Dear

Journal

Dear Travis,

I think about you a lot. Sometimes in benign ways, sometimes in loving ways, sometimes in sadness, or in hope. I’d like to imagine we’ll grow old together, laugh like we do now when we’re well into our 70’s. The kind of love I have for you is different than the ones I’ve felt before. I’ve written about how it’s functional, but it’s also warming. Frustrating. Endearing. Something worth working at. I think you’re a special kind of person, just a little better than the rest. Your sense of humor is something else, and I feel satisfied when I’m around you. We just vibe.

I worry about you a lot. I know I’ve been reckless in the past, but when I know you are being harmful to yourself, it bothers me. I want to help you be the healthiest version of yourself, so it hurts to see you drunk or high. Hypocritical, right? I get plastered and high off my ass, and then don’t want you to.

I worry you’ll cheat. Or leave me for someone else. I know you know a lot of rich, hot, athletic girls who go to your school. So why me? Why the minimum wage working college student who has six roommates? I’m pretty, but I’m not gorgeous. I’m not as well-liked. I’m pretty dislikable. Sassy. Resting bitch face. Gets fat easily. Not a bunch of friends.

I guess you see something in me. Or that’s what I hope.

You’re at a concert right now with one of your friends. Elizabeth. You never really mentioned her before so it feels weird to know you’re at a concert together. You told me she has a boyfriend and that you guys never had a thing for each other. Still, I worry.

If you can’t tell, I worry a lot.

Will we be together in a year? Will there be some great thing that breaks us apart? Will we last eight months even? I want to. I’m scared to say I want it because I’m worried it will end up hurting me more later on. I’m worried that saying I love you, saying I want you to be in my life for years down the road, I’m worried these things will end up hurting me when something happens. If we break up.

It’s hard to attach.

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× en·er·gy

Journal

I feel disconnected from the world.

Travis left me on read for four hours after I told him I got my barista certification.

I try so hard for him, I put in so much fucking effort for him, and then I get hit with that?

I said I was gonna make an apple pie from scratch for him and his family this thanksgiving, but like? Why? I wanted to, but only if I feel like there is equal effort put in. I don’t really.

I let this guy finish inside me after I’ve been done for a few minutes already. I fucking shower before I see him every time with no exceptions – and we hang out all the goddamn time. I’m out here shaving my legs everyday for him. Bringing him and his family leftover pastries when I close- I give them my coffee mark-outs from work. Like. I pay for him almost everywhere we go, I’m sucking his dick, I’m getting to know his little brother.

And he left me on read for four hours after I told him good news.

Alright, buddy.

Then you leave me on read? Really?

Fucking thought my birthday was on the wrong day. And on top of that he admitted he forgot to get me a gift?

It’s OKAY for those things to happen, but telling me them is just like rubbing in my face how much you don’t care.

I told him my birthday. More than once.

I’m tired. I feel like I deserve more than that.

He just told me that he didn’t respond because he found out his brother won’t be coming home for thanksgiving. So why didn’t he just message me that when he found out? Why didn’t he just communicate this?

Everywhere I look I feel like I’m making up signs that we won’t work. I don’t want them to be there, I’ve just become so cautious in my relationships. I’ve been broken by so many people, I’m always looking for the cues I thought I missed before..

Getting left on read was one of them. Watching the other person slowly lose interest in you.

On the outside I look totally calm, but inside it’s this downward spiral inside my chest that’s sickening. I feel awful.

What if I look back one day and shake my head for being such a dumb bitch? Willing to do what it takes to make something work when the other person wasn’t working nearly as hard?

I guess I don’t know what went down with his brother ((still waiting for him to respond to me about that)) – but if I can find time to message him on days that I work 8+ hours and having a mental breakdown, I feel like he can message me on a day when he was probably just cleaning his room before thanksgiving and dealing with whatever family drama is going down.

