Today, I turned twenty-six.
Last year, I was twenty-five. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish, a few only having been truly checked off.
My first was to run a 5K. This was so incredibly important to me, and my best friend Mandikat made this happen. She started her own journey, and instead of being selfish, she prodded me to join in with her on her body experiment. I began to run, every day. I listened to zombies gnash at my heels, every day. I was able to focus on myself, for once, and I found out how much control I could really have over my life, body, and, most importantly, my happiness. And I did two 5Ks. I thank her for that every single day (at least, in my head I do. Sorry for not always being as verbal, Mandikat <3 p="">
My second was getting another job that got me over what was considered average for my age mark money-wise. I amazingly found this during the fall, when I could have been considered at my worst. It took me some time to make a decision about if I could actually make the jump, and then it was actually doing it, all the while inner emotions/turmoil dispersed around me like fireflies. The lights would blink, showing me all the things I could have--but then it would go dark, and I'd be lost for those few moments, floating around in limbo as I shook, debating on what was right and wrong, and if I was strong to do what I wanted to do. I not only took a deep breath and took the plunge, but I also found it was one of the best decisions of my life thus far. I gained my social life back. I found new friends. I learned that working at a company can mean being more than a minion. I learned the value of fifteen minutes--and how much gas that would be. I also learned more about family, and how to live with my brother again. I'm pleased with this.
My third was to find more about myself in love. Seeing how my previous years I was too scared to really dive in, I promised myself that a quarter-century was long enough. I realized that, after running and realizing how life was without a social life, I was ready for love. Not just some crush as I've had in the past, but a good steady position. It wasn't that I wasn't afraid of getting hurt--it was that I saw that I could handle that hurt, and knew I'd be able to get through it if I was rejected. This was the most difficult for me. I've always struggled with this, but I was determined to not let anything deter me.
I found out that not every guy is honest. I got that because there was a guy in which I made a connection, and for two months, we spoke non-stop every day through messages, sharing stories and experiences. It was simply amazing, how much we had in common, and I'd finally found someone at work who got my nerdy behavior. After those two months, I mentioned him to a coworker, who promptly told me he was engaged to someone else--and he'd never spoken a word of her to me. It was the first time that I saw why a girl would try to steal someone away from another. I "got" it. And it wasn't me.
I also realized that not every guy is who they say they are. A single guy for a week wooed me, and I found out that he was not only a swindler of hearts, but he lived with his ex-girlfriend, with whom he had a child, and also had another child, the same age, with another. All working at the same place.
I picked up a stalker for a couple of months.
I especially saw that guys were not the assertive behaviorists they claimed to be. The amount of guys who accumulated crushes were embarrassing--but even more so that I was told about them when I was leaving my old job. None of the guys I would have seriously considered, but the fact that they were all very outgoing guys, it was very disappointing to find out that no one had the balls to say anything (especially since I was none the wiser).
The closest I would say that I would have come to "love" was dashed away so fast, and so complicated, I don't think I've really ever gotten time to really discern it being over. It's the first time I lied to friends about being okay. The first I was dishonest to myself about being okay. And the hardest thing I've tried convincing myself out of.
Friends have told me that being friends with someone you had any romantic things with is basically impossible. I took this as a challenge. I thought I'd proved them wrong. But, as it turns out, disassociation is the only thing that takes away the confusion and allows you to move on enough to be friends. If you disagree with me, then the other person is going through what I'm dealing with, which is: trying to not take things personally; assume that every single action/spoken word means absolutely nothing unless clearly stated in a factual way while staring at your face and is willing to sign a testament that it is indeed truth; comparing every single other opposite sex to the commonalities that seemed to work so well; wishing they'd never see you again; wishing they'd somehow see you again; wishing they'd see you again but with them over you and having you see what you missed out on, even though they want your happiness at the same time; wishing they could somehow meet NPH (this doesn't really have to do with relationships, but I assume that every single person in the world wants to do this, which is why it was added to the list).
This last thing I've somehow learned the most about, and yet absolutely nothing. Every time I seem to have learned a new truth, it's completely negated in another form. Love-hurt has basically become a virus in my eyes--it slowly becomes immune to behaviors, and you just have to keep coming up with more to block what is inevitable, and you just keep coming back to the traditional friend support system that is considered your herbal supplements. They work, but they just don't prevent it from happening again.
This love taught me that you sometimes need to accept things and walk away. You can never fully understand why some relationships don't work, despite it having every sign pointing to "YES". Neon signs. With their own arrows pointing to those arrows, and people taking pictures of those to place on the internet for others to make memes about because they're ultimately jealous of what was found. This love taught me that connections can be denied and pushed away. That it really is up to each individual what they decide to do with what is laid upon a table. And that I will sometimes just never understand why someone would say 'No' to what is seen as a great opportunity.
It taught me the importance of placing blame on no one, and the patience of healing. I found it so dramatic, and still do, and it wasn't love (way too fast for that), but I was definitely infatuated with the happiness and feeling, and, being myself, I know I can take growth from this per usual and, eventually, I won't look back at the moments and miss them. Eventually, I won't have a hope that is there simply because I don't want to feel sad at the potential anymore. And I eventually will have all of the gears working on the same machine rather than some keeping a door open "just in case" because I don't like burning ideas to spread ashes in the wind for others to use in their gardens unless proven for the best.
So, love wasn't checked off the list. But learning about myself in love was. So was making new friends, facing my fears head on when they arise in a situation, trying new things I'd typically say no to because I judged it too quickly, embracing life every day because it's too short, singing every day, allowing myself to be vulnerable around others so they can see I am a person, too... and not allowing a mishap with a shot at love determine that I won't attempt again.
Twenty-five was an amazing year for firsts and rediscovering. And the bonus about being this young is that I can repeat that for so many years to come. I find that I'm blessed several times over, and I'm always surprised at this. And, the fact is, I think I always will be surprised. But I'll never be not thankful. How can I be when, after so much struggle, I have so much more outweighing on the scale that shows epicness?
This next year will be even better. Challenge accepted.3>