Unrequited Love

I like a lot of things.

I like drawing. I like writing. I like singing. I like acting. I love musical theater. I like baseball. Pitching. Batting. Fielding.

I like people too. I miss the friends I did musical theater with in high school. I liked a lot of them. I especially liked this one girl.

Trouble with liking all of this is: not a lot of these things/people like me back. So let me tell you a pathetic little love story, or in other words, a metaphor for my whole life.

I had a huge crush on this girl. And by huge I mean HUGE. She was popular in school. Smart. Very pretty. Quiet and reserved, but caring. She was the type of person who would help people without them even noticing they were being helped. I really loved that side of her. I think I noticed it from doing musical theater with her. Yes, creepy, but that’s me. (Trust me, you aren’t the first person to point that out)

I told her I liked her once, totally out of the blue. Horrible move, really, but cut me some slack. I was in high school. I didn’t really know you could talk to girls back then. But she was adult enough not to be awkward about it, and we became friends. I think? Or maybe it was just me. But you know, we chatted. It was me starting the conversations 90% of the time but I think we had fun? Again, not sure. I just hope it wasn’t too unbearable for her.

I didn’t get to meet her much from my senior year onward because she was a year older than me. She went to a school in New York, and most of our interactions became limited to messaging apps. Again, mostly initiated by me. But I still had some blind hope, or I must have had, because I still had the energy to talk to her back then. I thought once I go to a school in the states I could meet up with her! How great would that be. (Not so great, as you’ll read soon.)

I graduated high school, came to Williams, and during Thanksgiving break of 2016, we decided to meet up. I was staying at my friend’s place in New York, and she was staying at her school over break. It would be just the two of us. That was a first. I honestly never imagined that happening. Very exciting. We would have dinner and — well, no idea. Would I take her to a show? A movie? A cafe? But you know, my excitement got the better of me.

So we met. We had dinner. Nice Italian place. Great food, I still remember. But. But. But- Well, it’s hard to talk about this without seeming too pathetic. I’m not (as many of you know by now) a great conversationalist. I also get very tense in front of people I’m interested in. Too eager to impress.

As a result, it was a pretty quiet dinner. And a pretty quiet evening. And I just remember thinking “God, I am so bad at this.” I was frantically thinking of conversation topics but none of them seemed to work. At one point, I remember feeling tired.

Yes. I was tired. I wasn’t really frustrated. I had passed that point. I was just, done. I couldn’t bring up the energy anymore. I knew that it was beyond my power to shape this relationship into anything else than it is now. She was usually quiet, yes, I knew she would talk in front of people who were close to her, or at least people that could entertain her. I knew I wasn’t both, and felt I couldn’t really be.

So I got back to my friend’s place. Got grilled for “getting back too early”. Answered some questions about how things went. Got a lot of pity hugs. Etc. Etc. And at one point a friend I was chatting with over the internet told me “Girls don’t let people they’re interested in tire themselves out”. Very sound advice from a very helpful friend. Very sound, very helpful.

And yes, all of this is even more of a mess than usual, but I’m nearing my point here. I guess it kind of hit me that yes, maybe I do need to know how to give up. Some people won’t think of you the same way you think of them, no matter how hard you try. (Is all of this too high school? Am I being a crybaby? Can’t help it. I’m forever trapped in high school. Because you know, that was the last time I had two grandfathers and two healthy ankles.)

These days, I have similar ideas about my other interests. I like writing, but I know very well that I am not very good at it. Same goes for singing, acting, drawing. I used to tell myself I’d be happy as long as I love the craft, since if I try I’ll at least be better than my former self. But it’s hard to stay dedicated to sometimes. It’s hard to keep believing. It’s tiring. Some people/things will just not love you back. And that’s nobody’s fault. That’s just how you’re born. I guess?

Maybe I should do something I’m good at rather than something I like. Maybe I should pursue a job in law, like my dad says. Maybe the money, ridiculous work hours and the questioning of my morality every waking second of my life will make me feel better. (Apologies to all the potential lawyers reading this. I really don’t know enough about the profession to be saying stuff like this)

Maybe I should know my place. Maybe then I’ll be happy. And as sarcastic as this may sound, I do see a point. I like writing fiction, I really do. I spend a lot of my time thinking, trying to write, wallowing in self-hate. You know, standard writer stuff. I’m not like cut-throat trying but I’m also not half-assing this. I think. But bad draft after bad draft just weighs down on me. Am I not trying hard enough? Should I be trying differently?

So yes, thank you again for reading a rant on how hard life is from a person who spends half of his day watching youtube videos of his favorite girl band (who, incidentally, have no idea I exist. Yay celebrities!)