I am somewhat reluctant to write about this particular time of my life because it was quite a complicated situation. All of this occurred quite recently but I feel as though I’m over it all now and that it was an important chapter. This is another story of a boy who didn’t want to be with me. Please don’t feel sorry for me. I’m okay. I’m not telling you these stories so you can be sad for me. I’m trying to share the lessons that I’ve learned.
In an attempt to keep this particular person’s identity a secret I cannot go into very much detail but let me just say that this situation was complicated beyond belief.
So after I had fallen into an unrequited love, thoughts of boys were pushed to the back of my mind and they pretty much stayed there. I was focused on many things but romance was not one of them. Then, in August of 2015 the strangest thing happened. I met someone who I really liked. From the second I saw him I really liked him and I was shocked.
This was really significant because it was my first confirmation that I could move on from heartache (up until this point I had been telling myself that I would move on without any evidence to back it up).
I had been drinking rather a lot of alcohol on this particular occasion and so, I was a lot more confident than I usually would be. He saw me looking as I danced with my friends. I saw him return my glance and smiled. He saw me smile and smiled. I saw him smile and turned away slightly, feeling his eyes on me.
On the outside I looked like a cool, sensuous mermaid but on the inside I felt like a sweaty anchovy. (Sorry. I’m exhausted while I write this and I can’t come up with better metaphors). What was happening to me? Why was someone that I was interested in acting like he was interested in me? This didn’t happen to me. The one million feelings that were swirling around in my stomach made me feel possibly more alive than I’d felt in months.
Later on, I stumbled upon the boy in question. We spoke to one another for a little while and then, unsure what to do and slightly intimidated, I said goodbye and took off.
I went to sleep that night with a huge smile on my face. I didn’t care that nothing had happened between us. I had actually felt something for a boy for the first time in months and that was a big deal for me. Over the next few weeks, I cherished the memory of that night but did not think much about the boy in question.
At the end of August, I moved to Dublin and my life changed. I began going to college and a world of new experiences opened up to me.
At the end of September my friends from Wexford came up to visit me. We went for coffee in town and the conversation turned to that night. My friends asked me questions about the boy and we laughed about it. Then, as we left the coffee shop and began walking towards our bus, something extraordinary happened. There he was, standing on the street, preoccupied with something.
I nearly died when I saw him. After all, I was still really confused as to how I felt about everything that had happened. I was not at all prepared to be confronted by him once again and my first urge was to run. But my friends forced me to stay. They demanded that I go up and speak to him but I refused to do so. A fearless friend of mine then strolled right up to him and told him that she recognised him from the party. My other friends followed her and, wishing that the ground would swallow me up, I reluctantly went with them.
“Yeah I think I recognise you,” he laughed looking straight at me. My friend laughed and said “you mean you recognise him” while pointing at me. I could have killed her in that moment but instead I took over the conversation and chatted to him for a few minutes before saying goodbye and leaving with my friends.
I must admit that I wasn’t even annoyed with my friend for doing this. That was an experience that pushed me completely out of my comfort zone and that was exactly what I had come to Dublin to do.
A few weeks later I ended up at a party that he was also attending. He came up to me and spoke to me for a long while. I can’t say that I was entirely surprised to see him at said party but I was surprised to have received such a warm reception from him.
I was crushing hard. As much as I tried not to, I spoke about him an awful lot. I slipped him into conversation very often and I also went to a lot of events that I knew he would be at. My friends saw us together and often told me that I had a chance with him, although I refused to believe it.
I came to a slight juncture. I had never chased a boy before. I had never entirely believed myself worthy of a boy’s attention. I always told myself that I had stuff to sort out before I could think about romance. But suddenly I had two options. I could put myself out there a little and see what happens. Or I could forget him and return to my busy life.
I chose the former and began to seek him out. I would go up (shaking inside) and make conversation with him, ensuring that I made my eyes big and held eye contact (my signature move). Some days I would put on a beautiful outfit, make myself look amazing and stand wearing my sunglasses. I would make sure he saw me as I pretended to be preoccupied with something. Then I would glance past him and strut away. Immature or genius? Who knows?
All I know is that the people around me noticed. I no longer spoke about him often but when I did, it must have been obvious what was going on. I laugh when I think of this now, but at the time this killed me. They would ask me tons of questions, or imply that he felt the same for me.
Eventually I began to almost believe what they were telling me. Why wouldn’t he like me? I repeatedly asked myself this question and couldn’t come up with an answer. It was December of 2015 when I decided to finally do something about it. I was on that extremely significant trip to Paris and I just got sick of it.
I sat there, staring at my reflection in the mirror and decided to do something about it. I took out my phone and sent him a message explaining everything I had felt the past few months. I didn’t do it in a gushy or a dramatic way. I spoke rather matter-of-factly. I always try and deal with things in a matter of fact way if it can be helped.
I don’t know if it’s a mistake to write this for fear that you’ll pity me. He never replied. And believe me when I say this; it was fine. I didn’t expect him to reply to me and I said as much in my message to him. Sending him that message was not about me trying to convince him to be with me. I beg for no man. It was for myself. To help myself get over it all. Obviously if he had replied saying that he was in love with me that would have been lovely, but that’s life.
The next day I continued on with that trip a little bit sad but with a clarity that I didn’t have in the days before. I am not a person that appreciates being confused and I can’t explain the relief of finally knowing where I stood. I’m unsure whether that’s helpful for everyone, but the best thing for me is to be on the right side of heartbreak and to move on. To throw myself into my work, or a new project or research on a particular topic.
This is another part of my recipe for moving on. And it’s not exactly easy, but I certainly wouldn’t call it difficult either.
Watch my poem about the treatment I experience as a Transgender citizen below:
Read part one of Loose Ends here.