Wednesday, November 20, 2013

When Coffee Isn't Just Coffee

Hey everyone. I hope this finds you all safe and well. Today I want to tell you a story, a story that is both true and hard to tell. It's hard to tell because of the truth it presents but its a story that needs to be told. I've held this true story back about myself for far too long and only now with the assistance of my therapist am I ready to reveal it. I am revealing this story about me because I want to be as open and candid about my life as possible. I've been guarded and held back much of myself for way too long. Truth doesn't hold you back, it sets you free. And I want to be set free. I've always held so much inside of me so tightly that its almost suffocated and choked me to death on more than one occasion. I need to let my truth be brought into the light so that I can face it, accept it, learn from it, and then let it go and move forward. So here's my story.

When I was in college I took a speech a class. And in this class there was a guy. From the very first day of class he and I just shared a connection. We began to talk before class every day and at some point we started walking out together talking. I knew he was married. He wasn't hesitant about revealing this fact. I can't say I didn't know or that he was lying to me about it. And I mean we were just talking. I loved talking to him and sharing things and I began to really enjoy his company. At some point, I don't know when or how, I fell for him. I really fell hard for him. But I knew it was wrong to feel that way about someone else's husband. So I kept my feelings to myself and we just kept doing our same routine. Towards the end of the semester, I believe there was about two weeks to go, he came up to me and confessed that another guy in my class who he talked to every day had a thing for me. He was too scared to say it to me though. Well, that shocked me because here is the guy I've fallen hard for telling me another guy has a thing for me. I didn't know what to do with that. I had no idea what to do or how to proceed. The next day of class, the guy I had fallen for asked if I wanted to join him for coffee after class. I knew I shouldn't. I knew this wasn't just coffee. I knew that this was more than just coffee despite myself trying to talk myself into the notion it was just coffee. My gut was screaming at me to say no and put a stop to it. But before I knew what had happened, there I sat across from him at the local Starbucks as he grabbed my hand and told me how much he cared about me and that he would love to be able to feel me up close and personal (note: I've edited this quote to make it far less adult than it actually was) and that he had fallen for me hard. This was it. This was my moment. I knew that this was one of those life defining moments. I could say yes and go down a very rocky, turbulent, wrong road with a guy who I had fallen for and who had me captivated completely or I could simply refuse and do the right thing. What was I going to do?

I sat there for a few minutes and I finally turned down his offer. So I did the right thing. I didn't act upon my feelings. But here's the truth that has been such an ugly fact to face for me, I wanted to. I wanted to throw caution to the wind and just say yes and suffer the consequences later. I simply wanted to just for once in my life throw my morals and my values out the window and just be with him. I was flattered. I wasn't disgusted or appalled at his offer. I was flattered. That's the fact that has haunted me for years. I wanted to be with another woman's husband and wasn't put off at all by what he was offering me. But I guess what I've started to see, with some professional assistance, is that no matter what I felt I did the right thing. Feelings aren't right or wrong. Whether or not you act upon those feelings whatever they may be is the issue. I wasn't wrong to feel what I felt because I really couldn't help what I felt but I had the choice to act on them or to walk away and that's what matters in the end. So my choice to walk away was right. And my feelings were just that. Feelings. I understand it all better now but I still do struggle at times with my feelings to begin with. I sometimes think I can control my feelings but maybe its just not possible for us as humans to control what we feel but the focus should be on the choices we make and the way we behave no matter our feelings.

And what about that other guy? The one who had a thing for me way back then. I never did take a chance on him. I approached him half-heartedly once and I never tried again. And our class ended. And I always wondered if I screwed up being so into this other unavailable guy that I overlooked the available guy who was ready willing and able who was right in front of me the whole time. I saw him about a year later and I thought was this fate giving me another chance? I decided to approach him when suddenly I realized he was with another girl. Oh the cruel irony of it all. I had my chance and as I look back on that class, I realize this guy did have a thing for me. It's obvious to me now the way he looked at me while I was giving my speeches and how he always asked me questions after I was done. And it just makes me sad. And upset. I beat myself up a lot for not seeing what was so clear and never giving it a chance because instead I was focused on some guy I was never going to have nor should have even been focused on. But you know what? As I realize now, that's just life. It doesn't make sense all the time. There are times we focus our energy and dedicate ourselves to the wrong people and things all the while we let other people and things slip right through the cracks. It's just a part of it all. It sucks. Its ugly. But it is what it is. Nayely Saldana is quoted as saying "we met for a reason, either you're a blessing or a lesson." Some people we meet are brought into our lives for a lesson. I believe that this is what these two guys were for me. They were surrounding me to teach me something. Now have I learned? That's the question. I think I am still in the process of learning what exactly the lessons were that I needed to know. But I have begun to pull those lessons out and with each day that passes I am getting closer to getting it.

As for those two guys, every so often seemingly out of nowhere I will go back and remember. I can still remember so vividly everything about that time of my life regarding their features which is really odd with the guy I never even had a real conversation with. I don't remember anyone else in my speech class or what my professor looked like but I can tell you what both of these guys looked like, and I can remember exactly how I felt and thought at the time going through it all. I used to look at this time and coil up in disgust and agony over what I didn't want to face. But with time and with reflection, the more I open up about what transpired and face the full truth, I don't look at this event as a regret. I look at it as a life altering event that has molded me and helped me on the road to who I am and will continue to help me become who I need to be. So it's not something I am ashamed of now and I can tell because I am sharing this all in detail on my blog. That would've never happened a couple years ago. So I am growing and evolving and that's always a good thing. The truth can be ugly at first but as you confront it directly and go through it, it suddenly doesn't seem so ugly or scary. Just face it and you never know what you might find.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading

1 comment:

  1. Mel- I really enjoy your blog and especially that last entry. It's so wonderful you are now working through those feelings of the past- and you are doing so with honesty and insight. I'm glad you don't beat yourself up over feelings of the past- as you said, feelings do not have a value attached to them. They simply exist. It's behavior that counts. - Great post and thank you for sharing with us!