I decided today that I like myself. This happens from time to time. It is not necessarily an all day, everyday kind of thing, but today I really felt it. I went to school and the gym and for dinner with a classmate. I felt tired and hungry and annoyed and sad and happy and lonely and excited all at once. And I was okay with it. That’s the thing about how you make me feel. You make me feel like, no matter what, I am okay. You never look at me with judgement in your eyes; you are always ready to accept where I’m at, no matter what. No matter my fears and doubts, I am always grateful for that. I love you. Always.
Sometimes I drink a bit too much wine and listen to romantic songs and daydream about all my loves. Lately I have’t been thinking about you anymore, and I don’t think that’s a good sign. I think about the handsome bearded guy from the sushi place, who couldn’t stop smiling at me. I think about the fella on the bus who sat beside me and smelled like sandalwood. I think about the smart, well dressed gentleman from my class, and I dream about a tomorrow where I am sipping wine and telling them my story.
I tell him about how I tried my very best with you, but that it just wasn’t enough. At the end of the day you lacked empathy, and I couldn’t teach you how to do that, no matter how bad I wanted to. I talk about how it was the hardest decision I ever made, because it probably will be, because I was choosing between what I wanted (you), and what I knew I actually needed (more). I sit, and I daydream about it. But instead of action, I just take another swig of wine and smile when you enter the room. You don’t even notice my red eyes and tear stained cheeks.
I don’t know what to do.
I think about your smile and flowers grow in the darkest parts of me. I imagine folding you into a big hug, breathing in your earthy scent, feeling your little wisps of hair against my cheek. There is something so reassuring about knowing that you exist in the world.
When I’m sad I sometimes like to picture you happy. I imagine you clutching your stomach and tipping your head back, eyes closed, in laughter. I picture the goofy little face you make when you know you said something funny. I imagine you making yourself soup and drinking a fresh cup of coffee. I just like thinking about the life you live, with or without me; I’m happy when you’re happy.
This isn’t romance, my darling, but it could be. Our love for one another is the type of love they talk about in fairytales, a no matter what kind of love. It’s friendship. Uteruses before duderuses. It is everything.
We only met once at a party. I remember you introduced yourself to me in the perfect gap in a conversation. I was complaining about how I didn’t need a boy, I needed a man, and you walked over and shook my hand. If this was a indie romance, we would have kissed in the snow, under the light of a streetlight, that very night. But it isn’t, I was already in a relationship; you did give my friend and I a ride back to our car on the other side of the city at 2 o’clock in the morning, a true gentleman.
You added me on facebook, but we haven’t seen each other since then. I moved to the coast and you’re still living in that small town where we first met. You’re in a cool band and you grew your hair out. Sometimes I listen to your music and think about your warm car, the sleeping city buzzing past us. I remember we talked the whole way home, but I don’t remember what about. You left enough of an impression on me, though. I partake in the self indulgent fantasy from time to time that you and I may end up together. Though I am, again, already in a relationship.
So the question for me, then becomes, should we expect one person to be everything?
Or better yet- can one person actually be everything you need them to be? Maybe that’s my problem and maybe that’s why my past relationships have failed, because I expect my partner to be able to fulfill my every need. That’s not very fair, is it? They are only one person, after all. So at the end of the day my dissatisfaction is not a reflection on them, but rather on my compulsive need to be perfect.
I want to be the quiet girl, that you just have to get to know. I want to be the exuberant one in the center of the room, that is intoxicating in her story-telling. I want to be smart, and funny, and sexy, and clever, and cute. I want to be a girl who can cook like your mom, and play video games and drink with the boys. I want to be sensitive and insightful, but also tough and independent. I want to be everything. I sometimes wonder who I could’ve been with you.
No one person can be everything though. Instead, I sit and write my self-indulgent bullshit, wondering when I will stop wondering about all the what-might-have-beens in my life.
What do you think, dearest?
A friend of a friend, from the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party of ’10
Ugh, Facebook does that thing now where it shows you pictures from previous years asking you if you want to share them (I do not). Today I woke up to one from eight years ago of me and my first serious boyfriend. I stared at it for a long time, noticing how thin and youthful my face was. I don’t necessarily look any happier then than I do now. That’s the thing about pictures; they aren’t a real representation of what things were like. I stared at the picture for probably ten minutes, feeling a real ache inside of me that I couldn’t quite shake off; it was a kind of growing anxiety. I stared at our young naive faces and thought about how he lingered on in my memory like a stain. Nobody else could notice his mark, unless I pointed it out, but I always know it’s there. No matter how hard I try to scrub it away, there it is. There he is.
I remember he asked me once what my biggest fear was. I smiled and told him I was afraid of the ocean, it’s deep caverns and unexplored abysses; I worried about what was lurking beneath its surface. He smiled and kissed my lips gently. I can’t remember now what his biggest fear was, probably something like failure or heights. I do remember how later that night I stood in the shower, thinking about him, tracing my soapy hands along the lines of my curves, imagining it was his hands instead. I suddenly felt a boiling panic rising inside of me, a sort of deep seated anxiety. I was really afraid of losing him, but more than that, I was afraid of not being happy. The ocean was a metaphor for me; I was afraid of what was lurking beneath my surface, an unhappiness and melancholy that had been there since childhood. I pushed the thought away then though, and smiled again. He was mine, nothing was going to change that.
