I was looking through my old blog about a week ago when I came across a letter that I wrote to no one in August of 2012. I titled the post “A Love Letter,” and when I read it, it made me smile in that sad way that you do when you feel bad for someone. That “oh, sweetie” smile. You know what I’m talking about. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we? What was life like in August of 2012 for me? It was the month I got hired at the job where I currently am writing this post. It was the month after I returned from my first road trip with friends, which was wildly successful and AWESOME. It was the month after I saw one of my good friends in his home out west. And I think that’s where we have to begin this story.
I got in a little bit of trouble the last time I talked about a college friend.[i] And maybe the friend I’m talking about today will read this blog post and not be happy either. But I’m writing it anyway, because I think it needs to be written in order for me to get everything that I used to feel out in the open.
Back in August of 2012, I was very unhappily single. Why do I say it like that? Because the person I was in love with didn’t love me back. I know, I know, you could have written a prime time dramedy about my life then. So, because I didn’t live in Hollywood, so therefore, no one knew to write a dramedy based on my life, I wrote this love letter to no one.
You have no idea how many people were telling me that I had to give up on this guy. He was one of my best friends, though, and I had completely convinced myself that it was better for me and for him if I clung to the friendship in the hopes that he would change. He was planning his proposal to his girlfriend, for God’s sake! And I helped him! That’s where I was. I was so desperately craving love that I was helping the guy that I was in love with plan his grand proposal to another girl. Yeah. It was a rough time.
My main issue in the letter that I wrote to no one was how people find love after they leave college. I wasn’t in a place where I could really meet anyone. I worked with all women at the new job and the one before that. I didn’t have time to do the MeetUp groups, and even if I did, I didn’t really want to go in blind. I signed up for online dating – yes, that’s where I was. I was trying to meet guys on line. I was 23! Isn’t that ridiculous? But I was so starved for affection that I was looking for it everywhere.
The funny thing was, after every date, I would text that one friend and tell him about the guy. I would tell him everything. Even though there was a time zone separating us, I was still under the delusion that he would eventually come to his senses and realize that I was the one he was meant to be with, rather than the girl he’d been dating for four years, at that point. Four years! Who was I kidding? Like I said, I was the delusional one.
There was this Glee original song that I always listened to when I was in a particularly pathetic mood.[ii] It was called “Pretending,” and it’s still one of those songs that makes me stop in my tracks. It still makes me think of my friend. After all of this time, I still wish that one of us would have cleared the air. In any case, here’s the part that always gets me:
How long will I fantasize?
Make believe that it’s still alive
Imagine that I am good enough
And we can choose the ones we love
I was so sure that it was some higher power that was drawing me toward him. And this song was my proof. Like I have said twice now, DELUSIONAL. But I had to set the scene. This is where I was when I wrote this love letter. I was frustrated. I was sad. I was ready to move on without him, because I couldn’t take him breaking my heart anymore.
And now look at me. Look at how far I’ve come in the last year and a half.
In reading that letter, I didn’t really know anything at all. I was so sure that I knew what love was, but I didn’t. How do I know that I didn’t? Because, looking back on it, I was wrong. I was so wrong. I thought that it was about who I could talk baseball with, and who would be okay with the fact that I hated Tuesdays. I thought I was just looking for someone who would put up with me, and I would be happy, because my friend put up with me, and I was so sure I could have been happy with him. But I was wrong.
There are more important things that just finding someone who puts up with you. You need someone who not only accepts you, but helps you see how much more you can be. And I never found that with my friend, because he never loved me. One sided love isn’t real. It is entirely a delusion, because love is a two way street. That’s what I’ve learned the most in the last year and a half. That, and I’m learning how to let go.
A month after I wrote that letter, I met H on a blind date at a bar that I randomly found on the internet. What I liked about him was that he didn’t walk me to my car, and he didn’t tell me how beautiful I was. He treated me like a person, not like someone he was hoping to get lucky with or anything.[iii] We had actual conversation that didn’t start with, “So, I read on your profile that you like…” It was natural. I was so concerned with how I was going to meet the person I was going to spend my life with that I almost missed it when it was right in front of me. But real love? It waits for you to figure it out.
As for my friend? He’s steadily moving away from me, probably because his now-fiancé hates my guts. I’m sad, but it’s okay. He truly was one of my best friends, but I’m not sure the relationship was ever as even as I thought it was. I always had to visit him, for example. And I’m not even invited to his wedding. So. It still hurts when you lose friends, as I talked about last time I wrote about something this personal. But I was warned by all of my girlfriends that this was going to happen. You can’t be friends with a married guy when his wife wishes you’d burst into flames. So. I’m trying to let go. It’s hard, but I’m trying. And I really do wish him every happiness, because that’s what he deserves.
And I’m glad it wasn’t me that he ended up with, because I found someone who makes me better instead of just accepting me as I am. And guess what? If it weren’t for H, I might still not be showering on Tuesdays.[iv] Weird, right?
Everything truly does work out for the best, doesn’t it?
[i] Someone passed my blog along to her, and she posted it on Facebook in a way that was supposed to be a jab at me. But it wasn’t, really. I don’t really know how else to explain what happened. She thought I was starting a fight, I think, but really, I was just sad.
[ii] And now it completely breaks my heart to listen to it because Cory Monteith died last summer.
[iii] Spoiler alert – online dating is like that. It’s uncomfortable.
[iv] Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.