dating

Did You Love Him?

“Did you love him?”

***

I met him when I was six and he was seven. My parents had just finalized the world’s most hostile divorce, and my dad and I moved into this tiny little ranch house in a part of town I’d never seen. “A whole new start, babe,” he said, reaching behind him and ruffling my hair. “This is our home now. ”

Next door, a silent little boy stood still on the front porch. No matter how many trips my dad and my Uncle Keith took carrying boxes into the house, he was still there. Watching. Waiting. Waiting for what?

I wandered over when I had a chance to slip away. He was a little taller than me, with white-blond hair and huge green eyes. I was startled by how big his eyes were. Maybe staring like that made them grow.

We didn’t say anything. We just sat down on his porch swing and dangled our feet until my dad got mad and carried me home.

***

In fifth grade we had to dissect frogs in science class. They smelled like death and formaldehyde, and the second my teacher handed me a knife, I felt woozy and had to sit down.

He was my lab partner, like always. He wasn’t loud, but he was smart. He smiled at me and put his hand on my shoulder and said, “It’s okay. I’ll take care of it.” And I tried not to watch as he cut and peeled and poked and pulled out organs, and he never once let me look at anything. He did the whole lab, all by himself, and proudly wrote both of our names at the top.

“Our names look good together,” I joked. I think I already loved him.

***

When we got to high school, he got even quieter. He barely spoke in classes, never said hello to anybody in the halls. The only times I ever heard him talk were in the afternoons, when we’d sit on his front porch and drink grape soda and work on our homework. He was still so smart, and so kind, and so lovely, those hours we spent on the porch. But we’d get to school the next day and he was back to radio silence, not even an “excuse me” when he nearly ran me over in the English wing.

One afternoon he was quieter than usual. I looked up from The Scarlet Letter and saw him gazing sideways at his picket fence and the setting sun. “Are you okay?” I asked him softly, resting my hand on his knee.

He turned to face me, and he stayed so quiet, so calm, as he slowly moved closer to me and his eyes swallowed mine and our mouths were touching, so lightly, and he tasted like grape soda and our tongues brushed against each other and it took all I had to pull away.

“I have reading to do,” I said as I turned the page. I didn’t bother to look at him. I knew what I’d see.

***

He kissed me again one morning, before I even had a chance to say hello.

His kiss was a breath, a question, the product of a boy so scared he could barely figure out how to move his body even a centimeter forward. I felt his lips grab mine, sucking, asking if I was okay. He didn’t need to ask. I was already drowning in a sea of ecstasy, wondering when he would get bored of my lips and move somewhere else.

“You’re the only fucking thing that makes sense,” he breathed into my ear one night as we laid tangled up in each others’ limbs. “You’re the only thing that matters.”

***

“Yeah,” I said quietly, catching a teardrop before it spilled over onto my cheek. “Yeah, I loved him.”

I loved him, and I hated him.

It was the circle of life. He loved, I loved, he left, I grieved. He was everything. Life in a flag, lamb on a breeze. It was only a matter of time before our time ran out, but I’d never love him any less.

 

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I’m Ashamed To Like You, Because You’re Just Interesting

My seventh grade crush had these really big ears that stuck out of the side of his head, kind of like a cartoon mouse. People used to whisper about them, but I thought they were nice. They fit with the rest of him, all awkward and gangly and full of subtle imperfections. I liked that he didn’t look like everybody else. I thought he looked interesting, and that was better than just being pretty.

I was always kind of weird that way. My friends teased me mercilessly for my taste in men (boys) until I learned that there were only certain types of people I was allowed to like. Straying from the norm would only cause problems, and I was already socially insecure enough without alienating my friends, too.

“But he’s so short,” they complained once when I told them I had feelings for my best guy friend. Another time I got a wide-eyed, open mouthed stare and a “…him?” They could not fathom the idea that I might be attracted to someone who was, well, not “cute.” You know, in the way that middle and high school heartthrobs are supposed to be cute. And in the case of my particular suburb, also white.

The thing is, I’m a sucker for interesting. I’m amazed by how many people I come across who think that’s an insult, a blow to their looks or their intellect or whatever else. Our culture has somehow given that word a negative connotation; it’s simply a placeholder for when you can’t think of anything nice. “Oh…interesting,” you say, when really it isn’t at all. But what can we ever hope to be if not interesting? Why would anyone strive for less?

