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My First Deep Analysis…

I just had a lovely evening with my friends. We baked, drank tea and chatted about my many failed dates these past few weeks, which I will blog about in time. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my mates. They love me even if no man will.

Anyways, less of the emotional jargon! At 11pm I set off to get the bus home to my house (it’s a 20 minute journey). What could possibly go wrong? I’ll tell you what. Its pitch dark, and the area is poorly lit. I missed the last bus. My phone battery had died. There were no taxis in sight. The nearest station was a ten minute run away, and the last train was in 15 minutes. What did I do? I ran. Ran like the wind. It was at this point that I realised I watch far too much Criminal Minds, as the whole time I was certain I was being followed. I reached the old train station and I then had to sit on a bench for 15 minutes in the dark, surrounded by trees and rubbish, waiting for the last train to come and take me to safety. The train was delayed. Standard. Get on the train and it was full of drunks. When I finally reached my destination, I jumped off the train, rain out the exit and literally sprinted towards my home. I stubbed my toe on a dip in the tarmac and fell forward, sending my ipod skimming across the road. What scared me the most is I picked myself up and darted to retrieve it, without even checking for oncoming traffic. I’m now home safely and after a traumatic end to the evening, I’m just going to sprawl out a few reflections on my teenage love life that I have shared so far.

If my teenage self was here, and had the wisdom of hindsight she would say, ‘I have no confidence. In myself or in the fact that a boy might like me. I’m self destructive. I push people away and then I realise what I ‘lost’ when its too late. I have shown a tendency to go for boys who are ‘unobtainable’ in a sense. Boys whom I, deep down, know aren’t interested in me. Is this a defence mechanism? I can’t get my heart broken this way…but it wounds my self-esteem unbeknownst to me. A vicious circle. I’m protecting myself, but I’m wrecking myself.’

Is the bravest thing we can do as humans really, really let ourselves live and love? Really allow ourselves to give our hearts to someone else, knowing that should they leave for whatever reason, that our worlds will crumble beneath us? Or would we prefer to just settle instead? Safe in the knowledge that we are still somewhat in control of our hearts. Should we not love so hard because it can be taken away in the cruellest manner, or should we develop the true courage to take the risk, take the life changing plunge and find that one person who completes our every being? Are we brave enough to allow ourselves to be truly happy?

I’ve not lost hope yet, even today. I want to take the risk, despite the many stumbling blocks I have hit along the way, all of which I will blog about in the coming weeks.

Where are you? Where is this man for me?

Though nothing can bring back the hour,

Of splendour in the grass,

Of glory in the flower,

We will grieve not, rather find,

Strength in what remains behind


			

He’s Just Not That Into Me

September saw school start back for another academic year. I sat in the canteen on my first day back after the Summer holidays, excited to catch up with my friends whom I hadn’t seen for a while. The excitement soon wore off. All of my friends had stories about boys whom they were texting, and all I had was a story of rejection. I began to feel really out of place, as if I couldn’t join in on the conversations they were having. I even struggled to be happy for them. I was officially a Martian that day. An awkward Martian who was the only person not complaining about having to wear a school uniform. I knew if we could wear our own clothes into school every day the fashion parade it would turn into, coupled with my lack of confidence in my own style, would result in me having a mini meltdown every morning in front of the mirror. Yep, the uniform will do nicely.

There was a pause in the conversation (that I wasn’t participating in) and I looked towards the entrance of the canteen. That’s when I noticed….Jack. A new kid in town. He was the hot topic amongst all the girls that morning. I could almost hear the silent wishes being made that he would be placed into their classes. He had it all, it seemed. I…(dare I say it)…liked him. I found myself wishing he would be in my class. In my thoughts I was trying to bargain with whoever was on charge of granting this wish that I would do the household chores for, like, 3 months if it came true. It did. Jack was in my class!

It took me days to muster up the courage to speak to him. In hindsight, I wouldn’t classify the dialogue that unfolded as a conversation. More like a ‘Do you have a red pen, please?’. But still, it was communication and I was still at the ‘excited to have someone to fancy’ stage, I hadn’t really thought past that. Until Jack started to take an interest in my sister who was a year above me in school. What a nightmare.

I worked hard for the year, largely trying to ignore the blatant flirtation between them in the corridors and before I knew it, it was my junior prom, and I was 16. Sweet 16. NOT.

I brought a male friend who I knew I would get along with. Surprise, surprise all my friends brought either dates or boyfriends. I wasn’t even going to go to my junior prom only for my Mother giving me the ‘you’re wonderful, sweetheart – don’t let it get to you’ pep talk.

