I met someone I like. It's a much more complicated and scary thing than I expected.
At the very least it's been surreal. It's not difficult to write about relationships retroactively, or write about them with intensity while they're falling apart. What's been strangely difficult is writing about one in any meaningful context while it's all going really well.
I still think of Jordan a lot, and that's been strange to process. There was part of me that felt very guilty for having real feelings for someone else. There was something in my head that still resisted the idea that I even could be with someone else in a meaningful way. Everyone else was supposed to be a placeholder; I'd live my life adventure and eventually we'd meet back up and live out our lives together. On some level I don't think I ever anticipated I'd move on.
There's a lot of weird baggage like that I had no idea I'd have. I wanted to wait before meeting anyone because I wanted to be "past" everything I've been through in the past couple years. I wanted a clean slate, but I guess time doesn't work that way; I can only build off of what I've been given, good or bad. I've been very fortunate that this boy has been patient with me.
I wanted to be okay by myself, to know who I was and to be sure that if/when I ended up with someone, they didn't put any limits on who I am. I didn't want to lose the identity I created, that's a hazard I face in relationships. I am very sensitive to the Pygmalion Effect.
In the past, if I like people I find myself getting lost in them. I don't really understand why or how I lose myself, but I stop being what it is that I am and end up trying to be what I expect they want me to be. I become a kind of doll. I don't think anyone I've ever been with has ever wanted a doll, either. They liked who I was and were probably very confused how that girl disappeared into something else. I think it's because I cut myself off socially; I only have them and their expectations and perception to draw from, and that becomes a vicious cycle.
I am a collection of things I like about other people. If no one else is around, I become a collection of one person's perceptions about me.
I've known that about myself for a very long time, but I'm only just now realizing that being a collection of things I like about other people also means that I am what those other people like about me. I think that's how I ended up becoming that blank doll. I would focus so heavily on what they liked about me that I wouldn't be able to see it any more, and then it would disappear, and we were all a bit confused.
I'm inconsistent and impulsive, I have this ephemeral projection that exists in different ways around different people. The idea of another relationship made me panic. I like to connect with people, I like to in a very deep way and I know it means I walk a lot of gray areas. It makes me worried that I'd accidentally be shitty to someone I'm in a relationship with. I saw it happen with Jordan and I don't want to do it again.
Looking back, the way I deified him has become to fade and I have become a lot more understanding of how all that broke down. I still want the best for him. I just don't want to know what happens in his life any more. I don't really know if he reads this or any of his friends do, but I guess he has the option of not knowing or knowing, depending on what he wants. That's a weird portal to know exists.
Now there is this new person, and I swear he's a little magical. I've been afraid of my malleability, how quickly I can change from one kind of person to another, and of the risk of me becoming lost, or turning into something I'm not. Relationships make me feel like a circus tiger, even if it isn't what the other person wants. I spill into this mold called "girlfriend" and it takes me out of the current I've been working so hard to be part of. That scares me the most, but it doesn't seem like that threat exists here. So far there's been a strange level of what I suppose is just being understood, but in a way I haven't encountered before.
I've been at a loss when it comes to describing what I like about this raccoon-of-a-human other than I like how he is, which is not exactly defined by who he is. When we talk about who we are, we usually mention our job, where we're from, our age and so on. None of that particularly interests me, and rarely do I think those definitions matter much. You are who you are, but how you do it is a much more interesting question.
He seems so self aware and empathetic. He is curious and smart and very odd, he's aware of how he feels and thinks critically about it. We can talk about anything. He's interested in what I do and he has faith in it. He's interested in who I am and complements it well. We're analogous; in a way, I feel better understood through knowing him.
The person I am when I'm around him, I think, is close to the way I think I am deep down, or at least the way I like to be. I am still a capricious monster, but around him, I am not a doll. I don't feel any need to impress this person. I don't feel the need to protect his feelings, so I tell him what I am thinking and feeling even if it's dark or potentially unpleasant. It's not hard to be honest. I'm still susceptible to the Pygmalion effect, but in this case it's become an advantage.
It's hard to balance the knowledge that the chemical release of love is temporary, that this feeling will be diluted by reality, with the understanding that I can't assume I know how this will end. I am not sure how long this will last or if it's meant to, but I'm looking forward to the shapes it takes. I'm looking forward to seeing the people we become, whether or not those people can continue a relationship. You can do a lot of harm, and a lot of good to another person once you've been intimate. We fear how things end, but I think I've figured out that it's not endings I'm afraid of, it's hurt. People who get hurt become bitter, and cynical, and it becomes more difficult to be open the more often it happens. I don't know if or how this ends, but I do know that we care about each other in a way where we won't leave the other one hurting.
Typical of me to try and write something light and fluffy about love and come up with that kind of dark sentiment, but my mind works a lot through those reciprocals. I understand things by their contrasts, and my ability to understand the loss of last time comes from learning about this new beginning and vice versa. Whatever it is, it makes me feel very good, and I'm grateful to have it.
If there is an ending, I really believe it won't be bitter, we will still be ourselves. It's a nice hope to have.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.