Here is blog number 2 in the Lessons Learned series!
We’re going back to Japan! And lets not beat around the bush, eh?
Whilst at the Jamboree I was in a relationship with a boy who was 17. I was 16 so there were no concerns regarding legal age et cetera. Our relationship had been on the cards since around February (2015) and we made it ‘official’ If you like, at the beginning of July. The relationship was long distance, 138 Miles of distance to be exact and so we didn’t see an awful lot of each other, aside from training camps and the odd time he would come and visit me. Yes, he visited me and I never visited him; Train tickets we’re expensive and I was terrified of getting the train so far on my own.
It was the first time someone had, taken an interest in me shall we say, that could have transpired in to something serious. Honestly, it was just really nice to have someone pay attention to me and want to talk to me and want to listen to how my day had been. Someone who would tell me I looked good, when maybe I didn’t feel it. Sitting in front of my bedroom door on FaceTime, trying to be subtle so my parents didn’t find out and just being fan girl happy. I was deliriously happy about the whole situation. So going to the Jamboree together, seemed like the best thing ever…
An All knowing 16 year old, heading to Japan for three weeks with my best friends, my boyfriend and no parents.
What could go wrong?!
Entering in to a relationship and suddenly finding yourselves in close living quarters with 38 other people, doesn’t do wonders when you’re used to just Mum, Dad and maybe a sibling or 2. The film Cheaper By The Dozen springs to mind, only it’s more like cheaper by three dozen.
Living on the jamboree site was absolutely fantastic. You are just completely immersed in the Jamboree bubble and there’s always somebody around. But that’s the thing. There’s ALWAYS somebody. You don’t get an awful lot of alone time, both alone with yourself, or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. So we never really had MUCH time on our own, we had some time together, alone, and I guess you could say we used the time wisely, but like I said, it didn’t happen very often. And honestly? Thinking back, it didn’t really bother me that we didn’t spend much time together, but I think it bothered him…
On maybe the fourth or fifth day, we’d just got back from activities and since we were in separate patrols, we’d not seen each other all day… Cry me a river, I know. So I went over to him and sat on his knee to ask how his day was and so on and about 30 seconds after i’d sat down My unit leaders asked me if i’d go and have a chat with them about something. Safe to say The Boyf (I’ll refer to him as that from now on) Let out this annoyed groan followed by “howay man, I’ve not even had chance to say hello!” You guessed it, he’s a geordie. All I could do was shrug and laugh sort of apologetically, you know – the kind you do when you aren’t really sorry…So yeah, off I went for this chat.
We got to around a week in and everything was great. We’d seen a decent amount of each other and done several Tumblr Cringeworthy things like laying and watching the stars. It was the evening and we we’re sat on the steps of the Hub tent, just talking really. After a little bit of a comfortable silence he turned to me and said “If I told you I loved you, would you say it back?” Quickly followed by “It’s just, i’ve said it to other girls and they’ve not said it back.” And so I Couldn’t really say no could I? So I said “Yeah, I would”
And so of course he came out with those three words, and of course, I said them back. It was the first time in a romantic sense that anyone had said it to me, and having watched a million rom coms I half expected/half wanted a film camera to start whirring round us in a circle, the rain to start falling and I don’t know some sort of love song to play in the back ground. But of course, none of that happened. Nope, we were still just sat on the steps of the hub tent, and nothing really changed.
Apart from we said the L word.
To each other.
But the thing is. I didn’t love him, and i’m not sure if he loved me either. At the time, i thought I did, I was the happiest i’d been for a long time and I loved always having someone there and I thought that meant I loved him. But really, I loved the atmosphere around us. I loved the people I was with. I loved the whole jamboree experience. And he was just apart of that, so I guess I did love him too, just not in the way you’re supposed to when you’re a couple. And at 16 I had no idea what love felt like. To be honest, I still don’t.
We were a couple for the rest of the Jamboree, but it wasn’t all plain sailing. I got Really bad sun burn the day before we left the jamboree site for Tokyo. That night we slept under the stars because we were leaving the site before 4AM the next day and had already taken our tents down. I didn’t sleep at all, I sat in a chair for a bit and wondered the site and sat in a chair for a bit longer. He slept next to me, the operative word in that sentence being ‘Slept’.
The next day it was our trip on the bullet train and He was being beyond moody and when I asked what was wrong he said he was tired. I felt his pain. Really I did, but I wasn’t being all mopey about it, you’ve just got to get on with it. It wouldn’t have been so bad but when I was a walking zombie in Dubai airport because i’d not slept for over 24 hours he wasn’t best pleased about it. Contradictions are one of my biggest pet hates.
Tokyo was not really great in terms of how things were between me and the boyf, but it was a fantastic experience in terms of seeing the city. I turned 17 on the last day in Tokyo and seeing as though we arrived in Tokyo late afternoon the Unit decided we’d go to Hard Rock Cafe, and after the food on the Jamboree HRC food was an absolute blessing. We all started taking our seats and I’d had enough of the boyf so I sat with my friends on a different table, turning round to wave and smile every now and then. Everyone in the restaurant sang happy birthday to me and I was so overwhelmed I could have cried. Happy tears of course.
Even though we didn’t sit together, we couldn’t not get a photo in front of the Hard Rock Sign! Not the greatest quality, but I forgot about this picture being taken until now.
We stayed at the old olympic village in Tokyo and some of us got rooms to ourselves which were much needed after sharing with three other people for over 2 weeks. Obviously he was super excited at the prospect of ‘alone time’ in my single room that I had all to myself. Unfortunately, he wasn’t in my good books and self restraint has always been something i’m good at, so he didn’t come in my room at all, in fact all the lads were banned from even coming on our floor. Peak Times. Again, I wasn’t really fussed, if we had have had sex there and then, it would have all felt rushed and wrong and I would definitely have regretted it.
We were still together after the jamboree for about 6 weeks so, all in all we were together for around 3 months. and it was mostly a really good three months but after we got back from the Jamboree we suddenly had almost nothing in common, yeah we were both in scouts, yeah we’d both been to the jamboree and we both liked football but that was basically it. We didn’t know each others friends or family and it was an effort to keep up the relationship and for what? For him to tell me a story about someone I don’t know? for me to tell him about how long my college coursework was? I don’t think so. It wasn’t giving me anything and I wasn’t happy with it, so I ended it.
Ending it was difficult. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him at all, and just stopped caring, I just didn’t have to time or effort to keep up a healthy relationship with him. But I knew he did. And so ending that would hurt him, and I didn’t want to hurt him, but I didn’t want the relationship anymore and so I chose to be selfish for once.
We’re still in contact and still both in scouting. There’s been some ups and downs in our friendship/relationship since, but that’s fine.
You’re probably wondering where the lesson is within this post, and I guess the lesson is that when you’re young things feel like everything or nothing, but you’ve got to remember there are so many more years out there for you, so many more people to meet, things to see and stuff to do, so there’s no need to rush. I’ve just turned 20 and I feel a world away from who I was at 16/17, but back then I thought i’d be the same person forever, hanging out with the same people doing the same things, but that’s just not how it works.
You might think you love who you’re dating/seeing/going out with during your teenage years and you very well might. You could be together forever but then again you might not be, and try not to be broken hearted about it when it comes to an end, easier said than done I know, but try nonetheless. And don’t worry about being single for a long time, I haven’t been with any body since September 2015 and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ve grown and developed as a person and i’ll continue to live my best life whether thats by myself or with someone I love by my side.
Take your time with the important things. Be happy with the people in your life. Be ready to move on when the time is right.
Love yourself no matter what!