I’m giving him the most – I shouldn’t be when he isn’t doing the same.

func·tion·al

Journal

I feel like I’m willing to sacrifice more than Travis in our relationship. I’ve been working on personal growth, on making sure that I’m not being petty or actively trying to destroy the relationship. I know he puts in effort, he does a lot for me, things he doesn’t have to do that take active thinking about how I feel. However, at times it seems like he doesn’t really comprehend how I’m feeling. Sometimes it feels like he’s really distant, and it takes a lot of effort for me to not be selfish and throw a fit.. So far I haven’t, though.

He didn’t want to hang out tonight, which hurts. I wanted to see him. It feels like he is unwilling to sacrifice any amount of his own comfort for my sake. Tomorrow he has a race, and he mentioned he was really tired- but I have a midterm tomorrow and I worked an eight hour shift today. He’s a young guy, so I can understand that he might not be emotionally mature enough to separate selfish wants from actual needs, and that sometimes people sacrifice their wants to satisfy another persons need.

I’m feeling spread very thin. School is exhausting. Work is scraping my sanity away in droves. My poor bank account is bipolar. I found myself bawling over a meme about college students because it was too real.

Travis was planning on taking a gap year, however now he’s saying that he’ll go to a college up north. We have been officially dating for a little over a month, and I’ve spent more time with him than anyone else up here. I’ve had more sex with him than anyone else, ever. He’s good looking. He’s athletic. He’s very intelligent. He’s social. He’s like, long term relationship material. Hell, I could see myself with him in ten years. I feel like myself around him. I become a really good version of myself when I’m with him and I can’t explain it. It’s like, all of a sudden I am emotionally mature and put his needs above my own but also have self respect and boundaries, and I give him the space he wants and he gives me the attention I want.

It’s functional.

I can communicate my concerns to him, and he communicates his, then we work to fix things.

I wouldn’t dare tell him this any time soon, but I think I could love him. I’m worried he doesn’t feel as seriously.

It has only been fifty days.

He’s younger than I am, and when I was his age I didn’t want to be held down. I’m worried he’ll come to that conclusion too. I’m worried that when the time comes for him to go to college next fall, he’ll leave me..

But I can’t worry about that yet, if I worry too much I’ll ruin the relationship we have right now, and then when he goes to college I won’t have any relationship to fight for. I will have ruined it preemptively.

I’m still concerned. I don’t want to waste my time here. I would rather be single than in another short relationship.

I don’t want to fall in love just to be ripped apart again. I wouldn’t be the same.

Travis

Journal

Disconnected from the world, broke, heavy truth that I will always be poor, that I will break my back working at a job for the rest of my life and never find contentment because I am always on the go.

Travis is sweet, he has done some thoughtful things for me and I feel like we have connected – but last night when he was drunk at the party, he told me that he has a superficial thing for this other girl, and he was staring at another girls tits (which were 100% on display, but..)

We had a conversation the other night about how he’s tired of us hanging out and doing the same thing every night- and I understand, but the way he said it just straight up hurt me. He made me feel boring, like I was the problem, and the conversation felt like we were going to break up. He kept mentioning wanting a change and I didn’t know how much of a change he wanted. It made me insecure, and triggered a depressive episode.

I got to thinking about just how much time I have given him, we’ve been together 50 days and most nights I go over to his house for three hours. We watch a movie, fuck, talk, and I was enjoying that. He wants more variety, and I get it, but there seems to be some sort of difference between the two of us, because I find a lot of comfort in the relationship, so I enjoy chilling together. He wants something more exciting, and I’m not sure what exactly that is.

My underlying fear is that he will eventually use this as an excuse to leave me.

I’m so scared of that. I’ve been single for so long, I let myself attach to Travis in a way I never could before I knew myself. I’m still insecure, though. Some insecurities are stronger than others. I’m afraid of being abandoned. I’m afraid of having no one. He’s the only person I’m truly close to up here, and if I lost him.. it would be very difficult for me emotionally.

He is a good guy, a little emotionally immature, but I think he has good intentions. All of his friends love him, and I think that says a lot.

The stuff that happened at the party, I’m not trying to dwell on it. I can see a future with this guy, if all goes well. He is serious relationship material, and we share the same philosophies and have a similar vision for what we want our lives to look like.

