dimanche 12 août 2007

summer reflection

This is a lengthy post. Written somewhere's between 1:30 am and now. Beware. It's also a bit telling, and I was wary about posting it, but it did make a serious impact on my summer and me as a person, so read on and enjoy, dear friends.

Wow. What a summer. The posts on this blog don't even sum up or totally describe what this summer has meant to me. Or me to this summer. If that's possible, and I think it is.

Firstly, I turned 21, which is the all-American turning point. I can drink. I can gamble. Wow, all vices. Anyway, it was a turning point, and I didn't think it would be. I did sort of save myself, and I rarely drank before 21. There was just one occasion since C. turned 21 months before I did, and I wanted to drink then, but that was probably it.

But the major thing, the HUGE thing, and it will seem so little and so trivial to you, but let me let you in on it first and then explain. Here it is, the major act that I did that is totally not part of my normal behavior is...I told a boy I liked him. That I had a crush on him for the past year.

Okay, okay, okay. Small, I know, just that first part. And in this day, and at my age, I even agree. 12 year olds tell other 12 year olds they like each other. The "past year" part though adds a punch, I think. And the fact that I'm 21, and that this is the first time ever I told a boy I liked him.

The thing is...I am old-fashioned. My aunt once referred to me as the "nun". I like letting fate, or destiny, intervene i.e. do the work. I believed, in my heart of hearts, that if something was meant to happen, it would happen, and it would not be because I made a daring choice or set myself up for hurt or took a chance. No, I didn't like taking chances. I didn't like getting hurt. I didn't like trying things knowing that one of the two outcomes would be me not getting where I wanted to be. And that meant missing out on a lot of things. Remember, this is the girl who wouldn't go outside through a crowd of people to get a plate of meatballs (see post titled "the meatball story") unless there was some sort of prize in the end. This is that girl.

You have no idea how crippling this kind of mentality is. This has been my past adolescence. And a good part of my college years. Because it's so easy, and nice, and comfortable to be shy and not say what I really feel and then just go blog or write about it somewhere and let that be my outlet. It was so easy. But this isn't a way to live.

I have books of my reported shyness. I have a blog somewhere on the internet (that you will never find, hopefully) about my first 2 years of college in which my pen name was Prufrock*(see footnotes). I had loyal readers who begged me, urged me, to change. I didn't. I mean, I thought I did, but I really didn't. The blog got a bit depressing, and I moved on.

So you see, it's not small. It's not miniscule, telling a boy I liked him. Not to me. A regular "normal" girl might have done it at least once before hitting 21. I am clearly not normal, and this was clearly a turning point. Even more so than my 21st birthday**. And it really changed everything. This crush became more of burden with each month that went by that I didn't tell him. And it would go away and then come back, and ugh, what a mess. But finally letting him know...that felt so good. I had reasoned in my head that it wouldn't even matter what he felt about me, whether he'd like me back or not. It would just be better to tell him, to rid myself of this shyness in one simple act. I, as I like to call it, "set myself up for hurt" (because not being shy always ends negatively to me, hence the "hurt") but at least it would be done. And even if it did hurt, it would be temporary. I seriously figured he didn't feel the same way about me, but at least I said it, got it out before I left for Paris, and maybe I can start new.

I did it though. Finally, finally. And you know the nice thing about taking a chance is, about telling someone you like him? I found out that he likes me too.

What have I been missing all these years? Argh. What a Prufrock I am.

* T.S. Eliot's patron saint of shyness and not taking chances. Read his "Love Song for J. Alfred Prufrock"
**Actually turning 21 did help and give it some edge as I did tell said boy how I felt about him the day after I turned 21.

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