Twenty

It doesn’t feel any different than nineteen, eighteen, seventeen. Except for the fact I’m sitting in the front seat of my parents van, my dog on my lap, tirelessly staring out the window and enjoying the feeling of contentment.

I feel no older, I look no older, but I know that something clicked inside of me.

“My daughter, she just turned  twenty, she’s going to ____.”

My mother says to any normal stranger in the distance. She beams, I choke on the inside. Considering the situation I was in before and my relationship with both parents. I can feel something strange in their voice, almost pride. Yet they won’t tell me and I won’t let them know I know.

I had to say hello for the first time in over a year and in less than a week another goodbye. This one was the most difficult; the dogs remembered me, but couldn’t remember why. Now they never wanted me to leave.

My parents as well, as they wave down the driveway, I can see tears welling up in their eyes. The pride is leaking out of them. My own follows suit and suddenly it hits me: I’m now twenty years old and I’m glad it’s raining so nobody could see me cry.

I cry for a good thirty minutes in the solitude of my room, arms and legs sprawled out in pain and my face is contorted in emotion. It hurts so much to say goodbye, and I say it so often in my life.

Leaving

I was met up by somebody who hurt me very badly. The same one whose been hurting me for the past few weeks.

“I miss you, what I did was wrong. I want to make things better.”
Deep in my heart, I knew I needed to hear it. I wanted him in my life, I knew he couldn’t be. I wanted to play devils advocate. I promised to Skype him this weekend so we can talk about what happened between us.

What ensued was a temper that came from me. I suddenly became very closed. Self defensive. I was terrified, I wanted him in my life, but he hurt me once and a month doesn’t just change somebody forever. Regardless of who they were before.

I could not bring myself to trust him enough to talk to him normally. He grew frustrated, angry even and decided that he needed to break off the contact. Perhaps to protect me, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

I don’t exactly know what the right words for me right now are. I know for a fact I’m still healing, and he’s going to move on breaking young girls hearts with broken promises and taking what’s most valuable to them.

Or maybe he’s going to stop his ways and wonder how I’m doing, where I’m heading?

The Skype call never happened, as you can gather. As disappointed as I am about it. I’m not the one who lives with the regret of a loss that never should have happened. I’m the one who never should have responded back in the first place.

It hurts, I wonder what it would take to get rid of this pain?

Hiding

I got a text message from a man I barely know telling me that he loved me. Then a swift response (with different syntax) telling me it was the man who took me out on a date but wanted a purely sexual relationship with me. The original comment disappeared in this time and the man whose phone was taken talked to me about how strange the behavior of the other man was.

“He just walked into the room, took my phone, sent the message. I kicked him out. Real weird, and oh, everybody misses you here.”

I had the number of the man for some odd reason so I asked him about it. He said:

“It doesn’t matter because you moved.”
And forty minutes later:
“Do you still have feelings for me?”

I spent the whole day thinking about how I should answer it. I didn’t hate him, even though I was told that because of what he did to me I had to. My friends were surprised at the level of compassion I gave him, given the circumstance and eleven hours later I came up with a response:

“I don’t know what to think about you. But I know for sure, I don’t hate you.”

“Why don’t you hate me? I did everything just so that you could hate me.”

I won’t say I’m incapable of hate, because hatred, in my opinion, is misplaced love and understanding, manifested in frustration and anger. Its a way for somebody to control your whole being.

Plus, somebody so desperate to hope for somebody to hate is trying to hide something, trying to hide from reality.

“In the moment I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat them, then in that very moment, I also love them.” Orson Scott Card

Stumbling words

In complete contrast to my previous post, I received two phone calls. One from a dear friend and another from an almost stranger.

The dear friend went on to tell me how proud she was of me and that she’d try to visit if her job didn’t conflict.

The other call was about thirty minutes. It was a long stumbling soliloquy that could be summarized in the following sentence:

“I wish I could protect you from harm, but I have to let you go now because I love you and was too scared to admit it before.”

I had to cheerfully help this man sort out his feelings and that he needed to be bolder, convince him that he was a nice person but not right for me yet, but right in the way to tell me I’m worthy of a kind, gentle love, the kind in the story books.

Growth

It’s been a while, and a lot has happened.

And I mean a lot.

I’m getting ready for another move; this time continental. Goodbye southern US and welcome to the Big Apple… area.

I’m reflecting on these last nine months and my own personal achievements within them. Its bittersweet but at the same time the world moves on and I need to keep moving with it.

I mean:

At nineteen years old, I traveled the world over, I saw things and did things no normal teenager should ever know or do. I moved by myself to another country to do something I thought was right and faced opposition from those that love me. I faced the uncertain conclusion of when I would see my parents again and how much it would hurt that some people could drive to see them.

I receive an associates degree on Tuesday, a degree that takes only six rigorous months of completion. I am going to work at a good institution and my future is set.

Why did I worry or care so much before? Why did I let my insecurities run my life. I now realize I’m meant for so much more and from now on I’m not-  nor ever want to hold back.

And I have all the support I need, never dry of love.

Dating and all that jazz

One of my best friends here told me once: “they won’t outright say this; but there are many people in love with you.”

I never took his words to heart, until later.

Weeks later. Months later.

Tomorrow I will be going out with a guy I knew for a long while but never knew how to talk to me. Tomorrow I will open up my eyes and heart to something that I can’t control.

Healing and acceptance

I’ve done a whole lot of growing up this past year or so. To the point where I understand when it’s time and a good moment to let go and still love.

Even with all of this healing, I could not attract a person who I thought I truly needed in my life. We hold a candle at arms length to each other but the realization that it’ll be nothing more is slightly heart breaking but at the same time beautiful.

Whoever he chose is what he chose, and thankfully, although shy with my words and choices, I’m okay with it. If he didn’t like my awkward self to the point where I’d have to change to be with him then he’s not worth it. Maybe one day he’ll look back and realize but right now isn’t the time. I need to support him where he goes regardless of how I feel.

Right now he’s happy I’m awkward, in happy I’m awkward. I’m happy about a lot of things right now because I’m beginning to learn how to walk through my past and present with fewer difficulties knowing full well that people love me for my awkward and shy self. And that one day, that guy will walk into my life and tear it up and suddenly I’ll realize that being my awkward and shy self was what he needed in his life, nothing more, nothing less.

Love and luck!

-Mem