I think I was in love and I missed the memo about it.
Yea, no. I know. I’ll give you some time to wrap your brain around how that could even be possible because I’m still scratching my head on this one.
Actually, I think, I’m pretty sure I was, but my incessant need to be right in conjunction with my inability to assess, or even really deal with complex feelings, mine or anyone else’s, in an adult capacity, didn’t allow me to embrace this event?? as a normal person should/would/could have. <– Ahh. There’s everyone’s favorite trifecta.
This is a realization, no lie, three years in the making. THREE!!!??! <– I really should get a therapist.
Actually…they are the back story. Excuse the typos.
Allow me to back this train up, so I can explain to you how I arrived at destination “self-acualization.” It was not as easy as it would seem because it required me to admit I was wrong. I was oooooooh sooooo wrong and admitting I was wrong, even if I’m just admitting to myself *silently* that I was wrong, …umm THAT’S THAT SHIT I DON’T LIKE!!! Not to mention it’s frustrating.
Anywho, Saturday I met up with a TMBG blog fave, TRAVEL BUDDY!!!!! As I’ve explained before, she’s pretty much one of the most dope people I know and I absolutely adore her. I hadn’t seen her since we graduated from TU, i.e. a whole freakin year! It just so happened that while she was in town anotherone of my friends , who I also hadn’t seen in a very long time, wanted to hang out with me too. <– Oo, yo estoy muy popular!
Now this friend, whom we’ll refer to as The Abstract (and with VERY good reason) is like the left lung to my right. She knows me that well. So well, in fact, that she is the namesake of my continuously happening, then immediately NOT HAPPENING, far, far, FAR in the *never* future, maybe, daughter (Yes. If a tiny human is slated for my future, please, please, PLEASE Ubiquitously Omniscient Being of the Universe, let it be a girl tiny human. I’m sure I’m not equipped for a tiny human of the male variety.).
Anyway, it’s kinda scary how in-sync we can be, even after not having seen each other for months (almost a year!!! I know, I know. I’m terrible.). She’s pretty much hip to my bullshit before I get the chance to even try to spin it into gold. That still doesn’t stop me from trying do it anyway. It’s just my way. My process, if you will.
Whatever, I dubbed her The Abstract for one reason, and one reason alone: sometimes she speaks in riddles tighter than those of DMX. And I’lln’t get it. There have been times when I didn’t have a single damn clue of WTF she’s talking about. <– Puns I can do. Riddles…Not so much.
Like not even a whisper of a clue.
I equate trying to follow her logic sometimes like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands: sounds simple enough in theory, but it’s the application that’s the tricky part. <– I know this sounds harsh, but my other friends know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. So, umm, can I get a witness!?!
Now I know you all are thinking that this lunch I went to with both of them was the catalyst to get me to destination SA. A whole “Come to Jesus” moment over French fries, but it wasn’t. It was just a normal, lovely lunch with two people I hadn’t seen in sooooo freakin long, and hadn’t realize how much I’d truly missed them.
After lunch I took Travel Buddy back to her hotel, then TA and I just aimlessly drove around Center City for a bit, shooting the breeze. Neither of us had anywhere to be and, quite frankly, we only wanted to hangout with each other. We decided to go to a park and walk around.
Umm, it was waaaaay too cold to walk around anyone’s park, so we just sat in my car and talked. Our conversation drifted from topic to topic, covering everything and nothing in particular, with a welcomed familiarity.
Then we landed on her relationship. Please note that at no point was this conversation about me. It was completely about her and the changes/growing pains she was experiencing in her present relationship. I repeat, it had absolutely zero to do with me. One little thing lull in conversation led me to simply give voice to a passing thought – I may have reopened a door that I shouldn’t have reopened.
TA’s question to me was, “Well why can’t you just close it?” I guess my thought is there isn’t a reason why I can’t close it, but it may not be that simple either to just immediately close it. I think in the process I was hasty in reopening rather than just looking through the key hole to see if there was still whatever. I don’t even exactly know what the hell I was looking for by reopening the door, but let’s just say it’s open now.
::sigh:: You know what?
I can definitely say what I was looking for by reopening the door. My thought was that what I had with HB could be recreated with this other door opening, quite easily. TA, who can be a bit of a dream crusher sometimes, made the point that they are two incredibly different experiences. Though they began as equally random as the other, it doesn’t make them the same experience.
You would think that I would recognize this. Like you would think I could clearly identify that and say, sure that makes total sense. However, as someone who doesn’t necessarily like to define anything in life as grey, even though I’m starting to believe grey is the only color emotions seem to come in, I thought this was a relatively straight plan! <– I… I don’t know. It makes no sense at all. AT. ALL.