Sometimes it’s the element of surprise, like when the quiet kid who sits behind you in tenth grade English class suddenly starts rapping Li’l Mama’s “Lip Gloss” from memory. Sometimes it comes from the respect and awe you feel when you see the class clown act so kindly toward everybody, and you think, “how can anyone possibly be that patient?” And sometimes all it takes is exposure to a millisecond of somebody’s greatest passion: a musician strumming his guitar, an engineer discussing circuitry, a sports fan yelling at a TV set. You’re hooked.

Sure, there are times when you get to know them and they’re not as intriguing as you thought. Nice enough, interesting enough, but that’s about it. But there are other times when you get to know them and they’re utterly intoxicating. Everything you learn about them pulls you in deeper, and no matter how much you know, you want to know more. Maybe interesting isn’t the right word after all. Fascinating. Captivating. Complex and wonderful.

I regret that in my life I’ve left a lot of interesting people behind. I spend far too much time caring about what other people think, so much so that I completely tune out my feelings. By the time I graduated from high school, I’d missed my chance to chase the two or three people I’d really wanted. By the time I graduate from college in June, I will have missed at least three more. And for what? For the brief satisfaction of knowing nobody was going to laugh at me?

I wish I had the balls to tell my seventh grade crush how much I admired his tenacity – and his ears. Or to tell the guy I didn’t go to prom with about the time he came over to return my book and it took everything I had not to kiss him. And right now, I wish I could call up the boy I barely know and ask him a million questions, just so that he knows someone wants to listen. I want so badly to not give a damn what anybody else thinks about it.

Above all, these boys should know that they’re interesting. To all of you: there were, and are, people out there who spend a lot of time thinking about you and wishing they were brave enough to say so. Regardless of whether you meet objective standards of beauty or intelligence or humor, there is somebody who thinks you’re the most wonderful person on the planet. Even if they wait seven years to say it. Even if they never do.

And to the rest of us: screw what everyone else thinks. Love the interesting ones. Love the weird ones. Love the ones you never quite understand. Just love.

Two Heartbeats

“Maybe it’s nothing,” I say as I stare at the gray wall in front of me.

“Maybe it is.”

I gently trace my fingers over his knuckles and give his hand a protective squeeze. “It’ll be okay, you know. I’m here. We’ll be okay.”

He awkwardly shifts his weight to his other leg and jams his hands in his pocket. “Yeah.”

We are enveloped by sounds. A gentle humming seems to emanate from the flickering overhead light while the constant pitter-patter of human steps reverberates through the floor under our feet. Every few minutes a telephone rings, interrupted soon after by gruff mutterings rendered unintelligible by the general chaos in the air. I notice a low rhythmic pounding and realize rather uneasily that I am noticing the sound of my own heart. Or maybe his. Or both.

Sometimes, in the moments right before sleep overtakes us, I wait for our heartbeats to converge. Resting my cheek on the cavity of his chest, I let the thumping echo through my body until every nerve ending signals my own system to follow. For a few moments, the blood pumping through his veins flows through mine, too. We are linked by something so simple, so primal, that no power in the universe can tear us apart.

The first time he ever slept in my bed, he passed out while laying on my left arm, and I woke up with the horrifying sensation that I’d lost a limb. When I woke him up (begrudgingly) to ask him if he could please move, he laughed, this deep, rich, beautiful laugh, a laugh I fell in love with over and over and over again. He kissed the fingers of my limp, dead hand and held it tightly. “When you start to feel again, I want the first thing you feel to be me.” And it was, oh, it was.

I hear his name and snap to attention. Someone walks by with a manila folder, deeply absorbed in its contents. Someone bumps into someone else and spills her coffee, resulting in a myriad of hasty apologies and a promise of penitence. Someone stands in front of us, frowning, one thumb resting nonchalantly under the loop of his suspenders. It is he who speaks, tersely and emotionlessly, those precious few words that bring us closer and closer to the moment of truth.

“We will see you now,” he says with finality.

The one person I am sure I love walks away from me. I wait for him to turn around and look into my eyes and tell me not to be scared, to take my hand and let his pulse surge through me so I can believe that everything will be okay. But he doesn’t. The sound of his footsteps fades slowly with the distance, echoing less and less through the darkened hallway, and I am struck once more with that same startling and horrifying sense of loss.

