Can someone you had contact with for nine months influence your whole life? Can this person make you feel guilty, proud, and sad all at the same time? Can this person make you yearn to be close but never be there? Do I pursue relationships beyond what is reasonable because I am missing someone? Can such a person give you strength when you really need to dig for it? At certain points in your life, nine months can seem like an entire existence. For me, a nine month relationship has definitely affected my whole life. I guess I would have to say it was more of a physical relationship than an intellectual one.
I’m not sure I even uttered a single word. Nonetheless, the impact on me was profound and lasts to this day. Guilty, proud, and sad are all strong emotions and can be paralyzing even individually. Relationships are frequently complicated and create a vast flow of, sometimes unpleasant, feelings. Maybe the power of a relationship can be judged by the number and the variety of emotions it elicits. How is it that a relationship without traditional communication generate so many emotions? Physical proximity can make a bond stronger.
While separation reduces the impact of a relationship, it can go away at a much slower pace than it arrived. The emotions can last for a lifetime. Is the remaining desire a need to be close to that entity specifically? Or just to be close to anyone? In my case, I am always more comfortable in a relationship. So what does it mean to pursue a relationship beyond what is reasonable? Well, for one it can occur when you value the relationship more than the other person involved. Can one relationship have been so powerful that it has encouraged such persistent behavior?
There’s no doubt that relationships can inspire greatness. It’s more often than not that we draw our strength from those around us. In my case, a nine month relationship has provided me strength when I have needed it – profound inspiration from a mostly non-verbal relationship. You see, my life changed before I was even born. It began with a heartbeat. Two, actually. A little flicker of electricity that started the whole story. But, half of the story ended sooner than it should have. Sooner than it even began. Chase Lawrence Coalfleet died on my birthday. His life ended, just as mine began.
It is from this relationship with my twin that I often gather strength. Chase was with me at the bottom of the Grand Canyon when I found myself climbing out with no food or water. He was with me while crashing during a 355 mile bike ride from Pittsburgh to Washington D. C. , and he was with me when I broke a 27 year old record for the 400 meter dash. Though I have never put it into words, I feel as though I have responsibility to Chase to achieve for both of us. Whether it’s survivor’s guilt or appreciation of his nine month acquaintance, he is the source of my “never give up” mentality.