I Know What You Want, But Here’s What You Need

Flickr / Maria Morri
Flickr / Maria Morri

You say you want reliability because he’s never there when you want him. You say you want honesty because you’ve heard about the way he is and the way he tends to be. You say you want ambition because you see how he’s a flickering flame shrouded by thick, black soot. You say you want commitment because to you, he’s distracted by another girl with barely any substance. You say you want all these thing and then someone else comes along, tries to sweep you off your feet and tries to give you everything you want and have asked for.

He’s reliable; always there waiting for you just in case you need him. He’s honest; spilling out of his mouth all his deepest fears and wants. He’s ambitious; or at least he’s trying, trying to be what you want and the person he wants to be. He’s committed; always waiting for you after class and looking at you in the way all girls sought to be looked at. He’s all the things you want but you stop, still for half a second and change your mind. You say, you don’t want reliability, honesty, ambition or commitment. It’s not that easy. What you’re looking for, you say, are these attributes melted into the fleshy body of the one you want.

You’ve told the world what you want, even though you’re not sure about it, and you’ve kid yourself into believing that if you got this someone to give to you all you want, you’d be happy. You won’t. You won’t and it’s not your fault. Humans are inherently flawed, we do what we shouldn’t and say things that are hurtful. We spill out vitriol from the same mouths that once whispered sweet nothings into another’s ear. The hands we use to pack our lives away into little brown cardboard boxes are the same ones that traced the outline of a sleeping body. We run blindly into the dark searching for what we think we want and not what we need.

You don’t need reliability, honesty, ambition and commitment from this boy. No, you need it from yourself. We are so called up with this idea of love that we forget, we must love ourself before we can even comprehend loving another. Let me tell you what you need:

You need reliability because you need to be able to depend on yourself. When you’re out in the cold alone. When it all goes to shit and you’re left wondering where it all went wrong. For when you’re chasing your dreams and all you have is yourself to get you where you need to be and get done what you have to do. For when you’re surrounded by all these distractions, for when you’re trying to get through college, trying to get through life. For yourself, you need reliability.

You need honesty because you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say to yourself that you’re happy with who you see in the reflection. You need honesty for when you have to look at your friends and ask yourself which ones will be there for you 10 years from now and which one you have to leave behind. For when you’re deceiving everyone and yourself that you are happy. For when you get caught up in the gossip mill and somehow everything seems to become who did what and who. For when you go through the next 5 years of your life and begin to lose the person you are for a person you don’t even recognize. For yourself, you need honesty.

You need ambition because you’re going to go far in life. You’re going to wake up one day and everything will have fallen into place, maybe not in the way you had expected but it will have. You need it for when you’re buried under an endless list of assignments and procrastinating seems so much more enticing. For when everyone doubts you and tells you you’re dreams aren’t worth it. For when what you have meticulously planned starts to slip like honey through your fingers. For yourself, you need ambition.

You need commitment because one day someone will come along and you’ll want to shift your dreams around for them. You need to be able to count on yourself to stay true to who you are despite how intoxicating the other person is. You’ll need it for when you have lazy days that turn into weeks, for when you’ve forgotten about your dreams and goals. For when someone leaves you and you’ve forgotten what it was like to be without them, you need to be committed to yourself and to pick yourself up. For when everyone seems to flaking out on you, forgetting about you for another person or leaving you for something new and shiny. For yourself, you need commitment.

There is a whole world out there but you want it all narrowed down to one boy who doesn’t even know who he is. Put two blind men on a busy road and tell them to cross it; they’ll both die. If you had him, it’d be a tragedy. It’d be two people clinging on to something that won’t give purchase. It’d be two people trying to love another when they have yet to learn how to love themselves. Give it time, you are young and you have your life ahead of you. You need to find yourself before you start the search for another. TC mark

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