I came across a poem today.
So Close, So Far by Adeline Whitmore
What a terrible thing it was
To have been
Here we are
So far apart
If it would’ve been better
To have never felt
Your love at all.
To me this struck a chord: it made me think of memories I didn’t want to think of, shards of my past I had dusted into a pile left sitting in the dust-pan waiting to be emptied into the trash. But for some reason I had been waiting – waiting for what? That I do not know.
I used to think I knew everything. I could predict everything, get everything to go just how I pleased. As a young girl, I thoroughly was convinced I could talk my way out of anything. Charmspeak, a term coined by author Rick Riordan, is what I resonated with. I wanted to be like Piper, a daughter of Aphrodite goddess of love, who could talk her way through anything and convince people of anything. Piper took the phrase I live by literally – if there is a will, there is most certainly a way.
When I grew older I realized I would never be like Piper because not only am I not a daughter of Aphrodite, I am a girl who doesn’t live in a fictional story no matter how much I wish I could. The story I live in is authored by me, it’s a wild crazy shitshow that is constantly being written as we go. I wish it had a classic fairytale ending. But I am going to assume that it doesn’t. At the very least I can hope that it ends with me happy as a cardiothoracic or neonatal surgeon living in New York with an English Cream Golden Retriever puppy. Maybe I am a bit ahead of myself. That’s okay.
Lately my brain has been focusing on the concept of wasted time. How you can waste so much of your life on another person. But is it truly wasting time if you learn something from them? If you learn to not make the same mistakes again that you made? Not to fall for the same sweet words over and over because they just say or do the right things you desperately want to hear?
I learned to stay guarded. I’ve learned that sometimes I care too much about the wrong people. Sometimes you just have to let people go and that can be the best thing you can do for them no matter how little you want that to be. Sometimes for better or worse people change and they just aren’t who you want around anymore. Sometimes people hide and forget to tell you things that are incredibly important and wait for you to ask when they should have said something months ago. Sometimes people just don’t know how to let you go when they really need to. I learned I can only rely on myself and people are manipulative users who will hang you out to dry no matter how good you are to them.
I learned what it meant to be unconditionally loved. But in contrast, in my second real relationship, I learned what it feels like to be cheated on, lied to and where it feels like cheating is happening. But when you aren’t there to watch it happen, you’ll never know for sure and you cannot question it wholeheartedly until the truth finally comes out as it always does. I know what it is to put all of your trust into another person – and for them to shatter it and for you to realize they’ve given you reason not to trust them.
I’ve learned to love unconditionally the people in my life, even the ones who have screwed me over. And every single damn time, my heart aches and I wish I would just realize my fatal flaw of caring too much. I wish I was a cold-hearted bitch. It would make things easier. But my values are too strong and my moral compass too magnetic.
I used to live with my brain as the guide, but I’ve slowly transitioned into living following my heart and by my feelings. This is incredibly stupid sometimes, but it is also exhilarating. But it leaves you in heartbreak and an emotional rollercoaster. It leaves you wishing you could tell people how you feel all the time, even when telling them how you feel about them could burn your relationship to the ground or completely change the way that they see you if they don’t view you in the same way.
Because you care when things go wrong in other people’s lives, but also when they go right. Because there was a time when you were alone and felt like there was absolutely no one – and you told yourself nobody would ever feel that way again because you would stick by them.
To the ones that have hurt me, I’ve forgiven you. Because that’s who I am and that’s what I do. I forgive and forget and am constantly taken advantage of. Yet, for the life of me I don’t know why I stick around. I know I deserve better. I know what it is like to feel loved and cared for. And even if just as a friend, I still deserve to feel that way, even after the times I’ve kept people around that have made me feel worthless. Because, what, I’m the girl that’s “too good for you” people say. I’m the girl who pours her soul into whatever she does because I’m passionate about what I think and what I have to say and I hope that I will never have to stay quiet.
Nothing is forcing you to listen to me as I smash through every expectation people had for me and I surpass those to prove them wrong, all the ones who doubted me or bullied me. Nothing is forcing you to stick around till the end of my story. Right now, it’s usually about the time where I’m clutching onto strings that should’ve been severed. Because those who have hurt me, if you cared well you’d do something. But some of us are better just coexisting from a distance it seems. Sometimes I wonder if it were better if, the one I grew closest to this freshman year, if we never met, to have never involved with him at all. But this is a cycle, it’s not the first and last time I’m going to feel this way.
Screw being hot and the girl all the guys want to sleep with these days, as he used to say. I’m content with being intelligent and successful and focused on bigger and better things than I can even imagine tangibly right now. I am the one who matters in this story and I’m done wasting words and paper writing about the peoples of the past’s haunting memories that have floated into my reality.
Those pages are floating down the river for now.
As a wise English teacher once told me:
You must let the wind underneath your wings and let the road rise to meet your feet.
Sometimes I miss people from my past a lot. But the people who they were, the ones who I knew, not always quite the people they are now. But time, it exists for a reason and well, there’s no going back now.