Our society has many rules of dating, some of which make sense, and others not so much. For instance, there’s the common rule not to sleep with someone on the first date. Or the rule that says you have to wait a certain amount of days before calling or texting someone who just gave you their phone number. Personally, I think these dating rules are best when they are broken—after all, not every situation is the same and not every person is the same. So why should we all play by the same rules?
While I have broken many of the dating rules out there (starting with my first date, when I didn’t order the lady-like and easy-to-eat salad and instead opted for hot wings, fries, and cheeseburger pizza….also I was wearing old, ratty jeans and a T-shirt that belonged to my brother), one of the big rules I have broken is taking back my boyfriend Fred after he cheated on me. Before I go any further though, I should explain one thing: I have been a cheater myself, and taken back myself. So yes, I know both sides of the experience.
I never thought I would cheat on someone. It seemed like something that was obviously fundamentally wrong, and how could I ever do something like that to someone I cared about/loved? Why not just break up if I wanted someone else? But life happened, and I jumped into a relationship right after ending one that lasted 2 years. I never processed the breakup, and I ended up dealing with those feelings in a really awful way, by cheating with my ex. It was the biggest and worst mistake I’ve ever made, and while I have forgiven myself I will never forget it. Long story short, both the relationship and the cheating blew up in my face and left me miserable and alone. But months later, that same person I cheated on took me back.
I was incredulous that this person would want to be with me again, let alone not hate my guts. After all, I had broken their trust and not owned up to it until much later. I lied again and again…so why take me back? Well, I think it had a lot to do with the fact that in-between these two relationships I found out that I had been cheated on in the 2 years I spent with the very person I cheated with. It was then that I owned up to my own cheating, and realized just how badly I had hurt the person I cheated on. As silly as it sounds, you just can’t realize the pain cheating causes until it happens to you.
So let’s jump forward onto the timeline to this past March, when I officially took back Fred, aka Mr.2 years. After yelling at him again and again, and then not speaking to him, I had realized I still had feelings for him, and he still had feelings for me. So we decided to explore them, and see if we still could get along and function together on the regular. But then we realized we both wanted to make it official—neither one of us wanted to see other people. So we called it a relationship, and here we are months later.
How do I trust him? How do I not worry about repeating the same mistakes? Well, it’s not easy. If I didn’t believe that this person wasn’t worth spending the rest of my life with, I wouldn’t be with him. If he hadn’t changed his behavior and started being honest and open, I wouldn’t be with him. If I hadn’t learned to deal with the insecurity and mistrust the cheating instilled in me, I wouldn’t be with him. A lot of work has gone into repairing the damage, and a lot of serious talks between us had to happen before I felt like we both knew exactly what we were signing up for again. And even now, it is still a process. Honestly is something that has to constantly maintained, and that will never change. We both have promised to keep each other in the loop, to talk about whether or not we are happy, if we are feeling tempted by someone else, or if we are doing something (or in the position to do something) that might upset the other person. He works on not sugar-coating the truth or hiding things, and I work on actually speaking up when I’m upset or feel insecure. By dealing with the hard stuff directly, we are able to have room to truly enjoy the happy, easy things.
All in all, the cheating made our relationship stronger, opened both of our eyes to the ugly parts of each other, and forced us to grow up a bit and realize what we want. But other people don’t always understand that part of the story…when you tell your friends and family that you took back the person who cheated on you, there tends to be some judgement. Luckily, everyone I’ve told has been supportive and happy for me, but I still feel the need to justify my decision when I talk about how my relationship is going.
See, it’s really easy to say, “Don’t ever take back a cheater!” when you’ve never been in the middle of cheating. It’s not as black and white as you would think—yes, it is wrong, no doubt about it. But the person who did it still may be a good person. If I hadn’t cheated myself, I probably couldn’t have forgiven Fred. But after my own experience, while very different, I saw how confusing and trapped someone can feel in that situation. When I cheated, guilt swallowed up my entire life and ended up destroying my relationship. I couldn’t take it back, no matter how much I wished I could, and I couldn’t seem to convey how deeply I loved the person despite cheating on them. But people hated me and judged me for cheating anyway, and while I understood that I wished they realized that I was still the same person, just one that made a very terrible mistake.
