During one of our random self-worth talks, I asked you if we can always be friends no matter where we venture to in the future. You replied: “Do you think I’ll let this friendship go so easily? If God had it meant for us, then we’ll always be friends.”
It has almost been four years since we met, and almost as long since I’ve fallen for you. During these years, we both grew up a lot. The two of us who met through a friend in one of Hong Kong’s hottest pubs slowly matured into two individuals stepping into the workforce.
I walked with you through these past years and I will continue to walk with you through this journey. I will watch you stumble, fall, and stand back up to grow taller. I will be there holding your hand when grief strikes, and will be there handing you a glass of champagne for celebratory events. I will always support you like you need me to, like you’ve always told me how you looked to me for encouragement.
“Do you think I’ll let this friendship go so easily? If God had it meant for us, then we’ll always be friends, we’ll always be what we are.”
And that is exactly what I’m afraid of. I’m afraid God won’t let us be what we are for the rest of our lives.
Because I know what we have right now can’t remain as is.
Some day, someone is going to replace me. She will watch when you stumble and help you stand back up to grow taller. She will be there holding your hand when grief strikes, and will be there to hand you a glass of champagne for celebratory events. She will be the one who supports you because you’ll need her to and you will look to her for encouragement.
She will take my place and make you happier than I ever could.
And I don’t think I can cope with that.
We all have that one person in our life that we can move on from, but can never fully let go. I certainly do. Whether it was timing, location, life’s other events, other people or even our own selves, we allowed each other to slip away. Maybe it was because we were too young to comprehend what it meant to fight. I look back on this relationship as an older, more mature, and hopefully wiser person and see that perhaps a few situations could’ve been handled more differently, a few words shouldn’t have been said, or a few extra hugs could’ve made the problem disappear.
We were young, and we didn’t know. We didn’t know what it meant to fight for each other. We didn’t know what heartbreak was. We didn’t realize the bond we shared was unlike any we would ever have again.
But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
From you, I learned a lot about life, about you, and about myself. I wouldn’t trade anything for the nights we spent holding each other like we were afraid that if we let go, everything would fall apart. And I can’t comprehend how I would feel if I saw you holding someone else. After us, I had dated other men. All were amazing people, but none were you. And now coming back full circle, I realized that I’m still in love with you. My mind is constantly thinking about you. I still want you.
I want to be that girl you met when you were too young and didn’t know how to love. And when you’re older and know how to, you realize that you still love me. But it won’t be too late, because I will always love you.
To be a good liar you have to first convince others to believe you’re horrible at it. This works just the same with emotions. To hide your deepest feelings, you must first convince others that you’re bad at hiding it and that everything you feel is written on your face. That’s how I do it. I verbally tell others I am a horrible liar and I can’t lie. I can’t hide my feelings because they show on my face. And I succeeded because not a single person I know, my mother included, can tell how I feel at any time.
All but two people. There are only two people in the world I can’t lie to. Regardless of how well I can hide in front of other people, I can never pass under their scrutinizing eyes.
The first is a person I’ve known for 19 out of the 23 years I’ve been alive. He self proclaims that he is my overprotective older brother – a role he proudly undertakes. When I’m upset, mad, frustrated or disappointed (mostly at/in myself), he would probably be the first one I’d call or message. When I make bad decisions in life – ones that he’d warn me not to make but I would still proceed to anyway – he would still be there to pick up the pieces of me regardless of the copious efforts he put in to prevent me from breaking in the first place. Although we’ve had lots of ‘downs’, we’ve definitely had our fair share of ‘ups’ that has built our friendship to what it is today. I can most definitely say he’s someone God sent to protect me from life’s adventures.
The second person is one that many of my posts have been about. He’s someone that I fell in love with almost four years ago, and am still having troubles letting go today. He’s someone that loves me, but not in the way I love him, at least not any more anyway. I asked him if he could tell when I’m upset. I had expected him to give me an answer most people would probably say, “Yeah, I can just tell. Y’know, its just so obvious.” But he didn’t, he told me exactly how he could tell. He said that I was exactly like my favourite Disney character, Tinkerbell. As a fairy, Tinkerbell can only have one emotion occupying her mind. Whether she’s upset, angry, happy, jealous, excited or frustrated, she can only show one emotion – much like myself. But despite being similar to her, he said I try to hide it and not show what I really feel; which fools other people. He mentioned that my laugh would go way off of my usual tone and how my smile would be ever so slightly slanted. He would notice.
I’m good at lying to other people about my emotions, but with these two I can’t seem to hide it. Maybe it’s not that I’m bad at lying to them, but because for me, there’s no need for me to hide from them any more – they’ll find out eventually anyway.
