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You still make me smile. But the thing that long-lingers on my face afterward is no longer caused by a happiness, or an excitement for something that is just beginning; Now sadness is there, helping to pull up the corners of my mouth. And it is a strange feeling, happiness and sadness mixed on my lips, frozen on my face.

I’ve always felt that I expect too much from people. I hold people to too-high standards. I want too much,  jump in too quickly, take too much of them.

And it makes me feel bad, when a friend doesn’t see the point in going on a one-day trip to a different city for the sole purpose of going there. What for? they might ask. Why so soon? Can’t we wait a few days?

No, no, I’d say, mentally frowning, shaking my internal head at them. You need to be better. You need to want more. Can’t that thing you were planning on doing today wait? Can’t you just go with me, run away, drop it, forget about it, do it later? This is an adventure I’m talking about! This is so much better than feeding your cat, watching that movie, making dinner, talking to your boyfriend. Hello? Are you still there? Why are you still there?

 

 

 

 

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1. There are much bigger problems in the world than yours. (This is supposed to make you feel better. Did it work?)

2. We are all afraid sometimes. It’s ok, I’m here for you!

3.  Jesse Eisenberg. Most beautiful award.

4. Don’t worry about it, I’ll be your valentine!

5. I have a hard time believing that other people sit around and do nothing, too. You’re all too interesting for that!

6. Life is long and beautiful and living is underrated.

7. Ok, ok! I finally get it! Frozen is the best movie ever created, and I do love it, and Olaf is the best! The internet was telling the truth!

8. If you don’t say anything, if you don’t tell them, it’s not actually real. If they don’t know, then you don’t want them to know. Make a move or stop talking about it! Love, me.

9. How to prepare for an interview: Drink lots of coffee. You’re welcome.

10. Where do I get a purpose in life? Do they sell them at Target?

Bang. A gun shot. Don’t worry, we’re in the country, they must be hunting. Hunting what?

The phone rings. You answer. Bang. Another gun shot, this time through the phone in the form of bad news. Your heart drops again. You hang up, wondering, what’s that Mat Kearney song? “I guess were all one phone call from our knees.”

Bang. Another gun shot, hours later. What’s he after? What am I after? What are we all hunting? Did that phone call stop my search or start it?

If today is a bad day, how do all the other days compare? What about the great days? What about those?

Bang. Not a gun shot anymore, just memories; coping, comparing the heart breaks: Your arm put in a cast on your eighth birthday. The crushed front bumper of your sports car. The end of something before it began. A false friend. An empty room.

A phone call. A gun shot. It’s really all the same.

It’s always the same thoughts in different situations:

 
“He’s so close, yet so far away.”

“It’s going to happen.”

“It’s never going to happen.”

I hate feeling this way, this deep-down bubbly terrified feeling that seems to be a product of either evolution or of thinking too much. Maybe both.

I wish it were easy. I wish you could know me, without the awkward pauses or silliness, without the socially-agreed-upon acquaintance behavior.

I wish words worked better for me, wish I could tell you about how a few nights ago I sat in the dark grinning to myself, thinking about how wonderful and horrible it all is. I wish that would flow out smoothly from my mouth, make you understand that I’m a creature just like you, with dreams and plans and more than just an empty swivel chair figure taking up too much elbow space.

“It’s going to happen.”

“It’s never going to happen.”

But it’s always the same: always too much bravery or not enough at all the wrong times. Always too much contact or not enough; You’re either always there or never there and it doesn’t matter which because nothing ever happens anyway.

“It’s never going to happen.”

Always the same: a lot of laughing and smiling and refusing to cry over something so silly, over something so nothing.

“It’s never going to happen.”

And it ends the same, too: me, alone, grinning in the dark at how horrible and wonderful it all is.

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?