Getting Real

The past five or so months, while being a period of enormous personal growth that I’m thankful for, has been a tumultuous back and forth with the boy situation. It has only been in MY mind though. My dear friends, all of them, have been unanimous in their disapproval of him from the beginning. After yet another episode of heartbreak and disappointment which culminated in me sitting outside my apartment in the car with my two best friends at 1 am, still agonizing over staying or leaving, my friends asked me why I loved him. “Cause of all these reasons”, I said, showing them the last post. They patiently explained to me how those were just romanticized versions of non-reasons I was creating in my mind as excuses for his behavior. That hit home. Why did I have the need to make these excuses for him? Why were my standards so low? Suddenly, I remembered why.

Now this may sound very Amy Schumer, but this is my truth.  I remember this one time when I woke up next to S when we were together, about 5 years in, I found him watching me. “Why are you looking at me like that? I asked. “Cause you’re beautiful”, he said. I remember this so vividly because this was the only time he called me beautiful during the eight years we were together. And I remember being overjoyed! Finally! Maybe now he will think I’m pretty enough to be his wife (I know, I wanna give twenty three year old me a hug too, after first smacking her in the head that is). You see, I asked S out. More like confessed/blurted out my li’l crush on him as he was trying to set me up with his friend. He said no at first because he had feelings for another girl at the time. A week later he told me he was beginning to like me. That’s how we started dating. Since then, he’s changed me so much, in terms of physical appearance, like Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. We worked on my hairstyle, clothes, vocabulary, perfumes and more. So I was never really sure if he actually found me attractive. Why would he change anything about me if he liked how I looked?

And him being very vague about his intentions for the future did not help either.  For eight years I waited and hoped for S to propose. I wasn’t even allowed to bring up the topic – he would get angry.  I accepted that, wanting to be the cool, non -crazy gf, thinking at the time if I just make myself just a little better, I may become that girl soon enough. I cringe at my naivete. I now know that soon enough was never going to happen.

So when J started talking about marriage in two weeks you can imagine how that little twenty three year old in me must have felt. Every time he called me beautiful, I clung to the emotions that brought on, mostly of relief. I was lovable after all! Someone did think I was good enough fo be their wife.

J was saying to me exactly the things what I was waiting to hear for almost a decade.

‘Saying’ being the operative word.

I couldn’t hold back the tears once this realization came upon me. Is this why I was putting up with everything J was doing or not doing?

“You deserve to not be left hanging for two days”, M said. “You deserve the good morning text, the random check-ins, being asked about your day. You deserve to not be put in physical danger. As we see it, even if the guy after him is much better, he’s still not gonna be good enough for you as far as we’re concerned.” But life has been so hard on him,  I reasoned. What if he’s actually a good guy I’m about to hurt?Patiently, for what seemed like the hundredth time, my friends explained to me that that was not the case, what I deserved, what was out there that this was holding me back from.

My friends asked me to make them a list of reasons why I should not be with J. It’ll help me forget him faster,  they said, stop wanting to text him all the time. Yes, I will, I promised. So here goes:

1. He does not treat me well.

🙁

Love Story (cont’d)

Ok I’ve fallen for this man. Desperately. It happened when I least expected it. Hit me like a truck out of nowhere. Knocked me out of my breath.

I had forgotten how glorious this feels. How you can’t believe the universe conjured up this amazing human for you.  This adorable, honorable, ruggedly handsome man who makes your legs crumble beneath you. He is suddenly everything. The way his eyes twinkle when he smiles at your door. His goodbye kisses that never end. His playfulness. His vulnerabilities. That intense look he has on his face when he’s deep in thought. His stories. His youthful excitement about comic book superheroes. His sacrifice of that very same youth for the sake of his beloved son. That scar near his left eye from his past. Those scars on his soul from his past.

