The weather today is like something out of The Day After Tomorrow - I had to drive home from work today at 12, and I honestly didn't think that I was going to make it back to school...roads were flooded, trees were scattered here and there, branches piling in the road, and the dirt was mixing with the rain making the streets a horrible brown color. It's the kind of day that you want to stay in bed til noon, have soup, and watch countless hours of TV, or movies (or if I was home, try and talk someone into playing Monopoly or Scrabble with me to no avail).
This is going to sound so lame, but to me today, the horrible weather was completely symbolic of the mood I've been in lately. I can't seem to shake this terrible attitude and mood about pretty much everything. And the worst part is that I can't seem to pinpoint what is triggering it, or if it's just an accumulation of things piling up.
I'm an over achiever - I try and do it all, and have a hard time saying no to people when they ask me to help them out. So on top of 18 credits this semester, I'm babysitting for four different families (which I promise is actually a lot harder than it sounds), vice president of a club on campus, in a sorority, working on a volunteer project to revamp a school library in Philly, getting everything straightened out/ready for my trip to China in May, training for the marathon in September, doing endless amounts of homework and projects, and trying to have somewhat of a social life. Now, I know that people are doing twice as much as me and still surviving, so good for them. They can obviously handle it better than I can.
Lately, I've been thinking about getting rid of the some of the things that are just weighing me down...and unfortunately I think some things on that list are some of my relationships. We all have them - the relationships that just take, take, take and never give back; the relationships that just emotionally and physically drain you; the ones that when you think about it, really aren't worth it, though you keep trying to rationalize that they are.
I have a few of those relationships, and lately I've really been wondering what is holding me back from just severing the ties, and moving on with my life.
One relationship that really comes to mind is a guy who if you had asked me last year, I would have said was my best friend named R. He and I met in 9th grade, where we both volunteered as tutors in an inner city nearby. We hit it off immediately and the friendship progressed from there. Soon, we were on the phone every single night, for hours at a time, trading stories back and forth, venting about frustrations with school and parents. He was one of the first people I opened up to about my eating disorders, and he consoled me and came to visit me while I was at rehab (he was the only one of my friends to do that). All the family drama I went through, he was by my side. We started casually dating junior year, I went to his prom with him, we spent quite a bit of time together, without that "boyfriend/girlfriend" title, though it was known that neither of us were dating anyone else. Gradually, as these things seem to do, we drifted from dating to just going back and being friends again, which we did effortlessly.
Senior year, we had a huge blowout, one that I thought was the end of our friendship. We didn't speak to one another from December until May (which for us was a huge deal), and I missed him terribly during that time, but was insistent that I would not make the first move because the whole situation was his fault (and he admits that too). It wasn't until my biological father died on April 9, 2006 that I really felt the full effect of not having R there as a shoulder to cry on. Every day I contemplated whether or not I should be the one to reach out to him, but felt selfish doing so, because I wanted him back in my life so that I could go to him, cry to him. He had a unique way of making me forget that anything was wrong. He ended up calling me a month-ish later, fully apologetic (the second time in our friendship that he has ever apologized) and told me that he would do anything to have things get back to how they were, and again, with little effort, we slid back into familiar territory.
Things changed again, as we headed off to school... he went off to Cornell, joined a frat for "billionaire boys" (his words, not mine), and started sleeping with every girl imaginable. Our phone conversations were limited to the drunk dials I received at 2 or 3 a.m. where he would be screaming things at me over the loud bass of Lil Wayne songs, with girls in the background going "Who are you talking to babyyy?" slurring all of their words. And like an idiot, I would pick up, no matter what time he called. Let me tell you, I spent many nights out in the hallway like a moron wrapped in a blanket so that I could talk to him - which he would never even remember the next day. The worst part was that he was the nicest to me when he was wasted - the rest of the time he started acting like a major ass, when he actually would make fun of my past history with eating disorders (with super original statements...like when I said "Omygosh, I ate so much today!" he would say "And I'm sure you threw it all up after...").
One night, when we were talking, R said something to me that just took me back - he told me, "Al, you're the kind of girl that a guy wants to marry, but doesn't want to date right now. I want to have my fun and sleep with as many girls as possible, and then find a girl like you to marry when I'm ready to settle down. I wouldn't date you because you're not the kind of girl that a guy like me dates, because a guy like me wants a slut." Now, while I should have been flattered that he doesn't view me as a slut, the thought of being someone's last pick isn't exactly too appealing to me, as I'm sure most girls would agree. Why would I want to be the girl that someone comes to when they're done having all their fun (and bringing me loads of STDs).?
Anyway, one night during winter break this year, R told me that he loved me and always would, and I would always be "that person" for him - the one who when he was divorced and alone he would think of how it could have been. He then said that he hoped that one day I would give him a chance, because he knew that we could be great together. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw - after Big has his heart surgery, tells her all these wonderful things, and she feels like he's made a 360 and completely is going to change. For the first time in three years, I felt like we were making some progress. By that time it was like 5 a.m., so he had me promise to call him the next day, which, like a total moron, I did happily. Again, like in Sex and the City, the dear, sweet R who I had convinced myself had suddenly changed, just as quickly returned to the same old jackass as before. I informed him that the previous night, he had been so sweet, and said the nicest things to me that he had ever said. His reply - "Oh, well last night not only was I drunk, but I was high too!" Double winner. Seriously, when I watched that episode of Sex and the City the other night with my roommate, I cried and I couldn't stop, and she just knew that was the reason (I know, lame, lame.) She just hugged me, and told me that he is not worth it, and that I am always the one who is putting the effort forth to absolutely no avail.
It's hard, even now, for me to admit how much things have changed. I keep going back to being like "Oh, but he was there for me in rehab..." or "But, he would surprise me with flowers." Sometimes, I think you just have to stop living in the past, and thinking about the "what ifs," because now I know that kind of relationship isn't worth it to me. When does a relationship stop being worth the effort we put out? And how much weight should the past hold on the present?
Anyone with anything similar happen - a time when you realized a relationship just might not be worth it anymore? It's heavy, I know. Much, much too heavy for a Friday.
As I finish up writing this now, the sun is starting to peek out of the clouds, the rain has stopped, the trees are in full blooms, with their gorgeous pink flowers contrasting against the wood of the trees that haven't quite gotten their leaves back yet. And I'm hopeful for what's to come.
Sorry for bitching, everyone. I hope your weekends are fabulous - anybody doing anything special?
Listening to: Nothing Better - The Postal Service
(fitting, huh? If you haven't heard it, definitely give it a listen - The Postal Service are fantastic, especially if you're a mayjah Death Cab fan!)