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Tag Archives: confusion

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1. How dare you flirt with my fake boyfriend!

2. It’s super reassuring/terrifying when cool successful people also admit that they have no idea what they’re doing with their lives. Wait, what?! Nooo! Help!

3. When was the last time you used sidewalk chalk? Not recently enough!

4. Maybe you’ve known someone for a really long time and you think you know all about them. But I’m sure there’s a lot you still don’t know. And people change. Keep getting to know them.

5. Compliment someone today.

6. Winter is coming! Halloween is coming! Tomorrow is coming!

7. Why are pen pals not that much of a thing anymore?! Getting mail/letters is awesome. Come on, people. Get with it.

8. You’re not going to get Ebola. I mean, probably. OMG WHY did I read that one book that one time about exploding Ebola-monkeys?! But really, what’s worse: staying in your house all the time and avoiding all contact with people/the outside world or getting Ebola? Exactly. Also, on a totally separate note, who wants to play Pandemic?? It’s a classic!

9. Listen to what it is you’re saying, especially if you expect others to. Pay attention to yourself.

10. Why are we paying so much attention/money to people with so little talent?! Because they’re on the radio?! That doesn’t mean they deserve your time! Because they’re on T.V?? Because whatever it is they create is everywhere and so easy to see?? That does not mean it’s good, or useful, or interesting, or worthwhile. It’s all self-perpetuating and gross. Turn it off. Find something better. It’s not that hard.

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I flick on my blinker and  suddenly realize that I’ve almost driven all the way home without noticing. Twenty miles flew by under the wheels of my SUV as I sat, thinking about other things. Four Corners by Josiah Leming starts to play on my ipod, and I think about how that song always tends to play when I’m almost home.

Josiah sings out of the speakers of my car, and I sing along with him.

“Must have passed at least a million homes,
Can’t but help and wonder which one’s mine”

I got two hours of sleep last night. No, this morning. I went to bed at 5:55am, got up at 8 to finish that paper I had stayed up all night working on. I feel so tired – so tired that I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep. Not the giddy tired, either. Just tired. Bone tired.

“Half of the moon is all that we get this time.” 

I drive down my road, towards home. It’s the middle of december, almost Christmas, really, and there’s no snow. No snow in Michigan in December. I wonder if we’ll ever have a white Christmas again. That’s all snow’s good for, anyway.

“Blink twice, it’s never real.”

I keep thinking about you. I want to hang out with you again. I think about how I’ve seen you more than I’ve seen any of my other friends in the past two weeks. I wonder if that means anything. Maybe I just like you because I like things when they’re new, when I haven’t gotten tired of them yet.

“I wish that my heart could eat away my brain,
‘Cause it swings in front of me and makes me insane.”

When I get home I curl up in a ball on the newish purple rug in my room. It’s comfy. Slowly I come to realize that I’m laying on the floor in my bedroom. I don’t care, though. Sometimes being a girl is painful. Sometimes being alive is painful.

“Four corners make a whole,
And the holes will drag you under.”

So there I was, wandering around in a slightly unfamiliar building on campus, searching for a lady I was supposed to be meeting. (Spoiler Alert: She had forgotten about the meeting and was already at home with her children as I circled the first floor, searching for her – someone I had never met or seen before.)

She was late. Or, was I in the wrong spot? I thought we said we were meeting at the chairs in the front lobby. But, maybe to her, the front lobby is what to me is the back lobby.

I wandered around. I went to the back of the building. There was a lady sitting there, who looked like she could be who I was looking for. I still had my doubts, though. We said the front lobby, right by those squishy chairs! She must be talking about the same place as I am. Maybe she’s just late.

I walk past the lady sitting in the chair. No, that can’t be her. My eyes search among the other people sitting around the high tables and chairs of the school’s cafe. I make eye contact with a black-haired boy sitting against the windowed-wall.

I don’t look away. He doesn’t look away. It feels like I know him, though I don’t know him. He looks at me like he understands. It doesn’t feel like I am looking at a stranger, though I am. I could walk over to him and it wouldn’t be weird. Instead, I walk away.

