Shortcomings

How do you get your life together when everything seems to fall through the cracks no matter how secure you think the seal is?

You don’t, and this is okay.

Some things are not meant to be, but these are not failures. These are shortcomings, these are obstacles, these are rare instances where you just weren’t in the right spot at the right moment. But these are not, despite how bleak you may feel in the moment, the end.

So you failed a class?

So you expressed feelings that were not reciprocated (in front of a crowd, nonetheless)?

So you feel like you are drowning?

This is not the end. I repeat, this is not the end. This is a chance for a beginning and this is the kick-in-the-rear end that you have needed for a long time. This is the time to finally face reality.

You cannot glide through classes anymore because now you have to “synthesize molecules”, whatever the hell that means. And you can’t wear your heart on your sleeve because there are assholes in the world who do not see you for the wonderful, awesome person that you are. And, when all of these things start to add up, you cannot give up and succumb to the waves because you are not in fact drowning, you have just lost your footing amongst the waves.

These feelings and experiences that seem so unfair and horrible in the moment are what make us humans and ultimately connect us to one another; they do not, despite how you may feel,make you any less of a person.

You are still that same obnoxious, but occasionally compassionate person that has the tendency to be a little too clingy and sentimental from time to time, but is no more than a phone call away when someone needs her. You are still that same kid who can’t remember her freshman Halloween and who can’t seem to make it to class on time. You are still that same opinioned person who has never met a stranger and is willing to make fun of herself to make others laugh. You are still that person, and in times like these, it is important to cling to these principles and these personality quirks because when the end finally does come, these will ultimately be what separates you from the masses.

You are a flawed, messed-up human being, but everyone is and in this seemingly endless world, we are all just trying to come to terms with our own “shortcomings” and move past them. So don’t dwell on things that can’t be fixed and instead, turn your head towards the sky and move on, because in the end, this is just a small moment. A small moment that won’t really matter 10 years from now.

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What is my major?

“What’s your major again?”

Yours is aerospace engineering and you want to work for NASA in Huntsville. But you couldn’t remember mine, nor could you even recollect want I wanted to do in the future. This question, so casual in nature, and yet, this truly signified the end. Or at least, this was the end for me.

You couldn’t even remember my major. You probably couldn’t remember my middle name, where I’m from, what noises bother me. You likely can’t remember my favorite color or my favorite movie, nor could you remember my favorite band.

And yet, I had been so infatuated with you; or rather, the idea of you. I thought that you were who I wanted to travel with, to see concerts with, and to ultimately spend my life with. I thought I could picture our time together, seeing it lay out like a time line right before my eyes. But this was not our time line, and you were not who I thought you were.

In my mind, you were this goofy, smart guy who always went out of his way to say hello and talk to me. You were the guy who kept up with my life and seemed to really want to be a part of it. You matched my wit and we shared similar loves for obscure indie-alt bands. We agreed on the benefits of being an only kid, and we laughed at the same raunchy jokes. I was so obsessed with the idea of you that it was hard for me to picture my life without you in it.

But here we are. Your number is no longer in my phone. I no longer send you music suggestions and I no longer eagerly wait for you to acknowledge my presence. You have a new girlfriend, and I have focused my attention on other things. We have both moved on. But there was still that small part of me that clung to you and the idea that you would one day send me that text or call or show up at my door and tell me you felt the same way I did.

I suppose I needed to fully realize how little you understood and cared for me in order to process that there was a life beyond you. Asking me about my major, something I know we have each talked about a countless number of times, was the wake-up call I needed. So thank you for that, truly.

Maybe this ending will ultimately bring about the new beginning I’ve been desperately hoping for. Here’s to wishful thinking.

Different in my eyes

So maybe this is always what we were meant to be. Maybe I was always meant to be your girl-friend and not your girlfriend. But what if we were meant to be more, and our present circumstance was caused by outside forces? What do we do if that is actually the case?

I’d like to believe that we could both wait this out, leaving just a temporary space between our love. I would like to think that this space would only be temporary, dissipating as soon as the time was right. But I know this is likely not the case and that we will grow apart.

We already are growing apart. I can feel the distance between us when your arm is around my shoulder and you pull me in a little close, and then all of a sudden, as if the moment has quite literally passed, your hand drops and words go unsaid and we are left in this murky gray area just floating. Floating along, knowing that the end is near.

