You Asked Me Not To Look For It So I Did: I Found Your Tumblr

You explained to me once the difference between trust and expectations and I still don’t understand. When you trust someone, you expect them to uphold certain standards set by the relationship. There is no contract or blood bond that binds you to these rules, but as I’ve understood it, that’s where trust comes in. But I was wrong and you were right, and I was small and you were big, and the story goes on.

No, according to you, there is trust, which is having faith in someone, and then there is the expectation that everyone will eventually let you down so it’s wise to have a safeguard for when that time comes.

Perusing online, I found your Tumblr. Maybe I went looking for it and maybe I didn’t (I did). You can’t just say, “I don’t want you to see it” and expect me to never actively search for it. Your mistake, not mine. A couple clicks of my keyboard are all it took. I typed the username into the search bar and the yellow picture of your curly hair and callused, guitar-picking fingers appeared first. Your predictability genuinely shocked me. You couldn’t have added some numbers, at least? They would be 69 if you did, but the extra effort would’ve been noted.

Due to your lazy efforts, you’ve now presented me with a whole new ethical dilemma: do I click or do I not? I fell victim to the chase, as any nosey curious woman would, but could I commit to my decision? Was I enacting the trust v. expectation philosophy? According to standard protocol, my over-analysis began. Why would you not want me to see it? Was it a test? Were there things to be hidden? And if it were the latter, why could the whole Tumblr universe see these truths but, but I couldn’t?

So I clicked. Highly saturated nudes of women with snake tattoos, sepia-stained images of the beach with “profound” quotes (from “anonymous”) and Jimi Hendrix, of course. These were all the things I expected to find and didn’t. This Tumblr was far more intimate and personal than I expected you to be with the web and with myself.

The first post was a picture. Hazy green eyes struggling to find the camera’s flash through a cloud of smoke bellowing from your lips. Faint white rings that dissipated and, I assume, eventually reunited with the smoke haloing towards the top of the frame. I’m left to make this assumption about the smoke patterns only because I wasn’t the one you had your arms around and I wasn’t the one with bloodshot eyes reaching for that same flash. The picture was captioned by a couple of your melodramatic lines of poetry which could be summed up by the lyrics from a My Chemical Romance song (look at how they turned out). You missed her long brown hair, and the way she wore her jeans. The memories you two had could last an eternity and blah blah blah.

Are “assumptions” something to be considered in your argument of trust and expectation? Are assumptions and expectations one more concept I can’t decipher? I would imagine that they fall under the expectations column.

The second post was a picture of a tattoo that went across your ribs, two black and white nautical stars, and was taken on a beach in Connecticut. The orange puddle near the corner of your towel, and the corner of the picture, was from when I spilled my artificially flavored mango smoothie in the sand. The picture was posted on April 13th but you got the tattoos on April 8th. I remember because it was a week before my birthday and, as a result, you couldn’t afford to buy me a gift afterwards. Luckily you had an extra $20 lying around and could afford to buy me a pair of lacy underwear that was on sale at Victoria’s Secret. For future reference: it’s always wise to take the $3.99 tag off of the gift. It’s safe to assume the rest went to the 15-piece that you smoked on your way to my birthday dinner and hey, you even saved a dollar for later.

Next were lyrics to one of your songs. I remember sitting on the floor leaning against a desk piled high with more lyrics to more unwritten songs. Your “dungeon,” as you liked to call it, perhaps aptly so, was dimly lit only by a cheap desk lamp from Target that shed light on your wheeled desk chair. Your curly hair hung over hazy green eyes and your callused fingers strummed the chords of a song that I’ll never forget. With admiration, I watched your Adam’s apple toggle up and down through the skin stretched over your vocal chords. I sat and complimented your crackling high notes and the bleating goat hums from your reverb as you yelled out about your oppressive girlfriend and your expectations. I don’t know if I’d consider myself “oppressive.” On the contrary, I consider myself pretty liberal — a trait I extracted from my philosophy of trust.

Before I found your Tumblr, I assumed expected I could change your mind. I had faith in the idea that with enough good behavior I could ease your burdened soul and teach you to trust in the world, and then possibly trust in me. This proved to be much harder than I’d imagined.

I was once posed with the question of what it would take for a person to change. Little change, big change — there is no difference. Change is change and it’s always something most people don’t want to deal with. And let’s be honest, the people who “love change” kind of suck and are lying to themselves. People are only willing to change their habits when it becomes more inconvenient for them not to. When you were afraid of losing me, I asked why? Why, until this very moment, do you give a damn? Your answer, interestingly enough, was that you were afraid of how quickly I could live without you.

Post number four: a homemade music video. I’m beginning to assess that you use this Tumblr as a self-promoting PR tool. Unfortunately so — and many companies will attest to this — public relations don’t fix bad behavior. It’s refreshing to not have to look you in the eye and say that your voice is unique like Gorillaz front man, Damon Albarn. It’s just very commonly not good. The name of this song in particular escapes me, but the subject matter you made very clear. The video begins with a retro film countdown: 4 (beep), 3 (beep), 2 (beep), 1 (beep). The color of your brown corduroys grows darker, starting at the knees down to the ankle-deep water that you’re standing in. The camera shakily pans up while your hair falls back and you stare nonchalantly into a setting sun. The music starts, dubbed over a poor quality video of you and your friends walking along the lake shore, but it’s obvious something else is on your mind: sex. Finally, the romantic song I’ve been waiting for. After long, sleepless nights, I’m so honored that the one flattering topic you chose to sing about me is my willingness to have sex with you. Luckily nothing too specific. Only your typical “Your Body is A Wonderland” type stuff that you’ll be able to eventually recycle. A couple word changes, “Your blonde brown/dark hair hiding those pale blue green eyes,” and you’re set.

Let me begin to clarify. It has never been a matter of easiness (or carelessness); it has always been a matter of self-respect. If a relationship has reached a precipice, an ultimatum, the point of sink or swim, most people will drown. This is not to say that a person never cared, or does not still care, but it illuminates the idea of necessary change. Obviously the reason behind the problems extend deeper than the eye can see, but down to a place where only the heart can sense. People may care, but this does not mean that people in fact love. A person will care up until the point of sink or swim — of change.

Think of asking someone to change, like when you asked that I stopped getting emotional about girls sitting in your lap for the sake of Halloween pictures. Now, think of someone asking you to change, like when I asked you to stop taking pictures with girls in your lap on Halloween. Hereto, the precipice. The change will take place or it won’t (again, most likely the latter). A person will care up until the point to where it becomes self-sacrificial and here the affection caps off. If I have done everything in my power to make this work and someone (you) has NOT, this person must either step-up to the challenge of making this relationship work or drown.

On the contrary, perhaps both individuals have exceeded their limits and pushed beyond visible boundaries to salvage a sinking ship. In this case, fear should not be considered as an option. If both individuals have reached this plateau and lack the desired results, then the feeling should be of mutual understanding. “We gave it our all and this was not enough.” Take it, and move on. I myself have never seen this happen, but I suppose in a world of all likely things it is possible.

When I found your Tumblr, I wished for the stereotypical pictures that you believed exhibited your depth of nature but really made you look like a douche. Instead, you gave me something better. The philosophical battle of trust vs. expectation didn’t apply to the world the same way it did to us. I heard “trust and expectations,” but what you meant was “expect the worst so that you’ll be elated by mediocrity.” What you meant was: “Don’t expect much change. Don’t trust me.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog