Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It's Okay To Feel Good About Helping People - The Fireman (Joe Hill) Review *Spoilers*

Dear Diary,

I recently finished "The Fireman" by Joe Hill. It was recommended by an ex-boyfriend who I'm still seeing. But more on that for another post. (I'm actually seeing two of my ex's at the moment, but I'm honestly super down to meet "the one" and get married this year or the next.).

The books was too long, even by audiobook standards. But I was a fan of the narrator by the story's climax - it grew on me. I liked the book because it was about hope. So often, scary novels or action-thrillers are about the cooler the better (!!!FIRE ROBOTS FIGHT#$^$@$ DRIVING INTO WATER?! DEMON POSSESSING FAMILY AND GOES BACK TO HELL?!). I liked "The Fireman" because there was - sneak peek alert - a lightness in the drama. And the lightness carried the characters towards positivity and finding beauty in the way of escaping something terrifying. But then again, I'm a sucker for a story of hope because it's the one thing that leads me out of dark places in my own life. As an agnostic college kid, I was glad to see that there wasn't an emphasis on God to lead people towards salvation - but rather, the good in some people shining brightly to do the best that they can be. Getting older each year, I can see how my experiences seeing the bad in people could make me go sour. I've always been able to see the good attributes in people more than the bad, but that's why people take me to be naive. In my opinion, it's not naive to be able to see the strengths and weaknesses in others, while putting their positive in the forefront of how I characterize them. I liked "The Fireman" because I related to the main character.
Here's one quotes, that does take place in the context of a religious discussion: "Don’t they all teach that to do for others feels better than to do for yourself? That someone else’s happiness need not mean less happiness for you?”
A huge theme of the book, which I didn't see other reviewers online touch much on, is that it is OK to feel good about helping other people. It's OK if helping children heal from their illnesses in your free time makes you feel important and valuable to society. There's a point in this story that just because you feel good about what you're doing, therefore receiving some level of gratification, from what you're doing and this seems to imply that the activity that you're doing to help others is actually selfish ... it is ok to feel good. To forgo your own happiness that is an effect from the effects of forwarding the good of the society? It's FINE. This is an issue that I've always had personal trouble dealing with. As a philosophy major, I've early in my academic career been asked the pointed question of whether it is OK if, You do things to benefit for other people and as a result, feel good about yourself for doing it. Also: If you do something because it makes you feel good, and the side effect is necessarily that you are benefiting other people, is this virtuous behavior? I think Joe Hill would say... it's OK if you love helping people (which probably means that it makes you feel happy, fulfilled, and valued) and end up feeling better because of it. The mean of achieving your happiness seems to be the benefit that others are getting and that might seem to imply that your priorities are not in check, but it's OK. You can't hate yourself for being happy about helping people. You could be a monk and feel no attachment to the situation, just totally dedicating yourself to a virtuous and prosperous society...or you could volunteer at you local pet shelter to make friends and keep company to animals. I am not someone who would say - hey go ahead and be selfish! That's fine! You deserve some pampering! Partly, that's because I don't have the complete self discipline to not do some things for myself sometimes already - online shopping after finishing a big essay, reading a book right before I sleep at night, or logging onto social media for a few minutes everyday. I don't need to focus more on myself, in my opinion, because as a person who tends to occasional succumb to personal desires and intuitive feelings (I'm just a human girl trying to find love, happiness, and achieve a higher education - man), I want to dedicate as much time as I can to make a lasting impact on the lives of others. And that's where I feel this book to resonate with my values. If you are a pessimist, you might not like it. I'm sarcastic and sometimes get down in the dumps, but I love hope - so I have a love for the characters of Harper and the fireman. Not to mention, I love a cheeky romance  (heads up, the romance is a sub-plot). I relate to Harper, so when she catches feelings for the fireman, I started to love him too.

“You are one person with your mother, and another with your lover, and yet another with your child. Those other people create you—finish you—as much as you create you.” - Joe Hill, "The Fireman" quote.

This book touches on human nature, life and death, love, and help. Some of my favorite, themes, TBH. (If you haven read other posts on this blog before, I hope you as a reader understand that I sometimes - and always have been one to! add in random and slightly obnoxious slang or CAPS to my writing. I think I do it because I wouldn't say shit like that in real life, where I'm always being polite and considerate about the feelings of others. This is what happens when you've been a sarcastic person most of your life and decide that it's impolite and that you have to curb your attitude. Note - dun dun dun = the art of holding your breath)

That's all for now. Thank you for supporting my hope in believing the good in people, Joe Hill. And for the following quote:

“Your personality is not just a matter of what you know about yourself, but what others know about you. You are one person with your mother, and another with your lover, and yet another with your child. Those other people create you—finish you—as much as you create you.”