I want to tell him that when this nightmare is over, when he finally starts to feel again, the first thing he feels will be me. Until then, I won’t let go.

Sometimes You Learn

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Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

Sometimes you win. You wake up to an email telling you that you’re finally employed. You dance around your room without your glasses on, only to trip over your nightstand and fall face-first into the radiator. Sometimes you learn.

Sometimes you win. A boy with an adorable smile tells you that your imperfections make you beautiful. For once, you can see yourself through someone else’s eyes; the fierce loyalty, the shy crooked smile, the eyes that draw the world in like a whirlpool. You fall in love with what he sees, but he doesn’t. It was never meant to last longer than a moment. Sometimes you learn.

Sometimes you win. Sometimes the words flow easily, like Ernest Hemingway meets Niagara Falls. Everything comes together perfectly, a flawless concoction of letters and words and phrases and sentences that steams with meaning and glows with passion. Sometimes they’re lost in your head, swirling through the pathways of your brain, unwilling to fall out the way you’d like, leaving you tired and angry and meek. Sometimes you learn.

Sometimes you win. You look around at your messy living room and your mismatched throw pillows and you think, “this is mine.” You never thought you could make it on your own, not after everything you’ve been through, but here you are. It could use a good vacuuming; you should run the dishwasher. But you’re here, your feet resting casually on the coffee table, cheap Christmas lights twinkling in the windows, typing words that a thousand people will read. You are everything you never thought was possible. Sometimes you learn.

Confessions of a Chronic Third Wheel

Today I was riding my bike home from class, as usual, when I was suddenly struck by a disturbing revelation.

I have gotten WAY too good at third-wheeling.

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Me, every day

It wasn’t always this way…I don’t think. I think I used to have single friends, or at least I sometimes hung out with one person instead of two. And on the rare occasions that I did find myself alone with a couple of lovebirds, I remember feeling awkward. That’s a normal reaction, right? It’s supposed to be awkward?

I mean, I guess I technically spent the first two years of my life third-wheeling my parents, so that could be what set me up for a lifetime of sitting alone on one side of the dinner table. Maybe it’s hereditary. When my mom was in high school, her best friend dated her older brother, so she probably spent her fair share of nights buying her own drinks at bars. Or maybe it developed out of my timid nature and sarcastic self-loathing. People in relationships probably like having me around because I make them glad they’re no longer single and depressing. Something like that.

I was doing homework at one of my good friend’s houses this afternoon, and her boyfriend came by (like he always does, they’re adorable, yada yada yada), and they invited me to join them at the Art Institute on Thursday. At first I was a little taken aback, you know, because I didn’t want to crash their date, so I politely declined. Turns out I can’t go anyway because I have class, but even before I realized that, I had this moment of clarity where I thought, wow, this is actually my life. I live in half of a two-bedroom apartment, the remainder of which is occupied by two people who have been in a relationship for a solid four years. I am actually a voluntary, residential, rent-paying third wheel.

I don’t get it. Am I so desensitized to human affection that it doesn’t even faze me anymore? Am I masochistic? Do I get sick pleasure out of constantly being reminded that I am destined to die alone? WHY did the universe curse me with such a high tolerance for people who like to just couple off like Kit-Kat bars?!

I tell myself that eventually it will be my turn. Someday, I will get to nurture a third wheel of my very own, to tell him or her to enjoy it while it lasts, because before you know it there are sappy pet names and stressful birthdays and (ugh) accountability. It’s not so bad for a while. You get to watch relationships ebb and flow, and you learn valuable lessons without having to get hurt. You just never get to feel the giddy melty butterflies either. But it’s okay, because someday you will.

And in the meantime, couple friends, there will always be someone around to take your picture when you look too cute to resist. Just be warned that this single girl is the queen of photobombing.

When I Knew You Wouldn’t Love Me

This is a really hard post for me to publish. But if this blog is all about baring my soul, then it needs to be said. 

To the person about whom this was written: if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.

I met you at a coffee shop when I was eighteen. You were shy and kind of awkward and so was I. You walked me back to my dorm even though it was out of your way and told me it was nice that we finally got to meet. I smiled because I already kind of knew that one day I could love you.

