always tell each other the truth. Remarkably, it worked. I got so comfortable with him that I didn't anticipate this being one of the problems long distance would bring.
It was smooth sailing the first few weeks. After two weeks of absence, however, the waves started, but they were so small neither of us noticed. I didn’t agree with him on something small, and I told him so. Honesty has been our policy for nearly as long as I can remember. This disagreement was no big deal—we don’t always agree—so neither of us thought anything about it. Well, a few days later, again, I didn’t see eye to eye with him, and I let him know. The waves got a little bigger this time, so we both gripped the side of the boat, and without realizing it, we both unconsciously began to expect the disagreement. A few days passed and a few more incidents did, too. Before we knew it, he was hesitant to tell me his opinion, and I was continually doubted his judgment. The storm began.
It went on for a week without us even addressing it—I expected him to disagree with me, and he doubted I trusted him. So, distracted, we let each other drift towards the storm, each so sure we were right that we argued instead of doing something and changing the course of the boat. My feeling of trust for him was still there—but instead of showing that to him, I acted out fear and doubt, and so true trust was drowning.
Then, in the wee hours of the night, the storm broke upon us. He had made the honest mistake of forgetting to tell me some detail, and this time, to me, it wasn’t a small one. I cried, he felt awful, but rather than leave it at that, we decided to try and find a clear course out of this mess by facing our fears and searching for the source of the problem. While we tried struggled, I realized I had to make a choice. I saw where the wind for the storm was coming from—and it was my own stubbornness. I had to choose to trust him and come to a compromise, or let the raging winds blow us apart.
It was more difficult than I’ll admit. When you’ve grown up believing something, compromising it doesn’t feel right. But feelings aren’t everything. And I saw then, in the wind and the tears, where the raw, honest light shone. So I chose to compromise. Though it felt like leaving behind a part of me, walking into that light and staying with my love was the right choice. Since then, I feel like my eyes have been opened; the wind of that painful storm blew away my blindness, and now it isn’t so much of a mystery. Trust isn’t about feelings, it is about believing in someone and deciding that you believe enough to take whatever risk.