An Allegory of Love
I loved that jacket. I loved the story of how I got it (past), how it made me feel when I wore it (present), and the possibilities of the identity I could portray while wearing it (future).
I was with a good friend of mine when we saw this jacket on sale at a second hand shop. The friend and I had recently rekindled a relationship from high school. The purchase of this jacket was the epitome of nostalgia.
When I wore it, it was the greatest conversation starter, braking the silence, which is good for a guy who needs silence to be stopped. It also made me remember my friend and how that relationship was almost stopped entirely also becoming nostalgic.
I loved the thought of future pictures with this jacket. I could see it being the thing that the crowd loved at my concert when I sold out a stadium. I could see it being the thing with holes and dust on it in the back of my closet that my grandkids found and laughed at when playing hide and seek.
However, after I got married, I saw the need to grow up. My wife is way more mature than I am, and I felt the need to impress her. When going through my old clothes one day, I thought she would love me getting rid of that old jacket. I could just picture the look of excitement on her face and the feeling of the embrace from her arms when I got rid of that jacket. Not only was I saying that the past with the jacket was unimportant in comparison to the future with her, I was saying that I wanted to be a man of whom she could be proud. I took that jacket to Goodwill like I did a lot of stuff that first year of marriage.
The look and the feeling were not as I described. Instead of excitement, there was confusion. Instead of an embrace, there were hands crossed. Wait a second. What went wrong here? I did exactly what she wanted me to do. I turned in the past for the future. I traded in “Murph”, the kid who would do anything at anytime and anyplace, for a mature young man with a day job. Why wasn’t she excited? Why wasn’t she thankful?
My wife posted something on social media the other day that brought reminiscent memories to me. Numerous people wanted me to bring back the jacket. I can’t. The jacket is long gone, and for that I am thankful. When discussing where the jacket went and why I got rid of it, she reminded me of the occasion. See, “Murph” was the one with whom she fell in love. More importantly, she took that picture (It’s blurry because I killed the original when I dropped a weight and killed her external hard drive… yeah, it’s a good thing I killed “Murph” who was dancing around with a weight in the living room). This was the real beginning of our relationship. She felt nostalgic when gazing upon that jacket. It reminded her of our past. She liked the jacket for the same reasons I did. Also, she loved that jacket because the one she loved loved the jacket.
Sometimes you give away the things that are important to your past, present, and future in order to change yourself for the assumed opinion of someone else.
We grow up and mature, or at least we should. “Murph” was traded in for someone better. The guy who would do anything at anytime has been managed. This happens because of love. I loved the girl and the hope for the future more than I did the jacket and the thoughts of the past.
I could have had both. Be careful the passions you trade in. Don’t sacrifice the future things that really need to happen for your preconceived thoughts of what other people want from you. They love you for being you; don’t kill that person entirely, but if you get the one thing that really matters, does it really matter what you gave up because you got the only thing you need?