I love it (and chuckled quite a few times in this book...huge thumbs up for giving me reason to smile),

-That Girl

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Practical Post

Dear Diary,

I'm getting old. I saw it when I looked at the car mirror last night, preparing to grab some Japanese BBQ with my big bro - now 29 years old. I'm only 22, yes. But when I go to Starbucks and the workers are my age and younger, it's a strange feeling. As you get older, instead of having peers and adults, you just become a person among others. Just lots of people of varying ages who all used to be the age of the younger people around them, at one time (not another, you can only be one age once after all). It's weird, just now I'm remembering that I always wanted to be older. I wanted to have the independence to move across the state, or even country, if I wanted to! I always wanted to start a new, exciting life. And yes, I am doing some pretty cool things now! I went abroad my freshman year to aid a medical mission and then the next year, I went to provide child-care to a government-run orphanage for a couple weeks. Okay, these things might appear like "cool" activities to a lot of people. But they each broke my heart in different ways. Seeing the educational gap that exists not only in country, but in the world? Seeing really miserable kids who are forced into a strangely uncomfortable living environment after being taken away from their drug-addicted/violent parents? Not gonna lie, these things broke my heart and I don't think I'll ever see happiness in exactly the same way. But, yes, lots of people think that I am "cool" for committing my time and money to such things. This summer, I'm teaching English in a low-income school abroad for a month. In doing so, I'm teaching myself Mongolian. The thing is, I didn't know what I was planning to write this post about. I just thought that I need to write more. And this is working in reliving some stress for me. I've had such UN-practical interests my whole life - reading interesting books, writing personal letters to the internet here, watching movies for the sake of clinging onto compelling plots and characters that I (honestly) lived through while growing up. I am naturally CHILL- ie., I want to have sex with my boyfriends, watch movies with them, go to a party/rave/concert and get fucked up for the night, while also meeting nice people, try new food places (though I'm not a foodie, so it's much more about the experience for me), write, read, laugh.
But at the same time, that's not the lifestyle I want for myself. Some people think that both asserting that you want something and also not believing that you want something is signs of insanity. So I'm trying to show that those things individually are what I enjoy, but collectively I want to grow as a person. It's hard. Because yes, I want to become cultured and know about things like geography, wine, architecture, and politics. But I also don't want to be one of those cultured assholes who know more about art and the nicer things in life that other people don't have time to delve their personal time studying into.

I've become practical. So, I want to write for pleasure, but I know that the real life applicability of this won't get me far. I'm not doing this professionally and if I did, I wouldn't want my face and name associated with my words. It's funny because I consider myself an extrovert, but my true feelings about most things I end up keeping to myself and mulling over just inside my head. Like, I'm always down to meet people and I like being around people most of the time. But the conclusions that I come to? I feel like my intellectual pursuits can't be matched by most of my friends and family, not in terms of their aptitude but in terms of their conversational preferences. Anyway, this is why I don't post as much as I used to, or read books for fun as much as I used to.
You get older, and you feel like you have more important things to do than personal, anonymous hobbies of personal pleasure. At least for me. Because I value bettering the lives of others and becoming smarter with my academic studies/ interacting with real people. I think that this is largely, or at least partially, due to social media. You know - how people post about their achievements and cool places they visit, how many people they are socializing with. It's like a digital popularity/competition to keep up with cooler things than the next person. Not only that, you can tell if you aren't keeping up with what everyone else is doing.

I study philosophy and my studies tell me that I should live an ethical life, outside of myself and towards valuing the world around me. It sucks, but I accept those ideals and it makes me want to do less things that I think are just fun and silly. We only have one life to live and I want mine to positively impact people who aren't just myself. Jonas Salk is my hero, the polio vaccine inventor and all-around altruistic motherf****** - he didn't just want fame and fortune (I mean, realistically, maybe he did. But wanted to be known as the guy that chose otherwise. Either way, it doesn't matter what the mean was to the end that enormously benefited hella people + children). And if he is my hero, I should just keep moving forward with my dedication to improving lives. [yes, I just came to a realization].

A friend of mine told me that she gives me the advice that in making my own life decisions, I should give myself the advice that I would give my own best friend. If I wouldn't recommend my best friend, lover, or own sister to do something, then why would I go ahead and do it anyway?


-That Girl

Monday, February 27, 2017

I Was Charmed (Pants and Soul, Including)

Dear Diary,

I was charmed. In fact, my pants were charmed off on the first date and I loved every minute of it. I never considered myself a *kiss on the first date* kind of person, needless to say fucking would be out of the question, but I met someone so damn awesome that I couldn't help myself this time around.

He was random. And that in itself gives me hope that I could meet someone in this gigantic world who I (by absolute chance?) can click with, without me having to mope around on the active search for such a connection. I.e. I don't want to do online dating, ever. Not that there is a problem with hooking oneself up on Coffee Meets Bagel, or as I described to my brother - Tinder: which you sign up for if you'd like to get used somehow (good looking girl or guy? got money? need a warm left side of the bed?).

I'm just in love with the idea of meeting someone by chance and naturally finding out that there's some kind of special connection there that neither of you exactly expected to find because you've never met each other. This sounds silly and paradoxical, because if I'm looking for such a connection, then it shouldn't - rather, wouldn't - be something I didn't expect to find. The solution to this issue is that such a connection to me is not easy to find at all.

The connection I'm talking about is one that I've found in precisely three romantic partners in my life - and all three shook me in surprise, each time wherein I found I could connect like this again! Three may seem like a high number, but consider all of the people you've met in your life, and how many times you thought you could forge a romantic relationship with someone you like only to find that something just isn't there/it's not enough/that person doesn't make you feel alive and hopeful and giddy and intuitive that they are special, damn it.

It's the kind of date where you don't know what to expect, because you really don't know them at all, but the date just keeps getting better as it goes. It's strangely comfortable, but also exhilaratingly nerve-wracking. Hearts are at the line when people get vulnerable, kid.

