Sorry TLC, but it seems your song and I have to part ways. While I admire the fact that you’re willing to take charge and go after what you want, I’ve realized that I am in fact too proud to beg.
For a while, I was under the twisted impression that being desired by someone, no matter how I was treated, was better than having no one. For which I solely place the blame on my third grade teacher’s repetitive reading of cult classic children’s book, Something From Nothing. Seems I took the title of this book a little too literally, because up until recently this title encompassed a great many relationships in my life. I’d become too adept in the art of rationalization—also known as self-delusion—I’d taken up begging as a second language (known colloquially as BSL). I figured, persistence and optimism were the secret ingredients to making people love me.
I’d perfected the “no worries,” “all good” and “sure just let me know.”
My optimism levels were unparalleled. I mean, maybe he did fall asleep at 6p.m. on the night we were supposed to go out. And maybe his phone really was dead for two days so he couldn’t respond to a simple text. Perhaps the childhood friend who said they were going to ‘check their schedule so we could plan to hang out’ just didn’t get their schedule for that week. Or any week since. And maybe when you said you were probably going to stay in, but then proceed to bombard me with drunken Snaps of your night on the town, it wasn’t really your fault.
But I do realize that, cliché or not, actions have a language of their own. Despite the amount of time I spent pretending I couldn’t comprehend, I realized that expectation and disappointment were languages I was all too fluent in. No matter how many slices of Denial Pie I tried to feed myself, I couldn’t escape the cold hard truth—people make time for what they want to make time for.
If you’ve watched Breaking Bad, you’re probably familiar with Mike Erhmantraut’s famous mantra “no half measures”. Which essentially says, if you’re going to do something do it completely, or don’t do it at all (lest you suffer the consequences).
By trying to exist in eternal state of misguided optimism, accepting constant excuses and rationalizing things that were beyond logic, I might as well have changed my middle name to ‘Half Measure’. Spoiler alert: We saw how half-measures were Mike’s undoing, and despite him being a fictional character, I can’t say the results of my own accepted half-measures fared much better in my own non-fiction, non-televised life.
I understand. People change, situations change. Life happens and relationships evolve. But I also realize, childhood books aside, it’s not my job to try to make something from nothing. Hopefully TLC can forgive me.