I’m going to leave this without much context. I think being “lost” kinda brings out the beauty of the essay. Sorta like starting a story in medias res.
If this were love, a moment would be enough. If this were love, a smile and an eternal understanding, a timeless, stainless kind of trust, would be enough. I believe in God, who I’ve never seen – if this were love, how can I not believe in you?
But is this love? All I want from you is the security of the knowledge that I am loved. Because now I don’t have that.
Because I can’t be sure, whatever “proof” there is never seems like enough. I have to wrestle with the peacelessness of this stalemate. I was a fool to think that a stalemate was the best of both worlds. The man who chases two rabbits catches none. So can I have you, can this be love? Yes, if I choose you.
But I can’t choose you. Why? Because there exists more than just today. If we lived in a world without consequence, and all we had was this moment, then I would choose you. If we could be young and irresponsible and only dream of today, then doubtless, I would choose you. As I said, only a moment would be enough if I loved you, but I’d only love you if there were only a moment.
I’ve admitted to people as well as myself that this is no good. At the same time I’m torn. The realization that this was no good settled in much later than it had in the past – possibly because it took me much longer to finally reach the point of commitment. By some construction of the universe, I have been made willing, almost excited, to designate this honor to you. Why are souls so quick to promise so much?
Am I right in doing so? I tell myself I’m not giving too much – but only because I’m not giving what is sacred. I want to give these things because, I’ll admit, I can’t help it. I want you to be my mystery, my adventure. But at the end of the day it can’t be all fun and games.
I always ask myself, if anyone else treated me the way you did, would I fall as hard? If I’ve learned anything in college, it’s that everyone is charming and interesting. It’s not just a “belief” that I blindly hold on to from hearsay and thought experiments. From all the people I’ve met, I can truly say that everyone has something enchanting about them. There are sweethearts now who are treating me relatively similarly, and though they are flattering, they’re just not… well, they’re not you. But what about you? What was so enchanting about you?
You and I have been wrought. You and I have struggled and wrestled with life and with each other. I’ve been more than the “cool girl” with you. You and I’ve had unspoken understandings. You and I’ve dared each other on. Or at least, I, you.
I kinda wish you did love me. But the fact is, I know you don’t. You respect me perhaps, and are excited to see me, and you share your thoughts and emotions with me, but at least I have the wisdom to see that, since is the second time around, these do not constitute love. There have been times when you’ve been concerned about my emotional health, or my whereabouts, or my academics and other activities, sure, but your concern is that of a friend.
I need to start seeing you that way. You are a friend, you are a friend, you are a friend. You are not my lover whom I am obliged to treat as a friend for fear of commitment, of change, of not being ready. Nor is it because of false modesty or clutching on to reputation and image. You are my friend because you are my friend. I was wrong to think otherwise. There is no secret story between us.
I’m sorry. I’ve idealized you into something you are not in order to feed my ego. I’ve made you promises you will never hear and given you things you’ve neither asked nor wanted. I’ve blurred lines and dirtied platonic friendship. Platonic friendship isn’t just about not wanting to be in a relationship with each other. It’s that serious bond of people who respect and love each other as friends, without any ulterior motives or self-satisfying fantasies.
You are my friend,
you are my friend,
you are my friend.
So is this me, wishing for nothing but friendship? Is this me giving up ever feeling sparks with you again? It’s scary, perhaps because, foolishly, I’ve already invested many hopes and dreams in you. Don’t worry, my head knew what was going on – I just let my heart think otherwise. Falling for you is safe – now. But one day I’m going to have to make a choice, and I know it’s not you. So I’ll save us the trouble and the tears, especially me, since you’re guarding yourself pretty well in the first place. I guess you can say I was just scared that you’d eventually fall for me, but now that I think about it, you probably never will – that was probably just me wanting you to. I don’t think I’ll have to worry about the pressure of having to reciprocate anything, because it’s just never going to happen. Certainty just makes everything so much easier to accept.
So yes, I’m okay with it. You and I are awesome, I get it. But I think I idealized what we are because I was already imagining what we could be. And based on that, I was acting and feeling in ways I shouldn’t.
I want you to be you, and me to be me. And being me means stubbornly remaining who I am and patiently waiting for the right one. I can’t make you what you are not, and I don’t want either of us to make that kind of compromise.
I recognize that I have this innate need to love – I like serving people. I like being kind and doing unexpected things. I like making big-time gifts. I like getting people sandwiches when they’ve missed lunch. I like walking people to their classrooms. I like reviewing their homework and academic output. I like showing them cool places to be at and things to do. I like writing poetry of people. I like being there if they’re going through something. I like watching the stars with people. I love to love. And I suppose it really is just who I am. There doesn’t have to be any incongruence here. Whatever tidal wave of passion I have, and as I’ve said in the past, I can always shower upon my family, friends, and even complete strangers. And I should wear that on my sleeve more. I already kinda do, but even more so. And just be comfortable in it.
I really love that the older I get, I learn how to love more. I think this is where my stalemate ends. You will still light me up. I will still care. We will still be friends. But the struggle is gone. You can just be, and I can just be. Haha, I don’t even know how to put it into words, but I’m suddenly okay now. And I know I can do what I need to do.