It shows you hope that yes, despite the shitty relationships that you may have endured through in the past, you could make it through the pain of learning that it wasn't working (couldn't work) and when separating back to individual life - a light shines on the fact that you could endure another round of potential love with someone new. In fact, you'd LOVE to endure some more love because it's blissful and it's nice (at the very minimal level of description) to be so happy about someone that fills in the holes that other significant others couldn't for you. In another words, I realize as I type this that I'm describing what it feels like to meet someone who understands you, gets you, clicks with you, and likes you anyway - and vice versa!

Dear Diary,

I don't want to add to the above passage because anything more would just subtract to how happy I remember feeling during that time. Now that I've had time to reflect on what I felt when I found Mr. Random and Wonderful (Mr. RW), I know that yes I did find a special chemistry with him. We had what he called a "natural chemistry." But what I guess that I didn't think about, or at least want to think about seriously, is that I was drunk on my date with him about 3/4 of the way into it. Still, I will hold that I had a wonderful and very adult-y feeling date with him. I've never slept with a stranger, and I've never slept with someone on a first date, before meeting him. These are things that I will never do again, but I surely don't regret how happy I was when I was experiencing it.
In hindsight, I do think that it would be possible that he would have taken me more seriously if we didn't instantly sleep together on the first date. Naturally, it led up to it and I had an awesome time. Partially because I found him to be incredibly wacky and honestly, as much as I don't want to admit it, impressive. Together, I was laughing SO MUCH. I've realized that I'm somebody who needs to date somebody that I can laugh with. Someone complimentary to me.
In terms of complimenting my personality...let's just say that he's an ESTP and I'm an ENF/TP.  Yeah. Explosive.
He was good at making me laugh, but ended up being so outrageous that eventually I couldn't stand him anymore. It was inevitable.
If fate wants you to cross paths with someone again, at a different time in your lives maybe you'll run into each other at a park or have a hilarious encounter at club - having a mid-screaming conversation to get a word in edgewise with them over the crowd. Sometimes I know I seem too nostalgic for good times that made me feel light, airy, hopeful. But I need to keep pulling forward, knowing that there's just more good ahead of the horizon. So I won't say exactly what happened with Mr. Random and Wonderful. Not just yet. But I will.

Here's some music: (He's really into music, and was in a band before. I heard some of his old sound and it was honestly amazing. I would have loved to listen to more of his stuff. He played the guitar and I was totally impressed and in a daze with how cool he was. Even though he told me that he struggles with depression and adhd and through some FB stalking I found out that he was a nerd in high school, and he kept telling me stories about being lonely. Something about him was so captivating, it's too bad that he showed me his flashy materialistic and "too cool to care" side on our last date. I really liked the guy who was humble but aggressive, hilarious but patient to listen to what I had to say. But anyway. Let's just say we'll talk about him another day.)

Hold on, I want to end this post by saying that I am okay! I'm alright! I was sad for a little while about some stuff to be written about in the future, but I have met other guys since Mr. Random and Wonderful... they have been nice, good jobs, fun in their own ways. It is hard that Mr. RW set a certain standard for me in terms of how I want my dates to go in the future for them to feel significantly impactful to me, but at the same time, my mind has been blown that I could actually meet "my match" my accident in this world. All I have to do is get my shit together ie. finish undergraduate school this year (holy shit I can't wait), try to look decent on an everyday basis (cuz you never know who you'll run into), and not walk around moping that sometimes life is hard. <3

I just heard this song and it reminded me of him. Go figure. 

This is his favorite song. It's a fun song. Not too deep. A little silly and outrageous, like him. He also really likes Aziz as a comedian...who isn't exactly my favorite. We saw an Aziz act on his screen projector (honestly SO COOL...I've always wanted one...fk him) and neither of us laughed that hard. Idk, there must be something that he likes about him that I don't exactly see. I mean, he's comical, for sure.


Dear Diary,

((Disclaimer, I wrote this a while ago and just saw that it was never published. It's not polished, but you know what? My goal in 2017 is to be more productive - get more shit done. So, you know what, I'll just go ahead and share it. I want to feel like I can go through with the trails and error of life, constantly moving on to better things and never stuck, Never. stuck,))

For some people, it just clicks.
One of my best friends, who I've somehow grown only closer with since 8th grade when we were ugly ducklings with only big, friendly hearts and smiles as redeemable externally, says that if you feel as though you've known someone before upon first meeting - it must be because you met before in a past life. Woooo ~~~~ who knows if that is true or not. I wouldn't say that I'm a spiritual person, but I hope that there is more than just biology and chemistry keeping my life together/whole and that there's something beyond linguistics and rhetoric that lets me believe everything that I do.
Anyway, I feel like somebody who doesn't click with everyone. And it's a little unfortunate. My best friend tells me that she could like a lot of people a lot, she's not a big fan of particular usage of vocabulary and I'm probably too specific most of the time, but I figure that what she means is that she has no problem giving parts of herself to lot of new people who she meets. Then again, she is a true extravert. And while I am extraverted, I forsure belong more along the midpoint of extraversion and introvertedness than on the far side of the continuum. The thing is, we search for meaning in different ways. I like a deep, contentful connection that can touch the bases from laughing hard about really silly things and dumb jokes to having serious talks about what they really think about in their spare time - values and significance are important but so is the ability to find humor in the mundane.
Anyway, she finds a "deep" connection to be one where they have a similar description to the one I listed above.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Lost Love ~ End the Good to Begin the Better // There's so much life left to live (ENFP bitch)

Dear Diary,

I ... FOUND MY WALLET!! Because of this, I am completely satisfied with myself again.

