I’ve never been one to vent publicly, and I’ve certainly never been one to open up to strangers. But I think it’s crucial for me to get a few things off of my chest.
I am alone. That’s not to say that I’m lonely. I currently live in a city in which I never lived in prior to last year, my siblings both live out of state and my parents are in Albany, where I’m from originally, and my cousins/grandparents are spread out across the country. I have a few very good friends that I see with regularity here in Syracuse, but I live alone, and that’s the way I like it. Seriously, I would be hard pressed to consider living with a roommate again.
I am, and have always been, fiercely independent, and that’s as much of a positive as it is a negative for me. It has allowed me to grow professionally, but also hindered me in my personal life a great deal. I have a very hard time opening up to people, not out of fear that they won’t open up back, but rather out of a knowledge (or perhaps paranoia) that opening up to someone inevitably ends in disaster.
In terms of dating, I’ve had a few relationships, but only one very serious relationship in my life. And when it ended, my car was vandalized, my friend group was divided, and my resolve towards cynicism and skepticism about “love” was only strengthened.
Let me pause here. I do not blame anyone or anything external for my aforementioned skepticism and cynicism. It is something I have lived with forever. No friends, no girlfriends, no siblings, parents or anyone else has made me into who I am, and if you’re looking for proof, just remember that I once told my mom at age 4 to stop walking me into kindergarten because she was embarrassing me, as other kids were bawling to not be separated from their parents.
Focusing on dating for a minute, I’ve got this lifelong pattern where the girls I like are always unattainable, or unwilling to dedicate the effort to a relationship that I am. The girls that like me back are often cast aside in favor of some irrational logic that I’m somehow better off without them. I can’t shake it. And I’ve definitely hurt a lot of great people in my life because of this, people who I care about and deserve better than I can provide.
I’m not naive enough to think my dating history is somehow worse than anyone else’s. Frankly, I’ve been lucky in my dating life. The ultimate irony is that I’ve got a lot of love to give. I’m overall a very good person. But I know myself. I know I’m sarcastic, skeptical and condescending. I hide behind sarcastic jabs, and cope by laughing, or making others laugh with/at me. And I’ve alienated many people in my life, particularly those who I care about.
Am I wrong to think I can’t change? Am I selfish to want to protect those I care about the most from being brought down to my level? I know that I’m at best very annoying, at worst condescending, regarding my friends’ relationships. Just ask them.
It’s taken years and years, but I think the realization I’m coming to is that I’m more afraid of hurting others than I am of being hurt.
I guess I don’t know why I am the way I am. Is it some fear of losing my independence? Is it some fear of rejection that I’ve never been able to get over? Being aware of these “flaws,” if you wish to call them that, hasn’t stopped me from making the same mistakes over and over for the past 6-7 years of my life.
“Nobody’s perfect and I stand accused, for lack of a better word, and that’s my best excuse.” – Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day