It’s a week before the event. Just as I had mentally psyched myself up for a night of being a 3rd wheel amongst a population of couples, I heard my sister screech with excitement in the next room. I felt the blood drain from my face. It can’t be. My sister burst into my room, and excitedly informed me that she had been invited to attend by someone in my class. This was hard enough to take. My thunder was well and truly stolen. However, the next couple of words equated to a kick in the teeth. ‘…with Jack’.

‘It’s a joke’ I assured myself. There is noway on Earth this is happening to me. None.

It happened.

The day of my prom, Jack arrived first. With a present for my sister. I’m not going to lie, the thought of locking her into her closet and fooling Jack into taking me in her place did cross my mind. I was willing to take whatever punishment my parents threw my way. Instead however, I sat there and made small talk with him (as per usual) while we waited for my sister to gracefully descend the staircase into the arms of my secret crush.

The night itself was, what can only be described as torturous. I wasn’t used to wearing a dress like this. Or heels. I didn’t win prom princess (shock, horror) and at the end of the night I got to see my sister and Jack share a kiss.

‘He’s just not that into me’, I consoled myself as I kicked my heels off in my bedroom at the end of the night and got into my bed. ‘Plenty more fish in the sea’.

I never really spoke to Jack after that. I took the hint that he just wasn’t interested. Why did I like him for so long? I actually don’t know. Is it because he was sort of unobtainable? Is this a trend that I would begin, liking people who I knew didn’t like me back? Am I my own worst enemy when it comes to love? A glutton for punishment?

Jack now lives in Australia with his long term girlfriend, who isn’t my sister. A small consolation.

Little did I know however, that in the weeks following my prom, I was about to be faced with a blast from the past…..

My Unsuccessful Summer Camp Romance

Fast forward a year to Summer 2004. I’m now 15. Still struggling with my fashion sense and in finding comfort in my own style. I’ve developed a goofy humor that only my family and my closest friends were allowed to witness. Again, afraid society wouldn’t like me (for being me).

I’m at a Summer Camp. With a few of my best mates from school. The duration was 4 weeks and our days revolved around classes, activities and a dance in the evenings. I was bound to meet a nice boy here of similar age and interests, right? WRONG.

The first day we arrived, I got involved in a game of football with the boys. Such a lady – obviously the Tom-boy inside me was still alive and kicking (No pun intended.) I had to retire early from the game however, my jeans just didn’t allow for the same mobility as the boys’ tracksuits. I sat down at the edge of the make shift playing area. Along came….Mark.

‘Hello there!’ he said. I wasn’t instantly blown away by him, but strangely attracted to him all the same. ‘Hi!’ I said back. He asked me my name and then commented ‘There’s a rumour going around here that you play football for this country. Is that true?’. I laughed, and simply responded with an ‘I wish’. He sat beside me. ‘I think that you’d be good enough, you should give it a go. I’m Mark by the way’. A serial charmer. But I wasn’t used to it, so I felt *gulp* special.

We hit it off, and continued to for the rest of the camp. I started to notice girls flocking around Mark. ‘They must fancy him’ I thought. I wasn’t sure if it bothered me or not.

Now, let me introduce Liz. My arch nemesis of this Summer Camp. She had long brown flowing hair, a smile so bright it was almost glow in the dark (her Dad was a dentist) and a killer wardrobe to boot. A threat for any girl in that place, never mind little old me. She mixed with different groups throughout and people seemed so desperate to be liked by her. She liked to mention the fact that her family were rich a lot. Her conversations with me revolved around Mark. What he likes, what sport he plays, music he listens to….I could go on all day. Why was she asking me this?

I’ll tell you why. Word had filtered back to me that Mark had a soft spot for me. Obviously, I panicked and said to the messenger that I wasn’t sure if I liked him. Again, why did I do this? I think the thoughts of people discussing me and my business freaked me out. Part of me didn’t believe it either. If this was a joke and I did admit that I liked him I would be publicly ostracised and the butt of everyone’s jokes. ‘I’ll play it safe’ I thought, and give an impartial answer.

That night at the dance, I saw Liz and Mark chatting. They were getting on really well. How? My friends took a quick walk past, lingered to hear some of the conversation and then reported back to me. ‘She’s using the answers you gave her about Mark to pretend she likes football! And the same music!’ Oh my God I had been out crafted. Liz had let me do all the hard work of getting to know him, and then swooped in last minute like a bird of prey to claim her prize.

It got worse. They kissed. I could hear my heart beating in my chest. Hurt or rage, or both I’m not sure. But it wasn’t a nice feeling. Yet oddly, it was one I experienced many times after, which I will blog about in time.

