The catalyst was a question. “I wondered if you’d ever love me as much as him.”
The answer was no.
The reason was that I didn’t want to feel that way again.
Not that I knew it at the time.
Morgan’s wedding was the first nudge. More like a huge push. There were so many connections to be made, and so many connections that I couldn’t make. That I found myself wanting to make.
Then, of course, there was the couple themselves. They were so in love. They were perfect. Their story was perfect. It wasn’t a movie, and it was real.
I didn’t have it. I wanted it.
So I tried to go about it in my current relationship and failed. Utter failure, but at least not for lack of trying. It wasn’t there (you know, that inexplicable something you just have with the right person), but I was still trying to convince myself that it was me, that I wasn’t allowing myself to feel feelings that were definitely there.
The next nudge was New Year’s and the stupid, embarrassing drunk fighting. I knew what that meant. I’d done it plenty of times before. And then San Diego, when all I could think was how great it would be if it was just me and Kari out at the bar. No responsibilities.
I am not a responsible person. I have the attention span of a child on crack and my ability to commit to anything is on par with a rock. I took a small load of laundry on my flight 3,000 miles across the country to do at my parents’ house because I’d run out of quarters.
Being back at home was it. It was under unfortunate circumstances, but an intense relief. I’d left with an “I don’t think this is working” and a confirmation via text a few days later. Not my finest moment. Space was what I needed, and seeing my friends more than anything else.
I can’t say exactly what it was that made everything ok. It was all familiar and comfortable, but that’s not it. It was a reminder that not everyone was staying, that much of that familiarity would eventually leave, just like I had.
Alright, I’m listening to Tom Petty, and the lyrics were literally just I’m learning to fly. How convenient. That was it though, I think. That we’d all gone through difficult times in the past several years, and everyone was finally at some level of being ok. I’d gone out and done something completely out of my comfort zone without a second thought. I’d done it because I believed in myself. And yeah, it kind of sucked for the first few months, as much as I tried to convince myself that it didn’t. Everyone else was ok, and I would be too.
Sidenote: How abysmally sad is it that we’ve gotten to the point that our old crew will never all be in the same spot at once, no matter how hard we try? There will always be someone who couldn’t make it, stuck in a different state across the country. Or South Korea.
Back to California I went, sure of my decision, minute nagging doubt aside. Because I’d finally realized something, with Morgan happily Snap Chatting us snippets of her married life, another friend in constant contact with a new love interest, and yet another friend planning on meeting her boyfriend’s parents.
I was totally sure I had it figured out. It’s not like the movies, it’s not magical, not intense, not everything I’d expected and wanted. I learned that by getting my heart broken. I thought that was hindsight, and I was wrong.
He was nice and that was good. I desperately needed nice. It wasn’t enough though. He loved Star Wars and I preferred Lord of the Rings. It never could have worked.
I’m sure that at some point Jenn will read this. Yes, I still read your blog, and no, you are not the one who ruined my idea of love. That as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, 100%.
It’s not ruined though. It was just confused for a little while. One year, to be exact.
Now I am single and on the prowl once more. Watch the fuck out.
(Not you, Jenn. Just, like, the world in general.)