I thought that I lost my wallet with a debit card and credit, driver's license, school ID, and $200 in cash inside. It made me miserable. But finding it put a lot of my life into perspective.

How can I be upset about some bum who cheated on me and begged me back for months, when there is SO MUCH TO BE HAPPY ABOUT!

My personality type is like that, I've realized. I've come to the conclusion that I am an eternal optimist because it keeps me going. To have hope for better days ahead. To trust that there are good people in the world and wonderful, wonderful experiences ahead of me. More than that, the pain that I've faced has allowed me to feel joy on such a deeper level than before. I've known what it feels like to wake up with my heart literally in pain, but time let me heal. Over and over again, I went through experiences where I felt as though if I died it wouldn't be too much of a distant fall from the pain in my heart. But I'm dramatic like that, I guess. Each time my heart was broken and I felt like the least attractive and intelligent and worthwhile person who I know, time let me heal again and love myself that much more. The depth of pain from a heartbreak is different for everyone, but for me? Man, I pretty much spend the next few months of my life as a disabled person - no hope, everything (!) make me sad, I don't want to take care of myself, I can't get out of bed or wake up in the morning, I feel shellshocked, I feel isolated and lonely... I'm just not someone you'd want to run into on public transportation because if you do anything nice for me I'll probably act like a homeless person who just received a free dog and start crying out of appreciation.

The hard part about breakups, is reinventing yourself each time. But once you get the hang of it, it's like hey I'm the new girl on the block look at me parade around being cheerful and bettering the lives of everyone I care about while simultaneously looking hotter (b/c happiness looks good on everyone).

I FOUND MY WALLET. Do you know what this means?? I don't have to re-issue each of those cards and just live my life knowing someone is blowing my $200, when I should be totally blowing it on myself! (Sry for sexual innuendo)

How am I ever going to meet a guy who isn't going to cheat on me and who I can let myself love with all my heart all over again - if I don't finally ditch the guy who made me feel worthless for a year?? I'm NOT! I don't believe in karma per-se, but I do believe that it's fucked up when people stay in relationships while waiting for someone better to come along, so they can ditch their current partner and switch off. You could do that, but why would I want to a.) go through that process b.) make the new guy who I love see me be an asshole by ditching the guy I've been seeing >?!

-That Girl, eternally living life with my heart on my sleeve - it gets damaged from being all exposed and shit but that's better than hiding it away and being numb/bitter/cold all the time! I am a romantic and don't want to hate love, I want to love love. I want to find that crazy love again, where I am totally committed and down for the person I date and they are just so crazy about me that they can't contain themselves too. It's possible, it's out there. To click with someone, it's happened before - and darn it I want to find it again!

 LOL. This is so lame. But I'm feeling lame when I'm happy sometimes, because it's soooo much better than being bitter. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hoarding Memories

Dear Diary,

My personality is one that consists of a cluttered mind. I'm always thinking, always trying to understand things in ways that aren't straightforward or plain as to not miss important details that are necessary to understand the bigger picture of things.

But just today I thought, what if I just stopped. If I just let go of the active thoughts, in motion, trying to connect one to another and lead to new forward directions that mean that things are more than what they plainly are. I thought, what if I just let those thoughts go. And I had a strange but relaxing moment of clarity. I suppose this is what meditation is for?

I stopped feeling thoughts fleeting from one to another, just cleared my head. And I thought, what if people clutter their minds the same way that hoarders clutter their homes. Because when I stopped the rapid firing that was giving me a headache - WHAT is the right decisions to make in my life at the moment I don't know. What I don't know I can't touch. I can make guesses on what could have lead me where I like, but the truth is that I've never guessed correctly about what my next move is going to be that will leas me to any solid conclusion.

When I cleared my head what I found was that ... Where I literally am is not where I want to be. I'm sitting with someone I used to love and my head is fogged with where this will lead in a week or two or three. I keep thinking that things will always be possibly better and always changing, but on what fucking account am I right to believe that I actually know what I'm doing this time around or that I'll guess right? My plans tend not to go according to plan, no matter how passionate and loyal I am to them in the beginning. Because I lose track of where I am in the present and how things are RIGHT NOW. I feel like shit RIGHT NOW. And I let myself go to sleep anxious, have nightmares about people who I don't trust saying or doing the worst things to me which my subconscious can imagine. And I let myself do it, waiting for the day that I'll know more. I'm waiting for clarity, when just taking a good fucking look around me now and the state that my mind is in is all of the clarity that I'll really need to know. To know that I'm drowning and I've been drowning. By always wishing for a better day or that the one I had already will replicate or branch out into days just like it again.

I am nostalgic. I always have been, but it is a burden when it's a key feature of how your mind operates. Always hinging on more of a good thing that has past. It's poison.

I wonder, do people clutter their minds to disappear from the present? Is it sometimes an excuse to get away from what's actually being done or what should be done? That hope in people to be the people we thought they were before. The options we sometimes lay out, seeing that maybe this good action will lead to another. That consideration that people can change and grow and adapt and be better to us again. Even ourselves. I've more and more become the most considerate person I know. There are boundaries, of course, of certain actions which I find irredeemable. Cheating without remorse or guilt or without accepting blame, I am not okay with and I will refuse to ever respect a person who cares to defend their cruel and selfish intentions with justifications of why it could be alright. But overarchingly, I try not to step on anyone's toes. I put the extra effort around people I love to say things that make them feel better about themselves as a whole or compliment what I know will give them more confidence in their weak spots through poking fun with jabs of luv. But when it comes to me... I want someone who loves me and can love me in the same way that I love them. Who shares it passionately and truly understands that if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say it so all.

