I Am Slowly Learning I Owe No One My Attention

I want to give you my time. I want to give you all the love I have. I want to call you every morning and wish you love and luck and beauty.

I want to see you every night and listen to you babble about everything that happened through your day and I want to care about it down to the very last silly detail you think doesn’t matter.

Because it matters. To me it always matters.

I want to be attentive as you speak and I want to be with you as you celebrate your tiniest victories and I want my shoulder to be there ready to carry you if you ever fall.

I want to be there, present in every moment, showing you how much you mean to me.

I want to prove to you that I will not get bored. That I can love you till eternity.

That I am ready to spend the rest of my life solving your problems if that means we get to be together because in together I find all the meanings I have been looking for.

But we are not together and by not together I mean that we are there but we are never really there.

By not together I mean that I sleep every night doubting myself a little more.

I wake up every day and start thinking in what way have I turned to the bad person in the story. I wake up wondering how it must be me, the sister, the friend, the worker and the lover that is always not good enough.

We are not together because my eyes scream that I love you but your words of love sound still. Because every time you call me I answer and every time I call you, you have something else to do.

Because in this relationship you speak more than you listen and I listen more than I speak, all the time and you keep repeating this is how we complete each other and I keep returning home with words to say but nobody to hear them but it is okay I tell myself.

It is okay I tell myself as I stuff it with reminders that this is the price of loving. You owe who you love your attention. You owe them your time. You owe them your soul.

But this is not right. This is not true. What is true is that I owe every friend, every person who ever made me feel something nice my respect, my gratitude because they must have shown me life in a way I have never seen before.

However, the truth also is that I am slowly learning I do not owe anyone my attention if it means I get to give it continuously while receiving nothing in return.

I am slowly learning that I do not owe people my soul if it means they take and never give if it means I end up soulless.

I do not believe in holding a notebook and a pen in a relationship and writing down what you get and what you give, trying to always do exactly as much as what has been done to you.

I do not believe in thinking that I should not help someone because when I was in their shoes they did not help me.

I believe in pushing every evil with goodness and not with more evil and I believe in pushing hatred with love and never with more hatred.

But I also believe that it’s never fair for one to keep trying to do good and to always be faced with apathy.

I also believe that love isn’t something people are entitled to, it’s something people are lucky to get and lucky to give and we should continuously do our best to keep it from fading.

I also believe that I am a human that can get tired of feeling unappreciated, that can choose eventually to walk away not as a threat but rather as a way of saving oneself.

There are facts I face myself with now, like how if someone chooses to walk away and I choose to accept it, it is not my fault.

Like how if someone wants to buckle up their emotions and run away from me despite trying to let them find safety within me then there is nothing I should do about it.

Like how if in a relationship the other person chose to not reciprocate my love and attention then that is their choice but I also have a choice here which I am totally free to make and that is to stop giving that love and attention if at any point I felt drained.

I am not supposed to be a rehabilitation center every time I am with someone. I am not supposed to nourish them while I, myself, wilt. I am not supposed to be the one asked to forgive their naivety or how they never meant to cause me any harm and let us just resume our friendships and love relationships because that is what you owe people you love, your kindness and continuous submission.

Today I tell myself that instead of that, I am supposed to learn that my love should be earned. It should not be taken for granted.

That this is what people who assume they love us owe us, to show us in whatever good way they know of that they truly really mean it, how they want us in their lives.

I do not think like this because I am selfish but because I was driven to do so and now I realize there is this thin line between being selfish and being self-aware. That same line exists between being self-aware and being too self-conscious you start becoming insecure.

I am slowly learning to find myself in the middle zone between those two lines.

To understand my worth without becoming selfish and without thinking too low of myself that I start pushing people away out of protection.

All I am asking of myself is to know when to draw a line. To spot when I am treated poorly and when I am running out of love for people who do not care or who are taking my love for granted and to be firm if I ever took a chance to walk away because convincing people to treat me better was not applicable.

To be fine if I chose myself over someone and saved my energy for something or someone who is better.

To remind myself that for me and for anyone actually to help another, we need to help ourselves first and walking away when you feel underappreciated is a way of self-help.

But to not forget that attention is important, rather critical.

To remember that attention is the effort that should be pulled in every single relationship to keep its love and sacred notions always alive.

And that regardless of any past bad experience I have had where my attention was not appreciated, attention matters and most people when shown love and care will do more than they are asked.

So as I am slowly learning that I don’t owe everyone my attention I will teach myself to give it anyway, if I can and If I want and If I think that a relationship is worth saving then I will try again while believing with all my heart that rain is more likely to grow a rose than cause a flood. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

An Egyptian medical student who believes that words can heal a wound and that good food and good books can fix two thirds of our problems.

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