If the Ties That Bind Ever Do Come Loose

There’s only one thing I know how to do when I’m confused, upset, feel down or am debating throwing in the towel. That’s write. I’ve never been one for expressing my feelings. Even when I tell someone how I feel, I still feel like I don’t say everything I should tell. In my mind, I feel like all the words have been said, but in my heart I know they haven’t. I take a pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and I don’t think. I just write. I remember. That’s when everything I’ve bottled up comes out and when I’m able to figure out how I really feel. Sometimes, even after, I’m still confused. But I’m learning.

This month is Camp Nanowrimo, so I’m taking to working on my novel, but it’s not the one I thought I would write. It’s not the story that I thought I would tell. It’s just the one that needs told. Maybe it will get me in trouble one day, or maybe it will inspire someone. I can only hope it’s the latter, but if it gets me in trouble, as long as it reaches the person it was intended for, that’s the only thing that makes it matter.

It helps to write things out, to put the past on paper so you can put it behind you. It helps to remember so that you can forget and forgive. I can’t figure out which is harder to do. Even at twenty-seven, it doesn’t seem any easier. I still struggle daily with the confusion. The pressure in my head isn’t helping, but everyday is still an uphill battle and an eternal argument with myself and what I want. I like clean breaks. I like speaking my mind, putting things behind me, and never having to consider it again. The situation I’ve been put in by other people doesn’t allow for that right now, and I’m going crazy out of my mind trying to figure out how you deal with the unknown when you have no control over stopping it or changing it.

Everything is at a discord right now, and I feel like everyone I want to envelope me is taking me wrong and there’s nothing I can do about it. I have made the conscious decision that I don’t want to date right now and really like being single, but everyone’s even taking that wrong. In this day and age, it seems like you can’t be single without accusations of not being over your ex being thrown around. Nobody bothers to ask you if that’s true or not, even your ex. It’s like you can’t be single without a reason, and I have one, but no one asks what it is.

It’s simple. Dating isn’t for me. I’ve gotten my feelings in check, got myself where I needed to be, and I put myself out there. It sucked. I don’t do well meeting people I don’t know. I don’t like the process of getting to know someone and figuring out if you click while dating. I, quite simply, don’t want to put the work into getting to know someone, or the effort into making a relationship work. I want to be me. I want to do what I want to do. I want to go about my life without worrying about someone else or having one more stress in my life right now. I like my freedom.

This doesn’t mean I’m not lonely. I am. But the lack of wanting to put the effort in far outweighs that. Everyone I’ve dated I’ve always met through work or friends or acquaintances. We were friends first. I didn’t just pick someone up I didn’t know, agree to meet them and run with it. The relationships I’ve ended up in have developed on their own. We knew each other, the connection was there, and it just happened. That’s for me. That’s where I want to be. Finding that takes patience. I know what I want, and I’m willing to have the patience to find the right person, instead of consistently putting myself through bad date after bad date, feeling uncomfortable and trying to force myself to do something because I want people to stop thinking I’m not over my ex. It shouldn’t be like that.

I’m going to share something with you that you will learn as you get older. When you have a connection with someone, a real connection, you can get over them all you want. It’s the feeling you had when you were with them that you can’t get over. This doesn’t mean you aren’t over them. You are. You just refuse to settle for less than that feeling. Once you find it, nothing less feels worth it. That’s where I am. This has nothing to do with my ex. It has nothing to do with being stuck on him or wanting to get back together with him. None of those things are relevant or true. I just want to find that feeling again with someone else. It’s incredibly hard to for me to connect with someone, and I’ve learned that I either know right away or I don’t, and right now I don’t. So I wait until I do, and if I don’t, I stay single. At this day and age, a woman shouldn’t be burned at the stake and chastised for being okay with being single.

