I met Will at a volunteer orientation at a psychiatric hospital over the summer, and I developed a huge crush on him a few months later. At first I tried to resist my attraction with foolproof strategies, such as by saying “undergraduate men are way too immature for me” over and over while reading Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or by playing “Focus” by Ariana Grande until I could sing it backwards in my sleep. But my pull toward Will’s deep voice, his listening skills, and his confidence soon forced me to accept my feelings. I talked about him with several of my friends, I penned a creative nonfiction piece about him that I shared with my entire class, and I even wrote a psychoanalysis of my thoughts toward him while sitting next to him in my Developmental Psychology course. I was, unfortunately, in love.
So I planned my heartbreak for 4 p.m. today. Continue reading
When J hurt me a few months ago, he reawakened a lot of the trauma I experienced from my mother’s hands as a child. I had a brief phone conversation with him last weekend, which hurt me a lot, because in several implicit ways, he blamed me for what happened. As I gripped my new smartphone in my hand and heard his callous tone, a flood of questions and doubts raced through me: am I just a product of my mother’s abuse? Does my compassion for others only stem from a need to distance myself from her? What does this mean for me, for my personality, for all of my good deeds? After that conversation, I deleted a post I wrote on this blog – a decision I regret – so I want to re-share a quote I included in it, about how people misrepresent love as a bond free of conflict:
“Love is possible only if two persons communicate with each other from the center of their existence, hence if each one of them experiences himself from the center of his existence. Only in this “central experience” is human reality, only here is aliveness, only here is the basis of love. Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together; even whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence, that they are one with each other by being one with themselves, rather than by fleeing with themselves. There is only one proof for the presence of love: the depth of the relationship, and the aliveness and strength in each person concerned; this is the fruit by which love is recognized.” – The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm.
While J has been the only friend to do something horrid to me this semester, others have abandoned me, and I realize I cannot control that. Continue reading
A little less than three weeks ago, I had a rough day. Memories of J kept pulling me under, even though I knew he never spent a single second thinking about me. After hours of staring at walls and pretending to have my life together, I walked to a dorm in the middle of campus, where for some reason, I started reading my old blog posts. Then, I found this:
The cheesy and heartfelt words of seventeen-year-old me, from my blog post “Things Change.” Dang, time flies.
After reading those words, I ran to a bathroom stall, played the Teen Titans scene from my blog post on repeat, and sobbed for twenty minutes. I felt every tear like a shock of electricity running down my face; as I crouched down on the cold hard tile, my cheek pressing into the cool granite, every nerve in my body sung, as if all my emotions just then ripped through my body. Because reading my old blog post and watching that scene made me remember an important lesson, one that gave me hope: things change.
I loved the old J, the one who cared about me, the one with an honest calm, the friend who worked hard to improve himself. Continue reading
I have posted about the fallacy of the gay best friend before, but since then I discovered this article from the Huffington Post, so I want to remind everyone: gay men do not make good friends.
Let me backtrack. Gay men may make good friends. But this article – which I read as a parody at first because of its awfulness – assumes that all gay men share ten key characteristics. Continue reading
As a rising college sophomore, I have witnessed my fair share of sexual relationships
that for once were not fictional. Contrary to popular belief, I do not think anyone can isolate sex as a physical activity free of emotional implication. I am not saying that sex is bad, that empowerment through sex is phony, or that people who have a lot of sex should be condemned. Rather, I argue that sex is a complex subject that people should think about, because it has so many intricacies and ramifications for those involved.
Even Katy Perry’s seemingly innocent “Birthday” is filled with sexual innuendos. Speaking of birthdays, mine is this Sunday… so you should read and comment on this post as a gift. Just kidding. Sort of.
Sex is almost never just sex. Continue reading
“You’re a liar,” she says.
“Nope,” I say. “I’m an introvert. Just like Jane Eyre.”
“You talk so much though,” she says, eyes wide with shock. “You get along with everyone. You have so many friends!”
Now you’re the liar, I think, I don’t have friends. What are those? Also, you ignored my allusion to the best book ever. Our friendship is over. I cough a little bit into my hand to cover my disdain, and I lean back into the hard wood of my dorm room door.
“Have you met my roommate?” I ask. “Now, he’s an extrovert…” Continue reading
With my move-in date for college in less than a week, I doubt I’d get to meet many older men – but if I could, would I? Several times when age-gap relationships come up, people automatically react with comments like “oh, that’s so gross” or “what a pedophile.” I don’t support relationships in which one person takes advantage of another, but in terms of mutually consensual relationships in which the partners have a considerable age difference, whose place is it to discriminate? Continue reading