A Distinct Memory

So how did I get this way?

Thinking back there is one very vivid and distinct memory I have of choosing niceness at my own expense.

I was young, a sophomore in high school and there was this guy that really liked me.  We’ll call him Alex.  We “dated” for a short time at the beginning of our sophomore year and I quickly decided that I wasn’t so interested.  We still hung out with some of the same friends and toward the end of the school year a group of us were hanging out at a local park.  Alex asked to talk to me.  We sat on top of a picnic table and he proceeded to explain to me that his mom and step dad had decided to move to Arizona.  He would be leaving in a month and he asked me to just date him until he left.

I paused.

He pleaded.

I said, “Ok,” thinking in my head, “It’s only one month.”

Well the month turned into the whole summer and in that time we turned into a couple.  Alex did leave for Arizona before the school year started and we agreed to try staying together.  At the time, we wrote pen to paper letters to each other and talked on the phone.  A few weeks went by and as the sadness started to wear off, I was feeling pretty good without Alex around.  I was having fun on my own and with the friends and activities in my life.

A good friend of mine asked me to homecoming and I was really excited to go with him as a friend.  The day after I said yes to my friend, Alex surprised me and announced he was coming back for homecoming.  We had never discussed this possibility and I wasn’t that happy about it, but since I was still his girlfriend I went ahead and told my friend that I could no longer go with him.  This wasn’t what I had wanted to do, but it’s what I did at the time thinking it was the right way to handle the awkward situation.

Alex came and went and we continued to date but my desire to get out of the relationship was strengthening.  Then Alex surprised me again and announced he was moving back to live with his dad and step mom in a nearby city and return to our high school, pretty much all to be with me.  I remember being furious that he didn’t ask me if this was even what I wanted.  We had a fight about it, but he was coming and I felt stuck.  He was moving all the way back, disrupting his family, just to be with me.  How could I break up now?

We stayed together for the rest of high school and I changed dramatically.  Not for the better.  I got depressed, jealous and possessive.  It all started with a good intentioned acceptance of a part I was never meant to play.  A good intention of making someone else happy without knowing the sacrifice I would continue to make to myself.

I look back now and I think…

I accepted the part.

I played the part.

I became the part.

And I lost me.


To be continued…


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