I can remember a time in middle school where all I did was talk about the boy I had a crush on. I’d scribble his face all over my notebooks, pair my name with his last , and in permanent ink (because that’s how I wanted our “love” to be) write Lindsay & Mr. So-and-So forever and ever, and ever. I’d spend hours obsessing over the tiny, insignificant details, and wrap myself in the long, white, curly chord of our home phone, discussing what I thought were signs of fate with my BFFs, until and after bedtime.
Did I say middle school? Maybe I meant high school. Or college. Perhaps post-graduation? Isn’t it funny how from the time we become intrigued by love, the way we approach it doesn’t seem to change too awful much, even though we’ve become “grown-ups”?
Women are often criticized for freaking out or for being overly-emotional or taking things too seriously or reading into signals that technically weren’t fired off. Maybe so – but I think we do this to protect ourselves, prepare ourselves for the worse, and probably because we just care that much. I don’t think men necessarily care any less, yet for whatever reason (I’d like to blame how boys are raised to be more independent than women, but I digress) -they don’t let their ‘what-if’ monsters out to play very often.
It wasn’t until embarking on this journey and deciding once-and-for-all that thoughts of what men think, what men want, what men need, what men desire, will no longer lead my life, that my compulsions lessened. To overcome the urge to get fixated on something a man did, I instead, switched to focusing on myself and what I deserve. And this change, so far, has worked well for me.
So well, that I’m not sure what my friends think. Ever since I revealed Mr. Possibility went fishing in the sea of she-fishes, appropriately had a mini meltdown, followed by finally letting myself get upset – I’ve stopped talking about what happened. And really, I’ve ceased discussing him, too. Not only my friends, but some of my followers and readers have emailed me to ask: “What are you going to do about Mr. Possibility? Is he out of the picture?”
If I’m going to continue to be honest, I must admit, that no, Mr. Possibility is still somewhat a possibility. I can’t say for what type of relationship or if for any relationship whatsoever, but he hasn’t disappeared out of my life and I haven’t sent him to the Great Land of Assholes. (Though, a few ex-boyfriends are not-so happily camping there). We are, in fact, talking on a daily basis and sometimes I give him complete hell, but I’m not writing him off just yet.
A few nights ago before I went to bed (which means morning for him), we decided to video chat instead of Gchatting or texting for an unreasonable amount of hours. We tried with Skype, which only showed my camera the first time, and then only his audio the second try. Hoping the third time’s a charm, we attempted again – but a message popped up on my end saying “Connection isn’t strong enough to video. Please turn off video to secure audio.”
My first thought, at 11:30 at night, while still typing to Mr. Possibility, was “Wait, if the connection is tempoarirly unstable, we’re supposed to close our eyes and listen? We should cease looking ahead, and take a step back to really to hear what the other end is saying?”
Well, Skype, I never thought you’d be that insightful. And neither did Mr. Possibility – when we managed to get Gmail’s video to work, he saw me scribbling in my precious black notebook that holds all of my ideas for this blog, and asked: “Did our videoing tries really inspire something? Can’t wait to read this one!”
With his return to the states still weeks away, I knew that placing all of my attention and using all of my minutes trying to battle what I feel, what I now expect, what I desire, what I think I should stand for, and what I deserve, would be wasteful. It would cause me to bombard my friends with questions they don’t want to answer repeatably (as they always have to with me), wreck my evenings, hold me back at my job, and even worse – keep me from continuing on the path I so badly wanted to travel. I know I can’t turn a blind eye forever and I should take the words he says with a grain of salt – but until there is an actual person standing in front of me, I don’t have to address everything right away.
And so, when I realized what we were developing became fuzzy on both receivers, I knew it was time for me to rid of the dial tone. I mentally clicked “end”, and let my overwhelming thoughts go. I didn’t need an operator to tell me this number can’t be reached, and to try my call again, because really, I’m not ready to call it again. Our connection, or rather our trust that we were building was interrupted, and so I typed in a new number: my own. And thus, instead of hitting re-dial or hearing a busy signal on the other end, I took my life, my emotions, my obsessions, into my own hands and I started listening. Instead of worrying if I could hear (or see) Mr. Possibility, I asked: Can I hear me now?
I stopped thinking about what it would be like to visit him, picturing the first few moments when we finally saw each other again, and hoping he’d do something so incredible he’d make into the blog for something good, instead of something unsettling. In replace of these notions and hopes I had – I put more energy into developing my sense of self, my career, my friendships, and my overall quality of life.
While I may have encountered a hiccup with Mr. Possibility, it isn’t the first one I’ve had with a man and more than likely, won’t be the last. But today, in this moment, I can’t think of any stronger signal with higher bars and a fiercely charged battery than the one I have with myself. And while that link may at times shake and stagger, it’ll never be so weak that I have to disconnect.