Coming back the point. People hoard items sometimes to evade the feeling of loss over time. Things literally do not come and go. There is no clarity in how things truly are when it's a mess to go from point a to b. Are people disorganized in their thoughts sometimes as a defense to accepting the way things are presently? Looking for options to change the facts and re sorting when things may look gloomy coming ahead, instead of knowinf simply when something is worth pushing through and when it's okay to let go completely?

Clearing the closests of my mind, vacuuming the stray crumbs, and letting myself throw away the things that truly don't matter anymore at THIS point in time,

That Girl

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Short Fall: Starting a New Memoir

Dear Diary, (I wanted to write this post because I always want to remember this story as I do now.)

The day we met again was one of the most promising days of my life.

I didn't used to understand why adults would talk about having a fling of passion and amazing feelings that faded out, but I knew that I wanted to one day experience the strong feelings that love songs and poems are written about.

I remember telling my ex-boyfriend, the one I dated for two years (writing furiously lukewarm and frustratingly unsure blog posts about for the duration of the relationship-despite having affection for him in a tryingly romantic way), that I desired to feel passion with the person I date. Upon asking him if he felt passion for me, he first rejected the fundamentals of the idea because as I have come to realize, not everybody wants a "strong, big burning flame" as he would describe it. He felt as a core value to himself which conflicted with my own that this kind of flame would of course burn out quickly and that what he was looking for was the small flame which burns perhaps eternally. I remember that this conversation made me very sad, as a I realized that no matter how long it would take for the two of us would exhaust the possibilities of making our relationship work (and we did definitely exhaust it...) we would come to the hard, unfortunate truth that we wanted different things emotionally from each other. The big flame that makes me trip over myself and want to cling onto another, even for a short time, is what I desired. However, I didn't have the expectations for intense feelings to last forever and that's where my ex-nice guy was mistaken. Of course passion is not a one-and-done additive to a romantic relationship, but having it as a stepping stone for a long lasting interaction between myself and the person I LOVE is something much to be desired! I want to look back at the relationship I have with someone and remember the moments that made me fall into a whirlwind of new feelings that not just anybody could give me. I wanted to connect with somebody who sees me as I am, instead of imagining what they want me to be and falling in love with that image; I want to never have to try to act any way at all that isn't completely honest/reflective of myself around the person who's supposed to learn to understand me the most. I want to act in a way, and I mean this in the least selfish way possible in relation to love, that makes me happy! Wouldn't it be amazing, I would think, to say what I really feel about everything without it acting as a negative reflection upon myself or seeming like "out of my character" (aka a -cringe for me- nice girl.)?
My sense of humor can go up and down the range of sarcastic, full of satire, quirky, purposely dumb, friendly, adorable, or whatever else the hell I feel like and nobody should date somebody who cannot at least appreciate their jokes; this is seriously very important!! If you bump heads or make a distasteful sour face every time your "love" tells a funny, you've got a problem.
I wanted to be with somebody who felt the need to dig around my mind to learn my quirks, desires, fears, insecurities, social self, individual self...not just what my favorite hobbies, places to eat, and movies to watch are. I wanted someone to look at my favorite whatevers and understand why I would gravitate to those things. Needless to say, my 2-year relationship ultimately, actually very difficultly, ended in tears, apologies, and still frustration. I understand why some people cannot be friends with somebody they've dated to the point where their two lives intertwined...it's hard to say the least.
To ease off the facts and to the important point of this, my ex-nice guy thought that my head was mixed up when it comes to love and had no problem stating that it was because
I watched too many movies that showed unrealistic love stories + my parents at home were divorced = (to him) I didn't understand what it would feel like to be in a long-lasting, real, healthy relationship. He also told me that "love isn't enough to keep a relationship" and by now I understand what he means by this in application, but still, I needed to have at least love to keep a relationship and be happy with it.
Dammit, I wanted to feel myself gravitating to another person for some completely natural, ubiquitous reasons that can't be created or destroyed. (This is a reference to my physics class, if you haven't figured it out; feel free to leave a nod to this concept in the comments sections if you will. This is also a reference to Orange is the New Black, which gave me the feels all over.)
But-that "I just like you" feeling!

The day we met again made me feel again that what I want and who I want to be actually matters. The funniest thing of it all is that I almost turned down seeing him again to stay home and mope about my failed relationship for a while.
But neither of us expected what was going to happen when we did meet- FIREWORKS I tell you! Another funny thing is how involved music has been in our changing relationship, an element that I surprisingly have grown very fond of. Originally it was classical, orchestra style music and piano sets that gave me strong feels (And it still does bring back a lot of feelings to be honest and even if not all of the memories were good, there were still emotions attached that seem important to my development of understanding romantic relationships). This time, it was the faster paced and more vocal electric dance music that got us bonded to one another. In particular, K*****.
I wish that I made a blog post immediately after out first month of being together so that I could gather the details fresh off the top of my head, but almost 4 months later and I can recall the important parts. For reasons of continued anonymity as tradition of this blog, I will not disclose the actual name of artist.

