54 to go…

I keep hoping he’s going to walk into this coffee shop and see me and smile, he’ll sit down and ask how I am and what I’m writing about and I’ll tell him that I’m fine and I’m writing about a wonderful boy who I like a lot but who doesn’t like me back, he’ll say he’s sorry and I’ll say it’s OK and that I’m used to it and that I’ll be fine. I will be fine, but right now I’m not.

It’s one thing to have a Crush and to hope that maybe the other person feels the same. Every little thing they do makes you giggle. Every smile, every touch, every text, every kind gesture, every stupid joke, every gentle word, everything. You’re somehow better when they’re around, they make everything brighter. Every thing they do holds a special kind of potential. But all of this hope, all of these beautiful dreams die when you catch them looking at someone else the way you’ve looked at them. You catch his glance lingering on her and suddenly you know, it isn’t you. No. It isn’t me. It wasn’t me. It never is.

i won’t say that i
loved him
because all too often 

love is misplaced 
and misunderstood 
and i didn’t know him 
well enough 
to love him
but i loved his laugh 
and his ease 
and his eyes 
and his passion 
and i loved the way 
i felt 
around him

I want to write all sorts of stupid, angsty things about how this pain is a “special kind of devastation,”  and about how “my heart is drowning,” and all sorts of other ridiculous thing. But it’s true. To quote the marvelous John Green, “It hurt, and that is not a euphemism. It hurt like a beating.” It does hurt. It hurts so badly to not be liked. Every time it’s her and not me I hear the words “you are not good enough” over and over again in my head. It’s a constant reminder that I’m not enough. That I, once again, don’t measure up.

I feel so stupid for feeling like this, I had no right to want him in the first place. I had no right to let my heart pretend that things were going to be different. I had no right to hope in the first place. There’s no one to blame but myself.

i asked a question
whose answer i didn’t
want

now i know

you love her

“of course he likes her
everyone knows that”

i’m such a fool

it’s not that i didn’t
see it
it’s that i didn’t
want to

i see the way you
look at her
like she is the most
beautiful thing
you’ve ever seen

and she is

she is so
beautiful
kind
funny
talented
graceful
artsy

i just hoped that you
were looking at me
like that
when i wasn’t
looking

but i guess not

I meant it when I said that I was OK being single, I do feel good about it. I feel whole and complete, and I know I don’t need him. But he is so wonderful and I care about him a lot. I almost feel guilty for wanting a relationship just because I am so happy being single, but I know that this is different. I didn’t want him to complete me, I wanted to know him and to learn from him and be close to him. Even though I’m happy and fulfilled on my own, this still hurts so deeply. So, so deeply.

I saw unrequited love defined as “Its like drowning but you just won’t … die.” I’m pretty sure that this is  the saddest, but also most accurate thing I’ve ever read in my life.

So now what? Now I guess I just go on pretending everything is OK and I try to get over it and try to kill these stupid feelings before they burrow any deeper and make this any harder. Now I just sleep a lot, drink tea, listen to sad music, write angsty poems, pray for peace, and cry. Cry a lot.

Love you!

Abby

Lights and Chocolate Chip Cookies. 86 to go…

I like this song a lot. I just love the way it sounds. It’s kind of beautiful and melancholy and hopeful but honest. I agree with almost all of this song.

We’re born with millions of little lights shining in the dark
And they show us the way
One lights up
Every time you feel love in your heart
One dies when it moves away

There are things that put out the little lights in our hearts. When our grandmother dies, when we move away from our friends, the first time someone tells us we’re ugly, the first time a boy doesn’t like us back, the first time we lie to our parents about where we’ve been all night, the first time we hear a group of boys talking about girls, when our friends abandon us, when no one asks us to prom, when we get rejected from college, the first time we get drunk, when we realize he didn’t want us but just our body, when we realize we have disappointed our parents. The list goes on. Life’s moments kill the hope and joy we expected to experience in life. It tears us apart from the inside.  It kills us.

But there are things that light those little lights. Every time we say the words “I love you” and mean it, when our parents come to our choir concerts, when we drink really good tea with friends, when someone recognizes our hard work, when you stay up all night talking to people you care about, the first time we fall in love, when we reach our goals, when we get the hugs we need, when we hear beautiful music, when we discover that we love to sing, the first time someone buys us flowers, when we find that we love someone completely.