When he tries, he makes me feel cared for. I just wish that was all of the time.

slight·ly

Journal

Now that I’m about a month into living in San Francisco, I’ve begun to realize the things I’ve been doing that aren’t sustainable. My job, for instance. Waking up at 4am every other day and on the weekends, it’s not working. I’m exhausted, sick, and never have time to study.

My education, I’m realizing, is my ticket out of having to live like this. Granted I don’t accumulate student debt, I will be able to do so much more with my life. Sacrificing my education over a minimum wage, high stress job isn’t worth it in the end.

I’ve also noticed some fundamental differences between Travis and I – they aren’t necessarily bad, but these differences are posing questions for myself. Of course, all these questions are hypothetical and I can’t actually answer any of them..

He was raised in a community where houses average 1.5 million dollars in cost, where they might not seem incredibly ‘nice’, but their location makes them desirable. He goes to a private school that costs more than what I make in a year for tuition. We come from very different social classes- I’ve always have to work for what I wanted. Always had to sweat and grind for the things that I needed. My life isn’t cushiony or soft, it’s not positive unless I put the effort in for it to be. And he’s got an espresso machine in his kitchen. His own room, with a sofa and TV in it.

Yesterday I got to talking about some issues I have with my mom, and he mentioned knowing it was selfish, but said he got overwhelmed when I talked to him about my issues. He was doing homework and helping some friends out, but I’m wondering if he doesn’t have the emotional maturity for the kind of relationship I’d like.

Of course, he is a young guy, so maybe he’ll mature into that kid of person.. but I can’t expect that. If this is who he is, can I make it work? Is it a relationship that is right for me to cultivate? He’s very loving, and remembers just about everything I say. But he’s also a little bit power hungry.

But he gives me emotional satisfaction when we’re together. He’s easy going for the most part. But something feels off sometimes. The sex isn’t mind blowing, but it’s decent. Best sex I’ve had in awhile. He’s not afraid of taking things slowly every once in awhile.. but still something seems off, I can’t get away from it.

eu·pho·ri·a

Journal

Travis – he’s a normal guy. Listens to mildly angsty music, doesn’t seem too troubled, he’s got friends and a social life. However, unlike other normal guys I’ve talked to, he seems to have another dimension to himself. Ya know, a personality.

He’s kind of insecure, but it’s not distracting and it doesn’t seem self-destructive. He’s observant. He remembers things. He is self aware. He’s mildly afraid of intimacy, but I think he wants it.

Me? Perhaps there was some projection there. I like him, but I’m pushing him away. I don’t know what to do with intimacy – it terrifies me. I’ve learned that it’s not the other person, it really is me. It always has been. I’m the one who pushes people away and won’t let anyone in.

I want to learn how to let him in. I want to let him connect with me and put my facade away for a moment. This girl I’ve created on the outside, she isn’t friendly. I want to show him I can be friendly, supportive, interested in more than physical pleasures, but I’m so used to playing hard to get and using mildly degrading actions to seem disinterested.

It’s just a habit now. A habit I want to break- if I don’t push him away first. But I can already feel a dissonance – that there is a disconnect I created. It wasn’t there at first. It started when I became insecure about whether or not he was seeing other people. I told him I wasn’t, and he smiled but didn’t say it back. It’s an irrational fear because I have spent eight of nine days with him. But he talks about girls he saw in the past, almost like he’s trying to prove something to me.

It just makes me less likely to trust him. It makes me insecure. Jealous. I know he sees it, he always asks if he said something wrong. I don’t want things to be like that. I don’t want him to feel like he has to monitor his words, I wish I didn’t get jealous and could just trust him.

The first time we hung out everything was so effortless. The wind on our faces and the waves crashing into the rocks, and we just talked. And the time after that when we took a walk on the beach at night- effortless. Honestly it feels like that still, until I feel insecure about something. I need to wave that insecurity away because it’s not productive. It hasn’t helped anything. If I want this thing between Travis and I to work, I have to learn to overcome my own insecurity.

I think we make each other happy.

har·mo·ni·ous

Journal

I write about the cavernous pain I feel inside as if it is the only truth the world holds- but I realized there is a lighter truth that is equally as true.

