A lot can happen in the course of a year. And I’m always so surprised when I look back on things and realize how different they’ve become – yet still remained the same. I can easily say that I’ve changed over the last year. I’m the same, but I’ve grown. I’ve experienced things this past year that have opened my eyes, and shown me what I’m really looking for. And it’s hard – so hard – to make the changes I need, but I know now that I have to.
So how have I grown?
Well, it started with getting over the guy I dated last year, the first guy I brought home, and then he ended things with me. And I thought they were going so well, I thought we were so good together. But money and time was an issue, and I learned later he found someone else. And it was hard for me to accept. I spent December of last year with this silly idea that once the holidays were over we could find a way to talk and work things out.
It didn’t happen.
Instead, I developed a crush on a coworker, and I had this idealized fantasy about him. To the point I was texting him all the time and wanted something – anything to happen. I spent New Year’s with mixed emotions, hooked up with W that day (talked about him in a previous post), and actually went out with friends and ran into a guy from high school. Things happened there, too. And I’ve never been that kind girl who would hook up with two guys in 24 hours. But, it was the first night I ever spent the entire night out somewhere.
My mom had been calling me around 5 AM and yelling at me for not being home, for not letting her know I wouldn’t be home. She made me feel like shit for going out and enjoying New Year’s – was I supposed to be home at midnight? I decided that night to make the most of the moment. And I don’t regret it, even it was only a one night stand. Because I learned that I need to live in the moment more. And stop being so afraid of my mother’s repercussions – she bitches about everything. I’ll just be happy when I reach the day and age where I can actually do that and not have a phone call asking me why I’m not home.
I learned that going on a date or hooking up with just anyone doesn’t always work. There was this guy I matched with on Tinder, and he was cute and nice, but he had just turned 21. So to me, he was very young. And when I met him, he turned out to be this really scrawny guy who looked like he just got out of high school. And when we hung out at his place, it got awkward. He lived with a couple of sorority girls, and they were coming in and out of the house as he’s trying to watch a movie with me and kiss me. There was a moment when one of them walked in on him with his hand on my chest. And I was so embarrassed and weirded out. It wasn’t a turn on at all, and it made me feel old and passed that college setting. I didn’t have sex with this guy – though he did try to convince me to go back to his room. I wasn’t into it.
I learned that there comes a place where you just don’t fit in with these newly turned 21 year olds. Is it bad that I bond more with people who are 30 now? I’m over that college scene, and hookups, and pointless sex. I’ve had my experiences, but I’ve grown up now. And it took something like this to really show me that.
When I went to Pittsburgh for St. Patty’s Day back in March, I hooked up with my friends’ friend. Which wasn’t intentional, but I learned that night that one night can really mean something. Even more so than my New Year’s experience, it taught me that living in the moment makes for great memories. And no, it didn’t work out, for a few reasons, but that’s okay. Because it was a great night, and sometimes that’s all you need.
Meeting Ray showed me that once you find someone, you stop caring about being alone or having no one. You focus your attention on this person, and it’s amazing. Distance doesn’t matter, what matters is the intention of making it work. And yes, it’s hard. Waiting a month to see him and thinking that we’ve almost hit 7 months and I’ve seen him a handful of times the last few months – it sucks. But it’s temporary, there’s going to be a time where we see each other more often. Hopefully sooner, rather than later.
I’ve grown in a lot of ways this last year. I’ve grown thicker skin, come out of my shell, learned to stick up for myself – especially with my mother. I’m learning that I have to do what’s best for me sometimes, and mother does not always know best.
I know it’s going to be hard, but things will get better, and I’m still staying optimistic and positive about this. This last year taught me a lot. I’m just hoping next year will bring more changes in the right direction.
What are some things you’ve learned, and how have you grown this last year?
December Writing Challenge #21