You used to come into the gym while I was working and even though you always had a workout to do, you would stop and stand by the lifeguard chair, sometimes for my whole half-hour shift, and make me laugh. You told me crazy stories about your time spent abroad in exciting places, and listened while I made bad jokes about my own boring life. For months I thought about telling you how easy it was to talk to you and how much I looked forward to the Monday night shifts when I knew you would be there, but I never did.

You left my life, but you were always there. You ran through my mind when I least expected it. I thought about your big goofy smile and the way your arms moved kind of funny when you were doing the crawl stroke. I watched enviously as you went on adventure after adventure, never afraid of anything, eager to take chances. I thought about you and how scared I was and how much I wished I could borrow some of your bravery. I hoped maybe one day you’d be able to show me how to be fearless.

In those moments, I knew you could never love me. You were so far beyond anyone I’d ever comprehended before. I had nothing to offer someone who already had the world.

But then you came speeding back into my world like a roller coaster and you stopped to let me on and I didn’t even bother buckling my seat belt. I was more afraid than ever, but you were there and you were so close and I thought maybe it was finally time for my adventure.

You said all the right things. I heard you and I believed you and I tricked myself into thinking that maybe one day you could love me after all. And every minute of time I let myself be with you made everything feel less scary.

One day you were sitting sideways on your bed, plucking your guitar strings with your fingers and talking enthusiastically about your mythology book, when it hit me. I could love you. I didn’t right then, not yet. But I thought about the way you elbowed me in the ribs after you told a bad joke and the way your eyes lit up when you explained to me why sugar cubes spark when you hit them with a hammer, and I knew for sure that it would be incredibly easy for me to fall in love with you.

And I knew you wouldn’t love me. Maybe you thought someday you might be able to, just like I had, but I knew better. I knew you would love someone who gave you that same “Oh, shit” realization I’d just had. I knew you would love someone whose wanderlust was on par with your own, who thrived off of passion and adventure just like you. Someone whose hand you wouldn’t have to hold every time she was afraid.

I could love you, I thought, because with you I am falling in love with myself. You make me feel stronger and braver and wiser and more beautiful. You’ve helped me break down a lot of walls that were holding me back.

But I never did anything for you.

And the second I realized I could love you, I decided you could never know. Because I knew you wouldn’t love me, and you had to realize that on your own.

I’m Afraid to Kiss You

I’m afraid you’ll laugh at me.

I don’t want to come out and say, hey, the only guys I’ve ever kissed were nameless faces at a party, and I was too drunk to remember where I was, so I have no clue what I’m doing.

But I don’t want to just suck without explanation, either. I don’t want you to go home and and tell your friends about how horrible it was. I don’t even want you to think that to yourself. Because then you might never let me kiss you again. And I already know I’ll want to.

I’ve thought about when and where and how I would kiss you. Mostly I would do it anywhere. Preferably somewhere dark so you wouldn’t be able to see the color fill my cheeks when I touched you. Preferably somewhere a little cold so I’d have an excuse to hold on to you tighter.

I want to catch you by surprise. Leave you wanting more. I want to kiss you when you’re not expecting it, and then I want you to go crazy thinking about it. But for that to happen, it has to be a pretty damn good kiss. And I’m not sure I can give that to you. I don’t know how.

I’ll seduce you with beautiful words. I’ll sing you a sweet serenade. I’ll pour my heart into a cup and put it in front of you and say, here, this is all yours.

But I’m afraid to kiss you.

And I’m afraid to not kiss you, because what if I never get to kiss you? What if you slip away somehow and someone else kisses you and then it’s too late?

I don’t want to sleep with you, at least not anytime soon. I don’t even need you to fall in love with me. Because maybe you won’t fall in love with me, and that’s okay, because maybe I won’t fall in love with you either. I just want to kiss you. Probably more than once. Probably.

I would, too. I would if I weren’t afraid.

But I’m afraid to kiss you.

Daily Prompt: Unconventional Love

In my life, I’ve loved a lot of people. I’ve also been lucky enough to be loved by a lot of people.

What is a conventional love story? Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl, boy and girl live happily ever after? That’s certainly the story that 98% of romantic comedies teach us. Either that or one of them dies at the end (although generally those movies are less comedic).

I’ve never had a love story like that. I’ve never had that kind of love at all. Unless “spineless girl pines for boy she’ll never speak to” is a fashionable new branch of romance.

