Twice I have lived forever in a smile.e.e. cummings (via observando)
If you know me for real, you’ll know that I like to talk about really personal stuff on here, mostly about my thoughts on love and relationships and sometimes gender equality. My posts are long, mostly rambly and kind of rare. But even though I’m really getting down to my core beliefs, I manage to keep everyone at an arm’s length away so they don’t really know specifics about my personal life. I talk more abstractly about ideas and experiences because I like to keep my personal life more private than government sealed docs cause not even Wikileaks can crack this shit. But over the past couple weeks I’ve had a lot of time (usually driving to and from work) to think about a lot of things that keep popping up in my head. I guess you can call it unsettled business. I thought about saying unfinished but it may as well be finished by now, and not by my choice.
So I guess I should back up a little bit. I was getting tea with a close friend and we got to talking about how her mom sent her an article about relationships saying that if the woman was the “alpha” in the relationship, she should never joke about breaking up with the guy because he’ll believe that that’s actually what she wants and then they might break up for real. I’m immediately peeved at this because I live in an ideal fantasy world in my head where I think a healthy relationship should be two equal individuals— not one alpha and one follower or whatever he or she is called. And why should we even listen to this article telling us how to act and that we should be careful lest we lose the guy (GOD FORBID)? Why don’t they write an article about how a guy should fight for a girl if she’s thinking she might want to break up and he really believes that they can make it work? Or maybe if she’s serious and he should respect her decision. Who even jokes about breaking up? And then all this got me thinking about all the messages women get in media about how we need to change ourselves, mostly physically, to be better. I always thought they were referring to photoshopped images of women on magazines and advertisements but then I really looked at a magazine cover the other day and it was all “How to lose five pounds in a week” and “The makeup tricks you need to know NOW” and it FINALLY dawned on me that the entire contents of these magazines were about how we’re not okay as we are now. We will always be trying to attain a standard of beauty placed on us by people we don’t even know and who don’t even know us. I get being healthy but nowhere on that cover told me what vegetables I need to eat to avoid getting heart disease, which is, by the way, the leading cause of death in females. The crazy thing is that we’re just throwing money at this industry to tell us— in blunt terms— we’re not good enough. I’m not against the industry or anything, for god’s sake I’m a journalism major. But I’ve journeyed from self-loathing to self-love and it’s not easy and it sure as hell isn’t pretty. I can’t say I’m always comfortable with myself but I’m also tired of people around me who are curvy in the right places and who have slim and petite figures that I envy who all think they need to lose those extra five pounds when they’re already pretty fuckin’ hot.
AND THEN this is the part that was actually my intent on writing this in the first place but I, of course, ended up on a minor tangent that turned into a major one. So keep in mind that we were on the subject of relationships as a whole and I had also been self-reflecting a lot (one of my favorite hobbies) and we were talking about her experiences and I really wanted to tell her about a pretty big self-realization but at the last second I kinda backed out. I enjoy discussing the enigma that is men and women but when it gets down to my own experiences there’s really not much that I can say and there’s even less that I am willing to share. I talk to extremely few people about this openly. I’m not really sure why. I’m a really private person, yes, but maybe it’s also because I’m not ready to face it yet. Saying it out loud— putting it out into the world— and when someone other than yourself can confirm of its existence— that’s when it becomes real. I’m 22 but I have the emotional maturity of a prepubescent teenager who peeks through one squinted eye during a sex scene.
So basically what I wanted to tell her (which I probably will tomorrow or something) is that I’ve been thinking a lot about this guy that I really liked last summer and I don’t want to be presumptuous but I’m pretty sure he thought I was pretty cool. But then the timing was off and I was going abroad and the more I thought about it the more I convinced myself that I don’t want a relationship and I’m young and free and I was leaving the country for five months and I don’t want to be tied down to anything back here. I was unapologetically selfish and I refused to be responsible for anyone’s happiness but my own. My typical spiel. I had this whole narrative in my head that I believed with a conviction. I didn’t expect anyone to wait for me or put his life on hold until I got back because that’s really ridiculous. But if I’m going to be completely honest, there were times when I came back and thought we can just pick things back up where we left off. I realized how I pretty much fucked something up and then assumed that it’s fine, it will be fine, and we can lay in bed in our pjs together and watch TV until we fall asleep. And then I really got mad at myself at how presumptuous I was for thinking that someone else is okay with acting along my whims and how presumptuous I was for assuming that I don’t have to suffer the consequences of my own selfishness and emotionally stunted growth. For all I know, he could’ve moved on within days and met his soulmate on a rainy day in a cute little coffee shop and they could be planning a Spring wedding right now. It made me realize that a big part of moving brusquely away from any potential relationship (like, literally, I went on a plane and left the country) was because of my emotional immaturity. For someone who has never had a serious (or any) relationship, I sure have a lot of ideas and opinions about them. And for someone who has never committed to anyone, I sure as fuck am really terrified of the emotional intimacy that comes along with it. I’m really not one for regrets: I firmly believe there is no such thing as regret as long as you walk away from a situation with a lesson learned, but this is as close as I can get to it. In a sense, I don’t regret what happened last year because I don’t think I was ready for it. I do regret the way I less-than-gracefully handled it, and am even borderline ashamed for assuming that I can just waltz back into someone’s life as if the clock suddenly resumed ticking upon my arrival. OR maybe this is unrequited super like and I just did all this worrying and self-scolding for nothing. Who knows?
And now I am exhausted and really super hungry :’(