By Lauren Belcher | CBelcher@flagler.edu
Photo by Lauren Belcher
I missed my best friend’s birthday.
Not because I wasn’t close enough to attend; I’m right down the street. I’m still not sure why I chose to miss her birthday. All I know is: I woke up that morning and decided I couldn’t be there and I needed to spend time alone.
To anyone who knows me, that sounds like a joke. I hate being alone. In fact, I do everything in my power to avoid it (read my earlier piece if you don’t believe me.)
But, this morning that wasn’t true. I woke up, made this decision and text messaged our mutual best friend and said I wouldn’t be there.
Flash backwards eight hours earlier and you’d see the three of us partying and laughing together. You’d see me go home and write on Facebook that it’s my best friend’s birthday today (1 a.m.) and I love her and can’t wait to see her later. So what happened?
For the last few years, I have toyed around with a thought. Sometimes the thought is overwhelmingly powerful, and sometimes it’s just background noise. The thought is: I am in love.
Funny thing is, I have never been in a relationship and I’m fairly certain no one is in love with me.
That’s right! I’m one of the millions of women who fell for someone who doesn’t have feelings to return.
I used to believe a few things about love. One: it’s only love if both people feel the same. Two: you can have many loves in your lifetime.
Now, I’m not so sure of either of those statements.
What is love anyways? Many claim to know and claim to be ‘in love,’ but what if that feeling you’re feeling now could feel better? What happens when the person you’re ‘in love’ with now, becomes the hated ex tomorrow?
I had a wonderful epiphany recently. What if what I’m feeling isn’t love?
Several years ago I met a boy. Within a few months, the boy and I were inseparable.
We spent all of our time together and when we couldn’t be together, we would message and call each other until we were again. Sounds like two kids in love doesn’t it?
Problem is, it was completely one-sided. I couldn’t understand why someone would want to spend that much time with a person if they didn’t have feelings for them. But time and time again, I found out just how not in love he was with me. After a few years of this new reassurance, I couldn’t take it anymore and I ended all contact.
That was over a year ago and it’s taken me this long to realize that was not love. Not even close.
Since then, I’ve been bitter towards all those in love. Seeing people hold hands and be close made me sick with envy. Why can’t they do that in private? Like the world wants to see how ‘happy’ you two are. It’s a terrible feeling. You feel hopeless, and without even realizing it, you drive away any attempt at your own happiness.
But, this new revelation doesn’t make me sad. It doesn’t make me feel like I wasted all of this time mourning a loss that didn’t even exist.
It makes me smile. It makes me hopeful for the future. For the day when someone actually does love me.
I can’t wait. I want it all. The dates and the first kiss and all the other firsts. I want the closeness and feeling of security. I want to take a chance and include him in my plans.
I know that once the feeling is returned, it’ll all melt away. All the sadness, envy and pain. I’ll look back on it in 10 years and laugh at how ridiculous I was.
Now you may have guessed that my two best friends are in loving relationships. So you can only imagine what I’m like when put in a room with two couples.
Happiness makes me angry. It makes me envious. It’s a constant slap in the face to see them happy when I’m not.
How could I spend another day with the two happy couples and not ruin the mood? It was her birthday and I refused to ruin it. So I stayed away. I figured their lives (or at least their day) would be better without me in it.
While I was home alone, I figured I should do some soul-searching and find the root of these feelings. If I maintained them any longer, I was certain I would lose every friend I had. No one likes a negative friend when he or she is happy.
I brought out crayons, colored pencils and a sketch pad. I remembered in therapy how much they stressed making a vision board. It’s the best way to focus on what you want and visualize it into reality.
I wrote on a piece of paper: “What do you want?” I kept it in front of me and started drawing the things I wanted in my life. I started with Amarii. Since she passed, I’ve always seen her as my animal guide. There was nothing that I needed more than a guide.
After drawing her, I grabbed some of my Feel Good stones. These are rocks that have positive messages etched into them. I put the rocks under the paper and scribbled over them with a colored pencil so you could read the message. I cut those out and taped them together into a collage of positive thoughts.
A few hours later I was finished with my board.
One sheet says “I want a ♂ who is…” then I wrote a bunch of traits that were important to me in a man. I did the same with friends.
I hung the board up in my room and looked at it for a while. I meditated on all the things I said I wanted. I realized I can’t be angry at people’s happiness. Especially not the happiness of my closest friends. I am happy they are happy. Even if it’s not my time yet…
On second thought, why do I need a man to make my happiness? Isn’t that my problem all along?
That is when needs become wants. Because the only thing I need is me. And the best kind of me, is a happy, healthy me.