This past summer, the weather evolved to a painful 114 degrees and although it was three am, going to sleep seemed out of the question, so some friends of mine came over for beers, to hang out by my pool and bond with fellow neighbors who were also trying to avoid their apartments, which were basically saunas with furniture.
The past year I had been trying to get over someone who I thought I loved, and then the reality sunk in that excruciatingly hot night, that I don’t think I ever loved him. It dawned on me while I was running up the stairs of my place with the puppy I was babysitting and the friend who had been there through the whole thing with me had just arrived. I think we all look at our past with rose-colored glasses when it consists of something we no longer have, but unfortunately, I am not romanticizing it. I knew what a top of the line idiot my friend was. I knew his demons. This isn’t a story of the one that got away and nor is it the story of me not seeing how good of a person I had in front of me.
I do think the only things we had in common were each other, the fact that we were kind of lost but loved that someone else was just as confused, our love of bourbon and that we could be absolute royal assholes-selves.
I have always found comfort in being the Phoebe to the Holden Caulfields in my life but that doesn’t mean I am unaware of their antics and I always felt sorry for their victims. I had met many of them and to be honest, my guy friends had met many of mine. I constantly tell them, “always the bro, never the bride” and I am happy to be her. When things would go awry in my so-called “love life” they would always tell me the same thing, “I don’t think you know what you want.”
I’ve always known what I thought I wanted, I knew what kind of man wouldn’t keep my mother up all night, I thought about trying to find the Ikea of boyfriends and I could make them my own but since the beginning, I have always found myself with emotionally complex souls who would behave as if they were played by the cards handed to them and the past that they didn’t deserve. I never had the strength to walk away because fixing them became my identity. It became a purpose. It became me being the good guy in the scenario and when I couldn’t fix them, they became the ‘F- Boy’ that Cosmopolitan Magazine had warned me about ten red flags ago. What they failed to mention was that none of these guys had the capability to love themselves unconditionally, hung on to a past that was so far behind them yet was the reason behind every one of their assumptions that they lived behind. I will be the first to agree that they also just were not that into me but when you barely like yourself, it’s nice to have someone there who supports you.
I don’t regret anything this past summer and as much as I would love to apologize for some antics that were rather selfish, I can’t resent my journey because it wasn’t easy– I can only take what I’ve learned and moved forward. It was that night, I realized that the person I thought I loved was nothing more than an illusion of what I was seeking from myself. I also came to the conclusion that I would hold on to people in order to be tamed. I didn’t want my ways of trying to find myself to be misinterpreted. I wanted to fit in somewhere even if that meant compromising who I am in order to fit into the small corner being provided.
I wouldn’t trade losing someone over giving it a chance. Think this past summer I have most stories girls would dream of and that isn’t because red roses and champagne were involved, or because they had the ‘happily ever after’ ending. While some may focus on the last page to determine whether a story is happy or tragic, I beg to differ, my experiences are worth more than someone else’s perception.
I think that if you can do shots of tequila chased with whipped cream and still survive the next day, you can survive anything and those long rides home the next morning in which your hair is tangled and each stop light is an opportunity to cringe at the dumb things you said for the sake of a reaction, are just moments you find yourself asking why it took so long to get to the realization that you want something more than what was offered to you. Sometimes moments matter because you want something to finally matter to you and more importantly, you want to matter just as much to someone.
My fairytale may not end with a prince, a wedding, the safety net-type story my parents hope I acquire while trying to make it in the painful world of Hollywood as a writer, and I have accepted that. I may not have the ideal scenario to share with friends at reunions or a ring that proves how much I’m worth to someone… .But for now, the story is about a girl who spent her days writing in her funky studio apartment, drinking her scotch, talking about stupid things with her goofy friends, knowing exactly who she is and for once in her life, not apologizing for it.