One of my co-workers who’s grown to be a pretty good friend of mine just came back from maternity leave and had all kinds of questions about what she’d missed. She wanted to know what was going on at work, if I was still pissing on trees, and of course, she had questions about THIS. Being me, I tried to give her the rundown in 30 seconds or less type of explanation, leaving out plenty of details (as I tend to do when I talk about my personal life), but putting in just enough for her to get the gist of what went down. After all that had been said – and as I told her how we’d basically had this way too serious conversation the night before my birthday that, in essence, put he and I right back to where we were last year MINUS the me hating him part – I expected her to look at me and say something to the effect of “well you know, things don’t always work out.” Something reassuring, but clear that we both knew it was over.
But she didn’t say that. In fact, for a minute – she just didn’t say anything.
So since she didn’t say it – I did. I started spewing the kinds of things that you say when you want to make someone else feel better about a sucky story you just told. “It’s okay, though – really,” I said. “These things happen. Sometimes liking someone just isn’t enough to make it work.” On and on I went until I finally looked at her disapproving and unbelieving face.
“What are you talking about,” she asked? “You guys like each other. That should be all that matters.”
And I thought about trying to explain to her why that wasn’t the case, but I just didn’t have the energy to do so, and more importantly, I didn’t think it would have mattered what I said. Because she’s where I was 5 or 6 years ago. Believing that love conquers all and that all you need in life is for that guy you like to like you back (at least when it concerns my love life, that’s where she is lol). Yeah, I’m not there anymore. I’m not pessimistic about love by any means. (I used to be, but I’m not anymore.) Heck, most of my friends would tell you that I’m one of the biggest romantics/saps of them all. But as I’ve grown, I’ve realized that the way most people consider liking someone or loving someone involves no sense of action. They see it as just feelings that come upon you. And in a sense, that’s true – but it also involves work.
I get that now.
So when J says that’s all that matters, she’s missing some important factors. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think that you should fight for someone if you really want to be with them. My girl S Curl couldn’t have said it any better the other night when she said, “I hate people who love lazily,” meaning if you really like someone, you take chances. You acknowledge whatever situation could be against you two, but more importantly, you make the decision that those circumstances aren’t going to stop you. And you move. You take some sort of action that shows you’re not just content with throwing up your hands and saying ‘ah well.’
But you know what? I also get now, that you can fight and you can want and sometimes… it still not be meant to work out with that person, especially if you’re the only one fighting. That’s life, though. We don’t make it work with everyone we develop feelings for. And everyone we like isn’t the person we’re supposed to be with. We take those lessons and use them to move forward.
Does that mean there aren’t times when I remember laying in his arms, our bodies intertwined completely – from our fingers to our feet? Or how the coldness of my body matched his warmth perfectly? Does that mean I don’t remember how much he made me laugh or the quiet moments when we would just look at each other and not have to say anything? No, of course not. BUT – it does mean that I can acknowledge that there was something there and not beat myself up about how it ended. We had something – just for whatever reason, it wasn’t enough. And that’s ok – really. These things happen… Sometimes liking someone just isn’t enough to make it work.