They exist in the world, contradicting and yet somehow both right in their own way.

Pain exists, the truth of ugly and paralyzing agony. But so does happiness. Happiness exists too. It comes in the form of lighthearted laughter and falling in love- happiness comes in the form of sunshine and chocolate and family, and it is just as true as the pain.

I always knew happiness was real, but to hold it to the same standard as pain was a new thought. What if they were equals? Happiness as powerful as pain?

Since moving, I’ve been forced to evaluate who I am and the values I put out into the world everyday. Meeting new people who exhibit their own values and showing the world how they exist.

I’ve met happy people, bitter people, generous people, anxious people, and I’m learning what kind of person I am. Learning what kind of person I am not, the kind of person I do not want to be.

I met this guy, he brings out my better parts and I still feel like my rebellious self. I don’t feel like I have to hide any aspects of who I am. It makes communicating so easy, spending time together effortless. We spent so much time together this last week and I haven’t gotten tired of him. I don’t know that I could.

Last night when we were studying together, I finished my homework before him. So I did what I naturally just do and I started tidying his room; made his bed, picked up the miscellaneous bags he had on the floor, the papers that had gathered under the coffee table, and afterward he looked me in my eyes and asked if I was ready to define things.

Of course I don’t know him entirely, it has only been a week. But today I looked at this guy at my university who looks kinda like Travis and it reminded me of him, and the words that went through my head were “that looks like my boyfriend”-

But last night I told him I wasn’t sure yet, because we hadn’t known each other that long.

I’m very cautious now. I’m not trusting. I don’t want to get hurt and this.. this could end up hurting me. This happiness has the ability to turn into unimaginable pain, and for as resilient as I am, I am also very fragile.

dis·en·chant·ed

Journal

The city makes my life solitary. I may wake up in an apartment with five other people, but my busy schedule never lets me stay here long. I go to a university with hundreds of thousands of people, and yet I don’t know a single person by name. I go to work, and I stumble. Words come out of my mouth too soft or too abrasively, my hands seem to glitch as I do normal tasks. I don’t have time to socialize when I am struggling to remember to brew coffee.

Outside of the apartment, work, and school, I knew one person. I use the word “know” very loosely here because we had never met in person before. Two years ago we started talking online, and he ghosted me. For an entire year, that is. Out of the blue one day, he texts me and says he was intimidated by me. That was his excuse. We didn’t talk much after that, but when I moved to San Francisco he and I matched on Tinder. So I figured why the fuck not reach out. We met, got dinner, and went back to his place to watch tv.

The conversation was dull, except when we really got to talking at dinner. I felt a connection- perhaps a false one. He was a little obsessed with his Juul, and that seemed childish. He didn’t touch me at all before we got to the bedroom. If he weren’t incredibly intelligent, I would have written him off a lot sooner. Something about a guy who can really think turns me on. However, he doesn’t have a lot of emotional intelligence.

I am not going to analyze the who, what, when, where, or why of this. I don’t have the time or energy to waste on someone who has treated me poorly. I did that for Leo, and I regret it. I have higher standards for people than I did three years ago, but I am still human and I still get hurt.

Jacob hasn’t spoken to me since we had sex over a week ago. Again, I don’t want to analyze that- it makes me feel used.

I don’t love him or anything, I didn’t even feel comfortable enough to fall asleep in his arms. I was insecure and intimidated during dinner. But I so desperately want to be held by someone. I wanted it to just finally click- I wanted him to be the soulmate I didn’t anticipate finding this early on.

At work, sometimes I hear faint ghosts of sounds I once heard at Galaxy. Leo’s silly “hello” that he would say as he walked around corners, a popper beeping, the sound of people sweeping, breaking cardboard boxes down in the hall.

Every time the thought of Leo pops in my head, I have to set it aside. I cannot think about it now. The pain I feel is a new one.

I want to move on, but there is this feeling inside me that there is no moving on from Leo- simply packing away those feelings and seeing other people until one of them makes me feel the way he did. Moving on generally entails the desire to, and I don’t think I could ever want to not love him.

