I stopped watching love stories and reading romance novels a long time ago. I think it was partially deliberate because I felt they were giving me unrealistic expectations, but I think it was also subconscious. I stopped watching them after my abusive ex. I just stopped believing in love stories. I stopped believing that men wanted to romance women, or that men could ever love women as much as women love men. I don’t believe in epic love stories. I don’t believe that men want to sacrifice for women, or make them smile, or make their hearts race.
I want to believe, but I don’t. Men lie. They hurt. They don’t show remorse. They don’t seem to care. They hook up. They move on.
The last few weeks have been titled “Boys Are Stupid.” There are hats. I’m sick and tired of men looking and never speaking. I’m tired of men hiding their feelings and being cowards. I’m tired of all the men that never try. Why won’t they try, you may ask? Because they’re stupid. In all fairness, it’s because they’re scared. We’re all scared. We’re scared to be honest. You know why we are all so scared? Because we’re stupid. We settle. We don’t try. How many wonderful moments do we rob ourselves of by not trying? How many beautiful experiences do we miss out on because we lack the courage to be honest, kind, selfless, bold, innovative. We settle for quiet misery and loneliness and heartache and mistrust and desperation that things will get better without actually trying to make them better ourselves.
It is not any way to live, and I will not do it! I will not give in. I will not surrender. I will not remain silent. I will not hide and cower. I will be bold and brave. I will tell the truth. I will love. I will try new things even when I am afraid.
I met a new man that seems to like me, and he seems rather sweet. I’m scared. I don’t want to be used. I don’t want to be forgotten. I don’t want to be left. I thought maybe I shouldn’t try because of all the things that could go wrong. I thought maybe I shouldn’t try because I was just demolished by someone else two weeks ago–it’s all so fresh. And maybe the wise thing is to not try. Maybe I will accidentally hurt this new man by rebounding or throwing my fears on him. I don’t know. But I want to try. Because I want to believe. I want to believe there is goodness out there. I want to believe that there are men that will be bold, and honest, and good, and have good intentions. And, how could I ever fault men for not trying and not being brave, if I won’t try or be brave? And the truth is, I am twice the man than any of these men that won’t try. I risked. I was vulnerable and exposed. I trusted that guy, and I tried, and it failed. It failed epically. We don’t talk. I don’t talk to him. But I tried. He may not have cared. He may have used me–who knows–but I tried. I tried, and I was good.
I never want to think of him again. I wish great things for him, and I do believe that my good feeling was right. I think he is a good guy, who did a bad thing, and has everything he needs to be a great man. Maybe my good feeling just…sensed that inner greatness that wasn’t quite there yet. But I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve kisses accompanied by empty words and silence.
Every day, I try. I love to love. I write love notes for my roommates. I love them so much, and I just want them to know all the time. I buy my best friend’s favorite snacks, just knowing it will make her feel thought of and make her smile. I say hi to Gypsy, even though he always seems to act like I have a slight case of leprosy that can be transmitted even through eye contact (he won’t look at me), and it hurts my feelings. I was always willing to listen and encourage that guy because I wanted him to have faith in himself. I offered to bring food to my friends and acquaintances who are doing rotations at the hospital nearby. I try to tell people how I feel and what I think about them, even strangers, because it makes people feel so good. I send video messages (inspired by Ms. Globetrotter) telling my friends how much I love them and why, just so they will always know. I care about being good, and I will always try. I practice in every moment. Every moment is an opportunity to be good and kind and strong and to love others. Every moment is an opportunity for beauty and excellence and effort. There is beauty in effort too. It makes me beautiful to try.
The reason I walked away from that guy was because I gave all of this and had all of this to give today, right now, and all he had to give were empty kisses, and that’s not good enough. I want to know how people feel about me–everyone. I want to know when a moment belongs to me, when someone is thinking of me. I want to know when someone thinks I am beautiful–every time. I want to know when someone misses me or wants to talk with me. I want to know everything. I try to open my heart to the people around me. I want the same. I want people to try for the best thing, for the greatest thing, with me. Is it love? Is it honesty? Whatever it is, I wish people would try.
I want to believe men care, but all I see is selfishness. I want more. I want to believe there is more.
I want to be the best I can be. Always reach for the best–not just externally–the best job, the best partner, the best moment–but also reach for the best inside of you. Reach for the best you are capable of being. I think that is when truly great things happen–when truly great relationships, and friendships, and adventures happen. I try to reach for the best in me, and I think that is one of the bravest things I can do. I hope I will be better. I hope I will love better and be braver. I will try to always fight.
Soon, I will start planning for Hawaii and Brazil. Life goes on. I go on. I am strong, I think.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt.
Tomorrow, I must try again.