Self-reliance à la “My Best Friend’s Wedding”
Posted by diagnosemylife
Readers, I have had a moment of clarity, and believe it or not it happened when I watched that cheesy old ’80s movie My Best Friend’s Wedding. In case you haven’t seen that movie, Julia Roberts realizes she’s in love with her best friend Michael when he tells her he’s marrying some chick he just met (Cameron Diaz). So Julia Roberts goes to Chicago to break up the wedding and make Michael realize they belong together. Anyway, SPOILER ALERT: they don’t actually end up together. He marries the other girl anyway, even after Julia Roberts confesses her love for him. And throughout the whole movie you can see, she has such a hard time admitting her feelings for him because of her stupid pride and because she probably doesn’t love him for him, but because she loves the way he loves her. But I’m getting off topic—that’s not my point.
See, you spend this whole movie thinking that they are perfect for another, and that if the universe would just let them, they could live happily ever after. But then Julia Roberts is left alone at the wedding while Michael goes off on his honeymoon with Cameron Diaz. And she just looks so sad and her future seems so empty. But, then, her gay friend George shows up. They start dancing together and Julia starts laughing and smiling…and holy crap, it just might be okay!
So it got me thinking. Fred and I don’t get the happily ever after that I thought we would, and yeah, that sucks. But I’m still fucking Julia Roberts. And while I don’t have a gay friend named George to dance with, I’ve got plenty of other friends who will help me through the rough times. And even though my girlfriend is leaving for Costa Rica in a month doesn’t mean my future is hopeless or that my life will be empty. It just means that life changes, and my future will change along with it.
I started thinking about my future and asked myself what I wanted to do once my girlfriend was gone and I stopped using Fred as an emotional crutch from time to time. I didn’t ask how I would cope, or how I wouldn’t get lonely, or even how I would make myself happy—I asked myself what I wanted. And it all came to me.
I want to paint. And read. And go to coffee shops by myself and pretend to be more pretentious than I am. I want to finish the next two semesters and graduate with my bachelor’s degree, then work for a bit and get my master’s in a foreign country. And I want to make more friends and play board games with them. Because I know I’m attractive and that people want to fuck me…and while that sometimes feels good to know, it’s not really that important.
So you know what I did? I drove up to Fred’s place. And I laid down my cards; I told him we shouldn’t talk at all anymore, because all it did was hold me backwards. Talking to him makes me sentimental for my old life, and while I’m glad I was happy then, I recognize that I need something different to make me happy now. I need me, not him. And so we said our goodbyes: no texts, no calls, no nothing until at least April I said. I figure by then I can reevaluate whether or not Fred and I can or should be friends.
He told me that if I asked him to date me that he’d have a hard time saying no. For a second that image flashed in my head: us together, walking around holding hands, watching Netflix on the couch, and fucking in his bed. And I knew it wasn’t right. Because I immediately thought of my girlfriend, and wanted her in my arms. See, it’s not that Fred is the bad guy and my girlfriend is the hero, it’s that even though my life isn’t the same as it used to be, I think it’s beginning to move in good directions. I will still have bad days, I will still feel lonely, but I am getting stronger.
I am who I have always been. I watch cheesy ’80s romcoms and I eat my dinner in bed. I change my fashion taste every few years. I steal good music from my friend Polly and I hold my friendships close to my heart. I talk with my mom, I eat copious amounts of breakfast food, and I sing along with my CDs in my car. These are the things that make me happy and who I am, and these are things I can only give myself.
I think I’ll be okay. (After all, if Julia Roberts can bounce back, why can’t I?)