I’d like to think that the things that there are at least as many things that light our lights as there are that blow them out, if not more.

Some people believe that we are born as a blank slate that time and experience write on as we grow, but I’m not sure that’s right. It’s more like we’re clay. We’re clay that is shaped by time and experience, and in that clay there are chunks of hope. Wait… I have a better comparison.

We’re chocolate chip cookie dough. We’re born as a big lump of cookie dough with a certain number of chocolate chips. The chocolate chips are the little lights in us. As life goes on our dough changes shape and is molded by all of Life and our portion of chocolate chips changes as circumstances add and remove them.

You see, we’re not just blank slates that are at the whim of the universe. We are made of specific ingredients. We’re made a particular way and we are changed slowly by the things and people and experiences of this life. 

But here lies my problem with this song:

we’re born with millions of little lights shiny in our hearts
and they die along the way
till we’re old and we’re cold
and lying in the dark
cos they’ll all burn out one day
they’ll all burn out one day
they’ll all burn out one day
they’ll all burn out one day

Now, I’ve never died, but I sure hope that all the lights don’t go out right before you die. I want to believe there are lights that last. The light that was born when our first child is born and we feel that love, the light that was born when we found our faith, the light that was born when we realized that we are deeply and completely loved. There are lights I have that I will not let burn out. You see, life doesn’t just put them out. You get a say in the matter. You get to decide what makes you bitter and dark in this life.

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you.”

This is one of my favorite quotes for the book The Fault In Our Stars. I think it’s so true. You’re going to get hurt in life. You cannot stop that. But you get to choose what hurts you. You can choose to not let things make you bitter. You can choose to stay wide eyed and wondering at the world. You can hold on to that one little light. Grasp it for dear life. That’s my plan, because life is too beautiful and full of love to let all of your lights die.

Love you!

Abby

Alaska in real life. 164 to go…

So if you have kept up with this silly little blog at all, you know how much I love Looking For Alaska. It’s the only work of fiction to truly change my life. I’m deeply inspired by the character of Alaska. To me, she is representative of all the things I want to be: smart, beautiful, mysterious, funny, intriguing, honest, thoughtful, witty and deep. I want to be all of the things she is and even though she is such a deeply broken character she is immensely unique and charming.

I have a Pinterest board called “Alaska” that is dedicated to all of the things I hope to be as a woman and all of the things I believe Alaska is. I’ve been working to become more of the person I want to be.

But I wonder how she feels. I wonder what it would feel like to be all of those things. Probably terrible. As a fictitious character, Alaska can be all of those things perfectly, but I cannot. I’m sure she would hate herself. She would feel too much and not enough all at once.

It’s funny, that’s how I feel in real life. I am both too much and not enough. But I look at a character who would feel the same thing about herself and yet, I want to be her. We always want what we do not have and I’m beginning to understand that it doesn’t matter what good qualities we may have, we will always see the bad. If I had all of Alaska’s positive qualifies I would still feel inadequet. That’s simply the way it goes.

That’s not to say that there aren’t lessons to be learned from these perfectly imperfect characters. We just need to acknowledge reality.

Love you!

Abby

What is the value of a human life? 194 to go…

How much is a human life worth? This is a question I’ve been pondering. I watched a VlogBrothers video about the value of life today and it has gotten me thinking.

You can measure value in how much someone could work to earn money. How much they could sell their body parts for. How much they would be worth as raw chemicals (carbon, calcium…) How much it costs to buy a slave. How much they own. They’re net impact on the planet. There seems to be no end to the way we calculate human value.

I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. -John Green, Looking for Alaska

I believe this. You can look at someone’s physical body, the DNA that made them up, the books they read, the friends they had, the stories they told, the music they read, the memories they made, the education they had, the childhood they had and you can still not know them. We are so much greater than the things that make us up.

There is something within us that is unknowable. Something that we can all see, but can never understand. That is why we have value as individuals. Because there is something that makes us 100% unique. Something that is ours and ours alone. Something that we seek to express and understand. This thing, our soul is what makes us different from one another but also makes us the same.

My dad and I were discussing this and he said to me “If our lives are worth what people will pay, then what about Jesus?” That’s something I need to think about…

Mission of the Day- Think about what gives human life its value.

