By Brie Schmidt
I woke up from a dream that made me feel sort of uncomfortable: the one guy who probably fell harder for me than anyone else ever did was there, apparently our paths crossed again, and he whispered, “I love you,” with accompanying sign language – not that I know sign language, but in my dream I suppose I did, and his message, though said in low tones, was loud and clear. And this time, I was paying attention.
Truthfully, he was a friend of mine in high school and I never felt attracted to him, so we never spent time together actually getting to know each other. I never invited him to hang out with me; he once invited me to a dance.
Though I awoke from my dream to a buzzing alarm, I knew how it would’ve ended: I was to embrace him and finally, after all this time, reciprocate the feelings he possessed for me. I finally realized maybe he was a catch, or at least worth giving a shot. And in real, lucid life, I’m aware that he’s now in a different country and, as far as I know, in a relationship with someone else.
Meanwhile, besides having dreams involving guys from high school, I’ve been disappointingly consumed by someone, someone that I hope the universe will send some signals to, to say, “Hey, why don’t you text her, maybe make some plans to meet up.” With each passing day, though, I know this isn’t going anywhere.
This is social karma.
It comes about in various forms. For me, I witnessed it in the dream that taunted me, telling me, “This guy would’ve given you everything and now it’s too late, and you sit there thinking you could give some other guy everything and you’ll probably never even see him again. You could’ve had what you wanted already, but you pushed it away.”
Similarly, and embarrassingly, I recently decided to go through some old Facebook comments and messages, only to realize I’m at fault for more social awkwardness than I ever knew. I went back six years, to when I was at a new school and felt like such a new kid. At the end of that school year, I was somewhat devastated at how I never managed to fall into a web of other kids like I wanted – I never seemed to “find my place.” But in those Facebook conversations, I saw evidence of the following:
- me not calling/texting a friend back
- me bailing on a friend after we made plans
- me completely failing to acknowledge a guy basically asking me out on a date
- me getting some really nice compliments, but, being sort of oblivious, never giving the love back
I was so enthralled by being a new kid and attempting to squeeze myself in various places where I hoped to fit that I didn’t even see the social opportunities right in front of me. I was also plagued by the moderately common illness known as “fear of rejection,” which kept me socially bedridden, waiting for others to come visit. Sometimes, you don’t realize these things until later. You look back and you’re not sure why you were such a dick, but you regret it, and most likely, you’re paying the consequences for your karmic sins now. You missed out on some of those great people, you never dated so-and-so, and you’re not even dating so-and-so that you have your eye on now.
So like all karma, go through with the punishments, and then do some social karma charity work to get things balanced again: tell everyone with amazing hair that they have amazing hair, flatter someone of the opposite sex, ask someone to coffee that you’re not sure about, and send surprise texts to people you like. As karma has it, what goes around comes around.
My son from the age of three always tells me about the “creeper man” who lives in my mom and dads bedroom. He brings it up after he visits them. I made the mistake once of asking what he looks like. My son said “Oh, he doesn’t have a face.”
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