A great deal of my time has been spent wallowing in the woes of my sad, sad love life. I feel as though that’s a pretty normal rom-com “girl” thing to do. I mean, Drew Barrymore did it in Never Been Kissed, and then she got Michael Vartan in the end, which is a spectacular end to an almost comically depressing story. But is that really conventional? No, she was a journalist masquerading as a high school student who ended up falling in love with her teacher – not exactly the most banal of circumstances. Even our “conventional” love stories are still pretty atypical. You want to know why? Because conventional love stories are boring. My parents, for example, met in a textile engineering graduate program, fell in love, and got married. I don’t see anybody making a movie about that. I mean, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t watch it even if they did. It sounds like it would include a lot of science, which I’m not very good at, nor do I particularly enjoy. But that’s not the point. The point is that the love stories we hear about on the news and watch on TV are all unconventional. That’s why they’re so beautiful and fascinating. That’s why people pay attention.

Unconventional love seems exciting. I’ll admit that it would be a pretty incredible story if I were dying of cancer and became romantically involved with my oncologist, or if I fell in love with the subject of my magazine article while trying to scare him away from me (I’m looking at you, Kate Hudson).

But those stories also kind of suck. I mean, for one, I don’t want to get cancer. That seems like a pretty big downer, and I don’t think I could seduce anybody if I were bald because my head is very oddly shaped. But even in Never Been Kissed, Josie had a seriously horrific high school career. I loved high school, and I would not choose to go through that even if I knew I’d get Michael Vartan at the end (although I might seriously consider it for like a second because that man is insanely attractive). Somehow, the situations are always dramatic, scary, or sad, even if they’re downplayed in a sort of comedic way.

So maybe I wouldn’t watch a movie about my parents’ relationship. But I would choose a love like that over a lifetime with Matthew McConaghey’s rock hard abs. Not everything about them is conventional, obviously, because nothing is ever exactly the same in any two relationships. But while my parents have been married for almost 26 years, nobody bothers showing you what happens after the couple makes out for awhile and the credits roll. Give me convention. Give me stability. Give me unconditional, unwavering love. No games, no unrealistically witty banter, no unethical situations. I mean, I guess if it turns out that way, so be it. I like a good story as much as anyone, especially since I would love to write about it. But I don’t care if there isn’t some wacky situation or overdramatic proposal. Just give me real, 24-karat, genuine love. And I’ll be beyond happy with that.

All the Times I’ve Never Been Kissed, Part 4

(See parts one, two, and three.)

I’m eighteen.

I meet you on the fifth day of college. Your shy smile and unassuming nature intoxicate me, though I’m sure you don’t notice. I’m nobody, a little girl, a scared and intimidated freshman. You would not concern yourself with me.

I simultaneously crave your presence and fear it. Concerted effort is made not to look at you, to walk several blocks behind so I won’t feel obligated to force conversation. The moments when we make eye contact are few and far between, but all I can think in those moments are how badly I wish I could drown there, in your eyes, if it means I can move even a step closer to you.

In two years, do you ever figure out how much I care for you? How I am hypnotized by the deftness of your fingers as they leap across piano keys? How color mysteriously appears in my cheeks every time you sit down next to me? Everyone else does. It becomes a running joke for an entire group of people who know us.

What would you think if you did figure it out? Would you tease me for my schoolgirl crush? Become more awkward and aloof? Or could you let me fulfill my dream of holding your hand?

The last day I see you before I leave for the summer, we walk home together because we are heading in the same direction. I realize this might be the last time I ever see you, because you’re graduating and going to a different school and I’ll still be here, feeling your absence like a puncture wound in my heart.

“Well, have a nice…life, I guess,” I say to you as we part ways.

“Same to you,” you say back.

I stop as you’re turning away from me, and in my head time stops as well. In an instant I imagine infinite scenarios: calling for you to wait, running to your side, pulling you in so close that our racing heartbeats converge into one, telling you wordlessly how much I desperately want to love you. Instead, I simply watch you turn the corner, my stomach aching with the sharp disappointment of lustful, idealistic desire and the heaviness of my cowardice.

How My Imagination Ruined My Life

When I was in first grade, I loved to play with Barbies. I had quite a few of them – not an exorbitant number, but enough that I could rarely interact with all of them at once. Every day, I eagerly awaited the time when I would arrive home from school and set them up on the sunroom floor to resume their lives. You see, I never had imaginary friends. I never needed them when I had my Barbies.