Love you!

Abby

Weird relationship thinkys. 222 to go…

I’ve been trying this new thing where I go to bed before 10:30 in an attempt to maintain my mental health. But, more than anything, it makes me feel more tired… What on earth universe.

Do you ever find yourself looking back on a relationship and realizing that that relationship shaped you and meant more to you than it did to the other person. That can be a really sad realization.

The first real relationship I had was in ninth grade with a boy who I still consider to be a very good friend of mine. Obviously, there are no more feelings there but that relationship had a huge impact on me

It shaped a lot of how I see things and how I see guys and how I make choices. But I realized that it probably had almost no effect on this boy. It’s crazy that someone who so deeply altered my life can be so unaffected by my presence in his life. Then again, I guess that’s how my relationship with John Green is and we are in a wonderful relationship of me learning from him and him doing what he loves.

It’s now 10:30. I’m going to bed.

Love you!

Abby

Your expectations are killing people’s souls. 276 to go…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: at the root of every heartbreaking is some sort of disappointment.

When you really like a boy and it seems like he likes you back. He’s cute and awkward and nerdy and flirty and funny and different around you (maybe It’s just me) and you think that he likes you. There is a sense of expectation there. You hope and you expect him to make a move. To initiate and to tell you he likes you. But when that expectation isn’t met you are suddenly crushed. You come to realize that your hopes and expectations were not at all reality.

I don’t know if you’ve read the play A Doll’s House by Ibsen, (if not I would recommend it highly,) but the whole story line is about a woman, Nora, and her husband, Torvald. Nora committed fraud in order to save her husband’s life and when another banker finds out about the fraud he threatens to tell everyone. Now, Nora believes with all of her heart that Torvald will take the blame for the fraud and say that he had done it and because of this Nora is planning to kill herself. But when Torvald tells her that “no man would sacrifice his honor for the one he loves,” her expectations are shattered and her heart is broken.

It occurred to me that our expectations are so high because we idealize people. John Green wrote “what a treacherous thing to believe a person is more than a person.” And he is so right. This boy disappointed me because he wasn’t the person I pretended he was. Torvald disappointed Nora because he wasn’t the man she believed he was. We both had very ideal images of what these people were.

It’s like seeing your parents screw up for the first time as a child. They’re your parents, so they’re obviously perfect. Or like seeing your favorite celebrity ruining their lives. He’s Josh Hutcherson, he must be flawless. Or seeing your role model crying for the first time. She’s Erin, she can’t be sad.

We have such crazy expectations for people. We see people in black and white. They are either wholly perfect or wholly flawed. But in reality the whole world is shades of gray (far more than fifty.) All people are made up of their goods and their bads. We fall in love so easily with these paper ideas of people. I’m guilty, I’ve done it, I do it and I shall continue to do it. But the reason it is so treacherous to believe that a person is more than a person is that it hurts more than just you.

Sure, it hurts you. It shatters your expectations and breaks you heart. But it can maime another person. Essentially your heart is breaking because that other person is not good enough to measure up to your definition of what they should be. And they are painfully aware of the fact that they are not and never will be good enough. That is the stuff of nightmares. The sort of thing that breaks the wings of your soul so that you never try again. And that is a terrible thing to inflict on another person.

Love you!!

Abby

Two posts in a row that aren’t all about boys… I’m proud.

Alaska and wanting. 301 to go…

I wish I knew what to say today. I’ve been reading through some Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns quotes.

Gosh. I forgot how much I want to be Alaska and Margo Roth Spiegelman. To be a girl with streaks to maintain. To be the kind of girl who’s a legend. The kind of girl worth talking about once I’m gone.

Can I be really honest with you? I really don’t think I’m that great. I’m pudgy, awkward, loud, obnoxious, weird, nerdy, clumsy, emotional and a tad bit clingy. I don’t have a cute way of looking out of the corner of my eye, of half smiling, or making literary references that normal people understand. I’m just plain old me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy living the life I’ve been given, but goodness, I find myself aching to be noticed. To have someone to text and to feel giggly around. Someone who makes me smile and who actually likes me.

Isn’t that so human? “I just want to be loved…” Yes Ben Rector, me too…

Question of the Day- what do you want? Like, really, desperately, acheinthestomach want?

Love you!

Abby