But you were different in my eyes. Teen angst aside, you are the first lasting thought I’ve had in a long time. You peaked my interest, from a mental and emotional level. I wanted to talk to you about my problems and I wanted you to talk to me about yours. I want to be close to you and hear your voice and your obnoxious laugh. I just wanted to be present in your life and I wanted you to be present in mine. The connection I felt with you was, for lack of a better word, real. I wasn’t wrapped up in inflation, but rather in genuine interest. I wanted to be with you, in all the ways that actually mattered.

Sure, I can feel the weight of my love as our conversations die and we grow apart and I fully come to realize that I am likely the only one who will hold onto our possibility. But this is fine. I know, eventually, someone else will appear to me the way you did and my misplaced feelings will find a more appropriate home and life will go on. Life always goes on, even if not in the way we had expected.

Same page

We just aren’t on the same page anymore, and I know I am partly responsible for that. But so are you. I have apologized for my role in everything, and I thought we had agreed to move on. Or at least, I had.

And I have been holding up my end of that. I have stopped looking at you as anything more than a friend, and I am moving on. I have asked someone else to formal and to our date function. I have stopped feeling the way I did about you, truly. I have consoled my friend who you decided you had feelings for, assuring her that I am 110% moved on and fine with everything. Because I am.

Ironically, the only concern I expressed to her was over the fact that you are ignoring me, whether you want to admit this or not. You don’t respond to me, which definitely falls under the category of ignoring me. But why?

After everything happened, you told me nothing had changed. Everything was fine and we were going to be okay. But that isn’t the case. I honestly just wish you had been more honest and told me that you were going to cut yourself away. At least then, I could have been a little more prepared.

Being rejected by you was one thing when it was romantic. Being rejected by you now, as a friend, hurts me more. When something bad happens, I want to talk to you about it. When something funny happens, I want to talk to you about it. I honestly just want you to acknowledge that we were close before, in the way that I know we were.

But you can’t even do that for me. You can’t even meet me halfway, so why do I keep subjecting myself to this treatment? Why do I keep letting you make me feel this way? The only explanation I can come up with is that I really did love you, as a friend. My love for you ran deep, and I thought we were on the same page about that. But now, as I sit with unread text and unheard songs, I know we are not.

And that is fine. I can one-up your ignorance, and forget about you completely. Forget about how you made me feel or the things we could talk about for so long and the things that made our friendship what it was. I can move on, and forget.

The Distance

So this is how life goes. Shit happens and we are left to just react to these shitty occurrences and hope that we don’t get hurt along the way. But what happens when we do get hurt?

With you, I had no doubt in my mind that there was something else there. That you felt the same way. I never would have, drunk or not, told you how I felt if I didn’t feel so confident and sure. But I obviously am horrible at reading situations and we both know how everything played out.

The next day, we were left to pick up the pieces. Or rather, I was. I could already feel the distance being created at this point. You were slowly fading away and I was determined that this wasn’t how everything was going to end.

So we still communicated and I still cried and we still tried to understand where to go from here. We said we still were friends and that nothing had changed, but this was not true. So much had changed and as much as I didn’t want it to be true, I knew the end was inevitable.

For starters, I felt hurt every time I was around you and the conversation shifted to you and whatever girl you were chasing. I felt hurt as I heard you talk about the situation, occasionally looking at me, knowing my rejected heart was still recovering. You talked and fawned, and I sat silently hoping the conversation would die eventually. The conversations would, eventually, die, but so would a part of me, feeling the final nails in our coffin being put in.

Last night was probably the worst. I have reached my quota of emotions for the week, between you and everything else that seems to be falling apart in my life right now. I needed a break and I thought last night was finally going to be it.

I started feeling a shift when she got in the car. The girl you’ve been ignoring but conveniently declared feelings for was riding in the backseat of my car and I could feel my heart sink a little as we pulled up to the house. This was the end. The end of my feelings and the hope that maybe you would realize you actually did feel that way. As much as I wanted to put faith in you, that you wouldn’t do anything in front of me, I was let down. Let down for the umpteenth time by you. Just another moment in the long line of disappointments surrounding you and your actions and my reactions and my feelings.

