Through the Looking Glass
Chapter 1: The Holidays
Due to finals & travel, I'm one more Friday short of writing than I'd like to be., but luckily the break has been very full. So there's lots to share. I hope everyone enjoyed there holidays, time off, or just the season! I'll start with the loveliest parts of my time at home.
First and foremost, BEING AT HOME! I will never be able to say enough how much I love my family. Time with them is truly priceless & unforgettable. Since my brother hosted Thanksgiving in HTX, we did Christmas at my parents' in Terrell. Slowly but surely, each of the kids arrived...along with an assortment of animals. Joining the family dog, Tiger, was Nick & Nora (my puppy and my cat) and Hasani, my older brother's ferret. Needless to say this was the fullest the house has ever been, and it was a little rocky at times but ultimately enjoyable. Nick took to the open space of northeast Texas pretty well. A little startled by the cows, but he eventually got used to them.
Aside from the entertainment provided by our pets interacting with one another, we of course as expected played our fair share of films, made our jokes, and just rested in each others'company, which we don't get to do as often as we'd like. It always feels like we're kids again, when my brothers get going with their video games, me watching intently, my mom making us our various favorite snacks/dishes, and my Dad making fires and hilarious comments.
For Christmas this year, my oldest brother got us matching sweaters which was really sweet. The process of getting all the pictures was long & tedious but honestly so fun. It's not until you're looking back on them that you really do appreciate something that seems cheesy but is actually meaningful. Christmas was a good day, a really good day. And though, we did not do an official Kwanzaa ceremony this year, I did and do celebrate by recognizing & sharing the 7 principles. Kwanzaa is beautiful and such an inclusive holiday.
*If you would like to know more about it, pop over to the #challenge tab and view days 12/26-1/1.
In the midst of Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the approaching new year, I was also able to see some very dear high school friends. My first outing was taking over Deep Ellum on a Saturday night with the crew of crews. There are no words for how much fun I had, and how amazing it was to see so many faces you know and love all getting together. My heart was full and yet so light. I got to dance, and I mean DANCE. Salsa y bachata. And it felt. so. good. Not only to be out, but to be doing something I truly love (and my soul needs) for the first time in a long time. I don't and can't dance these dances enough, so that night was very special. To have that & the great company of old friends was incredible.
A little closer to the new year, I had one of the best nights I've had in along time with one of my favorite individuals. I had a sleepover... yes a freakin' sleepover with my high school best friend and it was glorious. Not that I expected it anything less, but it truly was so much fun.
This friendship has withstood and continues to withstand so much. I don't see her enough. I don't talk to her enough, yet we know each other's ins & outs so well the love not only persists but grows in spite of the distance, sporadic texts/calls, and even less frequent visits. Anywho, we were pretty excited just making plans so by time this day came, we knew there would be much to discuss. We ate, boy did we eat. We drank, ohhhh did we drink. And we were very, very ,very merry. You know when you just gab for hours and hours until your body just falls asleep on you? No? Yes? Yaaasss?? Well that's what this was. It was middle school, high school, collegiate, and adult us all in one incredible evening. And I'm so so thankful for a night like that during this break.
Chapter 2: The Break
I'm careful... with my feelings, with my heart... more often than not. I value friendships greatly and I think anyone I call my friend will 9 times out 10 have the best shot at ever being more than my friend, i.e. receiving my love fully/romantically. That being said... that's kind of where I was. Not in love, but with love, decidedly, for this person.
So the guy...There was a guy, a friend. He was good. And when I say good, I mean like "whoa they still make guys like you?" good. His character, his willingness to help, to serve, to take care of things/people. Top that with some chivalry, compatible senses of humor, some shared hobbies, and just a mutual understanding, respect, and interest in one another. Then.
I won't lie I was hesitant in the beginning. Very. As I said, I'm careful with my heart. It's easy to be that way in the beginning. Things are great, but you still have your wits about you. In time though, as feelings grow in depth and mass, your wits are slowly consumed by "like," "like like," "really like," and maybe... ultimately love. It's both equally frightening & exhilarating to even think you may be falling for someone or even entertaining the idea that you could. I say this as a first timer. And it's true what some say, it is hard to recall exactly how you even get there. I can't speak to how I came to have the feelings I do, but I know exactly when. I know the moment it became clear, and I was in denial for a bout a week more after that moment, and then I accepted what was already true.
So what happened?... Well, being the advocate that I am for communication (in any relationship) I had every intention of speaking these truths... But also being a young woman consciously experiencing an intense emotional realization for the first time, that skill & desire was delayed by mild anxiety. But my closest & dearest of best friends via phone helped calm my nerves and hype me up for what was to be a crucial first for me.
