These past few days I’ve had conversations with people that have either really helped me reflect on things, for better or for worse.
Someone I consider one of my best friends is in the UK. We’ve had a deep history together over the years. I’ve been good friends with him since we were both 17. Almost 10 years now. Wow. We dated for a while in-between. We’ve fought. We’ve hated each other. We’ve loved each other. We’ve moved on from all of that and now we’re just chilling. It’s a good place for the both of us. No drama. Just a good catch up and conversation every now and then. I’m really proud of him, for how far he’s come. How much he’s grown as a person, how much we both have grown actually. He’s taken his path in stride. He accomplished what he wanted to accomplish on time. And he’s just headed in the right direction. A best friend or even a good friend isn’t the same way I would have defined it in high school. And that’s what we talked about today.
Definition of maintaining a relationship: there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone has their own definition. With a lot of my friends, I don’t talk to them everyday. Or see them often for that matter. But it doesn’t change how I feel about them. We’re all busy with our own lives sometimes. And sometimes there’s nothing to report. Most of these friends that I have, don’t particularly know (or care) about every little thing that goes on in my life. I don’t share it with everyone. There’s some people I can maintain a conversation with everyday, because I think about them all the time. Or because I genuinely want to. Even if it ends up being complete nonsense it’s fun sometimes to have conversations like that with a few people. I just can’t do that with everyone. If it’s someone I see often it’s easier to maintain daily conversation. Because they share a part of my life with me everyday. And I like the variety of relationships I have. They range from acquaintances to old best friends to new friends to rekindling old fires. It’s been nice. Each person in my life that I consider important is important because of what they taught me, what they could teach me, or what I could offer them in return. At the end of the day, that’s what friends are for.
I had another conversation about love and relationships (among our other small talk conversations of politics, astronomy and GMOs). She is someone I look up to. She’s not perfect. But she has traits about her that I would love to see myself grow into. The way words flow through her mouth so eloquently. She rarely uses fillers such as “like” or “ah” or “um”. Which I often have a habit of doing. It’s something I’d like to do less of because I find I just sometimes put stuff like “I don’t know” or “literally” or “like” just as fillers. They don’t mean anything when I say them and it makes me feel like I’m an idiot for doing so. Sometimes I’ll recall a conversation I’ll have with someone before I go to bed. Just recapping the scene and replaying it in my mind over and over. I find myself cringing when I recall the way I speak to some people… I’m getting off topic. She’s someone I want to be not only for the way she speaks but even the knowledge she has, or the hunger she has to acquire them. She’s extremely smart. Works hard. Gets good grades in school while maintaining two part time jobs. She budgets well. Helps out her family. Reads often. Does yoga. Is extremely flexible. Has a beautiful body. Beautiful features. She’s truly my definition of a beautiful woman inside-out. I love the inner workings of her mind, and I simultaneously love the twinkle in her eyes when she talks about something she’s passionate about. She’s truly a beautiful person and I’m glad to have met her. We both have problems with relationships. Who doesn’t? They’re hard as fuck. There’s no “how-to” there’s nothing in school about it. You just learn as you go. She still speaks to all her ex’s. I’m not sure how she feels about them or how they feel about her. She doesn’t need a man. Truly. She’s just too busy to have one right now with all her other priorities. She truly enjoys time alone. She’s an introvert, and I’ve mentioned before how much I admire introverts. Even my best friend from the UK is an introvert. Even my favourite person is an introvert. I come off as someone very independent, but I can’t be independent if I’m always wanting to be around people.
