I Do Not Know What I Want

Sometimes you have revelations at the oddest of moments. This past week I got to re-unite with my “old college friends” (OK, it’s only been 3 months since I graduated) at my alma mater. And I did a lot of thinking while I was there. I thought I knew what I wanted for my future, but maybe I don’t.

I loved seeing my friends – some of whom had graduated with me this past fall, and some of whom have one more year. But it just felt so different than it had when we were all students. There was strangeness in the air. A feeling that we could never go back to the way it had been. That doesn’t mean that our friendship cannot one day become even stronger than they ever were before, just that it will never be like it was.

You know that saying “you can never go home”? That saying finally made sense to me four years ago when I can home from college for the first time. And it makes sense to me once again. My university was my home. And as I drove toward the bell tower I felt like I was returning home. But the feeling quickly faded into something different. A feeling that I just didn’t quite belong anymore.

And this all made me think: I really want to go back to school. I don’t want it to be over. I know that grad school would never be the same, I wouldn’t be with the same people and I wouldn’t be in the same city. But it would be school. And school is familiar. I’ve gone to school every fall since I was five years old and this is the first fall I haven’t eagerly packed my backpack up and headed to class.

And this got me thinking about making decisions and what factors I want to influence my decision making. There were two main things that I thought about: Grad School and Boyfriends. An odd match, but hey, my brain is unpredictable.

#1. Grad School (Law School to be specific):

I can’t make this decision based on a fear of the unknown. If I go to law school my life is pretty much plotted out (at least more than it is now). School would be a change and a challenge for sure, but it would be predictable. If I don’t go to law school I have no idea how long I’ll be stuck working at the deli, I have no idea what will come next or where I will end up. I have no idea if the career path I choose will work out (though, that can also be said for law school). I love the idea of living in a college town with other students and going to class every day. I do not love the idea of endless job applications with no guarantee of a better job. I want to go to law school, simply because I want to go back to school. That’s not a good enough reason. I need to want to be a lawyer, and I simply don’t know right now.

#2. Boyfriends:

I’m 22 and have never been in a relationship, and I feel like I’m getting close for the first time in my life. It’s a guy I’ve known since high school and who I re-connected with this summer at work. Now he’s gone back to school and we’ve been talking a lot on Facebook and Skype. While he was here, there was no doubt in my mind that I had a huge crush on him and wanted to be with him. But my feelings have been weakening since he left. If my feelings are shrinking now, how on Earth would I maintain a long-distance relationship if one began?

And why do I want a boyfriend anyway? Yeah, I’m 22 and I haven’t had one yet. So what? Who says that’s unacceptable? Media? Society? My peers? I want to have the experience, to check it off my list so that I can move on. Is that a good enough reason?

But maybe I’m just afraid of the unknown again. How am I supposed to know if I want a boyfriend if I never have one? I like being single. Single is familiar and easy. A relationship would come with its own benefits I’m sure, but it wouldn’t be easy, especially long-distance.

Conclusions:

  1. I think too much
  2. I suck at making decisions
  3. I do not know what I want
  4. When in doubt, go with the brave decision – that is what I have decided to do
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Really Happy

I think something may be wrong with me: I’m listening to happy songs on the radio and actually singing along. I’m smiling for no reason at all. I can almost feel my heart beating up against my chest. The sun is shining and the sky is blue and I’m not even bothered by the unseasonably warm temperatures.

I’m not normally an unhappy person. I’m usually pretty content. But everything seems so perfect. Even though I’m still working at the deli making sandwiches for rude tourists and living with my parents and our occasional late night screaming matches.

I’m not saying that I don’t want my life to change and progress. I don’t want to get stuck in this rut, even though it’s looking like a pretty good place to be stuck. And it’s not all perfect. I am frustrated by my inability to get a “real job” and put my hard-earned degree to use. And I’ve had a few bad days at work and a few moments when I just feel like I can’t do anything right. But those feeling wash away pretty quickly and I’m reminded what it feels like to be surrounded by people who love me and people who enjoy working with me and people who are willing to work at a long-distance friendship.

I don’t think I’ve ever been surrounded by so many people who make me so happy. And I’m feeling pretty good about myself lately, because I seem to make them happy too. It’s a pretty amazing feeling.

Ramblings of a Lovesick 20-Something

I’ve got that feeling in the pit of my stomach, spreading throughout my chest and into my throat. And I can’t tell if it’s a good feeling or a bad feeling. I don’t know if I want it to stop, or to grow stronger.

Urban Dictionary confirms my suspicions that I’m lovesick: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lovesick. But It’s hard to tell; I’ve never actually been in love.

But it’s that unmistakable feeling I get when I have a crush on a guy and know that I like him way too much. It’s the feeling of doom when I realize that we’ll never be together, and the feeling of hope that spreads through me when I think that it just has to happen because we’re clearly meant to be together, and the feeling of embarrassment because I know that I’m not being logical. It’s the feeling of day dreams and nightmares, the feeling that everything is possible and everything is doomed, it’s the feeling of falling and the feeling of being caught. It’s the unknown, the infinite possibilities, the never-gonna-happen, and the maybe if I could just be different everything would work out.

Those are my feelings right now. And they’re just too big to get down on paper right.

I don’t know that I’ve ever liked a guy as much as I like this guy. But I literally think that every time I have a serious crush on anyone. And now he’s about to leave, and I already miss him. And I feel so foolish because there’s not even anything between us. A work friendship. Nothing more. But, oh, I want it to be more. It’s stupid, but I can literally feel my heart aching for there to be more.

Every time he stands close I just want him to be closer. Every time he smiles, I want him to never stop smiling. Every time he says my name my heart beats a little bit faster. I don’t touch people, but I want to touch him. I’m afraid that he’s going to slip away forever. I’m afraid that I’ll never get a chance.

I know that if he doesn’t already like me he never will. And that may be the most terrifying thought of all: that there’s nothing I can do, nothing I can change, nothing I can improve upon.

He hasn’t asked me out yet. And he’s leaving in a week. So he never will. So, I’m going to go out on a limb and venture to guess that he doesn’t feel the same way about me that I feel about him. And he never will. He will never want me the way I want him.

I’m afraid that I’ve lost something that was meant to be. But if it was meant to be, it would have happened, right? You either believe in fate or you don’t. I’m not sure what I believe. But I know that when he smiles at me there is nowhere I would rather be than standing next to him laughing, even if we are standing behind the deli counter making sandwiches for rude tourists.

[UPDATE: He asked me out on our last day working together – though it was not a date so much as just hanging out together for a couple of hours. Since then, we’ve kept in touch and plan to meet up when he’s home from school. But here’s the exciting part: HE DOES LIKE ME! He even told me exactly that, so there’s no more guessing! I am still a lovesick 20-something, and I love it.]