I’ve never watched Star Wars, but I know that the character Yoda speaks kind of funny, right? Okay so in this case, if he were to comment on my current predicament, he’d be like: “a turn for the worse, things have taken.” Get it?
It’s currently early Tuesday morning. I’ve got an exam coming up today that I should be studying for. But honestly, I couldn’t sleep well last night. Actually, even IN my sleep, I couldn’t sleep! My dreams were so vivid that they were keeping me up WHILE I was sleeping, if that’s possible.
So yesterday during my shift at work, the universe finally gave me more signs as to why I really do need to let go of my feelings for Dylan. And you know, maybe not. Maybe it’s all in my head. But it doesn’t feel that way.
Why did I see his message pop up on Caroline’s phone in that exact moment during the summer, when he was asking her out on a “doggy date”? What were the chances that Dianne of all people, saw him on a date with an older looking blonde girl? And then what are the odds that Dianne told Luna, of all people, who is extremely close to me?
And then yesterday, when he was introducing himself to the new demo, what are the chances that the demo only recognized Dylan because he’d seen him with a girl? This was purely contextual, I don’t know why or how or in what circumstances they were seen together because Dylan ended up leaving the conversation to drink water.
But then after that? As much as I’m trying to separate myself from my ego and its personal narrative, I must admit this one was a little bruising.
Earlier on about half way through our shifts, he had ended up going back to his podium even though he didn’t really have to. But he’s friends with the super pretty girl from the nearby Clinique counter which was right next to his podium, and I noticed that he spent the hours up there mostly talking to her. Which is cool, I know he’s a super friendly and outgoing guy, and I’m sure staying behind in our department was boring as hell. (Including talking to me, my bruised little ego is interjecting, LOL).
Eventually, I went upstairs to get my lunch because my shift was drawing to a close, and I used the escalator that led right to his podium to come back down so that I could maybe say bye.
One of the other Clinique girls that I’m friends with came over to speak with me for a moment once I got to the bottom of the escalator, so we hovered there for a moment while I waited for Dylan to notice I was there. I guess originally, I was mostly expecting to keep walking either way but since I had a reason to stop, I figured I’d wait a bit.
From the corner of my eye, I noticed him glance over our way. But before I could turn my attention towards him, he’d already turned back to the pretty Clinique girl, who was pretty much hiding behind his podium right next to him in order to talk to him.
And there was the wake-up call that I needed.
I walked off, promptly gathered my stuff even though I still had half an hour of my shift to go, and asked Maria if I could leave early to go home and study. She was totally fine with it, so I left without saying goodbye. There was no way I was going to go back to the podium in an attempt to get his attention to say bye because it was clearly being happily consumed by someone else.
Even as I type this, I’m laughing at myself. I’m pretty sure I sound nuts. Amazing how defensive we get when our egos get bruised, eh?
But moving past my ego to look at the greater picture of all this.
I know Dylan is a good guy. Despite my idealizing, he’s got great qualities and I can’t deny that. He’s a fiercely caring friend, compassionate, out-going, humorous, adventurous and overall, pretty mature for his age. Everything I said to him in that text I sent him in the summer, I meant all of that.
And for a brief moment during the summer, when we were lying on that dock looking up in the stars, everything felt… right. It felt real. When he told me that that moment made everything they’d gone through worth it, my heart was happy. I wouldn’t have chosen any other person to share that moment with, right down to swimming beneath the stars in the quiet, night-covered lake.
But everything since then has gone to show that this person, as great as he is… I just don’t think was meant for me. At least, not in any other capacity than as just a friend.
He said that we should get to know one another more and I completely agreed. I wanted the feelings I had to him to have a proper foundation, a reason. I wanted to know the deeper things, about the partially healed scars, hidden wounds, the dreams, the fears, the flaws, you name it. But after hanging out twice, the attempts to hang out stopped. The suggestions were there, but no follow through. And intent without follow through is pretty much just a hollow promise, a balloon full of air.
I think him asking me to hang out once he got back to work was solely a means of maintaining the idea of me as an option, I really do. That, or a courtesy suggestion. But it was that vague, far-off suggestion once again, just like the other three times he’d asked.
But ultimately, where words fail to paint a picture, actions speak the loudest: asking Susan to hang out, going out with the blonde girl, choosing to stand at podium for hours (which he despises) to talk to the pretty girl at Clinique. When a guy wants something, they’ll do what they can to attain it. They’ll make things happen. They’ll go out of their way to maintain it.