I need everyone to understand that I refuse to acknowledge extreme emotions, be they VERY happy or VERY sad or VERY whatever, I really work hard to push those feelings to the fringes of my consciousness because, I like to think, it helps me experience any event with little to no bias. Oh and avoid them in other people, ESPECIALLY the very sad. You haven’t seen awkward until you watch me try to console someone crying. Awful.
Don’t worry, I haven’t quite mastered how to be a cyborg. Though there are some who would argue I’m very close.
Now of course I know there are symbolic colors folks like use to express emotion, but grey has the meaning that emotions are not straightforward. They’re not simply black or white. It’s not yes or no, or up or down, or left or right. Rather maybe and sorta and sometimes and kinda. It’s maybe not today, but possibly tomorrow, sort of.
That idea, or rather life truth, makes me very anxious because there’s apparently no right or wrong to it. You just have to deal. I think the point that TA was trying to open my eyes to was just because the beginning stages were the same doesn’t mean that the outcomes themselves will mimic each other either. Because if that were the case, if they were exactly the same, then I wouldn’t have closed said door a year and some change ago, that wouldn’t have happened because it wouldn’t have been necessary, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
The Abstract is pretty much a genius. She used her incredible brain power get me to unpack my issues. By asking me one, tiny simple question: What was it about HB?
I mean nothing.
He’s just a regular guy with an amazing smile, who smelled delish, and an ass so tight I could have bounced a quarter off of it and gotten change back!
Halleloo!!!!! *In my Shangela voice*
I mean…he was cool.
I was excited to tell her about how I felt when I was with HB. And I’ll tell you guys too: It was exciting and terrifying AT THE SAME DAMN TIME! <– Nope. I couldn’t help myself.
The rush of excitement wasn’t instantaneous, rather as the conversation kept going and as TA continued to move me though these different steps of my mind, it became more recognizable. Asking me different questions like how I felt, what I thought, what other things were taking place at the time that I met HB.
It was like she was using reverse Inception – where I’m awake and she was moving me through these different layers of my mind to get to whatever secret it was in the middle of my brain. And the “aha moment” was the kick that pulled me back to the surface.
And that “aha moment” was this: I had indeed been in love with HB. No matter how uncomfortable, scary,
or RIGHT TB had been, the fact still remained that no, yea, I totally L-O-V-E-d HB. <– I feel nauseous seeing that written out.
You have to understand that when I met HB, I in the middle of my first semester of grad school, I was 23 years old and living in another country.
It was crazy!
I was super thrown off because I had someone that was telling me, after only having known me for, what, 7-8, I don’t know 9 weeks at most, that he love me!
I have the relationship maturity of like 10 year old, plus this has never happened before and it can’t possibly happen that quickly. That can’t be true. There are rules that say that can’t happen.
And I’m sure there may have been some other things at play, but I really don’t know. The fact of the matter was that he’d actually said I love you and I said, “Uhh…thanks. Umm…I gotta go read a case study, I’ll call you tomorrow.” <– Never once have I ever said I am a good person.
At the time, and even still, I’m a very tunnel visioned type of person, especially when it comes to my grand plan for my life and how I will reach my career goals. I am very adamant about not letting extracurriculars, or anything that could be considered other than the plan, distract me from reaching my goal of doing/becoming what I want to be “when I grow up.” Pretty much if it doesn’t advance the life goal, this one big life goal, then it is immediately axed because, to me, it is absolutely unacceptable to get side tracked by, essentially life, if that means I may not reach my goal by whatever crazy deadline I’ve established in my mind. <– The deadlines I set are insane. By the age of 26 I was supposed to own my own home…I live in my parents’ basement.
So much for life plans and deadlines.
So, operating under that guise, I completely had to push HB away. No. This is not. No. He was a distraction from what I was there to do. He was a distraction from what I wanted to achieve. A distraction from what I believed I needed to achieve. Completely didn’t fall into my plan, therefore he must be axed. Those are the rules of the plan! <– I run an awesome cult in my mind.
It’s like Dexter’s code. Granted his code is falling apart at the seams, but still he has his morals. No?
I think if I were to lay this plan out and actually take the time to walk other people through it, I’m sure they would ask, “Where’s the fun? Where’s the life in your so-called life plan?”
The answer: There’s no fun in it. Like zero fun and, YES, I think this plan is perfect.
You should probably look a puppies or something now because I’m sure if you keep reading that confusion etched in your brow will stay there.