I avoided Mark and Her Majesty Liz the man stealer for the last few days of camp. On the final day I was faced with saying a goodbye to Mark. The awkwardness was palpable. ‘You didn’t like me….’ He said, as if trying to justify kissing Liz. ‘I did’ I said ‘I’m just not very good at telling people what I think’. He hugged me and then put his forehead against mine. ‘I wanted to kiss you’ he whispered. ‘Goodbye, Mark’ I said. I walked off, still angry not only with him and Liz, but with myself.

Years later and I’m now 21. My younger brother received a football scholarship to play and study at University. He came home one day and he asked me ‘Sis, do you know a guy called Mark? He plays football on my team, and he went to that Summer Camp you went to a few years back? He said he knows you, and to say ‘hi’.’

My heart jumped. ‘Yeah, I know him. Tell him I say ‘hi’ back’.

They still play on the same team to this day. I have yet to bump into him.

Holiday romance #1

It’s 2003. I’m now 14. My family and I are going to Puerto Rico for 2 weeks. Here’s where I’m at: I’m just after closing my Tom-boy phase. I’ve hit puberty, and have become more conscious of my looks and how I dress. I played around with wearing girly clothes but never really felt very comfortable. I don’t know if other ladies can empathise with this but I always felt as though I was copying others, be it celebrities or peers, but never really found my niche. After all, I did dress like a boy up until now. It took me another 9 years to be fully comfortable with my body and individual style. Again, a story for another day.

My older sister is the ‘hot one’ in my family. I will admit that. It was at this age that I began to notice it. Boys I tended to take a shining to, made a bee-line towards her. It didn’t help that there was only a year and 5 months between us.

Our first few days in Puerto Rico, my sister had a few young male followers. I was happy to just have others our age to play some sports with, and tried to keep the fact that I was being largely ignored while she was in the vicinity to the back of my mind. Then along came, I’ll call him…Luke.

Luke was 2 years older than me. We had so much in common. He took an interest in me. ‘He must like my sister’ I thought. But I continued to spend large amounts of time with him. On his second last night in Puerto Rico Luke called for me, and we went to kick a football by the pool. The ball landed in the middle of the pool, which signalled the end of that game. We sat on the wall. I don’t know if I imagined this, but I could have sworn we had ‘a moment’. He moved his head slightly forward towards mine, and I quickly turned the other way and commented on whether or not we could get the ball out of the water. Why did I do this? I don’t know! Confidence I guess. I thought he didn’t like me. I need to work on this. All women who feel like this do.

On his last day we exchanged addresses. We wrote to each other when we both got home. But that soon stopped and Luke became a distant memory.

Until 6 years later. I’m now 20.

I moved countries to attend university. After a particularly long night on the tiles, my friends and I were queuing for food in the only take-away that was open, when I turned around and I saw him. He looked like a man now. My heart took a jump. A gorgeous man. We made eye-contact. ‘Luke???’ I asked. He remembered me straight away and we embraced. What are the chances? We both moved to the same country and same city to attend university, albeit he was almost finished his degree. We exchanged numbers. I was genuinely so happy to see him.

‘My luck must be changing!’ I thought. I had a bad run up until now. The next day we arranged to meet for drinks over the phone. Friday was the chosen day. But we had yet to specify a location. I went out that night. It was a Tuesday. I drank too much, and I lost my phone. With it I lost his number. I never saw him again. The one who got away, due to my inability to hang onto my possessions after a few vodkas.

That was the end of that.

My first crush…

It seems fitting to start at the beginning. The first boy I ever fancied. What a train wreck that turned out to be. Rewind to 2002. I was 13 almost 14 years old. Just coming out of my Tom-boy phase. My friends and I had just completed our weekly Friday night trip to the cinema, and were walking past a block of apartments where our parents used to meet us for our taxi service home, when a boy of a similar age, whom I shall call David, walked towards me with his friends in tow.

I instantly fancied him. ‘What’s your name?’ he asked. I told him and he continued keenly ‘I’ve never seen you around here before…?’ At this stage my friends had left the two of us to chat and had moved a couple of paces away. My phone started to ring. It was my Mum. Time to go. This brief encounter was coming to an end. Little did I know what effect this boy would have on my life years down the line.

‘I have to go now’ I explained, sensing he was a bit gutted (as was I) I tried to keep my cool. ‘Maybe see you around, David’. As I went to walk past, David pulled me back gently by my hand and kissed me on the lips. My first kiss. It was short but sweet. ‘I’ll remember you’ he said, ‘I want to see you again.’ With that I was gone.

I will leave David’s story here, for I didn’t bump into him again for another 3 years or so. I sometimes thought of him and wondered what his story was, and why he appeared from nowhere then seemed to disappear so easily. But that story is for another day.