He picked me up at my house with his two friends, a music festival couple without the title who were uncertain about the future of their own relationship, though neither of us were expecting this to be a pseudo-double/friend date in the first place. As I got ready for the night, sighing in the mirror, I slapped on some of my favorite blush and eyeshadow as a way to pick myself up for the night. I hadn't ever been a fan of raves in the past, going to two prior with my group of girlfriend along with my ex-nice guy. Nonetheless, I hadn't been expecting a fun night additionally because of recent terrible relationship issues that resulted in me crying for two days in a row/having a panic attack for a few house while fighting with ex-nice guy. I thought that I should've gone out on this particular night because, well, I needed it.
When we arrived to the event center, the couple who were driving dropped the two of us off first so that they could find parking and I was to look for somebody to buy a last-minute ticket from.

Maybe I should say now who this mystery guy is that my entire story is centered on.... he's not new here. He's...the guy I used to refer to as my ex-friend-with-benefits. But of course, if you've followed me up to now you'd now that our old story was far more complicated and dark than the nickname gives the impression of. Our old story, however, is gone. I believe that people change, they must to me, so as long as they grow up seeing new things, people, events which happen and leave. He's not who he once was at ridiculous age of 17 or 18 and neither am I. This is our new story. I'll call him A.

We spend the beginning of the night trying to contact his friends, though it took a while and for the most part we had time to walk around the area to catch up. It was our first time seeing each other again as friends and also one-on-one. The amazing part was how comfortable I felt around him. But his entire disposition was different than it was in the past. Rather than aggressive in his approach to talking to me, he was gentle and considerate. He had also been going through a recent breakup, which I could tell effected him very much, We talked about our relationships lightly, then onto our personal lives at the moment. He hadn't been doing very good in school during the two years in which we didn't speak to one another; I had been at my peak of academic excellence.
I told him that I felt badly that I couldn't be there to help him through whatever life was throwing his way during that time, we had been friends in the first place after all. Then he did something completely uncharacteristic to the him I used to know, he looked at me, apologized and started to well up with tears. For all of it that happened before, he finally understood by this piece in time how much it all hurt me. And it was, now that I think of it, a crucial event that I needed to happen to help me resolve my trust issues from the past. It was also that hearing him apologize sincerely that I could start to let go.
He said to me, "That Girl, I just want to tell you that I am really sorry about what happened in the past", "Oh, it's okay..." I started to interrupt him, but he continues, "No, really I didn't realize how much everything effected you until S (my ex-nice guy who was once A's best friend) told me."
I tried to interrupt him ago with an, "It's okay", but he goes on to say, "You are one of the nicest people that I've ever known and didn't deserve any of what happened to you. I want you to know that it really did effect who I am as a person and it's helped to become better. I try to be more caring, more empathetic, more aware of how my actions effect people around me." It was sweet and unexpected. In the middle of his speech, he started crying and I looked at him and tried to tell him that I forgive him. He asked to hug it out and we happily did. It was such a good feeling to think that would were going to be back in each other's lives. I told him that I wanted to help him in the future and he readily accepted wanting my help. I tried to apologize for my part in our past troubles, but he denied it being my fault and that I should hold guilt for it. He thanked me for forgiving him and he told me that he thought a lot of me for being able to forgive him and move on.
We also talked about our past feelings for each other, something that I feel a lot of missed loves don't get to experience. He told me, "I really did like you, but you were hanging out with that random guy and so I was like wow okay, you must not really like me. So I went out with that other girl, in a way, to spite you." I looked up at him, an older face and topped off with shorter hair than before, saying, "I only hung out with that guy to make you jealous." We smiled at each other and he said, "It worked." We laughed it off. He tells me, "By the way, I think you've gotten a lot more attractive." I thank him and we smile. It had been two years and what can I say, I have quite gotten my shit together!

We went into the crowd of people, up to the mid-front, and danced next to each other and his two friends for a while before they leave us again.
Another funny thing is that the two of us really are no good at dancing, looking quite dorky and silly the whole time, but at least I think we're on par with our level of physical body-shaking abilities. And we look happy.  I had never taken ecstasy, but about 2 hours into the night after we had time to do our important catching up, we popped a pill each. What I took caused me to become floored and he needed to hold me up a little because the feeling was very new and strong. I'm glad I experienced it with him for the first time; I felt safe that he wouldn't take advantage of me or leave me alone for too long and we had a great time meeting new people together. Early in the night he asked if holding my shoulder would be an appropriate and of course it was fine with me, but later on I could see why he asked, as the e could make a person a little more touchy. I was glad he asked, just to be conscious of how we were around each other.
I loved how socially aware he was, wanting to talk to new people, be friendly and spontaneous, open to new experiences, able to be serious when needed and so much fun at other times. For the most part, however, I was just experiencing the new sensations I had for the first time. The lights I joked about the whole night for really not "getting", after all they're just moving lights, I was definitely intrigued by once the sensations kicked in. I told him, "I know what people mean when they talk about the lights" and he nodded his head next to me, still standing by close. He kept a small vest in his back pocket and covered it with me later on so that I would keep warm.

