Charmed

**Abrupt subject change – I’ll get back to the serious stuff soon, don’t you worry, but I want to talk about something that makes me happy. Because there are happy things. It’s important to make the most of them when other things are hard.**

Sometimes I feel like a middle-aged married lady – I’ve been with the same person forever, or at least my heart has, and I don’t know anything else. I’m sort of bored and exasperated, but at the same time I cling to what is ‘safe’. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

The thing is, once you’ve fallen in ‘real’ love, anything else seems petty and trivial and just like a waste of time. For me, that happened when I was 14 (or at least that’s when I realized it), so I haven’t really had a chance to experience the typical teenage drama of dating life. I mean sure, I had more than my fair share of drama, but it was real shit. Tough shit, shit that still fucks me up even now. There was very little of the whole “Oh my gosh is he staring at me?” “Does he like me? Does he not?” “He said hi – what does that mean?!” type of thing that all my friends seem to go through. I always roll my eyes at them and tell them to relax and get over it. It’s not a big deal.

I’ve never really been charmed by anyone. Yes, I fell in love, and I fell hard, but I fell in love with my best friend, which essentially means that the entire time that I was falling, I didn’t even know it. I don’t remember any of that. Literally, one day we were just friends, and then we went to the cottage with some friends and we hugged, and then I secretly burst into tears because oh my god I’m in love. There was no in between.

I’m nearly 22 now, and well, after an experience like that I expect that I’ll never fall in love again. In fact, I expected that I would never feel anything more than friendship for anyone ever again. I was wrong about that.

No, I’m not in love. Not even close. I don’t stay up until ungodly hours of the morning thinking and worrying and pining, I don’t cry (except just once), and I don’t plan out elaborate, adorable, thoughtful things for him. I don’t particularly care what he does when I’m not around, and I’m not all that curious about his past or his dreams for the future. He’s not the first person I want to run to when I’m scared and hurt, and he’s not the first person I want to tell when something exciting happens.

All I know is that whenever I am around him, I smile, and I genuinely laugh at the things he says. I’m inspired by him. I think he’s smart and has good ideas and works hard. I like that he respects me and thinks that I’m smart and have good ideas too. And I think he’s cute, obviously. This might not be saying much these days, as someone suffering from depression (to say the least), but spending time with him is usually the best part of my day. This is all rare for me. Actually, it’s unheard of.

I’ve only ever felt this way with one person before, and what I formerly attributed simply to friendship (albeit best-friendship), I now recognize as the mysterious and elusive feeling called “charmed”. This is what a crush is. Or something like that. Can grown women have crushes?

Is this good? Is this bad? I honestly don’t know. I suppose, objectively, it can be considered a good sign that I’ve shown the ability to form romantic feelings for another human. This could be called moving on, which is what you’re supposed to do after a break-up. But what if you don’t want to move on? What if you’re still in love with the person you lost? To me, it feels like a betrayal, of him, of what we had, and of myself too. After all, I dedicated nearly a decade of my life to loving this person, only to now just hop onto the next one? I know he doesn’t feel that way – he had no problem moving on (on two separate occasions) and comparing me unfavourably to his new partners. He also had no problem using that hateful term – I consider it such because it implies no respect for the past. He’d be thrilled about this new development and probably turn into fucking Cupid or something, trying to get this to work out for me. At least then he wouldn’t have to feel guilty. And no, we haven’t talked about it. I tried, but he wouldn’t give me the time to say things the way I needed to. But I still will if I ever do have that chance.

My own inner turmoil aside, however, the facts are that A) we work together, and that never ends well, B) he’s at least 3 years older than me (could be 4), and C) he has a girlfriend. Yeah, maybe I should have led with that. I didn’t know he had a girlfriend the whole time, but it only makes sense. Guys like that don’t just go walking around without girlfriends. But do you know how much I want to slam my head against a brick wall? I mean, I finally find someone else who I LIKE, and he has a GIRLFRIEND? He’s not even an OPTION? Like AT ALL? Really?

Upon finding that out – that was the one and only time I cried over him, at least so far. Not even so much at the loss of him specifically, but because it seems as if the universe is telling me I’m not meant to be in a relationship. But I know that I am. I am best when I have a partner. Someone to bounce ideas off of, to support me and care about my day and just talk to me so I don’t go stir crazy like I have been. And maybe I still have something left to give. Maybe I can still redirect all my nervous energy and love and plans that I had stored up for someone else towards a new target.

So. We’ll see how things go I guess. At the very least I want to make sure that we become proper friends. I feel like he needs to stay in my life even after I leave this job. We’ll see if I can manage to metaphorically keep it in my pants and not do anything stupid. Maybe if I’m really lucky he and his girlfriend will break up. (I’m kidding, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.)

But I can now say that I apologize to all my friends who I belittled and made fun of (lovingly, but still). Yeah, it may be dumb, but it sure is fun. It makes for a good distraction from the real problem here.

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