Someone once told me that we can’t choose who we love.
If there was a magic switch in all of us, somewhere, that let us feel differently about people, we’d all use it often. Perhaps abuse it. And while I often tell myself that if that switch existed, I’d just quickly change myself so that I don’t feel the same way I do about her the way I do now, I know that that’s a lie.
It would be easier, of course, to be able to switch off my desire to be with her in the way that I want to, right now. We could continue to be the best of friends, and I could share in her delight and life experiences, and I could be happy when she found someone that loved her even half as much as I do right now (because, to be honest, nobody will ever come close to approaching the intensity of mine), and I could love her and continue to show her how special she is without the hurt that I feel right now knowing that she’ll never feel that way about me.
But that’s not what I would do, and I’m not proud to admit this.
If there was a magic switch in all of us, somewhere, that let us feel differently about people, I’d use it to make her feel the way about me that I feel about her. It’s horribly selfish of me, and it is sacrificing her happiness for my own, and I hate myself for admitting this. But I am hurting, a lot. And I’m tired of hurting, of wanting. I hate myself for feeling this way, but sadly, it is true.
I don’t want it to be true.
It’s not fair for me to feel that way; it is not fair to me, to her, to our current incredible friendship. I want to be able to be okay, to not hurt, to love her incredibly and show that love everyday, but still share in her life and her eventual happiness with someone else. I do not want to stop loving her; I want to stop wanting her so much that it tears me up inside that I can’t be with her.
I pick a word to guide me, every year. Most years, that word serves me well; last year’s was absolutely perfect and led to some of the biggest changes I’ve ever had in my life.
A month ago, before 2012 rolled into view, I picked my word for this year: move.
It was, at the time, perfect. I would be moving not only into a new job this year, but into a new career stream from communications to public policy. I would be moving apartments (my rent goes up in three months and I can not afford to stay where I am at that price) and I would also be moving neighborhoods (the availability of apartments in my price range with the features I desire is slim to none in my current neighborhood). I knew very well that the word “move” would serve me well not only in those two instances, but in many other parts of my life.
In hindsight, I realize now that I subconsciously chose the word move because I needed to move on.
It is not easy, loving someone that does not love you. It is even harder loving someone that loves you, and tells you that regularly, and wants to be your best friend, and wants to have exciting adventures with you, but that does not want to be with you physically, intimately, emotionally, spiritually. It is downright soul-crushing to see that person smile when thinking about someone else the way you smile when you think of her.
I can’t do this anymore. My word of the year may be “move,” but the focus of the year is to move on.
I want to be her best friend, I want to share in her joy and happiness and sadness and anger. I want to show her every day just how special she is and how much I love her. But I don’t want to hurt anymore while doing it.
I don’t know how to do it, but events of this past weekend confirmed it: if I do anything at all this year, it will be to move. To move on.