I KNOW I’m crazy; it’s charming, though.
I was sat there with TA and explaining how exhilarating and exciting and amazing it was to be with HB just for GP – hanging out, talking with him, being there in silence – it didn’t matter, it was great, but at the same time it was terrifying and scary and I wasn’t sure about what was going on. There were no words to explain it, but there was also nothing that could have prepared me for these bazarro feelings.
A new word and phrase came into my life a couple weeks ago via NPR. Epistemic. That experience, meeting HB, was epistemically- transformative, but it wasn’t transformative in the way that it should have been. Meaning exactly what I did before is exactly what I will do again because this is something I have to learn the hard way.
Especially given the rules of “The Plan.”
Now you may be thinking, “How could that be true?! You’re so self-aware!” Enter the self-fulfilling prophecy. <– The building blocks of philosophy are apparently the undertones of my life.
I want to call your attention to this excerpt:
The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come ‘true’. This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning. 
In other words, a positive or negative prophecy, strongly held belief, or delusion – declared as truth when it is actually false – may sufficiently influence people so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy.
Delusion is my favorite part of this entire thing. The thought that I have control of this, is indeed a delusion.
Just take a step back with me and let’s analyze that year it took me to get my MBA. By far it was hands down the best year of my life. And in that best year of my life I, ironically enough – because I don’t think this happens for everyone; some people it does, some people it doesn’t. I don’t know – in that time I actually fell in love with someone, but was so focused on something else I actually, ACTUALLY, missed it.
How does that happen!?!
I completely missed a milestone that is was a major part of, literally, the best year of my life. I guess I understand, now, how some people are like, “Well everything seems to just fall in some people’s lap.” I mean, I was able to experience world travel, falling in love, getting a degree during this whirlwind kind of year. And one significant piece of that puzzle I completely missed.
I didn’t miss it; I dismissed it as being insignificant, when in actuality it happened to be one of the most important events OF MY LIFE.
And I missed I missed it.
::sigh:: Travel Buddy said this would happen.
I don’t know if people go back and kind of look at those situations the same way I do. I mean I guess some people do, in some ways, look back to analyze, and reanalyze, everything that has happened. I don’t know if they do it three years later, after having categorized it as a blip or a fluke or something minor that happened, buuuuuuut in reality it was a major freaking life event. Like people don’t just get married and designate it as a fluke. Big, glaring, life events don’t just get relegated to the blip pile! I mean these are big freaking deals after all.
I think my arrogance and stubbornness, drive to prove TB wrong, allowed me to brush it aside and just move forward. I don’t know what my idea of falling in love is like. So clearly because this experience didn’t match the idea of what I thought falling in love would/could/should feel like, I didn’t give it a second thought.
Makes complete sense to me.
As I was telling TA about HB, I noticed she didn’t interject at any point. She just let me explain it; just let me put it all out there. I think what she was trying to do was let me hear it for the first time. Let me openly express and admit these things, but in an area that was safe and in a space where no one was judging, no one was saying anything; just for my benefit to hear these things aloud, rather than for her benefit to even really know them. And that’s not to say I wouldn’t have told her anyway, but more so I think she recognized that it was more important for me to know, “No you actually are a real person and no you do actually experience these things. And you really, really, really need to find a better coping mechanism to address these things.” Because if a better, more honest system isn’t employed, then I’m going to go NUTS, until I realize, “Wait a second, you’re doing this wrong. You need to do it a different way.”
And what that different way is, TA couldn’t tell me. I mean this whole thing was set on its path because we were talking about her relationship. It’s not one of those things where she – or anyone – has the answers to these things, but it’s good to be aware the numerous elements that are at play.
More to the point, I can’t control what happens or what I experience vs. what I don’t experience. There isn’t a “yes/no” pile that allows one to choose what you can and cannot experience. So if something falls on the “no” side then you don’t have to consider them. That’s not how it works. You get everything and it’s up to you to deal with it, but hopefully deal with it as an adult and not with some weird stunted immaturity that could very well lead you to missing out on some very wonderful key moments. I guess that’s the whole point.
I don’t know if it was The Abstract’s intent to make me think of it that way. I mean I know my friend and I know she’s very deliberate and thoughtful with the things she does, as far as having a method to her madness. There is always a definite method, but I don’t know if her method was intended to have me think this introspectively and then turn around and put it out there.
If that really was her intent all along, then I don’t know why the hell she laughed at me when I said she if her plans in corporate America don’t work out, then she could definitely become a psychologist somewhere down the line.
No answers. Just a story wrapped around feeling.
Ain’t that some shit?
Speak your mind…