Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Been A Year And What's Really Changed, Day 111

I've been thinking about this all week, and it makes me feel awful. It's spring break at the school I wish I was enrolled in. At this time last year was when things fell apart with him, spring break. It was such a painful and emotionally-awakening experience. He was someone I could've fallen in love with. And I lost him.

I got a second chance with him, and although things fell apart again, I'm grateful for those experiences and cherish them. This time I didn't sabotage it. I wish he felt differently about me. I wish the relationship didn't end. I wish I didn't ruin it the first time around. I could tell that he was a lot more reserved and closed-off the second time around because of what I did to him before. But even with that, I had an amazing experience that I wouldn't have had if I wasn't given a second chance.

I still miss him, though, and I still think about him. It's one thing to look back on a relationship with a guy you could've fallen in love with and wonder what would've happened if things were different. I believe a person can move on and still look back on their past like that. A friend of mine told me that she had a good talk with her roommate about this where her roommate said that we don't always completely get over our exes, that they're a part of us and that that's okay. I think I really needed to hear that because I think I keep bringing him up as a way to try and understand why I'm not over him, maybe so I can analyze it, figure it out, and change it. But things are the way they are.

I guess I just feel really bad and confused because of the circumstance. I didn't know him for very long and we went out for even less. Yes, he's different from any other guy but what made him different? I've known other guys who've done a lot for me, are intelligent, possessed similar characteristics, and I've known them for much longer. Part of me feels like this guy doesn't deserve my heart. It was too soon; it was too sudden, and a year later, what's really changed? He still has my heart.

Even after I found a new boyfriend, I didn't fully realize it but he was still a part of me. Everyone said that it's okay and that may never go away. But I realized after talking to my friend that it's different. It's not that I'm still looking back because my heart's curiosity lingers of the past. I haven't moved on.

My friend said that even though she's completely in love with her boyfriend that there's one ex she thinks of every so often. Her roommate made her feel better about her reminiscing thoughts because it made her realize that those thoughts are just thoughts and while it's something she could never share with her boyfriend, thinking about her ex doesn't make her love her boyfriend any less or any more, it doesn't change the experience she has with her boyfriend. So it's okay. I need to start believing that when it comes to myself.

Well, first I need to move on but when I tried to force that process, it backfired. Ignoring the feelings made me lose perspective, so now I'm going to try a new approach and that's to accept how I feel, be honest about it, and try not to tamper with it. I shouldn't ignore it or remove them. I don't want to dwell on them, either, and I realized that when I tried to get over him that I find myself thinking about him more because I get frustrated with myself that I have to do this in the first place. Why am I pretending that something isn't there? Because there is something there. Why is there something there? Why won't it just go away? Channeling my energy into that is unproductive and stifling.

A year's gone by and what's really changed? I still miss him. I still want to be with him. He's still a part of me. I still think about him. He's of the past, but it doesn't feel like that for me. In fact, my feelings for him haven't faded that it's hard to believe a year's gone by already. Technically it hasn't been a year because our second chance happened after Spring Break, but it was during this time that I became honest with myself about my feelings for him. Those feelings haven't changed a year later.

But a lot more has changed since then. In retrospect I've been an attractive person for a while now, but I've only recently come to realize that. Even as this awareness began to surface, I felt guilty for feeling pretty. Now that I do feel this way and progressively less guilty about admitting it, I look back on my photos and realize that I've looked this way for a really long time. I began to realize how powerful and potentially damaging our perception can be.

I had a friend who used to really like me for a few years. Sometimes I feel like he's still interested in me in some way. But he told me how I have to silence the voices in my head that haunt me and make me feel this way because as I get older those voices will become louder, more aggressive, and more hostile. He's in his forties. It wasn't until recently that he began to feel secure in himself, and I can see him still struggling with it. The more I got to know him, the more I realized that I don't want to become like that. But what really resonated in me was when he made me realize how others saw me.

He said that I, more than others, have to work harder in enduring a stronger self-confidence because the world around me will give me more reasons to feel insecure. I'll meet other people who aren't as attractive as me, aren't as intelligent as me, and they're going to find boyfriends faster than me. I'll notice that guys will like them more than they like me, and I'll notice that there are going to be fewer guys who show interest in me. It's going to be easy for me to question myself and wonder what's wrong with me. He said there's nothing wrong with me, but not a lot of guys are going to like me.

I interpreted that as I'm an acquired taste, and I believe that's an accurate assessment. He said that I'm a challenge. I'm beautiful, intelligent, opinionated, I don't back down, and not a lot of guys are interested in that. There are easier girls to go after. You don't back down and that's an attractive quality, but it's also hard work! He said that the guys that do end up liking me, though, are going to like me a lot, fall for me hard, and it'll take them a long time to get over me. That made me feel better about myself, and it gave me insight into questions that have always plagued me.

It's with that knowledge that I was able to comfortably move forward towards a positive direction of feeling attractive. You have to believe it before it becomes reality. I primarily relate through the outside world because that's what I understand. So observing that most guys showed interest in girls that were less attractive led me to believe that I was inadequate in some way. I've seen guys get their heart broken because they cared that deeply about a person, and I've seen the same guys barely being moved by another girl. It made me feel like in the eyes of most guys I'm that girl that has no impact. Plus having so many guy friends that never tried to pursue me strengthened my belief system.

So what this guy told me really resonated in my heart and still does to this day. He's no longer my friend. That friendship built for over six years and I discovered that his capacity to show compassion was equaled by his ability to be the most manipulative, deceitful, and uncaring person. When he practices his dark side it jeopardizes the health and safety of others, something he risks in his career and day-to-day life. I can't have someone like that in my life. Uncovering this truth and letting go of that friendship has been a life-changing tragedy.

I have girl friends thanks to the guy who touched my heart (the guy I fell for, not the crappy friend). He said that I need more girls in my life, people I can relate to. He was right. He was telling me this while I was having a nervous breakdown and he suggested that I talk to my roommate, but it felt crazy to me. I just met her. The idea of going to her in a flood of tears felt burdensome, intrusive, and uncomfortable for both of us. Or at least that's how it was in my mind. But he reminded me that she cares about me.

How that went down was rather peculiar. When I ran into him, I told him that I live with four people, I live in the living room and share the space with a girl, AND I get along with her. He was impressed. I said that the only dispute we ever had was when I didn't finish eating her bread before it went bad. She feeds me :) So he throws that in my face by saying that I should know by now to trust his judgment and trust in him, that he knows what he's talking about. He says with attitude, by the way, that he knows she cares about me, she gave me her bread, obviously she cares. WTF? I had no idea at the time how absolutely right he is. That's a precise and strong opinion to conclude with such a weak reason. He's really good at reading people, though. He must've sensed for me that subconsciously I know I can trust her. And it was one of the best things that I've done.

I live less inside my head. I discovered that there’s more to life than what the brain can analyze, process, observe, dissect, and other brain-related functions that the mind is confined to. The body and heart feels, experiences, and understands things that the mind can’t even grasp. Since I’ve come to that realization I’ve began exploring other outlets and have had more meaningful experiences. I was no longer emotionally-dead inside and I began feeling human.

I didn’t realize that this was the case before, but I never felt trust for anyone before. I didn’t know that until I experienced it, but it’s true. It was the most frightening and life-changing experience for me, and that’s tragic but also incredible. It’s crazy to go your entire life and not really trust anyone, but it’s even crazier that a year ago is when all of this happened! So yes a lot’s happened in a year and no not a lot has changed. The paradox continues to spin.

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