“When were you guys together?”
“It was a long time ago.”
“Oh? How long?”
“Two years ago…”
“Oh. Well…that’s not that long ago.”
“I haven’t had a proper relationship in the last two years. That is a long time.”
That was a conversation that took place about a month and a half ago, a conversation that I had pushed to the back of my mind until today. I suddenly recalled this conversation today while walking away from my last lecture of the day. Confused by the randomness of the thought, I pushed it out of my mind, and headed home. Hoping to relax a bit, I decided to watch the latest episodes of Gossip Girl and Castle, having just seen the latest episodes of Once Upon a Time and Nikita late last night. However, the same feeling from last night came back: I was frustrated at every mention of and about Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t understand my feelings – today was not supposed to be any different than any other Tuesday. While walking towards my evening event, I passed by numerous couples and individuals, which reminded me of the events on campus today – candy grams, opening of new service, photo shoots, flower booths, etc. Seeing random guys marching with determination with bouquets of flowers and couples laughing and holding hands, it finally dawned on me of the source of my frustration during the last 48 hours – myself. I was frustrated with myself. Once again, that conversation surfaced in my head for the second time. This time, instead of blocking it out, I let it run its course, and found myself asking “Is two years really a long time?” If two years is a long time, then what does that make 20 years?
The thought of him thinking two years is a long time terrifies me. If he thinks two years is a long time, what must he think of 20 years? I’ve always held on that things like this shouldn’t be forced, that if it is meant to be, it’ll be. If you’re right for someone, there will always be a way. But to be completely honest, part of the reason I’ve held on for so long to that belief is because I’ve never had the chance to say that I truly had someone by my side, someone to call mine. Every situation I’ve been in, there was no title. I never insisted upon it because I never wanted to jeopardize anything. I never insisted upon it because I was afraid of messing things up. But now that I think about it, perhaps things never had a proper title because I’ve always done something wrong to deter the guy from wanting to label it. Perhaps the reason why I’ve never had a proper relationship is not because I’m always too busy, but just because it’s me.
Up until now, I have never had a proper relationship, and I have never let that bother me (too much) until today. Yes, I’ve dated…if you could even call it that. But I never allowed that to affect me because I’ve always tried my best to satisfy others, even if that meant being together somewhat casually (if that was what the guy wanted). I was always okay with it because at the end of the day, I was more or less happy when I was with them. Today though, these repressed feelings finally resurfaced. Seeing so many happy faces surrounding me - not just today, but every day - I questioned myself. What is wrong with me? What am I doing wrong that I can’t even hold down a proper relationship? What am I doing wrong? The fact that I’ve never had a proper relationship must be an indication that I’m not doing something right.
I’ve always given the same excuse when my relatives or when someone asks me why I don’t have a boyfriend: “I don’t have enough time; I’m too busy.” This isn’t a lie. I often have to split my time between lectures, gym, group meetings, volunteering and other extracurricular activities. But then… someone once told me that there are people he knew that are also as busy, but are also holding down proper relationships. As if I didn’t know that. I’ve simply never allowed that to get to me, having always stood by my reasoning. But deep down, I’ve always known that. I’ve always known that there are individuals busier than I am, more involved than I am, that have healthy and proper relationships. Heck, I constantly see them around. So why can’t I have the same thing? Every time this topic is brought up, I’ve had to fight myself from screaming “stop!" Everyone makes it seem as though I don’t want a proper relationship, that I’m too picky, or that I’m just making excuses. But the truth is…who doesn’t want to have someone by their side? I wish I knew what the secret is to a successful proper relationship. Why people think I’m not trying or wanting this is starting to get to me, and the bottled feelings and the built-up resentment towards myself just reached a new level today.
Today is Valentine’s Day…or in other words, just another Tuesday for some of us. Today is the day when couples celebrate their love for one another in public, a day of extravagance and happiness. Today is supposed to be good day, or at least, a normal day for me. Instead…today, for the first time ever, I felt especially alone. Today wasn’t supposed to be any different than any other day for me because I have nothing concrete to celebrate - I have someone, but at the same time I don’t. It’s complicated but it’s not; things are simple but they’re not. Today was just supposed to be another day was what I told myself, because at the end of the time, I still have the same friends and family that has always been by my side. So why was I frustrated at every mention of and about Valentine’s Day? And finally it dawned on me. After finally letting that conversation sink in for the first time and letting the events from the past year and half replay in my head, I’ve figured it out. I was waiting for an acknowledgement that will never come. Regardless of the state of my current situation, I just wanted some acknowledgment. Telling me “thanks, but you shouldn’t have troubled yourself though” was the wrong kind of acknowledgement. It struck me harder than expected. When I was finally honest with myself, I knew that was the start of this whole rollercoaster of a day, because “you shouldn’t have troubled yourself though” really agitated me. It just showed that I still don’t have a good grasp of things – that I’m still doing something wrong. It wasn’t supposed to be this way though. Things were supposed to be simple, and happy. It must be me then. It must be.
Here’s hoping that I’m wrong, and that I will get some proof telling me I’m too harsh on myself…eventually.
A new year is typically marked by the traditional countdown that is done during the last 10 seconds of the previous year with family and/or friends. “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, happy new year!” will typically be heard all around the world during this time. What’s so special about this moment isn’t the words or the fact that it’s a brand new year. No. What is special about this moment is the fact that everyone gets to start off the new year with people they truly care about. But what about the next 24hrs? I spent my first 24hrs of 2012 with people that are dear to me: my parents and friends. Things more or less went as expected, except for one minor detail. I forgot to account for the hidden feelings that I thought I hid away in a deep, dark area. I forgot to put a stainless steel padlock on the door that marked the separation between what I know is right and what I want. As a result, my first 24hrs ended with what I wanted and not what I know is right. You’d think that that wouldn’t be a big issue because I did get what I want after all, but that’s not the case. Someone once said, “what you want is often not what is right”. A new year is meant to represent a new chapter in life (in a way). It is meant to allow individuals to attempt to start fresh, make resolutions and attempt to follow through. A new year…is not supposed to begin by returning to the end and starting an epilogue that you know will end soon. I knew that. All of that. So why the heck did I let it happen? I’m not sure what happened…how did we get there…again? It seems as though we always go where we say we won’t. So what’s the reason this time? I thought everything was fine. I thought…everything was done. Apparently, I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it and won’t take it back. I’m just…confused, I guess.