Anecdote: Actually lately, I’ve been alone a lot. And I’ve been enjoying it. Most of my times spent alone I’ve spent writing or reading. I guess I’m not really alone if I’m talking to myself on a public blog right? Nonetheless I travelled alone to my appointment today. It’s not a big deal. I do grocery shopping alone – I cook alone (which I seldom do anyway), I shop alone. I like doing stuff alone sometimes. There’s not other opinions to sway me, or other agendas to keep in mind. Or even conversations to hold. Sometimes it’s nice to have company for them. But I think it’s safe to say that truly I’m being honest with myself when I say I’m comfortable being by myself. It isn’t torture. It isn’t exhausting it’s nice. I think I’ve grown to appreciate alone time because of how little I’ve had now that things have picked up at the clinic. My required daily social dosage is usually fulfilled by my shifts there. I get everything I need. I’m not afraid to be alone. I can’t recall why I’ve had it in my mind that it was so scary. For so long, I’ve told myself – lied to myself that I can’t handle being alone. I don’t think its ever been true. I can recall playing by myself in my front yard as a kid. Reading alone on the school bus. Walking home by myself and truly liking it that way. I don’t mind it. It’s of course more fun to do it with people but for some reason I never phrased it that way. I’ve always just thought I needed people all the time. I don’t. I guess you could say – I just prefer it. Oh _____. What have you done to me?
Back to my beautiful lady friend. We talked about our Jane Austen expectations of love. Books that I still have on my list to read. But from the quotes she’s shared with me, the ideas she’s had. And even what I read about the author it seems surreal to have a love like that. Talking with her brought me back to my fantasy world. She has her own as well. And we both love to retreat there. Frequent fliers you could say. I’ve actively been trying to make an effort to leave that world. Seeing her be in hers gave me a window to how I am when I’m in mine. Those expectations creates an insurmountable lonliness in the real world. We’re both so alone at times trying to find this “perfect guy”. To be honest I sometimes can’t describe what that perfect guy is for me. I can create a list but usually that list doesn’t actually list things I care about when it comes down to it. It’s funny, her description of a perfect guy sounds a lot like my favourite guy. She wants someone she can hold deep conversations with and not just small talk. Actually, what was even more surprising was the fact that she often finds herself having deep conversations with other women and rarely with men. I find it quite the opposite. No wait. I’m lying. I’d say there’s a fair tie between both sexes on my part. She said she wishes for someone that she doesn’t have to talk to everyday, or week, or month. Just whenever. And just mutually know that both of them still feel the same way about each other. It’s the same thing my favourite guy has been trying to tell me since we started being together in the first place. And it’s not like I haven’t been trying. It frustrates me because I usually am that person. I don’t talk to lots of people for months and months and can still bounce back with all the same feelings I had. Nothing fades away.
I don’t think the feelings I have for him will fade away either. I don’t know why it feels that way sometimes. I don’t understand why my thoughts or feelings or whatever it is in me tells me that if we don’t talk everyday – we don’t love each other anymore. Of course its not true! Logically. It’s not true. I know that. And even when I didn’t know that I’ve been taught it. So why why why why why whyyyyyyyyyyyy do I do this with him?! Could I go a month without speaking to him and still have all these feelings for him? Yes! Of course. But do I want to? No. I’d miss him way too much. I think that’s more of what the problem is. It’s not what I feel about him or what he feels about me fading away that I’m worried about. It’s more so how much I miss him. It can’t be healthy haha! I don’t need to hear from him everyday. But he is truly such a highlight in my life. I love being around him. I don’t know. I feel like ideally, I would be happy if I could see him every single day. But for both of us in our lives right now its not something we can sustain. I’m okay with that. We see each other once a week minimum which I always look forward to. Any extra time we get is a bonus. Of course I don’t like just texting him all the time, but given my addiction to him (hahah) it’s better than nothing I guess?
It goes back to what she said now. “She said she wishes for someone that she doesn’t have to talk to everyday, or week, or month. Just whenever. And just mutually know that both of them still feel the same way about each other.” I know as introverts, both him and her feel that way naturally. It’s whats normal for them. It’s not something that comes natural to me at all. (But at the same time it does for friendships.. So why not with relationships?). I’d like for it to be. It would be nice to not be so addicted to him. And I know the word addiction has such a negative connotation to it. I’m not a junkie by any means. I don’t get deadly or delirious when I don’t get my dose of him. (Easy for me to say now that I saw him 3 times last week). Or maybe I do. Whatever the case. I wish I could be that person for him. And knowing that my beautiful friend I idolize is someone who wants similar things. It hurts. It hurts to know that there’s better matches out there for him than me, and I’m not saying he necessarily wants those people. But being the self-loathing person that I am, I get so insecure knowing that I’m not perfect for him. When I want to be so bad. And why?
