Falling For Your Friends

Falling For Your Friends

Can a guy and girl be just friends with each other? Yes, absolutely. Not every guy and girl can but many guys and girls can. Now, is it wise to fall for your friends? No, absolutely not. It’s messy and it’s complicated. It’s not like in the movies or in TV shows. Not all friendships can become relationships as easily as Chandler and Monica’s did. More often, it’s gonna end up being like Joey and Rachel.

Now, I’ve always been against blurring the line between a friendship and a relationship. That means don’t make out with your friend, don’t sleep with your friend, and don’t date your friend. But sometimes we can’t help it. Sometimes things happen and life gets difficult. For example, I think I’ve fallen in love with my best friend. And that sounds just as bad as it is.

Amid all the inside jokes and the constant teasing, I caught feelings. I say love really loosely though because, realistically, who the fuck knows what that is? I thought I was in love with my first girlfriend. I wasn’t. With my friend, though, it’s different. It’s a different sort of feeling. And it sucks because it happened so unexpectedly.

It feels like one second she was telling me about all her problems with her boyfriend and the next I was wishing that I was her boyfriend. Obviously though, I wasn’t gonna tell her anything cause of my strict moral code–I’m not a home wrecker. So I didn’t. I put up a front and I listened every time she wanted to complain about her boyfriend, and you know what, I always supported her boyfriend, which probably sounds incredibly sad, and it is, but I knew how happy he made her so I wasn’t going to let her break up with him over just any small issue. And my feelings were irrelevant there. I would be over her in a few weeks…no big deal.

Flash forward a year and I can’t stop thinking about her. She’s the first person I think about when I wake up and the last person I think about before I go to sleep, cliché but it’s true. Whenever something even remotely exciting happens to me, she’s the first person I wanna tell or I immediately wish that she was there to see it happen with me. Everything she’s insecure about, I can’t help but fawn over. So yeah, I’m pretty fucked here.

Last month I finally worked up the courage to tell her how I felt. We ended up going on two dates and then she ended it. She texted me some long winded explanation about why she couldn’t continue with this, but I didn’t really understand it. I couldn’t. All I could think about was how pretty her eyes were the last time I saw her. I repeat; I’m fucked.

Obviously though I can’t force her to keep trying with me. So, now I have to try and move on. But that’s hard because I talk to her everyday and I see her so much. And I can’t just stop talking to her or seeing her because she’s my best friend and I don’t wanna lose her. But how else am I supposed to move on? I mean, it’s been a year and I’m absolutely crazy about her.

I’ve tried different things too. The first 10 months before I told her how I felt, I tried sleeping around. I thought I could get rid of my feelings that way. It didn’t work. It just made me feel really empty so I put a stop to it. Then I tried dating someone else. That ended up blowing up in my face. So, I’m just in limbo now. And I don’t know what to do.

Being Emotional

Being Emotional

Emotions are awful. Being an emotional person is awful. And being an emotional guy is just downright the worst thing that could ever happen to you. This is not me saying that emotional girls don’t have it rough, but being an emotional guy is just…bad. It even sounds wrong.

Science tells us that our personalities are determined both by heredity and the social environment; aka nature and nurture. They develop throughout our lifetime, but childhood is when the majority of the development occurs. Personality development slows down drastically the older you get.

Now, I grew up primarily with my mom. My dad wasn’t really around as much because of work, so my mom raised me. She’s an emotional person, and guess what, I turned out exactly like her. Growing up, she exposed me to TV shows like Winnie the Pooh and Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast and Hercules. The music I was exposed to made matters even worse. It was just 24/7 repeats of the Backstreet Boys, and N’ Sync, and the New Kids on the Block. That’s the music I grew up on; boy band music. And those things ended up sticking with me. And because of that, I ended up becoming the emotional mess I am today.

Part of being emotional means overthinking everything. It means remembering painful memories from the past and getting upset over and over again. It also means feeling lonely even when you’re surrounded by people. It’s hard too because my family and friends don’t understand it. They’re not at all like me so it becomes a challenge dealing with it. I cry way more than I should. I cry when friends leave, or when I go through a breakup, or when I fail a physics quiz that I studied weeks for. All that stuff makes me cry and I hate it. It makes life difficult. It makes meeting new people difficult because I get attached so easily.

It’s hard being emotional. It’s hard living like that. I wish I could say something positive about it, but I really can’t. I wish I wasn’t emotional. I wish I didn’t feel things as strongly as I did. I wish I didn’t care as much as I do…but it is what it is. And you just have to take it a day at a time.

