2015 10 25 12.46.30 1

alaina_janette

United States

Just an 18 year old girl who still has a lot to learn. I'm a soprano, I'm a bookworm, and everything else in between. Still trying to develop my voice and make my ideas heard. It's a work in progress.

Do They Care? Now I Know.

January 24, 2016

FREE WRITING

3
I have never been one for small talk, or surface-level friendships. Too much interaction drains me; can make me feel like I am wasting peoples' time, filling their ear with irrelevant conversation. I have a deep-rooted dread of saying the wrong thing in conversation and being ridiculed behind my back for it. My mind wanders far too much and I need to think deeply with people whose words resonate within me and make me feel like one whole. If present-day me were to have a conversation with the person I was a year ago, I imagine it would be like meeting a complete stranger for the first time. But, hey- that's a good thing. That means I've been growing. Learning. Evolving into the person I hope to be someday. But the transition has not been an easy one. Not by any means.

My journey towards self-acceptance this past year has been a rocky one. Filled with highs and lows, days where I loved myself, days where I loathed myself, days where I didn't feel much of anything. Where I didn't know what to feel.

But some of the most important things I've learned in the past year were not found sitting in a classroom. Some of the most important things can only be learned the hard way. The biggest lesson I took away from this trying year?

If they care, you will know.

You'll know it. You will. If someone truly cares about you, they will make an effort to show you. Through words or gestures, it doesn't matter because you will feel it no matter what, and you won't ever doubt it for a second. You will be able to tell by the tingle that sweeps through your toes when their fingers lace with yours. You will be able to tell by the way your heart flutters when your phone lights up and their name flashes onto the screen. In their arms, life doesn't seem so big and scary anymore because nothing seems to matter that isn't happening in that very moment.

But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction: if they don't care, you will know. Your fluttering heart will drop with a thud down to your stomach when you see that person who you thought cared so much about you, doing just fine on their own. Without your presence. Your tingling toes will go numb when your eyes meet from across the room. The sparkle in their eyes that you were so fond of? Nonexistant. Their arms are no longer your safe place.

Once, I was entirely convinced that someone cared like no one else had before. I blindly ignored red flags, and even when I no longer could, I tried to reassure myself that nothing was wrong. When I could not find a single scrap of hope to cling to, the glass seemed to break beneath me and I collapsed. 

What I needed, which I was incapable of doing at the time, was to tell myself that everything truly was going to be okay. Not just say it, but to mean it. With every ounce of strength I had. Every fiber of my being had to believe in those words, but they didn't, and that is why I struggled continuously. I was convinced that I was the only one to blame for everything having gone wrong, and that tormented me more than almost anything else. 

For months afterward, I remained invested. Tried to water a flower that had died long ago. I would dwell on things, imagine scenarios in my head: how they happened versus what, in my mind, SHOULD have happened. My eyes stared at old pictures without really seeing them. Sleepless nights were frequent. Every emotion was an excruciating reminder of what no longer existed; the luxury of my comfort had been torn away from me. It was easier to feel nothing at all.

I couldn't say exactly when this happened, or for what reason, but one day I woke up with a completely fresh perspective on the whole debacle. That sad, pining girl seemed like a different person than the new fierce girl who was emblazoned with confidence. The realization struck me that I had always missed the security that he gave me- the attention, the feeling of safety, the affection- more than I missed him. The heartache I felt when I no longer had a person was much stronger than my feelings ever were for him. The worst thing was knowing that this feeling was merely one-sided, but the best thing was when I no longer felt like I needed his presence to make me feel complete. It took time- way more than I had expected, but it did happen. After trying to convince myself for so long that everything was fine, even though in my heart I knew I had been lying to myself, I was finally in a good place. I didn't need someone to complete me. I never did, because I am complete all on my own. I will never need to search for "my other half" because I am not a half anything. 

I used to be scared of talking to others. Saying the wrong thing. Wasting their time.

But in trying so hard to water an already dead flower, the only person whose time I wasted...was my own.

I never needed the attention or approval of someone else. To the wrong person, my best will never be good enough. But to the right person, I will always be more than worth it. I am a myriad of emotions and a rainbow of colors. I am countless passionate choices tangled in masses of words and thoughts. I am powerful. I am electric. And I am always enough. Somewhere out there, is someone who will make me feel these things to a capacity I have not yet reached before. And I will never have to doubt whether they will care. Knowing that there are bigger and better things out there for me- things that I cannot even begin to imagine- brings me more joy and excitement than I ever found by being with the wrong person. 


There is so much more to life than the small world I had once limited myself to. More music, more laughter, more little miracles. Things that I had dismissed as gray now burst with vibrant hue. Now, instead of wasting my own time, I am able to weed out my garden when the plants die, even the ones that were the most beautiful. In the space that they once occupied, I choose to create beauty; to fill that void with light and life and new opportunity. Most of all, I learned to find my voice, and am stronger now than I was ever before. Strong enough to choose me first.
 

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