In my pre-teen years, I gained a somewhat large internet following through writing Naruto fanfiction on fanfiction.net. While I always wrote stories that occurred within the original Naruto series, other writers created narratives that occurred in alternative universes, or AUs, like if the characters went to modern-day high schools or worked in modern-day bars or nightclubs. This past week, I reflected on an alternate universe in which my situationship with my former crush, AWLOB, played out differently.
Though I wrote way too many blog posts about this guy in 2019 and early 2020, I will offer this refresher: he messaged me through this blog (lol) in late 2018, we had an intense email exchange, he broke up with his boyfriend of five years, said he would take time to heal and then we would talk, and then it never worked out. At the time, I felt into him because 1) he took action to promote social justice, 2) he read good books
though little did I know that he didn’t actually like, apply any of those book’s lessons to his own life but anyway and 3) the way he wrote to me gave me toppish vibes. I felt a lot of angst about the situation in 2019 and early 2020 though now I literally do not care at all about him, thank you @ BlackPink for releasing me from this man’s heinous clutches.
I thought the other day though: what if we had met in a different timeline? What if we had met three to five years after he had broken up with his long-term boyfriend? Would he have pursued me in a more healthy and emotionally available way? Or was his initial pursuit of me only a consequence of wanting attention and affection that he wasn’t getting from his ex or himself? I remember at one point, when he said he wanted space to heal, I wrote out a list of things in an email draft that I wanted to ask him about once we reestablished contact. While I used to feel sad about the missed opportunity to talk with him, now I just laugh about it while reading novels on my couch and sipping orange juice.
Then I reflect: what if he were a different person, or at least a person who worked through his issues in a way that made more sense? When I talked about him with my therapist, she made the point about how it seems like he excelled in his work and career, yet struggled with his relationships
which honestly, I could’ve discerned myself from how he posted on reddit about whether he should break up with his ex or not, lol. Over a year after he broke up with his boyfriend, AWLOB told me that he tried to see other guys locally and that these guys led him to realize that he’s still in love with his ex. When I read that email, I literally rolled my eyes to the point where they almost escaped from their sockets and started to perform the choreography from BlackPink’s iconic song “As If It’s Your Last.” Like, I get breakups are hard and we cope how we cope, but like, you couldn’t have just engaged in some basic mindful introspection and dedicated time to your self-healing instead of pursuing men who weren’t me in such an unself-aware way? While this guy wrote the word “sorry” or “apology” in his email to me, his actions reflected a complete lack of commitment to genuine behavior change. I knew I had to release myself from ever expecting better from him.
Maybe in an alternate universe we could have worked out. When I ground myself in my current universe, though, I honor how I eventually got over this guy while never compromising on my values and morals. In some ways, this situation serves as an example that even in difficult times, I persist. Throughout 2019 and early 2020, I still practiced compassion toward my closest friends, students, clients, and other important people in my life, I still showed love toward myself by bopping along to my pop music and disclosing a lot about my internal world on the internet, and I still did my best to fuck shit up by screaming about and fighting against white supremacy, patriarchy, and amatonormativity.
I now feel that maybe one day another man of color who actually has his life together may emerge, and maybe I will develop some sort of relationship with this person. At the same time, I love myself, my closest friends, and my life overall without a man and would be completely happy never dating a man. Thank you to Caroline Knapp, Audre Lorde, and bell hooks as well as my closest friends and my grandmother for illuminating the way to self and community-love, free from amatonormative patriarchal nonsense. Thank you to myself, for always making it through tough times stronger, softer, and more spirited than ever.
Do you ever feel like your perception of past events or relationships has changed with time, and if so, how so? General reactions to this post? Also, okay lol I have to share: I actually matched with AWLOB’s ex on a dating app about a month ago. To be honest I didn’t find myself really attracted to him though he was/is cute, I literally swiped right on the chance that if we were to match, maybe I’d ask him what it was like to date AWLOB and if he was as much as an emotional mess within the relationship as he was after it. However, despite my love for interpersonal drama, when AWLOB’s ex started to ask me questions to actually get to know me, I was honest and direct and said that I knew AWLOB and thus he (AWLOB’s ex) and I might not be a good fit. Also, to end this post on a petty note, I really wasn’t that impressed with AWLOB’s ex? Like he seems like a nice guy with a great moral center but like? This was the guy who AWLOB struggled to get over to the point where he missed out on pursuing me? Mess. Anyway, until next post!