No Type

No Type

When I was young younger, I used to have a crush on Alex from Wizards of Waverly Place. You know, the character played by Selena Gomez? It wasn’t just her looks though. I really liked her personality; tomboyish, fun, mischievous, and just the right amount of sweet. I started thinking of her as my dream girl. That became my type.

And from there on, I started to not really entertain the possibility of dating any girl who didn’t fit my type. It was either I find someone like Alex, or I find no one. It was very stupid of me. It was very childish of me. Quite frankly, it didn’t really make sense. How could I think Alex was my type when I’d never even dated anyone before? How could I think Alex was my dream girl when I didn’t even know if we’d mesh together properly?

That’s the problem with having types. Oh, you want a 6 foot guy with a thick head of hair? Well, what if he has anger issues? Oh, you want a girl who’s nice and sweet? Well, what if you end up finding her boring? Oh, you want someone who lives in the gym? Well, what if they put pineapple on their pizza?

There are so many potential deal breakers out there we don’t even consider when creating our dream partner. I probably overlooked many amazing girls in search for my Alex. And guess what? When I finally fell for someone, when I finally caught feelings, it wasn’t for Alex, it was for someone who was her exact opposite.

My first girlfriend was incredibly girly. She was sweet and caring and emotional. She wasn’t Alex. She was better. She was real. So many people, like me, will pass on an amazing person because of their over the top expectation that their dream partner is waiting for them right around the corner. They think their dream partner will just land on their lap with a stroke of destiny. That’s not life. Life is not some Judd Apatow movie. It just doesn’t work that way.

Don’t get me wrong, having a type is not some horrible issue. But only dating people that fit your type is limiting yourself to the possibility of finding someone whom you’ll have a very real and very genuine connection with. And isn’t that the goal? Finding someone you mesh with? Finding someone who gives you butterflies?

University Soliloquy

University Soliloquy

I think it’s inevitable that in university we sometimes feel as if we don’t belong. You sit in classes filled with these genius individuals and you begin to doubt your own self-worth and credibility. It doesn’t help when you put a week’s worth of studying into a midterm, and end up with a low 60. Yeah, that can be rough.

I used to think about dropping out three to four times a day. I didn’t think I was meant for university life. It seemed like no matter how much effort I put, my results just couldn’t back anything up. And I know I’m not alone. I have a lot of friends who felt, and still feel, the same way. Some of my friends have even dropped out. To each their own.

That being said, on the first day of my second year at university, my psychology professor gave a soliloquy of sorts to my entire class. It was very long, and I don’t remember most of what she said, but the words that stuck with me were (and I’m paraphrasing here):

“I know you all must feel overwhelmed. It’s university. That’s bound to happen. But let me tell you something. You guys need to realize that, just by being here, just by being in university and in this class, your intellect level is way above average. You are all smart people and no matter how you do in this class or your other classes, you are all destined for great things. Getting into university, in and of itself, is a huge accomplishment and you should feel very proud. No one can take this away from you”.

That hit me hard. No one can take this away from me; from us. University is difficult to get into. University is difficult to go through. This isn’t some cakewalk. It’s something so simple but so easily forgotten. It’s something we all need to hear from time to time.

She ended off her soliloquy with a joke about how, if we didn’t pay our tuition on time, we’d be forced to drop out.

Growing Apart

Growing Apart

When is it time to walk away from a friendship? How many lies are too many? How many arguments are too much? Those are difficult questions to answer. They differ from friend to friend.

For some, you’ll go to the ends of the earth. For others, you won’t even get out of bed. Often, what ends up happening is the person you’d go to the ends of the earth for, wouldn’t get out of bed for you. And that’s a difficult pill to swallow. But that’s life, isn’t it?

Recently, I stopped talking to one of my friends, let’s call her Sera. Sera and I had known each other since freshman year in high school, though it felt like we’d known each other our whole lives. We knew everything about each other. We shared everything with each other. She was one of my best friends. For a long time, she was my only best friend.

But, of late, I’d started noticing that our friendship was becoming more of a chore than a habit. I’d always be making effort to try and hang out with her and she wouldn’t be. She wouldn’t even send a single text message. If I never texted her, we never talked.

At first, I let her know how I felt. I let her know that this wasn’t okay and I’d appreciate if she put in some effort with me. Or, if she wanted to call this quits, then we could do that as well. I just wanted to know where I stood with her. She ended up apologizing. She said that, starting now, she’d put in more effort. She said we’d go back to how we were before; back in high school.

