If I Was Honest About Who I’ve Had A Crush On

FRESHMAN

V. Planning my outfits around the days that I would see him. So coyly ignoring him in class – s much that I think he thought I disliked him. Assuming that he liked me when he messaged me on Facebook just to chat. Talking loudly, acting confused about a math problem that I clearly knew how to do, just so V would hear and volunteer his help.

A myriad of other guys, obsessions with whom were hidden from them, from everyone. What was I even doing freshman year.

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Nothing. Nothing. Too immature for anything to happen, too mundane to be remembered. The shedding of EMC curled around my feet; paralysis came from envy.

JUNIOR

ML. My goodness. Yes, I did. I remember casually sitting in a spot that was sort of on the way out of my last class (but, you know…30 minutes after my last class had ended), just because I knew that he would walk by that spot and sometimes say hi to me. I remember my heart filling with joy when his friend insinuated, during the frikin’ goodbye, that ML had liked me. I remember the breathes I held, waiting for him to respond on Facebook messenger, and the wonderful butterflies when he did, when he said of course he would always respond. I remember pushing so hard until he finally told me he liked me.

SNK C. I led him on. I know that now. I led him on under the pretense that I hadn’t known his feelings, while really – I’d known his feelings. Maybe not directly, maybe not for sure, but goddamn it, I was not the oblivious, guilt-free idiot I pretended to be.

WB. Out of reach, perfect; he was nothing but an object for me to resent as part of EMC’s perfect life. And then he borrowed my flute. Guard your heart, I said. He asks for a flute, and all he wants is a flute. I was successful. And then: come with me to this dinner, he calls me last minute. Last minute. Really. But: Let yourself make friends, I said. Let yourself be open to people. I went. We talked. But: guard your heart, I said. There’s no way he’s into you. Him tossing me a grapefruit across the room. Casually ignoring him – I would not like him more than he liked me. Waiting for the nightly text, what I now know was nothing but an excuse to talk to me. And then: so many people asking about us. I laughed. No way, he’s just a friend. It started so early, was so consistent that my answer became automatic, expected, from my lips. Our state became frozen in time, my head became a ball of too much thinking, and when he drifted away the fall of the next year, I let him.

SENIOR

KD. I led him on as well, and this time, I was fully aware of it. I think there was a sort of power in it. I wanted a boyfriend, I didn’t want him as a boyfriend, but the acts of interest were tempting enough that I let me him keep doing them. I grew somewhat attached to these random affirmations that I was desirable, and that was what I missed when he moved on.

MF. Short-lived, summer dreams. What an idiot, and at the same time, those eyes, those fingers.

And WB. Always WB. Friend life overlapping with romantic, and all from afar.

COLLEGE

AYl. It started with a fascination, then a disbelief, then butterflies that wanted more. He took a multitude of my firsts without even knowing it. Summer brought us together and fall took us apart. He was too above me. He was too above me for me to treat casually, to ever let my guard down completely. He was the boyfriend that we didn’t acknowledge; he was the guilt-trip that I never truly felt, 3000 miles away.

JKm. Finally confident enough to acknowledge a pursuit. Thanks to AYl, experienced enough to have a foothold. Thanks to everyone else, secure enough to be vulnerable, to allow myself to respond. I am happy with where I am.

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Ambiguous Milestones

A first boyfriend. That’s a milestone, right?

But it’s funny, because although JKm is sort of my first boyfriend, I’m not sure.

And now that I think about it, it’s not even entirely because of AYl. Yes, AYl was my first kiss, and the first relationship I had that I defined as a ‘thing’.

But before the ‘thing’, my love life was defined by a series pseudo-relationships – deep connections minus the physical. Butterflies without contact. Before AYl was WB, and before WB was KD, and before KD was WB again. We texted, we hung out, we told each other everything. And when we had our pseudo-breakup, it hurt just as much.

By AYl, I was already emotionally mature when it came to relationships.

So my first boyfriend? It doesn’t feel like my first time.

An Update on the Relationships I’ve Forgotten About

I guess when people fade out of your life, sometimes it’s seamless.

YM. We hung out solo a few times, and saw each other in group settings, and then both of our attendances to the group settings got spotty, and we kind of didn’t talk to each other in the group, anyway. I haven’t seen or heard from him in a month. This really should tear me up, but I’ve kind of accepted that YM is a man-flirt and the special connection I thought I had with him was something that he simulates with absolutely everyone. That time we spontaneously stayed up talking until 3am? He’s done that with at least three other people.

EMC. Senior year, she was at the point at which she didn’t really want to be friends with me, but we had too many mutual friends and classes together to hate each other. Our relationship was more “Hey! Can you take a picture of [group of friends that I’m also clearly friends with] us? Thanks.” Which, honestly, would have been ok, I guess, except that we just have too much history for that to be ok. Since summer started, I haven’t seen her at all. I intensely dislike attending church functions because I know she’ll be there. It’s much better this way.

KD. There’s not even anything to say here. We stopped being friends the moment he got a girlfriend back in December, and I feel completely used because apparently all I was was a potential girlfriend to him. That’s time invested in a person, all gone to shit.

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I saw YM at break every day for an entire week and didn’t suck up the nerve to greet him.

WB just called after a typical day of not talking to me, and I held my phone in my hands, watching it ring and ring and ring and then stop.

Things have just not been going well for me.

Actually, that’s not true. Things have been going wonderfully – better than ever. My parents don’t fight nearly as much, I’m not stressed one bit, and everything’s fine and dandy. No deaths in the family, no police calls, no struggles really.

I’ve just, honestly, not been a great person. Or maybe I was never really a great person, and now it’s all finally catching up with me.

You know, my dad told me a while back that I’m not kind, and that I really only have friends because of my looks. Obviously, I took that as utter bullshit, because I am decidedly average looking (which I believe I’ve quite healthily accepted).

