Life has been crazy, thus the absence from blogging. But lo and behold I am back! This is a blog post, as it says in the title, for a fantastic project created by the incredible Pam Wilsey. The link is here: https://willseyconnections.com/real-deal-girls-project/
This is an incredible project that I highly encourage everyone to check out. I can say from personal experience that real, authentic friendships are so important for young woman Anyways, here goes:
When Life Crumbles All Around You….Breathe and Other Cliches
When I was a senior in high school, a girl in my class committed suicide. Two people committed suicide in a nearby school. This happened when I was only seventeen. I’m nineteen now, and haven’t seen the guy I thought I was going to marry in over two years. We met when I was ten or eleven and he was twelve or thirteen at a faculty party at the college where my parents and his father worked. It wasn’t as if my (in retrospect somewhat misguided) decision that he was going to be my soulmate was decided instantaneously. In fact, our first conversation was somewhat benign. We discussed the philosophical complexities and inner workings or the magic system in Harry Potter. After that first initial meeting, we saw each other around campus occasionally, but the relationship never really went anywhere because I moved from Pennsylvania to Boston and we more or less lost touch. Until he randomly commented on a facebook status of mine and the avalanche of confessions began from there. We admitted that we liked each other and would have dated if we lived closer, but accepted that it was unlikely to ever work out. Then I saw him again my senior year of high school, and my hopes re emerged.
Because we were never together in person, we were both able to subconsciously use the other person to gratify our own unmet emotional needs without having to deal with the complications of an in-person relationship. This scenario worked quite nicely for some time, until I became clingy from wanting more and, in classic male fashion, he retreated and became more distant. If there is one thing I have learned about relationships with guys from this convoluted experience, it is that the concepts of destiny, fate, “signs” and whatnot are largely constructed by filmmakers who have an over saturated market to fill, but have very little to do with reality. To be clear, it isn’t that I’m happy or even like what happened of him not seeing me. However, when I practice radical acceptance, I find much greater peace of mind than remaining in touch with a guy who is fundamentally incapable of giving me the kind of loving in person kind of relationship I know I deserve.
Despite the fact that the likelihood of the relationship ever actually amounting to anything was always slim to none, I could never seem to get past the potential. I was hooked on a fantasy, because it was more appealing than the reality around me. Whether it be from watching too many Disney movies growing up or playing Taylor Swift on too many long car rides, I failed to practice what I preached about feminism on an epic scale, and secretly held onto the idea that finding the right guy would make me…whole. This belief was not completely unjustified, however. After all, the ubiquitous cultural narrative of women’s lives all around us is that weddings and babies are the most monumental events possible for the female gender. With my parents divorcing at the tender age of seven, my father leaving my mother for a much younger woman, and marrying her a few years later, perhaps I was afraid that my Wellesley (sorry, Princess Bride reference. I had to.) didn’t exist after all. Coming from a happy family, being intelligent, kind, funny, and caring, as well as 6’2″ and very handsome, he fit that role and more. Even now, I’m worried I won’t meet anyone I like as much as him, and since he left for his mission two years ago, that predicament has been borne out. None of my OkCupid or Tinder dates have been nearly as satisfying as our intellectually stimulating conversations, and even more stimulating makeout sessions that day. But that’s the thing. I’ve only seen him once in the past five plus years. This is the fact that devastates me, that keeps me up at night.
If this was a romantic comedy, we would end up with a big white wedding frolicking in fields of lavender while some sappy love song played in the background. But if there is one thing I have learned so far on this turbulent journey of self discovery, it is that the best thing we can do is be mindful. And by that I mean have our head in the clouds, while making sure our feet remain firmly planted on the ground. If only I could practice what I preached. My word right now is “process.” I am a work in progress.
No Kids, No Pets, No Plants