She lied. We went another year and nothing changed. I’d invite her out and she’d make up one excuse or another to get out of it. But then I’d see her on snapchat out with her friends from University…and that would hurt.

So, I ended up telling her like it is. I didn’t want to be friends with her anymore. I couldn’t keep giving 95% to someone who refused to even give me 5%. It was a difficult conversation to have, but one I’m glad I made time for. Of course, I still miss her. I have so many memories with her that it’s hard not to. I miss singing Magic with her while we were in Europe, I miss having deep conversations with her at Starbucks, I miss crashing fashion shows with her in downtown Toronto, among other things. But she’s moved on and I’ve moved on; just grown apart, I suppose.

It’s like that quote from Perks of Being a Wallflower, “Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody”.

Showcase Commotion

Showcase Commotion

Jealousy is an awful thing. It turns you into someone you’re not and it’s so difficult to overcome. For a long time, I thought I was above that. I couldn’t really see myself feeling jealous of anyone. I just thought I was better than that, too mentally tough for that.

That all changed when my first girlfriend, Claire, made this guy friend in college, who we’ll call Gunther. Now, it’s not like Claire didn’t have any other guy friends. She did, and I knew them, but something about Gunther threw me off. They got really close really fast. I mean, it went from him not even being a part of her life, to me constantly hearing about all the things they did together in class. About all the jokes they shared and the good times they had.

We got into a lot of fights and arguments because of Gunther. I would get frustrated. I would tell her that I didn’t like his intentions. I would try to get her to stop being friends with him. It was sort of like when Rachel got offered that job by Mark and Ross didn’t trust Mark? Friends fans, anyone?

Anyway, it all came crashing down on December of 2015. Claire had this arts showcase that obviously I was invited to. I ended up coming an hour late. I slept in. There’s no excuse. I wish I could say one of my classes ran late. I wish I could say I was busy saving a cat from a tree. But no, I just slept in like an idiot. By the time I got there, Claire was angry, deservedly so. But guess who else was there and on time? Gunther. Gunther hadn’t been invited but he’d shown up anyway to support her because that’s just the kind of stand-up guy Gunther was.

Initially, I ignored him. I pretended like he wasn’t even there. I just walked up to Claire and apologized. Now, in the middle of my heartfelt soliloquy, Gunther waltzes right in and tries to get me to leave. He says that I’m stressing Claire out, that I need to give her space, and I’m looking at this guy like ‘Whose mans is this?’. And I finally snapped. I punched him across the face. Now, I rarely ever throw punches but I knew when I’d punched him that I hadn’t hit him hard. But Gunther practically fell backwards as if a car had slammed into him; he flopped. That’s when everyone got involved. People got in between us, there was a whole commotion at the showcase, and Claire ended up dragging me out of there.

Surprisingly enough, Claire and I didn’t break up that day, but we should have. Something fell apart that day between us that we were never truly able to get back. But we were stubborn, like all kids in love are.

Occasionally, like today, I’ll think back to that night. I’ll think about all the things I could’ve done differently. Maybe not get as jealous as I did? Maybe set four alarms instead of just the one? Maybe bring Claire flowers or chocolate instead of just showing up late and empty handed? Maybe not punch Gunther? Or maybe that was fine. Yeah, you know what, that was fine.

Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone

Comfort is strange. Too often when I’ve asked friends or family how they feel about their jobs or relationships or their life, they answer with a shrug and an “I’m comfortable”. Now, being comfortable doesn’t mean you’re happy, it means you’re at ease. You’re at ease because there’s a familiar routine to what you’re doing, day in and day out.

So much of our lives are spent in comfort. We isolate ourselves to these comfort zones where everything is familiar and nothing is a challenge. And then we wake up one morning, old and frail, and we wish we could take it back. We have so many regrets over all the things we didn’t do; over all the things we wanted to do but chose not to because they interfered with our comfort zone. That’s not living life, that’s dealing with life.

That pretty girl you see across the bar? She will say yes if you ask her for her number. That job position you don’t think you have enough experience for? They want someone exactly like you. That talent show you’re too nervous to perform in? You’re going to get a standing ovation after your performance. You are smart, you are capable, and you are worth every opportunity in the world. You have to believe that. You have to take a chance on yourself. And if you fail? Then you try again.

Don’t fall victim to the comfort zone. If you don’t like your job, leave it. If you don’t like your relationships, end them. If you’re not happy with your life, change it. Life is too short to spend it doing only what’s comfortable.