Dress, Target ($7)// Necklace, c/o eFoxcity// Belt, Forever 21 ($3)
Hello my lovelies! Well, this is scheduled to go live when I'm off leadershipping at a three-day conference on a local college campus. I've never scheduled a post to be published, so I thought now was just the time. I will be sure to catch up on comment-replying as soon as I return!
I gained a new skilled photographer last week: my very best friend Gabrielle! She and I went on a photo-taking adventure at a cute little park to cheer her up since she had just broken up with her boyfriend of one year. Something about photoshoots always makes people feel better, and we had a lovely time striking poses and angling tediously to get the perfect shot. I think these are senior-picture worthy, so I thought I'd share my favorites.
Enjoy the photos while I detail what I was so vague about in my last post.
Let me first set the scene: it is 5:56 pm right now, Wednesday, July 17th. I told you yesterday that there was something I'd been meaning to do, but I'd been avoiding it since I was afraid of falling. Absolutely terrified of messing things up. Well I just did it.
I told my best guy friend that I had feelings for him.
Relationships can be messy things, and I've always been able to avoid them. I jokingly refer to myself as a "man repeller," something I do consciously, or inadvertently. Things like that have just really never worked out for me--I like a guy, he's just interested in being friends. Or a guy is really into me, and I just think he's annoying or creepy.
I had been agonizing over whether I should tell him how I feel because he's also one of the closest friends I've ever had. And that would lead us into murky waters--did I really want to risk losing a friendship that means so much to me?
But I believe that the strongest of friendships can survive a little battering.
I knew that if I kept quiet, I would regret it much more than if I bared my soul and made things uncomfortable. I looked to my favorite artists for inspiration. In a Glamour interview, Sara Bareilles said that vulnerability is one of the most precious gifts you can give. And in Taylor Swift's Speak Now prologue, she said, "I think the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest."
I practiced countless times what I exactly I would say, though I knew in the back of my mind that it probably wouldn't come out that way. If people had observed me, I would've seemed like a crazy lady, speaking intently to myself.
"There's something I've been meaning to bring up for awhile, but...I've been avoiding it because it could make things rather...uncomfortable...but I have a feeling I'll regret--no--I have a feeling that if I don't say this, I'll regret it way more than if I do say this and make things...uncomfortable...so YOLO, I guess. It's become my life's anthem."
I had this minutes-long spiel all planned out in my head. I was like an actor, meticulously practicing a monologue for the role of a lifetime.
It didn't come out the way I had planned, but I've come to learn that it's part of life. My eloquent script became painfully pause-filled as I struggled to remember the words I had been aching to say.
"I should probably bring up something I've been avoiding for awhile..."
I stopped abruptly, forgetting the words I had so carefully rehearsed; they sounded so foreign, so unreal, so disgenuous. But I had to forge ahead. It was a gauntlet of dismembered sentences turned into awkward phrases as I plunged, terrified, into the murky waters I had avoided for so long.
I eventually spit it all out. I hope he got the idea--there were so many more things I wish I could've said. How I had always felt there was something between us...but perhaps I'm delusional. How I know that I send mixed signals--because the cynic in me never fails to relentlessly battle the hopeless romantic and hopeless idealist. How I know dating would be impractical even if he did feel the same--he's headed off to college in a month and I have a long road of college apps ahead that requires total focus. There was so much, much more.
When I arrived at a long pause, he stood up abruptly from the quaint park bench overlooking the pretty blue lake. He patted my head sympathetically.
"Let's go," he said.
I hopped up curiously and followed him towards the dusty gravel path encircling the clear water.
"I hate to do this, but I'll tell you in a few days," he said cryptically.
I sighed. Perhaps it is better to be heartless sometimes.
It's as if a huge weight were lifted off my chest now that I've professed my inner emotions. But I can't help but agonize over his response. We chatted cheerfully as we strolled back in the scorching afternoon heat to his car.
It was as if nothing ever happened.
I cringe as I replay the scenes in my head. Did I sound desperate? Did I seem clingy? Did he even understand my convoluted ramble?
Now, it is all out of my hands. What's done is done. The prospects don't look favorable for me, but I don't regret spilling my soul. And as much as I wish I could have expressed my feelings more articulately, I feel a strange sense of accomplishment for conquering my fears. For overcoming the consuming angst. For being completely honest, even though it left me in a vulnerable position. For being brave.
We must not wallow in the past but live in the present--and look upon the future with with gratitude and hope. No matter what happens, I am strong; my fading scars are testaments of previous battles--fought perhaps not with grace but with tenacity and spirit. If heartache is on the approaching horizon, so be it. I've long since learned that time will eventually heal those wounds.
And perhaps once the dust settles, a beautiful friendship, stronger and healthier, will emerge.