I’ve spent years writing my love life as a sitcom. I’ve written poetry books about unrequited love. I’ve dedicated nights to crying over men who only saw me as a friend. Nothing more. But usually still more. This was who I became. It was more relatable that way. I was suddenly the protagonist — the slightly awkward girl with a heart two sizes too big for her body. I’d spend the film lusting after someone who didn’t want me back. I’d love and love and hope for a morsel back and towards the end we think I might get it. But of course, I don’t. I gotta stay relatable, you know?
The girl doesn’t get the guy. This isn’t a Taylor Swift music video. This is life and real and excuse me while I try to understand why shit gets so hard so often.
I made a habit out of wanting the guy I knew I wouldn’t get. He was in a relationship or lived in a different time zone or sometimes straight up told me it was just sex. Much to the chagrin of the “Nice Guy”, I dismissed the guys I knew cared. The guys who would have prayed at my feet. When I was chased, I became turned off. When someone made an effort, I tried to disappear. I’m not saying it was healthy. I’m saying I felt safe in being unwanted. It was a challenge. It was some sick game I was playing with myself. Let me show you how worthy I am. Let me prove just how lovable I really am.
Spoiler alert: no one wins a game like that.
It was how I kept men at a distance. It was how I assured myself I’d go to bed with myself. I could obsess over someone I knew would push me away. I could imagine a life with essentially a fictional character. This is how I felt good. Nothing real. Always fictional. Always hypothetical. Always one day. Always maybe.
Now is not hypothetical.
Now is kindness and inspiration and sex and wanting me to stay long into the morning. Now is advice and nights of hashing it out and discussing career goals and making me feel better when I just want to give up. Now is deciding to get over the fear of sleeping with someone else and leaning into an arm around my waist. Now is actually liking it. Now is dimples and warm eyes I don’t want to look away from. Now is me, not running. Now is me, aware this is something so good and to fuck it up would be a ghost to live with.
I am still that awkward girl with a heart two sizes too big. But I’m allowing her to be cared for. I’m allowing her to care for someone right back.
I’m not standing in her way anymore.