It’s funny how a couple of words can jump off from a page and bring memories flooding into your mind. They come as though they were visitors from afar, stay for awhile as you reminisce, and then just as suddenly are in the back of your mind as you try to organize a grocery list or what needs to be done to get your apartment ready for Passover.
I was entering data from someone’s CV at my office when I noticed that they listed their home address as being in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I just now did a Google search for my name (a rather unique combination that I have not found online anywhere other than in relation to me) plus Cleveland Heights Ohio to see if I could find any of my old journal entries from about eleven years ago, when I briefly visited Cleveland Heights and was in a relationship with a Ph.D. student whose standards for dating eventually precluded me from continuing to see her. I found this lovely article that I wrote about eleven years ago during my thirteen year tenure at the Boles Blogs (then just Go Inside Magazine), about how people seem to think they need things but actually are just expressing wants in another way.
To me it is very interesting that so many things happened in that brief period of time that lasted from about November of 2002 until the late spring of 2003. I spent a lot of time going back and forth to Cleveland Heights, Ohio and I stayed in the Grunauer home every time — they were so kind and accommodating. Toward the end of my last stay, as it became clear that things were not going to work out with the woman I was dating, Mrs. Grunauer told me that it was important that I date someone that respected me and that liked me for who I was, and was not trying to make me into someone else. That was what really pushed me to have the serious conversations with the girlfriend that led to the undoing of the relationship.
I sometimes wonder if there really was any purpose to the experiences I had while there — or even the relationship as a whole, seeing that it ended after less than a year and I ended up marrying someone I met later that year — granted, it took seven years from when we met until when we got married, but it was worth it. I tell myself again and again — it definitely was worth it. I wouldn’t be the person I am now had I not had those experiences — and perhaps I would not have the same good relationship I have now with my wife had I not experienced the previous once in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.