The moment when you realize it’s your imagination.
I’ve always been a dreamer. A quiet observer of the animated crowd. Turning strangers into characters of the stories I’d create in my head to pass by the time meant for socializing. Perhaps it was these stories in my head of these strange people that drew me to screenwriting. More importantly, perhaps, it is what drew me to creating these stories in my head and the effects they have had on life outside in the real world.
For the last 10 years, I’ve searched for someone I once had a pretty intense relationship with. I’ve searched social media and asked people we went to high school with have they seen this person. No one seemed to know where they were. I’ve search several times every year for the last 10 years. Recently, I started to think “Well maybe they don’t want to be found”. And about a month ago, I did another type of search and found a Florida address for them, which I knew they’re parents had retired to. I wrote the address down and planned to send a letter during the following week.
The next day or two, I was talking to a very close friend and this became the topic of conversation, though very briefly, it led to conversations about people we went to high school with…which led me to Instagram, a social network I haven’t been on for several weeks. I went there to look for another friend and shortly afterwards, I came across a picture of the person I’ve been looking for since 2003. It was weird because I wasn’t consciously trying to find them at that moment. I thought about it for a few minutes and decided to reach out without any expectations, which felt great.
Over the next few days, we reconnected. We talked on the phone and it was a familiar awesomeness and a love that seemed to overflow. Though I don’t remember a lot of things from a decade or so ago, over the years, the connection and love we shared stayed with me, which always kept them on my mind and in my heart. While, the purpose of me reconnecting was not romantic, conversations led to the topic and the energy shortly became less awesome. I’m not looking for a relationship and have never been the type to look for it or romantic love. I like for it to happen authentically and through a friendship. They are sort of different, which is fine. Through our conversations, I just realized how different we are. Which, now that I think about it, has always been the case. They even made a comment “You have always been open and different, sort of exotic in a sense, that’s one of the things I liked most about you.” At 17-19, yes, it may have worked. At 30, not so much. I love open communication, candid expressions, and blending and embracing each other’s differences. I also love curious people and passionate people (even if you are simply passionate about food!). Its so hard to explain, it just is. And that sort of energy isn’t there from their end. Because of some of our differences, they have shut down and I found myself yearning for them to stay open. It hurts, it saddens me, and it reminds me of something I forgot about. I chose to remember the greatness we shared, and blocked out the reality that it was an emotionally neglectful relationship at times and when I chose to end the romantic part of it, they chose to shut me out completely even though we’d still pass each other regularly on college campus. The hurt I’ve felt over the past 2 weeks is quite the same as it was 10 years ago. Most of it stemming from feeling them shut down, hold back, and lacking enthusiasm and initiation in maintaining any form of relationship.
Since I was a very little girl, I’ve longed for this grand love. Not in a romantic sense, My mother wasn’t nurturing, and though my father is more attentive and nurturing, I did not live with him and spent most of my time around people who weren’t openly affectionate or did not know how to handle emotional me. During those moments when I needed this special outwardly love and affectionate most, I had to go within to create it in a sense. Or sometimes I’d cling on to friends. Even today, I tend to long for a special kind of intimacy, a best friend, and most of my peers fail to understand because they all are in search of another type of intimacy and a romantic love.
I tend to become disappointed a lot when it comes to people. From my mother, to this person I reconnected with after 10 years and others in my life. Many nurture their romantic relationships with the mindset of “my friends will always be there no matter what” so I don’t have to do much to maintain it. But even still, it’s not their fault they aren’t who I’ve imagined them to be in my head!
Today, I told the person that I reconnected with (I will try to convey it verbatim(ly) as possible): “I need to readjust myself because its feels like I’ve created this story in my head of who you were and what it’d be like if we ever reconnected. I think I hurt because the reality of you doesn’t match what I’ve created you to be in my head. And I apologize. It’s no fault of yours. So in readjusting, I shed myself of what I’ve fabricated and clear my vision to see you for who you truly are and what you bring to this new relationship of ours.”
Whether I choose to move forward with the reality of them and continue with the new relationship is still a truth in process. For now, I will be more in the moment and less in my head.
I shared all of this to say, often times when we feel hurt, disappointment, neglected ect., it is usually our unrealistic expectations of someone or an ideal we’ve created that did not come into fruition like we imagined it would. People will be who they are and not who we want them to be.
This reminds me of two Maya Angelou quotes:
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
On the latter note, that is where the readjusting comes in.
Be kind to yourself.
Only expect to be your best self.
Keep your vision clear.
Stay open to different types of relationships (they come in all shapes and sizes!).
Choose the company you keep wisely.
Work through it.
Know when to let go.
And most importantly, love fiercely & openly, always.
Until next time.
“let us continue to look at ourselves”