I had forgotten how painful this feels.  My stomach is constantly in the pits. I have non-stop anxiety.  I feel powerless. Without control. Like a derailed train. I can all but put one step in front of other because of fear of losing him now. All I can think of is “When can I see him again?” He is like the drug. I am the addict craving for my next hit. I can’t analyze anymore. Cause I can’t afford to draw painful conclusions about his behavior. I don’t wanna hear any of it.  I am completely,  unrevocably in love with him. I hate it so much.

And of course the hot tattooed woman from his past has to show up right at this moment.

*glares at the universe*

Playlist: Women of Pop

One of my favorite things is long car rides listening to music, on earphones if alone, blasting on the stereo and singing along if with friends.

J is away for a bit. He had to go back home to LA for a family emergency. I decided to give him some time and space away. It would do us both good I think. He can come back whenever he’s ready. Part of me wants to be there for him, support him through this. But I get the sense that my current stance is preferable. I told him I’m here for him if he needs anything at all. Besides, it’s given me some time to focus on me a little, indulge in some reflection on long car rides over music.

Content and peaceful. Those are the words that come to mind thinking about my mental state these days. I’m okay, after 28 somewhat tumultuous years. I’ve found my footing, it feels like. Of course, it took a lot of hard and painful life lessons to get here, but they’re what got me here, so I’m okay.  I’ve made peace with the past and the future. I’m truly living in the moment, as cliched as that sounds. There’s no dream I’m trying to achieve, for the first time.  I’m exactly where I want to be, personally and professionally.  Anything good that comes along would of course be appreciated, but in a natural course of things way. Anything bad will be seen as life being life. Humblebrag is the only way to say, I really like who I’ve become. I only wish I had gotten here sooner. Lots of cringeworthy moments with S especially come to mind.  I’m not really surprised he did not propose all those years anymore – for the first time, I get my past imperfections. But I’m definitely not beating myself up about it – I was just working with the life experience I had until then. It would have been nice to have someone just teach me all the hard lessons as an eight year old.  But I guess that’s not how it works.  Well, I’m gonna try anyway when my kids are eight,  if I have any that is.  Until then, I hope to continue to work, read, write, sing, dance, go to spin class, do yoga and be kind. There’s no white picket fence I want anymore.  There’s no academic laurels I want to earn anymore. I just want to live and love the best I can.

I guess that’s a good note to go back to Spotify on.

Until next time,

S

Am I slipping?

I woke up at 3 am today.  Then again at 5 am. Early morning awakening. A classic sign of depression. Am I slipping?

I had to write.

I could go on about what brought this sudden change on, but I’m too exhausted to tell stories right now.  I just have the headspace for writing about my feelings.  It had to do with two uber drivers who asked me out, my being completely naive about men in America, and as my friend A put it, for whatever reason, my standards being “very very low right now”.

I still value these experiences. I have only fallen in love with people I know,  never ‘dated’ technically. Now I have. Now I know what sleeping with someone is like.  It had to happen at some point I guess. It is out of my system now. How can you say you’re actually an adult if you’ve never had a crazy  experience in love – like having your heart broken by two uber drivers in the same week?! I mean, oh my god.  What the fuck was I thinking?!!

I always thought my kindness was my greatest strength. This week I learnt it is also my greatest weakness.  Even with red flags waving in my face frantically,  I decided to give these men a chance because, as I said to a friend before embarking on this ridiculous episode, ” I don’t want to be superficial’. I had always valued intelligence, wit, humor, accomplishments and integrity in men.  I remember always thinking that I could only be attracted to someone more or at least as intelligent as me. Here, all I had to go on was their perceived integrity.  “Perceived” being the operative word. Again, what the fuck was I thinking?!!

Was I desperate? Did I just want to get over S and V for good at any cost? I guess I was, and I did. But also, I just wanted to be like…held. 2.5 years without any human physical contact in a strange fucked up country (sorry America, but I’m mad right now) can make you do crazy things you’d never do otherwise.

I think my lesson here can be best summed up by my text exchange with my bisexual friend who has come to become the perfect relationship advisor. I mean I don’t think the perspective can get any better – a guy who has dated women before, but now is into men? That is just pure gold.

Oh well.