I should have just listened to myself when I moved. No relationships, no sex, nothing. It makes life complicated and unnecessarily stressful. Before I would pursue someone new, the same thing always popped into my head, why not? I always viewed the potential pain as a price I was willing to pay for a chance at finding that thing everyone is always searching for. I don’t have any more of myself to give, I don’t have the energy to let myself get hurt. Yet I did just that, I let myself reach out to the guy who I knew had ghosted me before. I let myself sleep with him even after I knew that he was emotionally immature and had never worked a minimum wage job before. He has no real life experience, even if he is twenty and has a legitimate career.

He can never speak to me again, it will only affect my philosophy of the world. I don’t even care to have answers anymore. The world is constantly hurting and disappointing me.

Resilience

Journal

I need something more to show for my effort in life. I also need to be less passionate about the people I have feelings for. Right? That poses a moral dilemma for me, though. I should allow myself to wholly be myself. But I also like people, and I know I came off too strong with Leo and not strong enough with Tristan- because I was worried about seeming clingy. Now, Jacob has me all mixed up, I don’t know how to act around him- so I was awkward and mixed my words around like a fucking blender. I’m frustrated. This whole situation is frustrating. So he’s gone for a month- to Nevada and then somewhere else (I think Europe..?).

He intimidates me, only 20 and already has a legitimate career because he’s got this incredible brain. He didn’t even have to go to college or anything. That’s a quality I hold in high regard, it’s something that I respect. However, it also means he’s never had a minimum wage job and one can only have so much life expirience without that. That makes him less genuine to me. He’s got this socially awkward thing going on, but gets away with it because he’s attractive and has a sense of style.

Weird thing happened though, after sex he almost cried. He didn’t, but I could see it in his eyes. Maybe he was holding back a sneeze? And he kissed my forehead during sex– which I’m not used to having any sort of emotional connection or attachment and it caught me off guard. But he also hasn’t talked to me for two days straight and he’s supposedly back home packing to move to San Francisco, but I’m not sure I trust him. I don’t know that I believe he’ll see me once he comes back. Maybe I was too cold?? Too harsh? I know I can be. Maybe he just doesn’t like me.

Our interactions made me insecure- I didn’t feel like I was enough. And it didn’t help that I was rude to him. I use it as a defense mechanism when I feel threatened…

When we first started talking two years ago, I felt this same way and it trigger the biggest personality change in me. I grew a thicker skin and overall became resilient. But how am I supposed to know he won’t hurt me like that again and ghost me? I know he mentioned thinking I was less awkward and more attractive than him, but he did it once before.

I would be an idiot to think he wouldn’t.

I learned to put less value on guys perception of me. It would hurt to have him ignore me again. I need validation and hate to ask for it. I wish I was stronger.

be·lov·ed

Journal

I fell in love with a boy in this small town. I didn’t believe in love at first sight before him- but I can still tell you the first time I looked in his eyes. It felt like some monumental moment had happened, something that would change the course of history.

Today I said goodbye to him, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.

I got to meet his dog and play on his piano and listen to him play. I got to look out on the hills and valleys with him and the wind tossed my hair. We ate ice cream and listened to our music. We hugged. We said goodbye.

I don’t know if he was sober enough to remember holding me while we watched Eighth Grade, but he held my hand the entire time. And kept his arm around my shoulder.

I remember showing up after his shift with his favorite coffee. Stargazing underneath the posters outside the theatre, by his bike. It was chilly. We went to the grocery store together. He blew vape into my face in the dark parking lot; I could spend every day with him and not get bored.

And the time I wrote him that letter I wasn’t sure I’d give him- I stuffed it behind the cover of “All The Light We Cannot See”, the book I was reading at the time. He pulled it from my hands and I took it as a sign from Fate herself, and told him to open the cover. The letter I had written him, his name on the outside and all, fell into his hands.

The time he came to my apartment and we nearly had sex, but he stopped it from happening. That was good, things would have been too complicated between us.

If all this means nothing, then I’ve been played.

It’s time to let go of the pipe dream that was Leonardo – accept that I will be living far from him. I love him. I might always love him.

But I have to grow now.