My parents gave up everything they had to immigrate to Canada. A place where they thought would allow my sister and I to flourish in ways we couldn’t in Hong Kong. They left a comfortable, stable city life and travelled to a unfamiliar place. They had to cope with new jobs, new environment, and new friends. All because they thought we were worth it.
With the abundance of opportunities nowadays, our generation has never learned to fight for what we want any more; we never had to struggle for the things we want. My theory for the reason as to why so many couples divorce after marriage in the recent years is not because we don’t want to fight but we can’t fight because we don’t know how.
Society has groomed us to have this “ultimate positive” outlook on ourselves. I agree, being confident, building self-esteem and being positive definitely allows us to live a much more happier and fuller life. But too many times have I encountered people that take this energy and push it to the next level; one level too high. People begin to view themselves much worthier than anybody else when, in fact, we are all the same.
We face an obstacle in life, a problem with our significant other, an argument with a colleague, and we think: I’m worth so much more than this, I don’t deserve to suffer through this. And we throw away a relationship. We’ve never been put in a situation where we were forced to work through our problems or forced to struggle and suffer to get what we want.
But our parents did.
So many of my friends’ parents got married within months, weeks or even days of meeting each other, because that was the culture at the time. Once they signed the marriage papers and the honeymoon period was over, they would discover certain traits that would irk each other. But because “divorce” was such a foreign and frowned upon concept back then, they were forced to work together and to compromise. And because of this, they learned the meaning of perseverance and what the real meaning of “fighting for the ones you love”.
Struggling, suffering, compromising, persevering and working together. It’s quite unfortunate but these phrases are the phrases that have become foreign to our much too privileged generation.
If someone asks me: “Why are you so upset?”, I honestly wouldn’t know how to answer. The question is, why am I so upset? Or more so, why am I still upset?
Was it because we’ve talked about this four times and still had still resulted in the same outcome? Or is it because you said that it’s not like you don’t want to, but it’s because you can’t like me (what does that even mean anyway…). Is it because I had the opportunity to hold you, kiss you, and be held by you and now I don’t any more? Or is it because you said to me “friends are for life, that’s why I want us to be friends”.
Tears flowed down my cheeks as we spoke that night. I remember specifically telling myself that I wasn’t allowed to cry, but I did anyway. I had even encouraged myself in front of the mirror the night before, like how the main actress would in the movies. But unfortunately, at the end of our conversation, it didn’t include a hug and a kiss of happiness. Instead, I had allowed myself to dream a little longer, and agree to live in this week-long fantasy a little longer.
I had made him promise that after I leave, we could no longer stay the way we were. We weren’t allowed to call each other “baby”, “honey”, “sweetie”, or any pet name. I had to distance myself from him. I couldn’t let him be the one to pick me back up at the times when I am at my lowest any more; I had to learn to do that myself now.
I guess the reason why I’m still upset is because I know deep down inside, I will never stop loving him. Regardless of who else comes into my life, he’ll always be someone I love. At a young age of 23, I know how it might seem to other people: “You’re young, you’ll find someone else that you love more than him. The person just hasn’t showed up yet.”
But to be very honest, it’s almost 4 years since I’ve fallen in love with him, and the feelings are still as strong.
Every year on New Year’s Eve, my high school friends and I will gather together at one of our homes and celebrate together. For the longest time I can remember, we’ve always stepped into the new year together; this year was no different.
The only thing that changed was that I allowed myself to consume enough alcohol to feel that slight “high” you experience while intoxicated. Ever since I returned from my internship in Hong Kong three years prior, my alcohol consumption had significantly decreased; or more like alcohol really makes me feel sick. But yesterday I had let myself go. I had allowed myself to be able to drown my emotions in this alcoholic state. Don’t misunderstand, I was still able to comprehend and remember everything I did. But I was definitely able to let myself be free of my emotions.
Everything went as usual, we all woke up and had our first meal of 2016 together and each individually returned home. After unpacking my clothes, I decided to take a nap; after all, I did only sleep four hours the night before. To my surprise, I woke up in tears from what seemed like a nightmare. I couldn’t remember many details but I distinctly remember him and I arguing.
The strong front I had put up the past two weeks in front of my friends finally crumbled and I couldn’t force myself to smile anymore. I’ve been telling my friends that I am OK, that I am finally free, and that we had finally established a mutual ground to stand on. But in reality, my heart still hurts and still yearns for the moments we spent together. My eyes still hopes to see more memories created.
This is the end.
And I am not OK.