You openly acknowledged your feelings about her and beckoned her to go outside and “talk” and I sat mystified on the floor, having an out of body experience, as the world kept moving around me. So many emotions welling up inside of me, some sad and some tired. I was hurt by you, but also tired of feeling this hurt. Tired of taking everything personally.

So what is a broken-hearted girl to do when she still wants to be friends with the guy who broke her heart in the first place?

She let’s go. Let’s go of her feelings and of the friendship. At least for a time. Distance has to be created. This distance is needed in order to let the flame die, or at least subside a little. My heart, as much as it wanted you, needed distance from you even more. After watching you openly do things that would hurt me, I knew then that you did not really think about anyone else besides yourself.

Call it me being bitter or call it whatever you would like, but I know you. I know you could tell that your actions would hurt me. You are not a dumb ass. But you did them anyway, as if that would be your only opportunity. So I know now where I stand, and because of this, I am going to take a few steps back and give myself more room to figure my own head and heart out.

A Letter to the Guy Who Chose my Best Friend

I still like you, and probably will feel this way for the foreseeable future. These feelings will not go away, as much as I would like them to. I will always question whether the outcome would have been different if you had known how I felt, or if things would have ended the same. I will always question what she did to stand out in your mind that I failed to do. But most of all, I will always wonder if you had feelings for me at all or if those connections were just imagined, feeble attempts made by my brain and heart to hold on to even a small shred of hope that you would ultimately choose me.

But you did not, and that is okay. I am okay.

I will continue to be around you and her, because ultimately you both are too important to me to let my feelings get in the way. It hurts, don’t get me wrong, but I know neither of you would hurt me intentionally and this is enough for me. Sometimes, as clichéd as it seems, timing is just not there. You had the summer with her and that’s where your feelings first began. I wasn’t around as much and likely slipped into the back of your mind, a simple thought when my name came up, but nothing more than that. But things work out this way, and call it fate or destiny, I do not believe that we have much say in it.

One thing that I have actually gained throughout this experience has been the realization that sometimes being close does not always have to be romantic. I can still have conversations with you and listen to shitty alt-indie music with you and laugh at predictable shows with you. I can still be with you, even if I am not with you. And this is okay. I will move on eventually and my feelings will subside. I will find someone else who makes me feel the way you do and life will go on. Life always goes on.

Argument against acquired feelings

Can someone actually acquire feelings for another person throughout the course of dating? Personally, I never thought this question was up for debate until somewhat recently. I was having lunch with a male friend of mine and we were gossiping and discussing things that were going on in each other’s lives. He started to talk about this girl who he had feelings for, a girl he met over the summer that he connected with and was attracted to. No big issue in sight at this point. Flash forward two weeks later to a phone conversation between me and this same friend. He tells me that this girl he likes has invited him to go away for Labor Day break with her, an invite a person would presumably only extend to someone they had interest in. This should have been a no brainer for him, seeing as he had declared his feelings for her recently. But he was not the same, and his feelings had digressed. He no longer felt that pang of emotion we do when we are in the presence of someone we admire and are infatuated with. His feelings were fleeting and he no longer liked her, turning a no-brainer into an issue that needed to be addressed.

This was when the debate began. Should he go and be with this girl and hopefully, fingers-crossed regain those feelings for her he felt before or should he let it go and not lead her on?

Was this really a debate at all? The idea that you could grow to have feelings for someone while dating them boggled my mind. Personally, seeing how doubtful and tongue-tied I can be with my own feelings, I couldn’t image being with someone and slowly becoming more and more enveloped with the relationship. If I do not have those feelings before, I could not manufacture them simply because I know the feelings are there for the other person. Even if I do start to like the other person romantically even in the slightest bit, this is going to be shot down and scrutinized. But is this just my personality? Can others be put into a relationship and actually “grow into feelings”?

As pessimistic as I can tend to be, I would like to say that the answer to the above question could be yes. That maybe, just maybe, you could actually start to see qualities and attributes in the other person that would lead you to reciprocate their feelings. But try as I might, I just cannot fully get behind this idea. If doubt exist in the beginning, it will not simply go away. It will linger and wait in the back of your mind, constantly telling you that your acquired feelings are false, destined to fade away as quickly as they appeared, leaving both you and the second part of the equation feeling shitty and unsure.