So… I’ve had a rather interesting week.
Casey tried to connect with me on LinkedIn on Wednesday.
Casey as in THE Casey. The one who I met on my 23rd birthday and fell hopelessly in love with. The one I had a crazy long distance relationship with. The one I loved with every ounce of my being.
The one that thought deleting me from social media and not answering my texts but then sending me a few sentences in an email on “why he did what he did” a few months later was an acceptable way to break up with me.
The one that broke up with me for no apparent reason.
The one that made me want to set myself on fire and watch my skin turn to ash as a way to relieve the pain I was feeling.
The one that broke me.
The one who wanted to get back together a few months later because they realized they made a horrible mistake.
The one I forgave.
The one that scared me.
The one I trusted.
The one my soul hungered for.
The one I was addicted to.
The one I swore was a gift from God to share my forever with.
The one who cheated.
The one who got engaged.
The one who got married.
The one with no apologies.
The one that suffocated me.
The one I would have gladly died for.
The one that made a mistake.
The one that got away.
The one that ruined my life.
The one that’s still married.
The one that just won’t go away.
Yes, that Casey.
My first instinct was to almost laugh at it. I couldn’t believe how pathetic the whole thing was. The ex from hell whom I refuse to talk to trying to add me on LinkedIn because he probably thinks that’s his best chance at staying connected with me. It’s barely a step above MySpace.
I let it sit in my inbox for a couple of days. I wanted him to know how it felt to wait. How it feels to not know. How it feels to try your hardest to reach someone who couldn’t care less about you.
I debated on whether or not I should accept it. I couldn’t bare the idea of going down this path and ending up crushed again. But a part of me wanted to be able to flaunt and dangle my successful career in front of his face to show him just to show him all that I can and did do without him; to show him just how much I really don’t need him.
The last time I talked to him was in October after ignoring a series of Facebook messages from him (we are not Friends on Facebook; he sent messages to my Facebook page). He told me he was miserable and that his wife didn’t appreciate him (there’s a feeling he’s taught me quite a lot about…). He called me the one that got away and said he had no one to blame but himself (no…You don’t say?). After I ignored 5 or more he finally made the mistake of saying, “I wish you would talk to me. I miss you.”
But I didn’t want to hear it.
In the past I may have been different. More trusting. More forgiving. More understanding. Excited to hear from him. Excited at the possibility of getting back together.
In the past I would’ve had hope.
Because I loved you.
I can forgive many things but I can’t forgive you for marrying her. Especially not when you’re still married.
I told Casey off when I received that message in October. It was like every wound on my heart had been reopened and this time instead of having a heart of love, I had a heart of pain ready to attack before it even stood the change of taking on any additional pain.
This is what I said with his response at the bottom:
I thought that settled it. I never imagined this would still be going on now, another 2 months after sending that message and just a few days after he “celebrated” his 2 year wedding anniversary with his wife. Actually, thinking of it that way makes me sick. For someone that claims so much to be a “disciple of Jesus” you sure haven’t mastered the whole “Love thy wife” part…
I accepted Casey’s LinkedIn request a few days after he sent it. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s a part of me that wanted to show him just how much I didn’t need him. Maybe I had hope still for him for some reason. Maybe I wanted something to happen. I don’t know.
But when Casey followed me on Twitter the day after, I know how I felt: scared.
Scared that this was all going to start over again. Scared that a marriage was ending and I’d be to blame. Scared that I was going to ruin the life I’ve gotten comfortable living – alone. Scared that this time would somehow be the worst than the last two times.
I thought about everything very deeply. For a few days, I couldn’t sleep. On the one hand, it was the same old, same old and I’d be a fool to go back to it. On the other hand, what if this was the one time things were going to be different and I was giving up on the one I was meant to be with?
I thought about it over and over and over and talked with some friends. And this is what I learned:
He didn’t love me.
He didn’t love me before we started dating, after we started dating, after we met, before we met, when we met, or now.
I loved him more than anything.
But he didn’t love me, nor will he ever.
No matter what you do for someone, regardless of how much you love them, you can’t make them love you. It doesn’t work like that.
And it’s not worth my time or energy any more and things aren’t how they were when I was 22. One of us is married. The other one is in a deeply committed relationship with work and school and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone stand in the way of reaching my goals.
When I was 22 I had the whole world in front of me. I worked as a crummy cashier at the local Walmart begging for an escape. I thought you were that escape. There was nothing in the world more thrilling and exciting than being a 22 year old new college grad with a 32 year old long distance boyfriend. When I graduated I was so excited about the possibilities and what the future held not just for me, but for you, too; for us. I thought we’d take over the world – travel together, open a business, be our own boss. Be entrepreneurs and both business and life partners.
But it’s not what you wanted, obviously.
You were selfish back then.
Now, it’s my turn to be selfish.
I want to earn my MA.
I want to work 2 or more jobs at a time.
I want to dedicate more time to my church.
I want to study hard and harder and earn a Ph.D..
I want to teach.
i want to write and publish a book.