So that’s why I’m breaking the rule. Ultimately, I am in charge of my life and my happiness, which I don’t have to explain to anyone. Fred makes me happy, and I make him happy, so we are working hard to make sure that we maintain our relationship and prevent any cheating. The bottom line is: you can’t change the past, but you should give people the opportunity to learn from it. I’m not saying that everyone in every circumstance should take back their ex who cheated, just that people are more than ‘cheaters’ and more than ‘cheated on’. We are human, we make mistakes and hurt others, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change or that we don’t deserve love.
(The title of this post was formed via Google Translate. If it’s inaccurate, please read the rest of this post to find out why I don’t care.)
My mom has met Jessie a few times, and after both times I would pull her aside and like most women, ask, “So what do ya think??” And each time, my mom has said the same thing: “I just don’t know how much you two have in common.” Most of the time, I remember this and get defensive, reasoning away in my head that Jessie and I are great together. But sometimes, sometimes…..I wonder what we really do have in common.
You know how most couples have those few topics where they will just never come to an agreement? Well for Jessie and I, one of them is Spanish. Like most Americans, I took two years of Spanish in high school, managed to get an A all four semesters, but never learned a thing. And that was totally fine with me, because after the first week I realized that learning a language is hard and if you’re not passionate about it/you won’t use it/you don’t grow up speaking it, then you’re going to hate it, because it will feel like a waste of time. And it was a waste of time, because when I went to college I had to take three semesters of a foreign language anyway, and since I never learned any Spanish I decided to try a completely different language. So until I met Jessie, I never gave Spanish a second thought.
But Jessie…Jessie LOVES Spanish. I mean, it’s his obsession. No matter how well he can speak it, it never seems to be enough. He’s completely fluent, but he can’t stand the small things that set him apart from native speakers. Hell, Spanish is the reason he moved to Central America (that, and to get un-“stuck” from the college town where I live and he used to live). Jessie’s whole life seems to be Spanish—he speaks it all day, every day. But ever since I told him I’d visit him after he moved to Central America he’s been hell-bent that I learn it.
Here’s the problem: when Jessie gets all worked up about something, he wants everyone in his life to do the same. When we first started dating it was yoga. He begged me to do yoga with him all the time. And then biking. And trying the vegan food he cooked. And henna. One by one, he would pick up a new kick and try to get me to partake in it with him. And I tried for a while there—I did yoga sometimes, I got out my old bike and tried riding again, I did henna and tried not to make a face whenever I ate the vegan stuff put in front of me. But it wasn’t for me; the only thing I really seemed to enjoy for myself out of those activities was biking, and I only liked to do that by myself because then if I fell or ran into something no one would be there to see it. The point is, I tried, and I tried for Jessie. But I won’t try Spanish.
See, after a while I just got tired of working up interest and optimism in things I wasn’t so interested in. “Try new things,” I’d tell myself, “Keep an open mind.” But usually after trying it the first time, my mind’s door would slam shut. Where Jessie had endless energy, I felt exhausted, where he craved stimulation, I craved solitude and/or quiet. His extraversion and my introversion were batting heads, so I just decided to give up. “Be yourself,” I finally said instead, “do what makes you happy, and be honest.” So I started refusing the vegan food, and stopped feigning interest in yoga. Don’t get me wrong—I was always supportive and pleasant about it, and usually said something like, “No thanks, but feel free to go ahead. I’ll be right here.” But it always disappointed Jessie; I could tell he didn’t like getting no for an answer.
