Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
– Carl Jung
Day by day, I’m feeling better. I still have highs and lows, but with each passing day, I feel myself return more and more to normalcy. It probably helps that a few close friends are back in town, and that my time in Tampa is dwindling. I’m excited for the independence and social life going back to university entails, and can’t wait to see my lovely friends, who I realize I’ve missed dearly. xoxo to you all 🙂
Today, I started thinking about Italy. Or more specifically, visiting Italy. This winter. I’ve always wanted to, and it’d be nice to avoid the brutal heat of a Mediterranean summer, but it only just occurred to me that I could actually fulfill my dream of seeing Rome, Pompeii, Cinque Terre, and more by the end of the year. Or early next year, at the very latest.
e x c i t e m e n t.
Also today, I went to the art museum downtown with one of my best friends and his girlfriend, who I got to meet in person for the first time. We brought my little sister along because I’m home alone with her the next two days, and Abby and I had a lot of laughs looking at art we didn’t understand and taking goofy pictures.
On another note, I’ve learned a good deal in the last week. One of the things I’ve realized is that even if someone is super fun and wonderful in person, if it’s constantly a hassle to get in touch with them and make plans to hang out, the friendship might not warrant the trouble. I have this guy friend who I love spending time with but who just plain sucks at communicating through text and committing to a plan, and after a year I’ve finally reached my wit’s end with it. It’s not that I’m unfriending him, and I’m sad because I truly enjoy his company, but I’m not planning to reach out anymore. It’s just frustrating and tiresome, and usually goes nowhere. That’s the thing with relationships: they involve two people. My parents taught me to go after what I want, but you can’t always live by that rule when it comes to wanting something from another person. You can’t make someone want you, or like you, or hang out with you or even talk to you. And you shouldn’t have to. If they aren’t interested in putting an equal amount of effort into the relationship, whatever kind it may be, then don’t force it. Try not to take it personally, and let it go. There are seven billion people on this planet—there’s no sense wasting time and energy on someone who won’t give you either.
“Sometimes you just give the wrong people the right pieces of your heart.”
Another thing I’ve realized is that distance provides perspective. I’m unsure whether I made this clear in sad songs, because I didn’t have much distance from the situation at that point, but it wasn’t love. Maybe it was the beginning of something we like to call “travel love,” or maybe it was the potential for something more, or perhaps I just got a small taste of something I wanted but couldn’t have. Either way, it still hurts, and was the first “heartache” of sorts I’ve ever felt. So it’s been a bit difficult to deal with, and will likely haunt me for awhile, but it showed me something important. A few things, actually. One, I have the capacity to feel that way about someone. Two, now I know that the ability to want and have and lose someone can cause immense pain, both in my mind and chest. And three, it showed me that there are people for me out there. For nearly a year now, I’d thought there was one, and I was so scared of letting him slip away. I fought for him because of that, maybe more than I should have. (Maybe that’s why I’m not fighting for this one—that, and I can take a hint. If feelings aren’t mutual or timing isn’t right, there’s nothing to fight for. Which all goes back to that “it takes two” philosophy I mentioned earlier.) But this second person and experience I had abroad showed me there was someone else. And given that things have seemingly ended there too, at least for now, I have faith there are more out there. More of those good, good guys who are tender and have pure hearts and make me melt a little inside. If neither of the ones I’ve known so far were it, then there have to be others.
“Stop chasing the waves. Let the sea come to you.”
In the meantime, I’m nineteen. I in no way, shape, or form want to settle down (and by that, I mean commit to a person or place that will keep me from doing what I want with my twenties). There’s way too much fun to be had: places to see, people to meet, parties to go to, and things to try. Sure, it would be nice having someone to share some of that with, but I’m scared that committing to someone would mean tying myself down. I like to feel free. Besides, it seems like I’m away too much to have a relationship at home, and home too much to have one abroad. I’ve been told by many people that I’m naturally flirty, and compliments spew easily from my mouth when I mean them; I’m an open, honest person with little filter, which is both a curse and a blessing. Because of this, people sometimes think I want or am looking for something when I’m really not. And half the time, I’m totally clueless about it all. I have lots of guy friends, and I love them to death, but I’m not interested in many guys. I’m picky. I have to feel something and I usually don’t, even if they’re textbook attractive or have a great personality. Something just needs to click for me and oftentimes it doesn’t, hence why I have lots of male friends but haven’t had many boyfriends. When I do like a guy, it’s overwhelming because I’m not used to having the emotions that come with interest, or at least interest beyond the physical. So I end up convincing myself I’m crazy, which really doesn’t help things at all. Because then I actually drive myself crazy. Note to self: CALM DOWN. Your feelings are valid. Your lack of feelings is valid. You aren’t insane. You aren’t doing anything wrong or weird. You simply think you are because you are a teenage girl with hormones and a tendency to overthink and worry. 🙂
I have to remind myself sometimes that there’s no rush, and that if it doesn’t work out it wasn’t the right person. That things falling apart isn’t necessarily my fault, and that rejection shouldn’t always be taken personally and internalized. It helps to look at myself and the guys I go for—often it’s not the nice, model-esque, tall-dark-and-handsome, but rather his funny and witty best friend, who may not be as cute but who makes me laugh and has pretty eyes. And other times, it’s the guy who’s both. So if a guy isn’t interested in me, it doesn’t mean I’m not pretty or funny or whatever—the lack of interest isn’t a reflection of me and my worth. It simply means I didn’t click for him, just like many great guys don’t click for me. I’m learning that it’s okay to have feelings (or more often for me, to not have them—I think that’s why I was taken aback after Poland), and to not overthink my actions or another person’s. Sometimes I get too inside my own head and overanalyze things that I either shouldn’t or can’t. Like I said, when it comes to a person, my strategy for everything else in life becomes absolutely useless, and maybe that’s why I’ve always felt so lost when it comes to pursuing guys (hence, why I usually don’t) and why I’ve sometimes stayed in friendships long past their expiration date. I’ve found in the last seven months that it’s best (and easiest) to just be my confident, relatively carefree, and sassy self, and things usually end up falling into place, one way or another.
“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.”
In 2017, I’ve really grown comfortable in my own skin, have let go of a lot of society’s expectations of me, and, all in all, have learned to love myself. I’ve become a much happier, more free spirited, and less harried individual. I am so proud of the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her. By no means am I perfect, and I will certainly continue to grow, but it’s nice after this rough past week to be able to sit here today and type this:
Or I will be, in any case.