I actually told someone I liked them today, oh wait, does it count when you also tell them that you “used” to like them? You know, like in the past tense. Not really sure on that one.
It’s been a weird few days for me, my energy has been really up and down. My mornings, when I would normally go to the market and then make time to cook lunch, has been swallowed up by extra commitments. Falling back into those old patterns of being in the business of being busy, not eating as healthy and definitely not sleeping enough.
As I sat there watching my students frown at their exam papers, on impulse, I tore a piece of paper from my notebook. It made that satisfactory tearing sound that made you feel productive in a sea of silent tension. I picked up the pen and began to write. My hands had the usual onset of cramping that anyone who ceased to write essays in their high school years knew too well. No matter how neat your penmanship was back then, as an adult, it just looks like chicken scratches.
OK, maybe not that bad, but you get the drift.
It began with harmless banter, just like all our conversations. What did I even write about? Everything before that last paragraph was all just a bunch of procrastinating syllables. Does it even matter? Why is it such a big deal? Why have I even devoted a whole blog post to this? To some degree, we’re all afraid of rejection – from family, friends, that “crush”. I just felt I needed to say it, I have always hated being in limbo – that feeling where it feels like you’ve given up your power while someone else made up their mind.
Patience when it comes to matters of the heart was never my strong point – I just didn’t want whatever this connection to become another “situationship”. I valued his friendship and felt pretty OK with being just that…friends. For me, I wanted clarity, and if he didn’t want to be more than friends, I had to clearly define our boundaries.
Logically, I’ve worked hard to know my value and what I offer. Putting that into practise is something I’ve often struggled with, and the Universe has been insistent that I learn this lesson beyond the year’s end. It all came to a head one morning as I was walking past a good friend – she had noticed the change in my demeanour and stopped me on the street. At that moment, a part of me just wanted to curl up in a ball, and the other knew that it would do me good to talk about it. Get it out in the open and feel those feelings.
What made me so upset? Meeting him has been an emotional trigger of what I thought I had healed before coming to Peru. He hasn’t said anything to me about what was in that letter, and it took taking a step back to realise I had been doing all the chasing. Chasing what exactly?
A connection, a friendship, a potential relationship? I don’t even know myself. All I knew is that I walked myself into that place of limbo of “what exactly are we” zone. Now it was time for me to give back to myself and remember that people will treat us by what we allow.
It’s a few days before Christmas, and it will be my first here in Peru. This year has taken me to both ends of my emotional spectrum, and I know I’m stronger and happier for it. As for that connection, I think it’s good that we take a break for a while…friendship or otherwise. I’ve been working six days a week this month – there hasn’t really been a lot of time to watch sunsets or rest. The next two weeks off will be all about chilling and maybe even try to squeeze in a few hikes in the mountains. Do me. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
Ronna Grace Funtelar is a thirtyish storyteller, creative, writer and slam poet currently based in Peru. She is a hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.