All this comes back to the Spanish. “You’re going to need to learn Spanish if you’re going to be here,” he keeps saying, and I keep replying, “I’m only going to be there for a week!” It’s so frustrating. Sometimes I think Jessie is trying so hard to be Latino that he can’t fathom anyone who is happy being American. “Bring jeans to wear,” he’ll tell me, “everyone wears jeans here.” “I’ll bring whatever I want to wear,” I say back, “I don’t care about fitting in. I’m white and I can only speak English; I’m already not going to fit in.” I can tell he looks down upon the fact that I’m unwilling to learn Spanish even though it is the native language in the area, but I’m not going to learn flawless Spanish in the course of a month. There is a significant amount of tourism in the area that we’ll be in, and most of those tourists are white and speak English, so many people in the area know how to speak it too. I’m not saying that local language shouldn’t be respected or acknowledged, but I would never ask someone who didn’t want to learn English to learn it if they wanted to visit New York City or L.A., or even if they wanted to live in the U.S. (although that would be pretty hard if they didn’t know someone who could translate).
I just get so frustrated with him because he can’t stand it when things don’t go his way, or he can’t control a situation. He keeps pushing and pushing until people give in, but the thing is I won’t give in—I’m just as stubborn as he is, and I hate it when people tell me what to do. And it would be one thing if it were just as simple as “I don’t want to learn Spanish,” but it’s not. I get insecure because I feel like Jessie is constantly trying to change me so I’m like him, and while I do like to try new things and do activities that my significant other likes, I want him to like me for who I am rather than who he is.
And I don’t care about Spanish, I really don’t. I think it’s nice that it makes Jessie happy, but that’s it. I mean, it’s important that I know a few phrases in Spanish for safety reasons before I travel, but I don’t want to know anything that’s not completely necessary. I don’t have a passion for Spanish, and I’m not embarrassed that I’m an American. (Although I wouldn’t exactly say I’m super proud to be one either–America has done some really stupid things, and running off to live in The Netherlands, U.K., Australia, or France wouldn’t bother me a bit. Even if I would have to potentially learn Dutch.)
Sometimes I get envious of the fact that Jessie is passionate about so many things, and other times I feel sad for him. I feel like the difference between me and him is that he distracts himself from what’s going on inside, and I dwell on it. Neither way is better or worse, but they both have their downsides. Jessie can never be anywhere too long because he gets restless/the distraction never lasts, and I can’t seem to find anything I’m passionate about because I get too wrapped up in my head.
I never share anything that means something to me because I’m afraid people will disregard it. Jessie shares everything with everyone because he’s eager for someone to agree or relate. Sometimes I think that it’s not that we necessarily have too much or too little in common, but it’s that we are two opposite sides of the same coin.
It’s no secret that I’m not close with my family. Their lack of presence in my life is obvious every time I’m around a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend’s family. I see the way people grow together, as a unit of strength and love and loyalty, and wonder what went wrong in between my mom, dad, brother, and I. Some families have tragic reasons why they are not close. But my family, we just don’t fit. We all are strangers, bound by blood.
This doesn’t bother me so much when it comes to my parents. My mom is the only person in the family I communicate with in an honest and consistent manner, and I have accepted her as my sole source of familial warmth. My teen years were spent aching for a close relationship with my dad, and realizing that no matter how hard I tried, we are just too different to be close. And then there’s my brother.
My brother is a painful topic for me. When I was a kid, he was my idol. I followed his lead in toys, sports, music, video games….anything he did I did too, in order to impress him and prove that I was worthy enough to be his equal. But being a little sister, I was born to be inferior, annoying, and ultimately uninteresting to him. So as he reached ten and eleven, and I reached eight and nine we went our separate ways. This progressed rapidly as we aged. I had more bookish tendencies, was quiet, reserved, creative. He was also reserved, but sulky as opposed to my ‘sad’. He was practical; he learned about mechanics, hunting, woodworking. We were growing more different by the day.
We even seemed opposite in appearance. He had our mother’s blue eyes and fair skin, he was tall, his hair was lighter with only the slightest hint of wave. I was short, with a darker complexion and dark eyes and hair, which was a wild mess of curls and waves. I wore glasses, he had perfect eyesight. He never got sick, I had asthma, eczema, and several bouts of pneumonia during childhood. But we weren’t all difference. He didn’t like sports either, wasn’t extremely social, had the same body type, and was also isolated from our parents. But he was beginning to be a teenager, and I was still a kid, fearful of his disapproval, so I kept my distance.