I never wanted to marry. There’s a lot of things I can forgive my ex for. In fact, I’ve been able to forgive him for everything, but I can’t forgive him for the way he made me feel. I can’t forgive him for bringing up marriage the last night we were together and making something click in my brain that made me know I could do that with him. I could do the one thing that I never wanted to do with anyone else with him. Likely, I won’t find that again, because I can’t imagine finding someone I want to be around every day. I’m like a cat. I like my space, I want attention when I want it, and I want left alone otherwise. I know I’m like this, and I know I’m not a good candidate for marriage. When someone changes that and you know it was because of the feelings you had with them, it’s hard to know where to go from there.

I’ve met someone I like since we’ve been apart, but he’s never made me feel the same way. He’s nice and responsible and on paper fits me better than my ex, but he’s not right for me. I’m sure I could be happy with him and have a perfectly fine life with him, but unless I find a feeling as strong as I had before, it’s not worth it to me. Everyone is going to have their bad points, and the guy I like has some that make me feel like crap, even though I know it’s just him and I can’t take it personally. He’s bad at getting back to people and making or keeping plans, and those are deal breakers. Those are things that I can’t live with without that feeling again, but you’d be amazed by the deal breakers you can live with once you find that feeling. Things you never wanted are suddenly okay. They’re cute. They’re quirks. You like them.

It’s hard for me to let go when I like someone or get emotionally attached, and I’m fighting with that right now. I’ve asked him to hang out and he doesn’t respond, but then suddenly I’ll hear from him, and it will bring everything up again. What do you do? You know he’s not right and he’s not a good friend, so do you block his number? Do you shut him out? Or do you just ride it out and see what happens and cause yourself enough consternation to take down a small nation? This is where I’m stuck. I want him here, but he’s not. He’s in the in between and isn’t putting effort into being friends. Is it worth it? Are relationships, of any kind, worth the work? Or should you only form them with the people who come easy, because, damn it, you’re worth it and if someone can’t see that, screw them?

If you thought your teen years were hard, you haven’t known pain or your own strength. This is awful, really. There’s little about my twenties that I’ve enjoyed, because unless you’re one of those people who falls in with the right people at the right place and right time, and you know love early on, you’re going to be confused as hell. But let me help you out.

You will meet someone you fall madly in love with. If you’re like most twenty somethings, it will end. You will go months where you will think about the person every day, and there will be things you can’t forgive them for, but it’s always because it has to do with feelings. You will wonder how to go on, and you will think you’re not over the person even though you’ve been dating willingly, which is a sign in itself that you’ve moved on. You are over them, and aside from a billboard waving you in the face, your subconscious is telling you that. You’re just not over the way you felt for them, but that has nothing to do with them. It has to do with not being able to find that feeling again, because you’re not meeting the right person. Once you do, and if you do, it will click. You’ll figure out that all this time you’ve been over everything and it’s been in your past. You’ve been strong. You’ve just been absent of a feeling, and you’re tying that feeling to the person you once felt it for, but wanting that person and wanting that feeling again are two separate things.

The important thing is that, even when you want to give up, you don’t. You use that as a learning experience to discover yourself and what you really want. I thought I just wanted to be with someone, but that’s not what I want. I would love someone to cuddle with and watch movies with, but I don’t want the commitment. Until I do, I’m good being single. I think I would even like to date a girl, because I don’t feel like I’m finding what I need in guys, and that’s okay too. Do what you need to do for you. Separate the feelings from the person and find yourself.

Most importantly, don’t listen to other people. Only you know how you feel, and no matter what other people say or accuse you of, as long as you know it’s not true, that’s all that matters. Let people talk. They’re only words. You’re the only one who knows how you’re feeling and what you want. Ignore the words, no matter how bad they hurt.

You’re going to cry. A lot. It’s going to suck. There’s going to be a song you can’t ever listen to without crumbling again. There’s going to be memories you never will be able to look back on without crying. You’re not going to know where to go from here. You’re not going to know if he was the one and one day you can work it out because it’s meant to be, or if there’s someone else out there and this was just a lesson for you. You’re not going to know if you’re ever going to find that feeling again, or if you even want to. I can’t tell you what happens next, but I know I’m going to find out. Whether I’m looking forward to that or not has yet to be told.

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