while cleaning up some old folders in my email account i found one barried underneath more recent correspondence. the folder was title ‘writing’ and in it was a draft that i had sent to myself with a note “journal entry”. i suppose this was a reminder to myself to start an online post of some sort. i was 23 when i wrote that – six years later i’m finally practicing an art that i grew up loving – taking refuge in the written word. which is why it seems fitting to share this unread entry in this space. not because it even reflects how i would feel about a similar situation today but to document emotions of yesteryear as inevitably young heartbroken angst shapes one along the way and to reflect upon just how far it is i have come….
recycled emotions. (2005)
Wise lovers say that the hardest thing to do is watch the person that you love, love somebody else. For me, it hurt the most not to be loved in return. My heart’s most difficult endurance has been to love someone entirely, fully, and completely, only to be denied. The butterflies that circled in my stomach, the blushing smile, the glow on my face were instilled by one person for the longest time. He is numb to me, cold at times, as if trying to push me away. And this is what hurts: the pain of not being loved back, the emptiness of not feeling good enough, and the desperation to show him that I could make him happy. These tireless struggles of trying to make the boy that I love notice me and embrace me weather my heart as I come to admit that my fictional fairytale will never become a reality. The idea of him and I is seemingly impossible.
Years passed since we first met, and I, the hopeless romantic, still believed in fate. I had these ridiculous thoughts that he would see me one day and he would want nothing more than to reach out and grab my hand. Our first kiss at a young age locked me into this emotionally intense drama and every moment thereafter has had me spinning in this turbulent downward spiral of infatuation. For the times that he hurt me, left me, and used me, one would think that I would have walked away. However, I only fell that much harder. I was that crazy about him.
My feelings for him gradually grew into vulnerable instability. They grew until I was emotionally insane and it was no longer healthy. I began to compare myself to other girls – girls that got to be with him while I waited, slowly fading out of his mind. I questioned my qualities as a person, a worthy partner. I began to doubt if I was ever going to be loved by someone the way that I loved him, and I questioned my appearance – inside and out. I lost sight of who I was, what I wanted and most importantly, what I deserved. I began to weaken, I felt defeated and I did not know where to turn. For some fucked up reason loving him made sense to me.
Upon being broken, I sheltered my heart, my feelings. I repressed the will to love; I built a wall and vowed never to let anyone in again. I was frustrated and fragile – vulnerable to the burdens of my discouraged heart. Bitterness swept in and I was convinced that if I could not be with him then I did not want to be with anyone at all. I repeated in my head that I was just not good enough. To be honest, I continued to believe that we were meant to be together – that he would change.
Over time I began to develop emotionally and personally. With maturity came the realization of my own self worth. My heart had time to heal, memories of him became faint, and new experiences brought me to a different place in life. And then just when I thought I was stable, rock-solid strong, one phone call shattered all of my progress, seemingly taking ten steps backwards. Weakened by his voice, desired to be held by him one more time, my wall came crumbling down and I let him back into my life even though I knew that he would leave me devastated and torn. So, one more night was spent with him – I was to be naïve and hopeless enough to think that feelings could be rekindled. Enjoying his presence I tried not to fall asleep because I was scared of what the morning would bring. When I woke in the morning he was lying next to me and I had never felt more comfortable or sad because I knew that once he woke, my dream would end and he would go home leaving me behind to pick up the pieces of my broken heart for the hundredth time. That night, I wish we could have just slept forever.
But just like every good dream, I had to wake up and so did he. I could not get mad at him for what had happened, for the heartache that resurfaced, after all, I had consented to his actions. My heart was missing him and in that moment, I needed him more than ever. It is doubtful that I will never not need him, or want him – he will always be my suppressed love. As I watched him drive away I promised that that night would be our last moment of intimacy even though I silently knew that I would interrupt my life – give up anything – for another moment with him. I continued to love him that much.
I have learned an infinite amount from my emotional rollercoaster ride with him. I have come to known that love is an absolute blinding emotion; attraction is deceiving; and the heat of the moment is a false impression of the true chemistry between two people. People are selfish when seeking comfort and although he may not have intentionally meant to hurt me, he did, and I let him. In loving him I was thrilled, I was scared. He was an adrenaline rush and I had the time of my life.
This has been the cyclical process of my young heart’s endeavors: recycled emotions. Until I was walking down the street one day and for the first time in the years that I have loved him I saw him with another girl – another girl who was as replaceable as me. In that instance I realized that my utopian concept of love was Hollywood induced and that there was nothing special about me to him, or us for that matter. I finally understood that I was just like any other girl that he shared intimacy with, insignificant and meaningless.
Now, there are no tears, just exhaustion. My mind can no longer analyze our fate and my heart can no longer find a reason to love him. It pains me to let go only because I finally accept that it is never going to be the storybook ending that has unfolded in my mind. When I fell in love with him I thought it would be timeless, unparallel to anything else that would occur in my life. With new strength falling out of love with him has been effortless because for the first time I am aware of what I truly deserve. I will take steps forward in life; steps far beyond him, to find that hopeless sense of love, lust and intimacy that I have always yearned for.
A broken heart mends, lost love can be rediscovered and I – I will be loved the way that I want to be loved. He may have been my first love but he will not be my last or even my truest. I will hold memories tight but will let him go. I am worth so much more. One day, when he sees me genuinely loving another, he will realize what he gave up years ago.
Reflection upon rereading this many moons later: its amazing how much more dramatic a ‘lost love’ is when you are young and naive.