When it comes down to it, when we look at those choices and actions and compare them to his actions (or lack thereof) towards me, here’s what I see: I wasn’t even worth the effort to get to know. And even if he’s completely and totally unaware of his actions or inaction, this is the conclusion I’ve drawn from the time that has passed and what I’ve seen. This is the way I’ve come to feel, even if it wasn’t his intention.
Nadia was right after all – he just wasn’t that into me. Despite all the mixed signals, the half-hearted suggestions to hang out, the confusion. If you can’t figure a guy out through what he’s saying (or not saying), then simply take a look at what he’s doing. And if it’s nothing, well then. There’s the answer.
I talked to Luna about it a little, and she made some good points: firstly, I spent way too much time trying to prove myself, my worth and quality, to this person. I opened up, confided in him about my family – not just because it was in the hopes that he in turn would eventually let me in too, but also because I genuinely thought we were friends. But that ended up backfiring on me either way, because he never did let me in. I don’t think he ever would have. I honestly did want him to get to know me, and because of that eagerness, he knew so much about me and I knew so very little about him.
Luna also told me to radiate an inner confidence that will have the right guy finding me, not the other way around. When it comes to the right person, I won’t have to prove myself or go out of my way for anything – they’ll just know.
And so, the lesson I was meant to learn through this situation has revealed itself: I still have ways to go, and so much more to learn.
Dylan gave me The Alchemist at a time in my life that I needed it most, to help me see the power of the universe and manifesting your destiny. He showed me that good guys do exist. And one year ago during this time in my life, the way he looked at me made me realize that I wanted more from my relationships. But, I think that’s about all he was meant to do for me, at this moment.
I hope that maybe I taught him something too. That he’s rare himself, to not settle. I hope that whatever books I recommended revealed another layer of his self to him, I hope one day those lessons he learned can be applied to his real life situations. I hope that our mutual love of travel (instilled in us through Mary) will inspire him to adventure around the world fearlessly so that he can truly see it for what it is, because I intend to do the same.
And, I hope that I can still stay friends with him somehow. That I can separate my feelings of attraction, let them go, whilst still maintain the fondness for our once-budding friendship. I definitely still want to be his friend, but I simply can’t be just another “option” anymore, I won’t allow it for myself. By letting go of these feelings, I’ll be making the choice for him (and for myself) by removing myself as one of his options.
It’s going to be an interesting challenge for the next five weeks, letting go of my feelings while still trying to be friendly with him. I don’t quite know how to go about this conundrum but I’m sure I’ll figure it out as time goes on.
I’m not sorry for the way things unfolded, and I don’t regret telling him how I felt. This was such a huge lesson for me, and I’m so grateful.
But I’m done. It’s time to let go, for real this time. And, for good.
Luna asked me what I would do if he ended up asking me to hang out again (which I doubted would happen, but she’s sure it will). And honestly, I don’t know. I know I shouldn’t right now, maybe not for a while until these feelings pass. And then if we ever did hang out, I would somehow have to make it clear that it’d only be as friends and nothing more.
Olivia suggested writing an open letter to him (one that I’d never send him) with all the things I wish I could tell him, in order to process my feelings and gain a sense of closure, to assist in letting go. So, I think I’ll do that.
I know in reality this situation would never happen. Realistically what’s going to happen is this: we’re going to work together for the next 5 weeks. We’ll talk here and there, but things are going to get super busy as the Christmas rush comes pouring in, and those moments to talk will become less and less frequent. The thought of hanging out will fly out the window as the hours become longer, the shifts more tiring. I’ll be focused more on selling and addressing customers, and less on contemplating over our conversations and shared moments. And eventually, once January rolls around, we’ll once again not see each other for some time to come. And then the real healing will begin, with a new start, with a new intent – a work friendship, and nothing more than that. An “I’ll see you when I see you” mentality, no residual feelings, nor any resentments whatsoever.
Let’s just pretend for a moment.
Let’s pretend, that for one brief moment outside of reality, he cared enough about me to ask me if I still had feelings for him.
What would I say?
LMFAO, I’M TOTALLY KIDDING.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, here’s what I’d really say:
“Dylan. Honestly… do you remember a while back, sometime around your competition in October, when we were texting about my family? And you said that you related to my situation, and I told you I’d love to know why one day. And you said that you’d explain, that we should hang out, and I told you to let me know when you were free when you got back from Detroit.
You never did, and that’s okay.