When I reached high school I think he began to notice how grown up I had become. He was friendlier, but still maintained his distance. I maintained mine too, because I no longer knew what to say to him. We were so different, with different dreams and pursuits and personalities…it seemed hopeless. “Just wait,” my mom kept telling me, “you two will become closer as you both reach adulthood.” So I waited, and waited. The more time passed, the harder it was to reach out to him. I went off to college and he stayed at home, and our lives became a mystery to another. Someone recently asked how he was doing. Realizing I couldn’t remember the last time I had spoken to him (despite seeing each other in person at least once in the past month), I reiterated the things my mom always told me about him. He worked, he went to school, he had a girlfriend. I couldn’t even tell you what his favorite band is, what he does for fun, or what exactly he’s studying in school. He is a stranger.
This realization always hits me hard. The person I am biologically the closest to is a stranger. My only sibling knows less about me than just about everyone else in my life. Most of the time I have trouble even saying “hi” to him. But I wish it wasn’t so hard…I wish we knew what to say to each other. I recognized an anger in him that I have in myself, only he lashes out, and I let it burn inside. We both are strong-willed, stubborn, and private. He never talks about his feelings, and neither do I, but he is different because he shares his opinions. He can manage small talk, I just avoid people. He is critical, I am open-minded. We are strangers, made of the same stuff, but chose different paths. One thing we both genetically share is depression, but he will never talk about that, and I will never be brave enough to ask him. I only know because my mom found the pill bottle in his room.
The sad part is, I don’t really miss him anymore. I don’t even know him, so there’s nothing really to miss. There’s just the shadow of old memories, which are so long ago that they might as well have been a dream. Similarly, my dad and I were never close, so I have trouble missing him, too. My mom is the only exception; I miss her always, but do nothing about it.
I’m scared that I will follow in the footsteps of my family. That I won’t know what to say, that I will hardly hug or touch my children, that I’ll look at my children one day and realize they are strangers to me, and to each other.
One pattern I’m beginning to see with my brother and I is our constant string of relationships. It’s like we both are trying to compensate the lack of affection and warmth from our childhood by putting all of our love into one person. I just hope he has better luck than I do, and that his relationships won’t burn out or spiral out of control…
But who am I kidding? If they did, I probably wouldn’t know, anyway.
As The Doors said, people are strange. And for some reason, all of the people I choose to date are by far the strangest to me. Not in the way a guy singing to himself on the subway is strange, or the way homeless people might talk to lamp posts, but the way someone can appear so normal, so familiar…and still do things that make you scratch your head and say, “What were they thinking?”
Last week Fred and I Skyped. We mostly were just shooting the shit, talking about TV shows and food and his job, but then at one point the fluffy stuff stopped. I forgot what exactly made me say this, but I told him: “There is no us.” “There’s an us,” he said quickly. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Just that there’s an us.” I wasn’t taking that—“But what do you mean?”. “I…” he looked down at his lap and thought for a moment. “I want to be straight forward with everyone before I tell you this…” Oh god, I thought to myself, what is this that he wants to say? Does he mean that he wants to get back together?? That’s insane!
So let’s fast forward in the story. Sunday night he visited me in my college town. He “misses” me. Okay, okay…he says, “I still think it’s possible for us to have a future together.” Uhh….okkkkaaaayyyyy…….he adds, “But I don’t want to get back together.” Then why are we having this conversation???? I was frustrated. What did he think, that I would just fall into his arms, open up my life, my vulnerabilities to him, just because there’s a possibility of a future with him?? He hadn’t thought this through at all.
I asked him about his “friendships” (as he calls them) with Miranda and this other girl he sees. Basically, he still makes out with the one chick whenever she’s in town (but doesn’t fuck her because she’s asexual and they’ve had bad sex in the past), and he still fucks Miranda, even though he keeps telling them he just wants to be friends. Does he realize how completely misleading that is to Miranda?? And as for the other girl, she just sounds like a security blanket for when Miranda gets too “let’s be in a relationship”. Now these are just my assumptions, and they aren’t very nice, but how does he seriously think I would ever consider the “possibility” of a future with him when he still acts like this?? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Fred doesn’t have friends, he just has people he fucks with (literally and metaphorically).