I want to move to Philly.
I want to move to Cincinatti.
I want to big time editor for some fancy NYC magazine.
I want to move to California.
I want to work 80 hours a week because I can.
I don’t want anyone to tell me who to be or what to do.
I don’t want to waste my time on you (I’ve wasted too much time already).
I want to be selfish like you.
I feel no guilt.
I feel no shame.
No sympathy for you.
We’re not meant to be together.
You’re not my lover.
You’re not my friend.
You are most certainly not “the one”.
And you don’t love me.
Because you don’t leave the people you love.
You don’t destroy the people you love.
And it took me awhile,
But I don’t love you like I did yesterday.
And I’m tired.
And I’m sick.
And all the hell you put me through.
And I’m done.
I’m so, so, so, done.
And so, so, so ready to go on being a little selfish and to live this life without you.
And here is what I want from you:
Please. Please. Please.
LEAVE. ME. ALONE.
I have nothing more to say to you that hasn’t already been said.
This has burnt up in flames many times over.
It’s time to leave the the ashes along so the dust can settle
And this can finally, finally, maybe die and be over with.
Image Credits: Vernon Barford School
I’m always skeptical of books that receive a lot of attention or hype. I’m still pretty mad about how disappointing I found The Hunger Games to be. I put so much faith in that book and ended up feeling so disappointed in the end and like I have been cheated. So needless to say I was a bit of afraid to read John Green’s famous novel, The Fault in Our Stars. Scared, but also very curious.
I refused to spend $17 or so for the hardcover edition of the book. It seemed like an awful lot of money for a book especially one that was by any author I was unfamiliar with for a book I was so skeptical of. So I waited over a year for it to come out in paperback edition.
When I went to Target on Saturday I was pleasantly surprised to find the paperback edition of The Fault in Our Stars resting comfortably on the shelf at the fair price of a little more than $10. I purchased it without thought and began reading it as soon as I got home.
I. Could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down.
This novel hooked me straight from the beginning. I loved the character of Hazel. She was a unique kind of strong and smart.I felt sad for her for being so sick and on the verge of death but I admired her for her acceptance of her faith. She accepted that she was going to die and she didn’t seem scared or bitter about it. She mostly just felt bad for the people she’d leave behind. She didn’t want to hurt anyone. This is something most people don’t think about in terms of terminally ill children. We feel sad for them because they are going to die too soon…but does anyone ever really think about how they feel in terms of dying and leaving behind their loved ones?
I was convinced throughout the novel that Hazel was going to die. I felt really bad for her boyfriend, Augustus. I thought that Hazel would die and leave Augustus alone to live his life and to try to keep the memory of Hazel alive. And I expected him to turn a bit bitter since this would be his second girlfriend to die of cancer.
I fell in love with Augustus the moment he was introduced in the novel. He was so romantic and charming! Very smart too! I loved his obsession with metaphors and how he would suck on cigarettes without actually smoking them as a way of putting deadly items in his mouth but not allowing them the benefit of killing him. He was such a strong character. I never would’ve thought he’d be the one to die of cancer in the novel.
I was so completely furious at John Green when it was revealed that Augustus was actually in remission and living his last days in chapter 13. It took me by complete surprise and absolutely broke my heart. I don’t think I have ever been so heartbroken by a book before. But this did not feel like a book. It felt like real life. And that just hurt.
Leading up to chapter 14 I have watched Hazel and Augustus begin to slowly fall in love with one another and I was reminded of my own past relationship with Casey and how it feels to fall in love. Even when your relationship falls apart and doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you never regret the falling in love part. Falling truly, deeply, passionately in love is the greatest feeling in the world. There is no other emotion that come anywhere remotely close to it. And I really saw and felt that with Hazel and Augustus. Then right when everything was at it’s peak — right when Hazel and Augustus became each other’s firsts… BOOM! Augustus is dying. How heartbreaking is that?
I kept rooting for Augustus to pull through, even though I knew death was inevitable. I literally made a wish when I seen it was 11:11 that Augustus would live. I just loved this character so much that I couldn’t stand the thought of him dying. It was hard to remember he was fictional. I admired Hazel for standing by and supporting Augustus as he grew sicker and sicker. She herself was not well and it couldn’t have been easy to watch the love of her life die from the same disease that was killing her. She was literally looking death in the eye and seeing exactly what would happen to her in the near future. There was no doubt that she really loved him.
And what about Augustus? In his final days he did everything he could to be with Hazel and give her everything she could ever want. This is what love is. This is real, pure, true love.
Augustus may have died in this story (still so mad at you for killing him, Mr. Green!!!!) and Hazel may be knocking on death’s door step, but the love shared between Augustus and Hazel will live on forever. These two demonstrate what it is to love someone in sickness and in health. What it is like to live like you are dying and to love like there’s no tomorrow.
I always wanted to die young. But after reading The Fault in Our Stars, maybe I should reconsider that. Maybe it’s just more important to focus on the now, the present, and to live each day like it’s my last dying day.
Because you just never know when that might be.