But, I guess I kind of took that as my cue to believe that it wasn’t ever going to happen. Mostly because twice before that, you’d mentioned hanging out and that never really happened either. So honestly, I thought that maybe that was your way of nicely letting me know that you weren’t particularly interested in hanging out. In retrospect maybe I could have made more of an effort too. And maybe I should have just been more straight up and just asked you to be honest.
When I told you how I felt in the summer, I meant every single word. Every quality about you I liked, all the reasons why I felt the way I did, that was all real. And when you said you felt we needed to get to know one another better, I completely agreed. I wanted nothing more than to know you a little deeper than just what I knew of you from having known you as long as I had (which wasn’t too long, I suppose). I wanted there to be more substance to the feelings of attraction I had towards you. But beyond those feelings, I genuinely did want to just get to know you, no expectations of anything more than that.
But as time went on and months flew by after we hung out initially, it kind of just felt like you didn’t want to continue to get to know me. And maybe that’s a one-sided feeling because I never did ask for your thoughts on the matter, but it’s still how I felt. The suggestions to hang out became vaguer, less frequent, and never ended up happening.
But then for one brief moment in October, I thought that maybe you were going to let me in after all, when you said you related and wanted me to know why.
And when that didn’t happen, here’s the impression I got: you seem guarded. Not to the point that you’re closed off, no, because you’re really quite friendly. But guarded in the sense that you don’t let just anyone in, that easily. You seem to be someone who won’t trust anyone until you feel comfortable enough to deem them trustworthy. And I’m not saying these things in any negative manner, because I’m also under the impression that you’ve been through some stuff that’s made you this guarded, so it’s fair.
I could also be totally wrong. Want to know why?
Because ultimately, I never did get to know you the way that I wanted to. So everything I’m currently assuming about you is purely based off of what I’ve seen or what I know, which truly isn’t a lot.
But I’m going off on a lot of tangents here, so let me draw this to a close.
A part of me feels like I’m making this into a huge thing in my head because I have a tendency to overthink. Maybe you were just super busy and that’s why we never ended up hanging out. Maybe you did want to get to know me, but on your own terms with your own timeframe, no rush. Maybe this, maybe that. Maybe I should have just asked and found out for sure.
Maybe you didn’t really know what you wanted in regards to this. But, I did. I wanted literally just to get to know you, the real you outside of work. Good qualities, bad qualities, hopes and dreams, fears, whatever else.
I have a ton of maybes. But all I’m really left with is the reality of the situation: a couple of vague, far-off suggestions to hang out, with no solid plans for more, and me feeling at arms-length as a result.
And so, no – I can’t keep having these feelings for you purely based off of what I know about you, because it’s impractical.
Because despite all of my maybes, the vague plans and time that passed ultimately made me feel like a “maybe”, if that makes sense. And I think I’d just rather be your friend and hopefully get to know you in that way, rather than be a “maybe”.
Just like summer, I’m sure you’re equally as taken aback now as you were then. I’m sure it was nowhere near your intention to make me feel this way. Honestly, I think I need to work on my communication skills, I tend to hold back a lot and I know that; I should have told you all of this earlier before it got to me feeling this way. But actually, this whole thing kind of taught me a lot about how far I still need to go and the things I need to learn. And I truly believe that everything happens exactly as it’s meant to so, I regret nothing.
I’ll never, ever regret feeling the way I did about you, and what I told you in the summer. I genuinely meant it all, Dylan – you’re rare too. You’re a good person. Like you said yourself, you’re out-going, brave, and compassionate. You’re funny as hell, super smart, and you’ve got a good heart.
But I can’t keep letting myself get my hopes up every time you suggest we hang out. My own expectations are quite literally driving me nuts – the logical part of me knows I shouldn’t have them, but I still do anyways because of how much good I see in you.
Anyways, despite me having to let go of these feelings, I still care deeply about you and still want to be your friend. And maybe one day, you’ll actually be okay with letting me in and letting me get to know you, as a friend. And even if we never get to that point, I’m just glad that I’ve met you and got to know you as much as I have.
You gave me your copy of the Alchemist at a time in my life I needed it most. My connection with the universe and my faith has strengthened so much because of everything I gathered from that book. You called me “rare” exactly one year ago during this time, and made me realize I wanted so much more than what my relationship at that time was giving me. You’ve shown me that good guys are still out there.
I only hope that in return, that I’ve done the same for you in some way. Inspired you to think differently, or taught you something new.
You’ll always be someone who’s close to my heart. And I know you never really relied on me as much as I may have vented and confided in you, but believe me – if there’s anything you ever need, I’ll be there for you.
Take care and I’ll see you around!