There are times when you recognize yourself and you think you know who you are. You Hit your mid-twenties and you feel mostly better about what you need and want out of a relationship, friendships, etc., even when you aren’t sure about your career and jobs. So, there you are, just truckin’ along, being happy. And maybe if not happy, being secure. And maybe if not secure, being comfortable.
And then someone pops into your life. It’s been years since you’ve liked someone back. Months and months of telling your friends “I just want to like someone as much as they like me” while your friends roll their eyes at your lack of humility. But it’s true. For 2 1/2 years I’ve wanted to care about someone again. Find someone to go on dates with, show up to events together, be giddy when I think about them.
Here he is. In the flesh.
One month in, and I’ve gotten legitimately upset with him twice. He’s gentle with me when I am. He hasn’t been in a relationship in a few years as well, so he’s rusty. I try to remind myself of this as my thoughts spin and my feelings are bruised and I worry. This specific instance isn’t what worries me- the matter should be easy enough to hammer out.
What worries me is that I care. I want him to care. I nervously think things like, “Oh shit. Maybe I should be cooler. What if he doesn’t call me back? What if he thinks I’m too intense? What if he decides, ‘Nah. She’s not for me.” I want him to care about me. Because I care about him. Already. And I haven’t cared about the boys I’ve dated. I haven’t wanted to see or talk to them every day. Instead, I have been annoyed at how much they think they know about me and love to tell me their intense feelings for me and have ridiculous pet names for me and plan these grand dates and gestures and then expect me to coo over them with praise. I don’t know if he’s different or not, but I want him to be.
That’s what makes me not recognize myself. Who is this girl that maybe likes someone more than they like her? I don’t know her. And I’m not sure I like her. And that’s what worries me more. I’m carrying my baggage with me everywhere and I didn’t even realize it.
I need a bellhop.