It was my sophomore year of high school when I met Carissa. Curly hair parted in the middle, delicate face, wonderful eyes. She kind of looked like a Campbell Soup girl.
She had a different kind of energy to her that sort of caught me. It made total sense to me, then, when she told me of having gone to see a psychic about her sister, a psychic who told Carissa that she, too, was psychic.
“You have eyes that look right through me,” she said to me sometime thereafter. I asked her to elaborate, and she explained that she meant to express her feeling that I could see into people. It wasn’t a compliment or an insult, it seemed to me; just her stating an observation. Still, I always seemed to unnerve her.
Her and I were both going to see the school psychologist, Lisa, on the recommendation of our art teacher, who was the school psychologist by nature, though not by profession. Both of us were dealing with what seemed to be lost memories that had returned in flashbacks, though hers were far more down to earth.
Her sister had died and Carissa had been devastated; shortly thereafter, memories of being with her that she had never before recalled began intruding into her mind. I never knew what they involved in particular, but they caused considerable stress for her and my heart went out to her.
An instant crush developed and I became rather captivated by her, though back then I had yet to learn resistance, yet to learn that crushes diminish over time and I need not trust my attachment feelings. I didn’t wait it out; I did a half-assed attempt at trying to go out with her. This was essentially asking her to hang out with my circle of friends and I one weekend.
She would later explain to me how she just didn’t understand my group, because we weren’t alike. All of us were different; she could not wrap her head around how our clique worked. I was confused as to why our diversity perplexed her so. We didn’t need to be like one another, we simply needed to like one another — to accept each other for what and who we were.
Typically we hung out at the coffee shop in a nearby town, getting jacked up in cappuccino, lattes, teas and shots of espresso, though sometimes we went to nearby restaurants as well.
Carissa met us at Pizza Hut with one of her friends; another girl in a letterman jacket. Typical, basic, bland kind of pretty, I suppose, but she didn’t seem to harbor that complexity, irradiate that glow that Carissa did. The scene that my mind keeps flashing to me during meditation deals with her there, by her friend, at the far end of the Pizza Hut parking lot, talking to me. We both liked the song, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” which was a new song back then. Though I don’t know if she said it to me then, for some reason I associate with that scene, during meditation, with what I finally got her to express to me. That we wouldn’t work out in her eyes. We were too different.
“I don’t want to change for you,” she said, “and I don’t want you to change for me.”
Maybe there is no reason this memory has popped in my head during meditation a few times now, or perhaps it was a suggestion from the depths of my mind: relinquish involvement with thoughts, emotions, sensations, fantasies and memories. Don’t change in response to them and don’t try to change them to suit yourself. Accept and respect your difference.
Your mind is not who you are. Just watch the mind. Just be who you are.