The “stories” my dolls would act out often lasted for weeks, sometimes even months. Each day I would pick up exactly where I’d left off the day before, creating and resolving conflicts and exploring relationship dynamics. I was only six or seven years old and clearly unaware of how sophisticated my thought processes were. But I was the God of my Barbies, I decided how they thought and moved and interacted.

Their fates weren’t quite predestined, however. I almost never thought ahead to where the story was going. I simply created characters and allowed them to influence each other until the action just sort of unfolded on its own. Sometimes this turned into a pair of twins (portrayed by my Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen dolls) being kidnapped and thrown into the back of my brother’s toy truck and having to find their way back home alone. Other times it became a mermaid who suddenly lost her fins and was forced to live among humans against her will. My scenarios involved time travel, adoption, magic, death, dating, rivalry, and a million other popular plot points. But it seemed as though with every new combination, every new character, the story was exciting and fresh and bold.

This wasn’t the first clue that my imagination was overactive, either. Before I could read, I often flipped through picture books and told my own story based on the images I saw. And even after reading became the love of my life, I spent a good deal of my time bringing piles of my mom’s catalogs into the living room and doing the same thing (my pride and joy was a Land’s End sale catalog that I named “The Fugitive” and used to tell a story about a wrongfully accused teenage boy on the run from the police). Throughout the early years of my existence, I never felt bored or unstimulated because my head was full of exciting adventures that didn’t require anyone but me.

I was a pretty solitary kid, only letting others join me if they had something to contribute to my world. In first grade, my best friend Libby and I shared a love of storytelling and continued the same “game” of Barbies for a year and a half. In third grade, I commanded my friends in a military game every day at recess. My social imagination carried all the way through middle school, when my good friend Michelle and I would pass a notebook back and forth in algebra class until we had created a dramatic and ridiculous tale of two best friends forced apart by geography. There was something special about the friendships I had that bolstered my creativity and made me into an even more inventive person.

It wasn’t all perfect, though. Middle school, a trying test of anyone’s confidence, was especially hard on me when everyone had suddenly outgrown the activities I still loved. I wasn’t totally grounded in reality, so I often came across as shy, aloof, or self-centered. I had been so busy occupying space in my own head that I became socially awkward and immature.

For a while, my imagination comforted me. I would lay in bed at night and imagine scenarios where I was confident and likable. I would sit down at the computer and type a tale loosely based on my current problem, but I’d keep going until I’d ended it the way I wanted, until I ended up with the guy or had the confidence to sing on stage or became famous. And then I wouldn’t care so much that the guy was still in love with my best friend because I could just imagine that he liked me instead. And it wouldn’t matter that I wasn’t confident or talented enough to be a famous actress because I could imagine what it would feel like and that would make me happy. And so I could continue to live in my own head where everything was perfect and things always turned out for the best.

The problem is, that’s not living.

Here I am, eight years later. Although I did my best to grow up in high school and college, I still prefer the inner world to the outer. Life is full of constant disappointments and fears and failures, but I can imagine my life any way I want. In my head I am charming and desirable, always balancing a plethora of suitors and friends, even though in the real world I am socially inept and have never even been kissed. In my head I have pursued and succeeded in the arts, in writing and acting and music, despite the fact that in the real world I am studying math. In my head I am beautiful and happy. In the real world I am depressed, afraid, and dangerously self-deprecating.

Perhaps my struggles with perfectionism, OCD, and ultimately anorexia finds their roots in my internal utopia. It is endlessly frustrating to compare the imperfections of life to the idealistic world inside my imagination. In my head there is no need to accept harsh realities, because every situation can be manipulated and fixed until it is exactly the way I want it. I have complete and total control over people, events, and feelings.

Life is absolutely not like that. I have little to no control over the actions and reactions of the people around me. I can’t magically erase my fears or remove obstacles that block my path. Things are not perfect, and they don’t always end happily. And that sucks. But it’s also the way life is. Having a perfect relationship in my imagination doesn’t bring me any closer to finding love in the real world, just like deciding that I want my body to run on 300 calories a day doesn’t mean that I’ll actually be able to survive that way.

I have lived for almost 21 years, and the most exciting and rewarding things that have happened to me took place inside my imagination.

The world awaits.