And I told him, “The thing is, we can talk all night about what we want our futures to be, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen. The only way to get the future you want is to work on it in the present.” And let’s face it, Fred and I’s present lives right now are a mess. We’re both scrambling to figure out our futures, I’m going through my own personal issues/working on being a non-shitty person, he’s juggling these “friendships”, I’m dating different people…and then there’s the same shit that’s always been a problem: we live in two different cities. Not to mention the fact that I don’t trust him, that our communication skills are wack, and we would need to get to know each other all over again, because we’ve changed so much. For once I felt as if I was asking all the right questions, the one thinking things out logically…and I couldn’t believe he drove two hours to “hang out” with me without thinking it through.
But as much as I was frustrated with Fred for not knowing what he wants (again), I wasn’t. I feel like I’ve been making a lot of progress lately. The meds are helping, and I feel stronger. Sometimes when I miss my relationship with Fred it feels like it was all a dream…like that was a different girl, and a different guy. I miss the happiness I shared with him, but the thing is, I don’t think I’ll ever get that same happiness back. I can only go forward, and create new versions of happiness.
I’m going to go back to therapy and work on myself. I’m going to graduate next December, I’m going to spend time with my ex-girlfriend before she leaves for Costa Rica, and I’m going to learn how to be ok with being alone. Even though I love Fred and believe he’s a good person at heart, I refuse to be him. I’m setting these goals, and I WILL make them happen. Because I deserve to be happy.
As a person with depression, one thing I’ve always strived for is to be positive. Which is so much easier said than done, because let me tell you, when you’ve been depressed for months straight and hear someone say stuff like, “Oh, you can overcome anything if you just try hard enough.” “All of life’s struggles are blessings in disguise.” and my personal favorite “Just put your faith in Jesus and he will lead you in the right direction.”, you tend to be less than amused. People who have told me directly to “cheer up!” have seen my death look many a time, and can tell you it isn’t pretty. However, I like to believe this people are genuinely trying to help, rather than make me wish I had a baseball bat. See, positivity?
Ok, maybe that isn’t the best example. Despite my apprehension toward inspiration phrasing, though, I always try to make it a point to let others know I am there to listen, to lend a shoulder to cry on, and to tell them how truly great they are as people when they are having trouble believing that themselves. So to me, that’s positive. I know that most suffering makes us stronger, but I also know that after you find out you’re getting laid off or that your dad has cancer, that’s not exactly the thing you need to hear.
Anyway, so cynicism, while tempting, is rarely helpful. But lately I’ve been having some struggles in avoiding it….
Once Upon A Time
Once upon a time in a far away land that was known for its large meth and heroin addiction, a young mental health patient went to a high school and met this guy, Sir BlameALot. Blah blah blah, they got together, fell in love, and then broke up because they were both too screwed up to make any sort of legitimate relationship work. So the mental health patient decided to be with someone she did not love, but could give her what Sir BlameALot could not. Well that didn’t last, because this new guy, Sir SmokesALot dumped her on their one-month. But she was pretty okay with that, since she didn’t care much for him, anyway. So then our young patient learned that this fellow Lord FuckedMeOver, cared for her, and while she was struggling to slay the dragon of depression she called on him for aid. He fought by her side gallantly, professed his devotion to her, and then two weeks later was cast under a spell called, “It never happened”. So our mental patient was devastated, and tried desperately to find him a cure. But Lord FuckedMeOver quickly became transformed under the spell’s power and soon forgot that she ever existed. Sad and pissed off, our young mental patient went to a tavern with her friend Lady Let’sParty. Lady Let’sParty introduced the patient to her good friend King Petey, and quickly the two fell in love. For many ages our heroine and King Petey lived happily together, but then our mental patient was called into battle, where she would move far away into the land of Higher Education. The two vowed to continue loving each other though apart, and did. But in the new battle zone, the mental patient caught the vapid disease PlayTheField. Even with his love under such a different condition, King Petey still loved her. But because of the illness, our mental patient