I was wrong of course, and I think about that from time to time- how wrong I have been so many times, about so many different things. When I look back at my life even a year ago, it feels like the girl in those pictures isn’t even me. Her life was so different. There was so much hiding inside of her, waiting to make it to the surface. So much would fall apart and come together and then fall apart again in this year. And that’s the thing about it, no matter how much you think you know about yourself, like the ocean, there are always new strange things lurking in the deep. These things have been there all along, but have existed undiscovered. So how then, can we expect to know another person entirely when we don’t even fully know ourselves? Continue reading Excerpt 1.
No matter how guarded I am against the harshness of heartbreak it seems to constantly make it past my defenses. Even when I haven’t given my love freely. I let people in even when I don’t realize it, even when I don’t intend to.
I have my heart broken over and over again- by the guys of my dreams and by the guys from tinder whose jokes I couldn’t even pretend to laugh at. I fear what this means, that I am just so desperately looking for someone to love and cherish me that I don’t even care if I don’t feel that way either.
Maybe I should just focus on loving myself and being loved in the ways that matter right now. I can’t break my own heart can I?
I often sit in lonely rooms and think of what it means to be loved. Comprehending love itself is hard enough; our body has some sort of chemical reaction in relation to a number of different factors. There is usually an initial physical attraction, something that draws us in. Then we react and fall in love with their personalities, their mannerisms, their sense of humour, their entire being. We fall in love with the way they make us feel about ourselves. That is complicated. But then I sit and wonder about how people have fallen in love with me. How they see me frowning or chewing my lip nervously or tilting my head back in laughter and they want to talk to me. Then they listen to me, hear my millions of different ways of laughing, see the way my eyes get dewy when I talk about things that matter and maybe they even see the sadness behind me, always lurking just below the surface. They watch me and notice how I talk incessantly with my hands, how I never sit up straight, and how I look to the floor when entering a room. They laugh at my dry jokes and witty comebacks and think that my self-deprecating sense of humour is endearing. They get a rush of butterflies by the simple sound of my name, even when I am not in the room. They don’t see the same person that I see in the mirror. They marvel at all my curves and scars, the dark places that I don’t let anyone else see. To them, I am full and wonderful, not broken and miserable. When they are with me, they feel better. I wonder so greatly how it is possible that I have ever made someone feel this way, that I continue to have people that come into my life and want to stay there.
They usually end up wanting to leave though, or I do. Because life is full of uncertainties and I am indecisive and imperfect. It doesn’t matter how great things are; the more time you spend with a wonderful person, the more ordinary they become.
And so we hold our breath waiting for the next one to come around; it’s just when we exhale, our minds and bodies relaxed, that it finally does. It’s bigger and better than before; it makes you feel smaller and worse. You didn’t know it was possible. So you hold your breath again. Inhale… exhale, repeat.
Picking the right person to be in a relationship with isn’t easy. I always think I know what I want and then am surprised by the people I end up with. I was seeing one particular boy who looked like a greek god and treated me like a goddess. I call him a boy because that’s what he ended up being– he couldn’t commit to anything more than his tequila and workout routine.
He opened my eyes though to the idea that I deserve better than what I’ve been getting. At first I felt like that meant that I needed someone really attractive, but I’m beginning to realize what really matters. Ultimately it’s all about how the person makes us feel about ourselves and the world around us. Do they make things better or worse?
I wholeheartedly believe that the right person will make your entire life feel rose colored and that with them you’ll feel like the person you want to be. It should be someone who makes you laugh and makes you notice the great things about yourself. No matter how lonely I feel, and believe me– the loneliness is crushing, I am willing to wait for the person who respects me and cherishes me.
This is something I shouldn’t admit- but sometimes when I really miss you I go back and read all of our text messages from the very beginning. It takes a long time just to scroll up and even longer to read all of them. I laugh and smile a lot, and cry even more. Sometimes it’s happy tears, reading something you said that is so sweet and sincere that it melts my heart all over again, but mostly I feel a great sense of loss.
I don’t like feeling wrong- I read those messages and still feel like we really had something good. I was wrong again I suppose. At a certain point it’s hard to keep passing the blame; I’m the common denominator in all of my failed relationships. It’s easy to say that I’m so amazing and all these guys are blind, stupid, asshole, idiots: but is that really true?
I read our messages over and over again. I cry because I can feel the loss every time. I was wrong, and this time being right actually mattered.
I have been feeling very inconvenienced lately by my own… Feelings. I have sat frustrated, tears in my eyes with a sense of panic and anxiety over the prospect of loving again and whatever that brings with it. I’ve been allowing this all to hurt me rather than to be the gift that it is. Yes, it isn’t simple, it’s complicated and with challenges as everything is in life. But I have realized what a privilege it is in this life just to be able to feel things- to be able to, after all the struggle and pain I have felt, to be able to still hand myself over to the tidal wave of emotion that is love and life.
It is a gift to feel and even though it is tumultuous and inconvenient I have decided to just embrace it. Because I should really be all hardened and bitter after what I’ve gone through, but I’m not. I am still so open to the possibility that what I believe I deserve is out there for me. Because it is, it has to be!
So here’s me, turning over a new leaf. And yeah, maybe in a weeks time I will be back here typing out some sob story of how love is bullshit and I don’t deserve it, but here we are now- hoping.