Only that first never happened. The call I was so nervous, so anxious to make, went unanswered. As did my subsequent text. Me... I, went unanswered for the entirety of my break. It was like all of a sudden I was in a relationship or perhaps ending a relationship with a completely different person. Someone who had nothing to say, no courtesy, no heads up or explanation, no anything... for me at least... Despite having said to me less than a week prior how much he cares about me, how much I "mean to him".
And of course when you're enduring a long stent of silence dictated by another person, the last thing they said to you plays over and over and over again in your head because it's all you have really. Well that and the history. A good history, mind you... one of date nights, long talks & laughs, sharing family/friends, sleepovers, emergency runs to WalMart/CVS, long walks, sarcasm, proofreading papers, studying, cooking, seasons of tv, movies, videogames, sweet nothings.... Our history was good, but our present was out of my hands.
And while it may seem like the hardest part of this situation would be enjoying the break or not obsessing over the idea this relationship is ending... the hardest part, truly, is being so attached to this person, that each day that passes, you are simultaneously forgiving them, hating them, worrying about them, and hoping with all your heart that the "worst," the end is not happening. Even though, the "worst" might be what's best for you.
I was left to my imagination for weeks because my friend, my person, my loved one couldn't be bothered to tell me he met someone else. I was left to wonder and guess and assume that truth that could have been spoken before the break even began. And I would have been left in that silence with unspoken truth for God knows how long because of his cowardice... had I not literally asked for an answer. And it's those moments, those realizations of character, that in the midst of feeling all your negative feelings, lets you know something about this heartache will ultimately be good for you.
And please don't misunderstand me. I don't pretend to be so mature or evolved that knowing something awful may be best for you mitigates the storm of emotions that most definitely did occur & are occuring. I felt & feel them still. Because I care. I decided that this person was true & to love them. The same love I give my closest friends. Love though clear in and of itself, has a way of blurring everything else. It challenges us in unique ways. I do believe though, that we are made better by such challenges, regardless of how blissful or painful the process. Whatever lessons there are to be learned, whatever gains or losses occur, whatever changes made to our spirits, minds, & hearts are for the better.
I believe this, because even now while I'm writing, my wounds from this experience are fresh. I'm still reacting emotionally & processing emotionally. I'm still unsure of where I will land or when. But... I am sure that I've been hurt by a friend, a loved one. I'm sure that he chose to be afraid to tell the truth. I'm sure that his actions were wrong, disrespectful to me & to us, selfish, and unkind. I'm sure that he is sorry. As he should be. I'm sure that I've lost a friend, and that genuine forgiveness won't always result in restored relationships, no matter how much we may want it to. or think it could. I'm sure that what's happened to me is resulting in what's best for me.
And while love & hope may make life a little more difficult, I am grateful they make us more inclined to forgive. Forgiveness has a way of expediting the process of moving forward. It is the ultimate healing & for that I am grateful to love. As for hope... This is the first time it's been tricky. I know I ought to have it, but at this point I'm unsure if my hope is misplaced or not. I'm certain it will soon be clear though. Promise to keep you posted.
Chapter 3: The First Step
You can probably gather that the happenings discussed in Chapter 2 made the winter break less than ideal, but somehow by the grace of God, the sweet comfort of family, and the company of many friends, I was able to make the most of my break instead of being broken up by it. I knew heading in, there was plenty to be done when it comes to school & there was a lot I wanted to do for myself to just prepare for the coming semester. Now just because I wasn't broken up by boy troubles doesn't mean it wasn't weighing on my mind & heart. I'm not immune to these things. I just had support & luckily, lots I wanted to do to distract me.
Part of my plans, was taking care of some smaller assignments, budgeting for the next year ( so unlike me but I'm growing up slowly but surely, *snaps), and gearing up for how I want to tackle Step studying. The beautiful thing about having two weeks off, was that it's just the right amount of time to relax while being productive. If I wanted to lay on the floor and watch countless episodes of Impractical Jokers or back to back Hobbit films, I could. If I wanted to sit and do hours of medical Spanish I could (and I did smh). There was ample time for everything. This is crucial because taking advantage of the opportunity to unwind and decompress is just as important as making time to be productive. Any shorter than 2 weeks and I would have felt pressed; any longer and I would have lost all will to work or do anything school related. And we sure as hell can't have that. This ain't the time lol. Step is approaching & so is a whole ass semester of school & life happenings planned and unplanned, so the game is on. Not a fun game...I feel obligated to disclose that, lol but a competitive & challenging one just the same.
I'm excited to be back in LBK (despite my many complaints about it) and at school. I'm excited to be busy and focused. I'm doing my best to be proactive in school and my personal health, especially given the timing of my "loss" lol. It's always a good time to take your self care and dreams seriously, but this is a really good time for it. At least I think it is. Promise to let you know how it goes.
Until next week...
Remember our strength while not always on the surface, is present... & our misfortunes are temporary experiences meant to refine us, not permanent circumstances sent to misguide us.
The Third Voice