This Is The Beauty Of Looking Back

Elizabeth Tsung

So, there he was, a cigarette on his lips, his hands gesturing wildly as he explained some complicated concept to my friend as she threw back her head in laughter at how effortlessly funny his knowledge on some random subject is. I stood in the corner, a glass of wine in my hand, trying so hard to avert my gaze from the beauty that was him.

I remember the first time I met him. It was a warm spring Sunday in late February.

Two months after we started, I was amused when he said he remembered the date on which we met. That day I had gone on a ‘date’ after ages, after I had blown this boy off at least twice. But it was a long weekend, and all my friends were busy, so I thought, why not!

Well, bad move, girl.

Have you ever been in a place where you go back, rewind to a particular moment and try to dissect what you could have done differently to change the situation? I bet you have. And it is quite a painful process.

“What if my friends did not have to go out that day? What if I had sprained my ankle? What if I had mysteriously fallen sick? What if I had to go to work on a Sunday? What if I never had installed goddamn Tinder on my phone?” And among all those ‘what ifs’ sat that biggest what if. “What if I never met him?”

If that had happened, I would have still been living in my old house (completely miserable and sad). I would have a non-existent social life. I would not be writing this blog (well, I am glad that I am)! But I would not have to see the man I like cracking a joke to my friend and she throwing her head back in laughter because “OMG, he is SOO FUNNY!”

Yes, I know he is. And on off days, when I am alone at home on a Sunday evening, I wish that I could tell him that he is funny and he is wonderful. That when he talks about his work and the subject of it with so much passion in front of our friends, I am in awe of him. Even if I scoff at him and say, ‘there he goes again with his boring statistics’, somewhere within I wish I was this passionate about anything in life. I wish I could tell him that I admire him for being this ray of positivity that seeped into my life when I least expected it. That the happy Berlin Art-parasites, The Artidote and ThoughtCatalog articles made sense to me all of a sudden.

But four months since the late February pizza and coffee date and here I am looking at the residual bits of our intimacy waning away and dreading that one day, he will be seeing someone else. And I will still be wanting him when I wake up in my bed alone on a Monday morning.

So, you wonder, where is the beauty in these painful experiences that I am narrating?

The beauty lies in the fact that I have all these wonderful memories of us that I want to treasure – of evenings spent drinking tea under a million fairy lights, of talking about everything till we saw the sun go up, of making Maggi at 2 30 AM, of playing the ’36 questions’ game (oh, it doesn’t work, just saying!) instead of sleeping on a work night and of tight hugs and goodbye kisses and “when do I see you agains”.

There is beauty in trying to hold on and in reliving every moment inside your head when you sit outside on your terrace trying to take your mind off of your failed romance. There is beauty in trying to be calm when all you want to do is tell him that it is so difficult for you to have him around all the time and seeing him treat you differently than before. There is beauty in knowing that you adore someone enough to know that you don’t want anything back in return (even if that makes you sound like completely deranged person!)

And there is beauty in knowing that despite all that you are going through, there is still hope in you – that if you could like him, you can like someone else in the future. And this whole experience is only making you stronger than you were before. That if you can come out of this with flying colours, then you can come out of anything and then still have the courage to love again.

All you need to know right now is that everyone you lose is not a loss! TC mark

More From Thought Catalog