became ensnared in the clutches of two knights, Sir SmallerThanLife and the Duke of The Lumberjacks. Sir SmallerThanLife had convinced her he would be a dutiful friend and was kind at first, so due to the disease PlayTheField, she became infatuated. Soon after, though, while both had a terrible encounter with the Monster of Horniness, she realized he was a poor knight with terrible equipment and fighting skills. It didn’t even matter, though, because after their encounter with the monster he was never seen again. Then, with the Duke of The Lumberjacks, our patient was ensnared with his brave leadership and decency among the other lumberjacks who basically just wanted to show off their lumber. So for weeks the Duke showed her around the lumberyard and introduced her to all the guys, being a real decent lumberjack, and then as soon as our heroine defeated the Monster of Horniness with him, BAM! He vanished into the Forest of DoucheBag. So, amidst all the chaos, the young mental patient decides to retreat home from the land of Higher Education to rest. And as she is enjoying being amongst her friends again, she is courted by an old friend, Lord Ninja. Now I know what you’re thinking, “WHY CAN’T THEY JUST LEAVE THE STINKING GIRL ALONE?!?” But remember, she’s caught the disease PlayTheField, so now her love life is all fucked up. Our story ends with the young mental patient longing for the past happiness she had with King Petey (that’s now been poisoned by the disease…sort of), and deciding whether she is being cynical when she wonders if Lord Ninja will disappear into the forest of DoucheBag like the rest of them.
Anyway, to be continued.
So now you see my struggle. I don’t want to be the asshole here, or the helpless victim. But I’ve been royally screwed over so many times that I wonder if I have “Treat Me Like Shit” written on my forehead. How the hell am I supposed to trust people? Why do so many people see me as nothing? I certainly don’t see myself that way, and neither do my friends, family, or King Petey for that matter. At a part of the story that is so bleak, it is getting harder and harder to stay positive with my ideas of relationships.
But I guess that’s what the future is for. I remember reading one of those positive bullshit things on Pinterest that said: “Just because something ends doesn’t mean it never should’ve been. Remember, you lived, you learned, you grew and you moved on.”
Eh, I still like Eminem’s “Say fuck it before you kick the bucket, Life’s too short not to go for broke.”
Do you ever feel like you’re invisible? Like everyone you keep reaching out to just takes advantage, takes what they want and throws you away? Do you ever feel like everyone who really cares about you is gone?
Lately I’ve been trying to find someone–with whatever criteria suits me at the moment–to fill my time. A friend, a classmate, someone in my dorm, someone I meet at a party…I don’t care who they are, or how much they seem to care about me, as long as they are interesting and will spend time with me. Why did such a search begin? Well, I’m not too sure, but I think it began one day while I was with my roommate. She looked at me, very skeptical, and asked, “Do you ever hang out with anyone besides Caitlin?” “Yes, yes I do! I’ve gone to the gym with some of the girls down the hall, and I used to hang out with those people from the other dorm, and…” She gave me a look of pity. “Don’t feel sorry for me!” “I’m sorry!” she said, “I can’t help it!” “Look, I’m just one of those people who don’t need a lot of friends. Independent, you know? I just do my own thing and am ok with having just a few close friends.” “Uh huh…” She gave me a look, indicating that nothing I said had changed her mind. “Stop it!” “Okay, okay…” But the pity went on after we had changed the subject, after days and after weeks.
Loser. That’s what she didn’t say, and that’s what I felt like. Since then I’ve met more people, but I’ve also felt more shitty, because not all those people have treated me like a person. The thing I hate about college is that to most guys I am nothing but something to have sex with, and then ignore for all eternity. I miss when being with someone meant getting to know someone for who they are, and not just having sex in a drunken haze.
Since I know my self-esteem to be a hazard to my mental health, I’m trying not to think that the problem is that I am a crappy person, but that I have crappy taste in other people. No matter how genuine my intentions, it is the other person’s intentions that seem to matter. I feel powerless in social situations, a pawn in someone’s game of chess that will be sacrificed in the name of something better. When I want to become friends, I always agree to invitations to hang out, always am eager to talk again or help out. But it is the other person doing the inviting, doing the talking, needing help with a problem. I go along with things, I listen, I help others with their problems and don’t bother them with mine.