As the night went on, he started to hold me tight in his arms and we slowly started to dance together. I looked at him and told him, "I think you're one of the only people in the world who understands me. Do you know what I mean?" He nodded. We spent a lot of time just looking at each other. He says that I kept giving him a look that said it all...that I wanted to be with him, even if I wasn't sure I could. He looked back at me a lot and we smiled at each other. I was so happy we were able to be close again after all this time had past. I asked him, "Are we going to be friends forever?" and he nodded at me. Though we were smiling, we were swaying together still and there were time when we looked at each other with a serious look in our eyes. It was a shared glance that said...this was more than the connection of friends. He says later on that it was the only music even that he's ever gone to and not paid attention to the music, mostly because we were so involved in talking to each other and sharing looks. The swaying of our dancing turned from simply moving to a slow grind and it was the first time either one of us had felt romantic feelings while dancing like that with another person. We knew that whatever this was, it was special. I knew that even if we were to never be together in the future, this was the standard for how strongly I should feel for the person I want to be with.

After the last show of the night, we walked outside together while still holding each other and talked around the area for about an hour before his friends came to pick us up. We had soup together at a nearby restaurant and A asked to hold my hand and I said that of course it would be okay. We held hands tightly under the table, smiling at each other. We sat talking for a little and his friend asked me what kind of music I like. I paused, since I like a lot of different types of music. A said while I "Umm"-ed,  "She likes soundtracks from movies, kind of like me." I was surprised that he remembered that I like movies and would probably be into music from my favorite films; more than that, however, I really liked that he described my music taste the way that he did. I thought that if my ex-nice guy was describing my taste in music, he would drop in the names of a band or two that of songs that I like, which wouldn't quite be a good description of who I am. I thought in that moment, that A did understand how I like to be presented as a reflection of my personality and interests and that made me happy. After hopping back in the car, A's friend says that we'll all be heading home. She asks me what my address is again, since I lived furthest from the rest of them. Me and A look at each other and he says, "She can come to my house" He asks if I want to as we drive along and says that we can have more time to talk. In my mind, I knew that I didn't want the night to end.

We go back to his place, where I hadn't been in years, and where he was actually about to move away from a month from that night. We had a lot of memories in that room, but not all good. The new memories we made were much better. We washed up separately and laid next to each other in bed to talk. Some people might find this strange, but we had been friends for years and often shared a bed together, so it was not at all a strange situation. We decided to watch "American Horror Story", but ended up talking through it all and didn't pay attention to it at all. I told him a lot about my relationship with S, including how numb I began to feel at the end of it. He looks at me sadly and says that he feels so badly that right after being involved with him in such a negative way before, my next relationship was no good either. He told me that I deserved more and I told him that I knew it was over a while ago and it was just so damn hard to end.

Neither of us are exactly sure how it physically escalated throughout the early morning, but it continued for the next month to be the best physical connection of my life. It just kept getting better. I wouldn't even call it sex, it was something else and still is absolutely amazing because I like him so much. One day I looked at him when he come back from the bathroom and kissed me, and I said, "Passion!" He smiled and kept kissing me, "Fucking passion!" I told him happily as we made out. He said later on that it was the first time hearing that there was passion between himself and the person he was with. I was so happy to tell him that I was feeling passion because it was something I longed for in my last relationship so badly! I asked my ex not too long ago prior if he thought about me passionately and said that he didn't want to have a relationship where he felt so strongly and he said that he didn't lust after me, but loved me and thought that passion was only something that was short-lived, therefore not important. This was the passion I had been looking for! It wasn't just a physical thing, but a mental and emotional thing too. A told me he thought I was hot and sexy and that he wanted to touch me everywhere, things I hadn't heard in, well, ever. While in the heats of passion, we told each other some of the following things (these are just certain lines that I'm listing here for my own memory :) )
"I really like you." and "I really like you too."
"I like you way more than I used to" he said to me. And I told him, "I never liked kissing you this much. I see you as a completely different person and I really like this person."
"This is more than a rebound." and "This is way more than a rebound."
I told him once, "This has been an amazing month, so I'll be okay with it if you want to end it here..." and he said that ""I'm here for you, no matter what you choose, but I 120% want to be with you."
When I was feeling bad about my ex, he said to me, "I'll be next to you and I'll wait for you to decide him, me, or yourself." and I with  a smile I told him that I seemed to have already made my decision.
"I wouldn't have tried for this if I didn't think it could work. I think it could work between us."
"What are we?" "What if I asked you out?" "Is this a hypothetical question?""Will you be my hypothetical girlfriend?" "Yes."
"Will you be my girlfriend?" "Yes."

The highlights -
"You look like you're in love."
"I can tell he loves/cares about you by the way that he holds you, like he is careful to respect you."
"Isn't it nice to dance with somebody you like a lot?"
"You're very pretty and he's lucky to have you." "I agree." "He told me that he's so happy for me."
"Some of my favorite moments of my life have been with you." "Mine too"

