Many of us avoid feelings like the plague. We say “he doesn’t mean anything” or “it’s just a hook up, I don’t care about her.” I don’t talk about my feelings, I don’t think about them, and I don’t act on them. I’d rather keep them to myself and silently suffer than put myself out there. To put it nicely into perspective, I had a male friend once say, “You friend-zone yourself so you don’t have to get close to anyone.” He’s right about that one.
But no matter how many times we can deny or stay silent, we all have that person. You know who I’m talking about, right? The one person you constantly think about in the back of your mind, like a little gnat buzzing around that refuses to leave. And no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you fight it, you just can’t get yourself to stop caring. You can stop talking to them, you can block their number, you can delete every single picture of the two of you together, and yet you still care.
Remember the first time you knew you were in love? You were with them, probably not doing anything important and it hits you like a damn brick wall. You think to yourself, holy shit I’m in love. And it eats you alive inside if you don’t say anything. It’s screaming “LET ME OUT!!” It pleads, “TELL THE WORLD!”
But maybe you’re not ready. Or you don’t think they love you back. It’s absolutely and completely terrifying. Why would anyone want to feel this way?
Because it feels so good when you’re with them. The way they look at you makes it all worth it, right? Do all the hushes words and secret whispers just for you make it worth it? But then it hurts. And it keeps hurting and hurting and hurting.
Love isn’t supposed to hurt. It’s people that hurt you. And when it’s done right, all the corny shit everybody talks about actually becomes true. It sucks, but in a good way, because you become the exact type of person you tell yourself you’d never become.
Love makes you feel like you’re on cloud fucking nine. And if you’re with the right person, they can annoy you and you’ll still love them. What a concept. Yet sometimes the people we fall in love with aren’t the people we’re supposed to end up with in the long run. Life’s a bitch like that.
To quote the infamous John Green, “What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person.” I know you’ve been there before. I’ve most definitely been there before. We put the people we love on a pedestal and each time they do something even remotely hurtful, we shrug it off. They didn’t mean to, we tell ourselves. It won’t happen again. And then it does.
If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll marry your “gnat.” They’ll be the person you spend the rest of your life with. You’ll grow old together, like those cute little old couples in the park that hold hands and talk about their grandchildren. Beautiful! But for the rest of us, you won’t always marry your gnat. Years from now, you’ll still remember them. You might forget their voice, or the words they told you. But you’ll remember how they made you feel, the touch of their skin against yours, and the dozens of smiles shared between the two of you. Remember them. Cherish these memories.
We all fall. Hard. There’s no way to avoid it. There’s no mathematical equation, or strategy, or mind games that you can play to avoid getting your heart broken.
Honestly the more you try to deny it, the more real it becomes. It happens to everyone and it will keep happening to everyone until we all cease to exist.
What a comforting thought, eh? At least we’re all in it together.
To the person I first loved, to my own personal gnat—thank you. Thank you for hurting me. Thank you for allowing me to experience such incredible feelings for another person. Thank you for making me feel over the moon one minute and then feeling like I got pummeled by a stampede of running bulls the next. Thank you, because I taught myself to recover. I am strong! I am happy! I am new! I will always love you but I will not always be in love with you.
And that, my dear friends, is peace.