It’s a crappy situation, so you can see why sometimes I’d rather be mostly alone with a few friends…but it feels looked down upon, and it is. There’s only so much you can do by yourself before you feel lonely, and loneliness is a problem. For me, loneliness=depression. So there it is: all of this leads to preventing depression and being insecure.
You know, usually knowing the causes for my stupid action makes me feel better, but this time it sort of makes things worse. After all, how am I supposed fix this? Find someone who cares? Fat chance. Hope my depression doesn’t come back and do nothing? Better hope I don’t kill myself (or some other stupid thing), too. Stop being insecure? I’ve been trying to do that since I was 12, and clearly it’s working out great. :p Where does this lead me?
Nowhere. East Jesus nowhere, and headed there fast.
Please watch this video…it says it all, I swear. This kid and so many others, including myself, need this.
For more, check out http://www.kevinbreel.com or follow him on twitter like me!
Being young, sometimes life moves in slow motion. The first time you see someone smile can take what feels like five minutes instead of five seconds, as you watch and feel your inhibition melt off of you like wax on a candle. A song can last forever, drawing out memories faster than actual musical notes. But at the same time, life moves at hyper speed. Hours of talking/touching slip from your fingers, as quickly as a breeze. Relationships turn over like waves on the shore, each washing something new onto shore. And those are just examples about our love lives… Yet, according to everyone past their younger years (namely, old people), we are supposed to build our entire lives out of these moments that play fast and slow with our hearts.
Well great. Why is it that when you’re young and busy you have all of this huge pressure on your shoulders to do all this majestic crap? Why can’t we figure out what to do with the rest of our lives in our thirties when we are most likely married or parents or at least holding a stable job? You know, when we’ve got some stuff taken care of so we actually have time to figure out this shit instead of all at once?
But don’t listen to my whining; what do I know? I’m an 18 year old college freshman about to move out on my own in a whole new city/area, starting to plan my financial future and career, and am about to leave behind everyone I know–and I do mean everyone. Where I’m going I won’t have any family, friends, or even acquaintances around from these past 18 years of life. What do I know about life’s pressures?
Look, I know when you are older you are wiser, and blah blah blah, but why are young people not taken as seriously as the older generations? After all, we are the people who will be running the world when you are getting your third hip replacement and the highlight of your week is the grocery trip to Save A Lot. Why is it that instead of guidance, young adults are left to suffer the consequences of every single choice we make on our own? And by guidance I don’t mean lectures. Believe me, we’ve had lectures. I’m talking about discussion, actual problem-solving and intellectual debating over issues going on right in front of our noses. Why is it that college students (or even older high school students) do not get involved anymore in our communities and retreat into our worlds of social media and commercial persuasion? Because in the real issues we are not taken seriously. And now, in this controversial time in US government and politics, when the “real” adults are bickering over bills in congress like toddlers do with toys, the younger generation is called up to the plate to take a swing at settling the arguments. But we don’t, because the truth is, our society has changed so rapidly in the past few decades that our elders don’t know what it’s like to be our age. The need for them to understand us and our issues as we try to understand them and theirs is more pressing than ever, and we need that courtesy and respect before we even begin to cooperate with each other to get anything resolved.
So, I’m calling on all “real” adults out there–next time you are talking with a rookie hear them out. Don’t dismiss them for how much time they spend on Facebook or text. Don’t compare their education to yours (because after all, I think it is blatantly obvious that education, of all things, has changed over the years). And don’t be stuck in your own opinions to the point where you can’t be open-minded. After all, things change.
I know I’ve done a lot of ranting in this post…most of it subjective…but that does not make the facts any less true, which are that I am a young person desperate to be heard, acknowledged by the adult world as having legitimate responsibility, and over all taken seriously. I’m reaching out, however minor it may be; someone please reach back.