I wrote this post several, several months ago. The relationship since has been...well, let's just say that the big fire burned me pretty badly. But not because love sucks. I don't want to live my life cynical. That being said...I always wanted that friendship on fire that I read about in blog posts and read stories about. I wanted to feel completely enveloped in a love story of my own. I felt that love. It was amazing to completely trust someone and feel confident in our connection. While I wrote about a memoir of my own relationship in the past, I now know that it wasn't love per-se that I felt before. That was more of an infatuation with the idea of being in love that I had in high school. What can I say, I've always loved...love.
This relationship was different, I put all my cards in and defended my love as far as possible. Even when it started crumbling at the seams when I realized that somehow I switched roles from my past relationship, where instead of my so loving me to the depth that he could reach, I was the one killing myself to keep float what we had - because I loved the love we formed more than almost anything I felt in the past. I felt alive again and the old me that faded away in my past relationship due to feeling trapped in comfort and mediocracy burst through my heart and let me want to experience a new kind of love. I started laughing again. Hard. The kind of laughter that makes you silent or hold your stomach because it hurts. But you know, in the best way possible. I felt like I hadn't laughed hard in years. He relieved my pressures to be better than I was, nicer and smarter and more put together. It went a little too far with that and while my previous ex made me better because of the wonderful person he thought I was and encouraged me to be, my new love accepted me as whatever lazy shit I felt like being on any particular day. He loved me in a different way, probably because in many regards he could see right through what I was doing for show and my real attitudes towards things that I'm actually interested in. Ie., he could detect my bullshit. Unfortunately, he went so far as to call bullshit on things that I did actually want to put myself towards that were out of my comfort zone and seemed out of place given the person he came to know so well as we were besties in high school. He knew the me that was more socially impressionable, timid and insecure to the point of passivity but wanting to fit in. College changes you, and it took a while for him to realize that enough time has passed that while I am still who I was before - as we all are LITERALLY who we were in the past, even though I know for certain that many people don't want to accept this as fact and interject that "no That Girl, I've changed", there is still something consistent that is undergoing that change - I don't associate myself with having the same personality type as I did previously. It's always changing, ya'know, that personality type. Especially since I knowww that I'm still trying to figure out exactly what kind of person I want to be in this world. I know what traits I like and want to have, but it's not exactly easy to hold towards just one kind of persona when there are good traits in all different types. I still need to figure out the life that I want to live for myself. Anyway. I digress.
What happened with this real first love, the one that will never be able to be re-experienced in exactly the same way due to the "new-ness" of feeling these things for the first time without biased unfortunately learned experiences that I know will inevitably taint, even if only in the slightest, the love that I hope to find in the future. It's scary to think about not falling in love again, but I'm grateful as hell that I found the unconditional love that I could feel for someone in this life at all. Even if it didn't end well, once you recover from the pain of losing it - and lol it really does almost kill you if not from sleepless nights and sore heart that beats when reminded of lol anything at all related to the person you loved, then the hot cheetos and chocolate that I literally ate for 2 days straight while staying in bed depressed - it's really a nice thing to have had the opportunity to feel close enough to someone and connect to them in a way that is so irreplaceable by any other feeling in the world. Like, I always wanted to die having had a great love for someone. And I did.
Don't worry I'm not suicidal, just reflective ( ha ha ). What really happened is that as everything went downhill and communication went to shit and so did effort and confidence and respect and it just all fucking sucked, he cheated on me while we were on a break. Just danced with a girl at a club, but grinded. And I read the messages he sent to his friend describing how great her body felt. That's how I found out. I felt the sky fall and my lungs felt like they didn't want to believe what they just read - cuz I couldn't breathe and didn't want to be awake anymore. I slept and slept and woke up feeling fine until I realized he broke our connection that I loved so much, and forced myself to go back to sleep so I wouldn't have to feel the pain anymore. He was...a scumbag. And then begged for me to get back together with him after spending a month apart. He said he realized just after it all ended that he loved me and that there was nobody else for him. It was a shitty thing for him to do. It would be a slightly different story if he told me what he did in the first place. But he enjoyed cheating on me and bragged about it. When I confronted him, he denied it and tried to guilt to for accusing him of being unfaithful. I told him I knew for sure then, so he retracted previous things said and apologized profusely, saying that he "betrayed me" and could never make it up. Yeah, so he was...a scumbag. Just the scum of the earth. His friend egged him on saying "well you're not with her right now! did you touch this new girl at all?" and the guy who I thought was my great love said that he touched her hips and that her ass felt nice and that when they grinded he should have "went lower." It. killed me. I actually feel like a part of my died the day that I read those messages. He proceeded to say that he wondered how far he could have gone with her but stopped because he still was in a relationship.
It killed me. The part of me that was in love with love probably died that day. I don't love love.

I haven't written in a long time, partially because I think that I really didn't want to admit to myself that I was wronged by the person I thought I connected with so well. Thinking back at it, he really didn't appreciate me until it ended. I let him try to redeem himself and we have been pseudo-together since he realized that he fucked up and broke down without me, realizing that I was the one who has always cared the most. More than his closest friends and family, I was the one who had always been there for him. And he treated me like nothing, for months. My ego was bruised badly, dented and fucked up and shrunk. It's been recovering, but life has been a lot less lovely. He knew that we had a connection the whole time, but took me for granted and thought that I was less of value in every way than he should have. It is upsetting. It has been wrong. And though I still see him now and we still laugh as hard as I did when we got together because we still connect, and he has tried to make it right, I know in the back of my heart that I am not all in. Because I never want to feel like death again.

I don't think I'll ever re-read this post, because it hurts. But it's true and honest and real. And I think it's important that I let myself become more connected with my thoughts by writing it down for the record. It's the truth, That Girl. This is real life, not a story in a wonderfully written novel.

Hopefully, the next pages of my life can be of news that I want to re-read again, and that I no longer feel connected to the feeling of a small empty space in the back of my heart.
To live at all, is to laugh and fuck and love deeply and undeniably. But hey, Love with your smarts too !! Don't get fucked over lol

-That Girl, I wonder why I the gods (ooh spiritual) decided to give me this life