Oh, hello. Were you still there? Oh!! You want to know what happened with Aaron! Yeah… you know, I tell you – it was interesting to rewrite my experiences of that trip from the perspective of how I was feeling at the time. It was hard at times not to be cynical in parts as, obviously, a LOT has happened in the last year and knowing the outcome the entire time did not always make it easy to be as expressive about how excited I was to come home. Yes, I admit, I had this romantic comedy ending in my head where I would come rushing into Aaron’s arms, thrilled that Cory had given me the go ahead and we could start a relationship with one another. I’m sure I even had a Coldplay or Rob Thomas song running in my head as the scene played out.
So what really happened? I wish it took longer than a few sentences to explain. In short, I sent him a text message when I landed and got a very quick response about maybe getting together the next day. Whether by coincidence or not, Cory texted him also because I guess they had a mutual friend in town and he wanted to know if Aaron wanted to get together. Well, Aaron panicked, thinking it was about me and the next day, all dressed up and at a friend’s birthday, I sat waiting for his text so we could get together. I waited. And waited. And waited. I finally went home and sent him a message about being surprised that I was blown off and he simply responded that he didn’t think pursuing a relationship with me was a good idea.
And that was that. On the scale of craziness, I’m on the low end for the average woman. However, after this happened, I was finally able to understand why the tires of men across the city are “mysteriously” slashed in the middle of the night.
I guess the most frustrating part for me is all the time I spent thinking about him during my trip. Now I understand why Cory laughed when I told him about being interested in Aaron. Cory and I may not be compatible, but he certainly understands how my mind works and probably knew that Aaron would do something similar to what he did.
Cory and I tried dating again over the last year. Twice, actually. By the third time we broke up, I had pretty much had it and chose to distance myself from Cory and his family so that I could get connected to my own identity again. This was actually a big driving force behind my decision to put the rules in place. After almost two years of trying to push my square peg into his round hole, I gave up and realized that this behavior is something I’m all too familiar with.
I’ve been spending a lot of time over the last few weeks reflecting on my relationships. I find myself in moments of bitterness and resentment for being what I consider to be a pretty good catch as far as women go and yet still being single at thirty without a whole lot to show from my past relationships except life lessons. Which, don’t get me wrong, are important… but I know some women that have a house or a new car from their past mistakes! How did I end up with just a lesson??
All joking aside, my reflections have led me to realize that I’m afraid to go after what I really want. I suppose it’s my fear of being rejected. I notice that in almost every relationship I’ve been in or even every date I’ve gone on, I’ve chosen to date that person simply because they’ve shown an interest in me. Only a couple of times have I actually been excited at the possibility of “getting” to date this person. Instead, I’m just relieved that anyone at all is paying attention to me. Like a drug, I find myself addicted to the attention that I am receiving. Am I actually into this guy or do I just like the 15-20 text messages I’m getting from him each day? Do I allow him to continue flirting because I think there is a possibility that we could be a good couple or is it is simply because if I tell him to stop… he will?
There is this guy at the gym that spends a lot of time on the treadmill. I call him my “gym crush”. One day, I was working out in the stretching area of the gym and realized he was just behind me, working his abs. Once I confirmed there was no wedding ring, I stole quick glances at him, checking out his profile, his hat (pretty much a no-go if he’s wearing a Raiders or Yankees hat… just sayin’), and also his tattoo on his inner right arm. Unfortunately, I wasn’t close enough to see what it was, but it didn’t look like any Chinese writing or flashy pin up girl so he was in the clear there. After a while, he finished his work out, put his mat back and walked away. A few minutes later, I did the same, anxious for the next time I would get to see him at the gym.
When I got home, I told my roommate that I got close to my gym crush and he asked me if I talked to him. I looked at him like he was insane. Of course not! Why would I do that? If I said something to him, he would no longer be my gym crush. He would be this hot guy that ignores the weird girl in the gym who said something stupid to him. That, of course is when it hit me.
Ah, so… is that really what I think of myself? If that’s true, then it’s no wonder I’ve gotten to where I am without a significant other who meets or exceeds every expectation I’ve had in a partner. This has nothing to do with the fact that the right man hasn’t come along. Instead, it has everything to do with the fact that I don’t think enough of myself to go after what could possibly be the best relationship in the world.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I could approach Mr. Gym and in our conversation, find out that he thinks bowling is for sissies, his favorite movie is XXX or, even worse, he could be a Laker fan! In that case, I could politely bow out… but I can’t even get to that point if I’m not willing to make a move of some sort.
On a bigger scale, I realize that I have this approach to many things in life. It’s probably the same reason why I’ve had 20 jobs and have chosen contentment as a bartender in a casual dining restaurant. I do like my job, but I know I’m capable of so much more. I’m just afraid to go after something and not have it work out. I like to act like I have a lot of balls, but the truth is, all of the things I would really like to do seem completely out of my reach. Plus, I seem to change my mind so often that it seems a waste of time to put forth a bunch of effort into something and then wake up one day and not want to do it anymore. I think perhaps the answer to this as I re-read it is to finally do something (or someone) that I am truly passionate about and perhaps I won’t have the feeling of needing to have one foot holding the door open all the time.
I’m definitely ready for a change.
I’ve hated Eminem as long as I can remember. I thought his music was just angry and useless. Then, out of nowhere, I heard that song Not Afraid and found that I related to it so much. I couldn’t get enough of it. I have listened to it again and again every day for weeks now. I’ve gone back and listened to so much of his music, all the way back to his first album. While some of it is still just a little too hard core for me, most of it really captures a lot of my frustrations. As a result, I’ve started to listen to all kinds of rap, R & B and hip hop which is very, very different for this Alternative and Classic Rock loving hippie. I guess it’s just like Rocky Balboa said… if I can change… and you can change… we can all change.
And so… I keep writing. It’s something that I’m passionate about. I figure it’s a good place to start. Then, when I am having moments of loneliness or feeling sorry for myself, I look at that candle with Jim Morrison’s face on it that I keep right next to my computer. I don’t even like The Doors. But it’s a good reminder not to let myself get too carried away about a guy unless I know for sure that he is carried away with me. I will also remember that I could occupy my time with someone I could take or leave that pays me superficial attention, or I could continue spending this time by myself and maybe get up the balls to ask the hot guy where he bought his running shoes.