I go back to the front of the building. No one new there, only a few high school students still waiting for their parents to come and pick them up. (Yes, there is a high school inside of my University. It’s where I graduated from.)

I check the clock on my phone. She’s almost 15 minutes late now. How long should I wait? Maybe she actually forgot.

I check my email. Nothing. Where is she? I wonder how much longer I should wait for her. I’ve been waiting for what feels like forever – 25 minutes. How much time does she need?

I wait. My mind wanders to that boy. I should have went up to him. I should have said hello. I should have asked him if he felt the same way – if he felt like I wasn’t a stranger, though I was.

I wander around the front lobby, as if changing the location of my body, and my line of sight, will make the woman I’m waiting for suddenly appear. It doesn’t work.

I decide that I need to double check that that woman sitting in the back lobby isn’t actually the lady I’ve been searching for all along – I’m trying to be professional, here. I don’t want to leave without making sure. I don’t want to leave her sitting there, waiting for me.

I walk back around to the area where she’s sitting. I walk in the same direction around as I did before, intentionally avoiding the place where the black-haired boy was sitting.

The woman is still there, sitting, reading something in a folder. This could be her, I think.

I walk up to her, a stranger. She looks up at me as I approach.

Are you M.?, I ask. No, she says. Sorry, I say. No problem, she says, and smiles.

I walk back to the front, passing the boy again. We look at each other. I do nothing. I walk away.

Back in the front lobby, I’m about ready to leave, though I still have some hope that the lady I’m looking for will appear.

She doesn’t.

I leave.

I exit the building out of the back door. The boy is still there, watching me. I ignore him. I can’t do anything else.

As the door closes behind me, I think of him. Who is he? Why is it so easy to look him in the eye? That doesn’t happen very often. Why didn’t I say anything? Of course I didn’t say anything.

Later, I wonder. Our eyes keep meeting in my mind. I remember only his black hair, and his eyes, and how he looked at me, and how I felt. I remember how he was sitting alone in the cafe near the window. I wonder who he is, where he is now. I wonder what would have happened if I had been brave enough, or curious enough, to walk up to him. A stranger. A stranger who didn’t feel like a stranger. A stranger with the eyes of a friend.

What’s the difference between liking somebody because they’re interesting and liking somebody because they’re… something else?

I don’t think I’ve ever had this distinction. Looking back – looking at the fairly short list of boys I liked through my teen years that I wrote on the back page of my purple diary – I feel like every guy I’ve ever liked has been interesting – and that’s why I liked them.

Think, the great skateboarder in fourth grade. The talented singer in sixth. The funny guy in tenth. The fantastically smart scientist guy throughout all of those years.

Ok, so? I liked them. I like liked them, or at least I thought that I did. Unlike my friends, I never liked someone (like liked them) because of what they looked like, or what they wore, or who they were in the social setting of high school. Yes, I might have found those people attractive – but I wasn’t attracted to them.

To this day, it feels like I have no distinction between respect and love in some instances. Or maybe I’m looking for something that’s like respect but a little closer to love? Is it admiration? Sure. Is it love? I don’t think so.

I realized this fact about myself a long while ago – back when I was writing that list of boys in my diary.

Hmm, I thought. All of these people are, like, interesting people.

And I still don’t understand it.

Or, maybe I’m just thinking too much into myself. Maybe I’m too caught up in my own thoughts and feelings.

Maybe I’m unsure if it’s OK to respect a guy who’s my own age. Maybe I feel like I have to like like him, especially if he’s good looking. Maybe I just love too many people. Maybe there’s no problem with this at all, maybe it’s what everyone does and I just never thought to ask anyone else.

Maybe there is no difference between respecting people and loving them. There are many different sorts of love, right?

So, that’s fine. I respect/love smart, interesting people.

I suppose I just haven’t found somebody yet that I will respect, and love, and also love in a different way.

What do you think? What’s the difference between love and respect?