Summer air. Full of infatuation, full of possibilities, of nights that run wild and chase after sunrise…most of us can never get enough. Though my summer days are lacking in employment for the most part, somehow I’ve managed to do so much throughout each week. Lately I’ve been surrounded with a group of people and am becoming more and more entertained by what the summer air is filling them with: there is the classic love triangle, the competition between the guys, the happy couple, the rough-housing jocks, the flirt, the whispering of budding relationships….all in one group.
Here’s an example: there’s this guy…let’s call him Jack…who is dating…Clara. Jack is a major flirt to anything with a pulse, so when Clara landed the “girlfriend” position a few months ago, everyone was shocked. However, for the last month Jack and…Libby, have been all too friendly with each other. Everyone knows they like each other, everyone but Clara it seems. But Jack isn’t breaking up with her. Meanwhile, a different guy…Cary…has been talking to Jack and is attracted to him. Jack seems to be flirting with him at the same time as flirting with Libby and dating Clara. Who will he choose? Who knows? Is he switching teams (going from hetero to homosexual)? Can’t be sure. And so we have our love triangle, contracted by one massive flirt.
Maybe it’s something in the air. Everyone is in love or flirting or something in between it seems. The lines that define companionship are blurred in the summer heat by skimpy tank tops, long, tan legs, and smooth muscles. Do we all convince ourselves that it’s just some summer fun, or is it merely a coincidence that lovers seem to meet under the blazing summer stars?
Recently I read a mini blog series about attraction from another WordPresser, “thelovemanifesto”. He broke it down into the nature and nurture, the social aspects and the environmental. After witnessing the experiences of my friends, I can’t help but wonder if this is a case of teenage hormones or an actual biological tendency. I’ve heard of a mating season for certain animals, but could the same effect be taking place with people?
Anyway, just some thoughts for the day. The summer has always made me a bit reckless, and by this post I guess I’m just looking for conformation that I’m not alone. Let me know your thoughts/feel welcome to comment!
“It is never a mistake to care for someone.”
That quote right there is from the movie Radio, in case you’ve never seen it. Now, when you look at the people who have betrayed you, say maybe promised you they’d always be there for you, slept with you, and then completely ignored you after the fact, it’s a little hard to not call that a mistake. Trust can be a fickle thing, and trusting someone with your heart is always a big leap of faith. But this quote takes me back to a time where I was friends with anyone who would share their Barbies with me, to when caring for someone was as easy as agreeing to a second piece of pie. Now, as kids it is not that we never disliked anyone, but when you think about the reasons you never liked them they seems a bit more pure than when you are older. When you are a kid you don’t like people who are violent, cruel, controlling, or upset the people you love. People are black and white, good or bad, and you never feel guilty for judging them in that way. When you’re older, you dislike people for many many reasons: reputation, back-stabbing, their annoyances, etc. And maybe some of those reasons exist when you’re a kid, but…it’s never that black and white. Maybe you also feel sorry for them, maybe you’re also jealous. Maybe you’re just feeling cranky that day. Maybe they are actually your best friend. And so when you care about people, you are wary that someday your feelings towards them might turn sour.
In my last post it’s pretty clear the I was pissed. I was so ready to march right up to Landon and let him have it. Now I have stopped, considered. Last night in this dream I had I confronted Landon. Somehow he tried to convince me he wanted to be with me again, but I felt wrong when he slipped his arm around me. “What about the guy I am with right now?” my dream-self thought, “Landon can’t just waltz back into my life now, especially after I found someone who is actually right for me! My boyfriend treats me like a saint, I’d go through hell and back before giving him up!” By the end of the dream Landon had left me sobbing anyway, sobbing and alone, wondering what the hell I did wrong. So, basically, the dream was one giant recap of what happened between us in real life.
When I woke up I was still stuck on that thought, though: “I have my boyfriend. The last thing I want is a guy who treats me like Landon did! So why the hell do I care what he has to say?” The bottom line is that there is no excuse to treat someone like that.
I know all these posts about Landon and what happened between us are very subjective…he doesn’t treat everyone in his life like he treated me, and over all, he’s a decent person. This is one situation where miscommunication is key, so my side of the problem could be one giant mistake.
Although, I know one thing that is true…I cared about him. And he made the mistake when he took that for granted.