Every so often, we come across people that unwittingly change us. We meet them and we immediately want to be everything they want us to be. We want to be their perfect person, we want to become what they’ve always imagined they’d have. We drop everything and plunge in head-first into something that we trust will be good for us, something that we hope will fill us. Something that we hope will complete us. We choose to push ourselves aside for the happiness of a particular person, knowing that their happiness will in turn make us happy.
And it does work. It works on mornings that you see a smile on their face because you have coffee and breakfast waiting for them. It works when you see them genuinely excited over something they had simply mentioned they wanted, and there it was waiting for them when they got home from work. It works when you see them slyly hiding a smirk as you show them something they had been dying to see. It works when you make them feel like the only person in the world, they eat it up, you build them up.
It works for as long as you let it, and then you realize that the person isn’t doing the same for you. You question their acts and inevitably compare them to your own. Things become sticky when you begin to do things in hopes that they pick up on it, and do the same for you. You no longer give out of the goodness of your heart, you now give out of an expectation that is needed to be met because you’ve kept at it for so long.
And it hurts.
It hurts because you wonder how long you have to keep this up. It hurts because not only has someone else pushed you aside but you have even pushed yourself aside and now you’re left with nothing. You’re left with pieces and no glue. It hurts because you preached about something that you thought you had, that you thought you knew. You shunned people off that were only trying to look out for you. It hurts because you now have a giant lump in your throat called pride that you can’t manage to get down. It hurts because you’re starting from the bottom once again, and you’re not used to being this low.
So you try. And you try until it aches. You try until you have to be brutally honest, not only with the other person, but with yourself. You try until all you have left to give is equivalent to begging drops to come out of the sky knowing you’re living through a drought. You’re empty. And you’ve become exhausted. And you willingly come to the conclusion that the perfect picture you have laid out on the table for others to see is no longer existent. Because it never was.
And you crumble. You crumble into pieces and shards, and you wonder how long it’ll be until it hits you or until you find someone willing to help you pick yourself back up. You become selfish. You become ruthless. You no longer care about anyone but yourself, because doing the opposite is what got you to this spot in the first place.
But you still believe. You still believe there is time in starting over. You believe in the purity of love and friendship. You believe in finding someone who believes you hung the moon. You believe there will be someone who won’t take you for granted. Because even the biggest, baddest, coldest, most independent person still yearns to be craved, to be touched, to be loved exactly for who they are. Someone who won’t judge. Someone who will be honest. Someone who isn’t going to stop trying after already knowing that you aren’t going anywhere.
Because sometimes they do leave. Sometimes they do grow a pair and realize that they are still young and able. That they have so many more years left to live and so many opportunities to take. So many more loves to experience, so much more to give. They leave in hopes of finding themselves again, and chasing after what they’ve always wanted because it wasn’t fair for someone else to get what they wanted and you not doing the same for yourself.
So you’ll run.
And you know you’ll run out of breath, and you know that your lungs will get heavy and begin to burn because you’ll be moving too fast for your own good. And you know you’ll have to walk, sometimes crawl, but you know that you’ll be moving a lot faster than you were before. And for now, that’s enough.