Oh, my. A week is an eternity in the blogging world, isn't it?
Well, if you thought I had disappeared (I tend to do that every so often), I am indeed alive and well. I'd like to thank all of you who took the time to follow my emotional roller coaster ride. It gives me such warm feelings to know that you read and become involved in my long-winded rambles. Thank you.
I'm doing quite all right. He dropped off a response to my letter yesterday morning while I was at church. Among other things, he apologized for sending mixed signals, saying that he has trouble trusting people and that those he does trust he forms intimate friendships with. I get it, but I just don't know what to do anymore. Where do I draw the boundary?
Perhaps I'm just confused. Perhaps he's confused. Perhaps we're all just confused.
All I know is this: things can't and won't be the same. The daily good morning texts have long since trickled off, our once constant communication fades slowly. We were each other's emotional kickstands for a good half year, and the withdrawal hovers above me like a gray cloud.
I want to tell him about my crazy week at cross country camp. I want to answer the questions he asked in his letter. I want to ask him my own. I want to wax philosophical with him. I want to spill about my impending dread of another year of petty high school drama. I want to see him again.
I have girlnextdooritis (a term coined by Taylor Swift). The guys always see me as "just friends," and perhaps it's my own darn fault.
"Lily, what's your dream man like?" A teammate asked me on a run at cross country camp.
"Well, he has to be funny--a classic one. He's gotta be motivated--I don't do lazy people...Smart--but not so much that I don't know what he's talking about. People always ask me about Asian, and that's preferable, but only because the clash of cultures is almost part of our identity, and you can't understand it unless you've been through it yourself...Faith is important--I don't want to be dragging him to church all the time or him holding me back. Oh, those runner couples are super cute too--running is good. Just slightly sassy. Attractiveness is nice, but a lot of the attractive ones don't have attractive personalities, so it's icing on the cake...someone I can talk to. And the biggest thing--we'd have to be best friends."
The three of us pondered the question of our ideal guy the entire run, coming up with the above. The best friends one was something we all emphasized.
I saw a line once that always stuck with me. It said: Love is friendship on fire.
I never understood when people began dating or acting like it in a short amount of time; it always seemed shallow to me. They don't even know each other, I would think disgustedly. That kind of attraction is infatuation. And perhaps that's my guy friend's idea of liking someone in that way. But I've always wanted something more.
I don't want a guy to mess around with. I want a guy to be close to. I want a guy to ramble with, to complain to, to make each other smile, to celebrate with, to study together, to wrap each other in a hug when we're feeling down, to run with, to ponder the mysteries of life, to always be there for each other.
Perhaps my idea of romance is slightly skewed. But I firmly believe that love is friendship on fire, and I will hold on to that for as long as I live.
I hope this drama will eventually blow over. I wish desperately for things to be normal again, but there's a long road ahead before that happens. I promise to keep you updated.
On a lighter note, this is the first batch of my sort-of senior pictures; I really see it as an excuse to be in front of the camera more haha. I applied a vintage filter to almost all of the photos except the ones I considered senior-picture worthy. My favorites are to come in the next post!
On to the normal life, philosophical tidbit for the week. I've mentioned a couple times that I was at cross country camp, which is why I disappeared from the internet for a week. It was...interesting, to say the least. Camps tend to be the type of experience you can't really understand unless you were there. All the typical girl bonding and general craziness goes down. The first impression was definitely disappointing, and well, rather grody. We reached our cabin and the first thing I though was prisoner of war camp. It was dark, damp, and tiny inside with many rumors of mice infestations. The food was GFS food. We had to run twice a day. The showers felt like straitjackets. We were in the middle of nowhere (apparently it was so mentally damaging that I had dreams of throwing corn at people haha).
I began to realize how prissy I was. But the camp slowly grew on me.
"These cabins are not college dorms for a reason," the camp founder told us, "To be a cross country runner, you need to be tough, and that's why we have this sort of environment."
I took it to heart. If he was brainwashing us, he was doing a real good job.
Then the dreaded long run day came.
"Lily, how much do you want to do?" My running buddy asked.
"Let's do 10. I've always wanted to be able to say I've run 10 miles without stopping."
So we embarked on the long journey of rhythmical footsteps and strained breathing. The scenery was gorgeous--idyllic fields illuminated by the misty early-morning sun, quaint farmhouses, almost-empty roads that seemed to stretch for forever.
"Aww, man! I have to poop. I knew this would happen," I lamented to my friend.
(Runners are very open with their bodily functions. I forget this sometimes and cause awkward situations--I once told my orchestra teacher that I really had to poop after I asked to go to the bathroom. Luckily, she just laughed and said "Too much information.")
So we planned to stop in "downtown" Orangeville, with its glorious one general store so I could take care of my business. But as we neared the turn, I hesitated.
"No, we can't do this. We have to keep going. I've got to be tough!"
It was an extremely uncomfortable mile before I finally suppressed my body's urges. But instead of doing 10 miles, we kept adding distance.
"Let's do an extra mile just to be safe," my running friend suggested.
"Yeah, I don't want to run this long to find out I didn't even do 10 miles," I agreed.
But the runner's high took over as we began to giggle and shout encouraging "good job guys!" to all runners returning to the campsite. We were slap-happy, drunk on, well, running.
"I'm feeling good. Let's do an extra half mile!"
But it wasn't enough to quench my hunger to keep going. I felt like I could go on forever. My legs wouldn't stop; I was a machine.
Back at the campsite, I dragged my friend along for another half mile around the workout loop. We were over 12 miles now. Then I looked at the time--just six minutes from running two hours straight.
"Girl, I've got to keep running. When's the next time I'll have time to run two hours without stopping?"
So we pushed on, jogging along the grassy trails until my watch finally read two hours.
I expected running 13 miles straight to be life-changing. I thought I would feel like a different person. But perhaps I just hold an overly-romanticized view of life. Perhaps nothing really is life-changing.
But I can always hope. And if anything, I feel more determined. If I can run a half-marathon without stopping, what can't I do? It's certainly empowering, especially because four-and-a-half years ago, I couldn't run so much as a lap on the track without becoming winded.
The summer is slowly fading, and things always seem to remain unchecked on my to-do list. I put too much on my plate sometimes. Is there something, perhaps, that you've always wanted to check off your list? Well I hope you complete the task--because I want you to experience the same empowerment. And who knows? Maybe you'll surprise yourself.
I want you to try to fly, because perhaps you'll discover that you can soar.