But I feel like I’m not actually close friends with any of the people I admire as humans. And, paradoxically, although I tell myself otherwise, I do sometimes feel left out. I do sometimes want to party and drink and hang out with ‘cool’ people who don’t share any interests or values with me. And then I feel sorry for myself for being so pathetic for even wanting that at all.

I feel like for so long, I put energy into all the wrong relationships, or I didn’t put energy into relationships, and when I finally started trying, it all fell down on me for whatever reason. For wanting to seem…I don’t know, aloof? As part of a some made-up persona – I tried to be that girl who had a ton of different friends and she didn’t need whoever she was with at the moment, because there were others.

And, of course, people get tired of that facade. They move on. Or, I don’t know, maybe they believed it and decided to move on. They go and make connections with other people. Because no one’s going to wait.

Sometimes, I want to make myself completely vulnerable – reach out. But let’s be honest – getting rejected sucks. I went for a high-five from KD, after which he gave me an odd look and told me it wasn’t for me. I smiled at WB and he glanced away. I practically beg to be invited to PD’s plans. I rang KD’s doorbell to randomly say hi and possibly talk, but chickened out and left after two words.

But most times, I just hold my head up in mock-confidence and pretend that I have friends, or at least don’t care that I don’t have friends, and I tell myself that all I need to do is get through these last months of high school before i can go to college and start all over.

And I’ve said this before, but this all makes me even angrier at myself because none of this would even bother me were I not so self-centered. If none of these snubs were on my radar – If I was so focused on doing good in the world and improving others’s lives, I would not be a depressed, melodramatic, lonely teenager.

An Honest Inventory of My Friendships

Sooo I talked to KS for the first time in…4 years? Ever? Not sure. It was such a feel good moment, but not in the same new-friend-rush as with WB. It was the old friend; re-bonding, with an emphasis on the ‘re’. She’s got a darker life than I thought – financial and emotional problems, just being so much tougher than I’d ever imagined. I have this new respect for her, and despite her flaws (and there are many), I want to keep her close…just one of those people I really want to know and be close to. ENFP all over.

Also, I went star-gazing with YM and had really the first conversation with him, as well. Not quite as much, because honestly, I may or may not see him as slightly more than friends (or I’m insecure about how much he wants to be friends), so there’s that. He’s another of the want-to-know people, but he’s so difficult to get to know, I feel. He told me he’s not always jolly, like he seems. Like with ED, I feel like he has this nice-ness almost as a defense mechanism, so that no one knows his home life or problems, but also because he’s the kind of person who doesn’t want it to be about him. I guess I was kind of like that. And, honestly, I have no idea what Myers-briggs he is…my intuition tells me I, but he’s outgoing, even if it’s just because of his kindness. F, I think, because of how he was with his girlfriend. I wish I knew him better.

I called KD and ranted to him about my mom, sort of asking for advice just to justify my call as more than just a rant. Also, drama. I feel like there’s always miscommunication between us, because he’s so wrapped up in people and social traditions. With the whole Myers-Briggs thing (which I’m embarrassingly knowledgable about), he’s an ESFJ (with an S to the max. Actually, an everything to the max.) I feel like I need KD to boost my self-esteem – to text me, to hang out, to be all warm and friendly and awesome. But his values and the things that matter to him, and how he goes about them – they’re so different from mine.

I’ve been texting WB and he’s actually been responding regularly, I think because I basically complained that he takes hours to respond. It’s funny; I think our whole relationship was based off of this ‘don’t let the other know how much you like them’, so there’s always been this sort of disconnect. It’s something that annoys me to the core, and I’m working on it. We’ve invited each other to a few things, which is a start. Myers-Briggs? Um. ENFJ, but the T is questionable, and the J’s become a P, and he’s pretty introvert-y often, and he loves working with his hands. I really, really don’t know. I feel like he’s been raised in such a perfect environment that most glaring flaws that usually give away certain traits have been prevented, or mitigated. I am both hopelessly envious of and constantly attracted to him. Don’t take that last part sexually. Attracted in the same way I’m attracted to certain people; I really want to know them inside out and I want them to know me.

PD and I’s relationship bothers me a little – no substance. I’ve never actually talked to her. We kind of just need each other for our weekly runs, and meaningless banter. S all the way. J all the way. I think T. E or I, not sure. I tend not to mesh with S’s – I seem them as short-sighted and bogged down with things of daily life that don’t matter. But then again, I think I’m an S.

BTW, this post started out as just about KS; the titled changed around four times.

Snapshot

Pentatonix Christmas songs. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Aspiring to my sodding take on Carol of the Bells.

Too much Buzzfeed.

Comforting AD about Pakistan. Burnt cookies from EMC.

No friends. Where to go at lunch? Empty. Off-campus. Actually talking to ED. Getting ignored by WB and being absolutely sick of it.

Shooting stars with KD and YM.

Hamlet:

“What is this quintessence of dust?” (2.2.332)

“O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.” (2.2.273-275)

“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.” (2.2.401-402)

“Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and outstretched heroes the beggars’ shadows.” (2.2.282-284)

On my social life

Now, by the look of my recent-ish posts, one might think that I’ve become skilled in social interactions.

I haven’t. I really haven’t.

I spent the entire week recording myself on the piano for audition tapes, writing essays, and procrastinating. My only interactions were a random run on Saturday with MH and MB, a hike with WB, a lot of texting with KD before a failed stargazing attempt, shopping with MB, and a party at CP’s house last night, where I spent the entire night laughing about how inept at small talk I am.

On parties: I don’t know why I go. For some sort of confidence and reassurance, that I can get invited to parties and go instead of staying home? But then the parties themselves….I am so bad at parties.

Quite laughable, really.