An Education

I apologise for the personal, self-induglent post that’s to follow, but I’m trying to understand what I think about a situation and the emotion it’s generated (and that ones it hasn’t), and I find writing it down always helps.

Earlier, I had a conversation with an old friend from uni who I was sort of seeing and we decided it wasn’t really working.

It was a mutual decision, swiftly and rationally taken, and one that felt soberingly adult in an unfamiliar way. I imagine that’s partially because it was the sort of situation you get only when you’re old enough to develop a palimpsest of emotion for someone, new feelings written over old ones and not entirely cleanly.

When I was eighteen I was mad for this girl, as she was to me then, and it’s so confusing to look at the face of someone you felt so strongly for, someone that you literally could not stop thinking about because they’d be in all your dreams, and realise that you don’t feel anything of the sort anymore. Despite my thinking that she looks more stunning now than she ever did and really enjoying the hours I spent with her, there was no gut level love sickness, just something fuzzy: detectable yet distant, like background radiation.

I wanted to feel a whole lot more, and tried earnestly to try and do so. Heck, I even put a picture of her in my wallet that I would keep looking at in the hope that something would spark, but I guess that’s not how it works. It’s certainly made me a lot more understanding of times in the past when I’ve been dumped. You can’t really make someone feel something for you, and you can’t pretend that you feel something you don’t. You can try and perhaps you’ll create some sort of facsimile, but I think I believe now that the artifice will always get you in the end.

I do feel a bit down about it, which I didn’t expect, though I’m definitely relieved we’ll still be friends. Got to cherish it when it happens, kids.

(I’m done now – normal service will resume tomorrow)

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