That brings the other conversation forward. I saved the best for last. My favourite person. The numerous conversations we’ve had. Sometimes new ones, sometimes re-learning old ones, sometimes pecking a bunch of different conversations altogether. He told me that I can be very accommodating towards him, but I’m not selfish enough with myself. It’s true. It’s embarrassing to admit that I almost always lose myself when I’m with another person. I’m no longer me, I try to become who I think they want me to be. Confusing as fuck right? There’s lots of assumptions involved, and it’s not an attractive quality of mine. I’m willing to be anything for him. And that’s not right. I need to hold myself in place and just be me. Be the person he’s liked me for in the first place. Why else would he have wanted to be around me if not for who I am truly? There’s no need for me to change for him, unless it’s a change that benefits me and helps me grow as a person. And I find that for the first time –he’s the first person that’s done this for me. I haven’t really lost myself with him along the way, being with him. I mean yes, I’m not as outspoken, I still don’t always know what I want. But I admit it, I don’t try to act like I can be whoever he wants me to be — which is honestly much easier for me to do.
I did that with the old man, he wanted some young vixen to sweep him off his feet of lonesome depression. And I did just that. It’s all I had to be. I didn’t have to figure myself out because I already knew who I had to be instead. I know it doesn’t make sense, but when I just had to be that for him, and that was enough for both of us. I was happy. I was happy to do that for him, and I got his undying affection in return. It was nice. But it didn’t help me grow. He was a distraction, he was an escape. Something to run to. I don’t want that anymore. And I can truly say that for certain.
We also talked about me wanting to escape and run away from things I fear, which I’ve now realized I do very often. From dressing like a bum to avoid public confrontation from men, to my sometimes irrational and narcissistic fear and discomfort of being watched/ogled/followed. To even my fears of taking risks to fall in love or to take a chance with someone and hope it goes well. My fears of trusting someone only to be betrayed terribly like I have in the past. My fears of my past coming back in general constantly repeating themselves.
I remember as a child my parents both used to tell me that I will keep making the same mistake until I learn from them. And I’ve seen it happen, I’ve trusted people, confided in them, and have watched them hurt me, or use me, abuse me, whatever have you. And it wasn’t until I retreated back from trusting people as much that I got hurt less. So I went with it. My “mistake” of looking good in public and having all this unwanted attention come about, was solved when I stopped presenting myself in a socially acceptable manner and dressed like a comfortable bum instead. My “mistake” of taking a leap of faith to fall in love with someone, and then realize that they fell in love with someone else and left me, just like my dad dad with my mom, shattered me. I didn’t want to go through that again. I’m scared. I’m always fucking scared.
It’s not even just those mistakes that I’ve made, I’ve made worse mistakes than those, and I find that even though I can’t pinpoint a specific example right now of what said mistake is, it always does come back in my life in a different situation until I learn from it. Sometimes when things like that happen, I can’t help but think that there is a God out there trying to teach me something. Trying to help me along the way. There has been so many times where I’ve found myself in a streak of luck that I just can’t explain. I have no one to thank for it at times, it’s never just any one person, it’s sometimes a series of events. It’s inexplainable.
With all these conversations I’ve had, it’s just shown me how much more I have left to do. And it’s daunting. It is, but for some reason –it might just be the weather; I’m optimistic of it. I think I am changing for the better, and I’m not altering who I truly am inside. I don’t want to. I want to bring that part of me out, and just be freely who I am. Who I’m intended to be. For myself.
Photo: Yuli Serfaty – Nefesh Series