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I keep skittering away from my own thoughts lately. The whole month has been a blur, for what I'm repeatedly assured are understandable reasons, but I want some clarity in my own head, at least. And so I turn to you, my dear, sweet ether. You have listened patiently all these years as I poured my insecurities and my passions forth, the good times and the bad. Creative writing exercises, bad mood exorcisms, little joyful moments, you've had them all. Most importantly though, you've given me the time and space to lay out my thoughts, like emptying a bag onto a table to sort through its contents and make sense of the mess. So. I find myself in an entirely novel situation, being single for the first time since it ever started to even be a consideration, and not sure where to go from here. I am fairly sure I don't want to stay single forever, so eventually I will have to find someone, but I don't really think I know how and I'm not even sure if I'm ready yet. I've never dated, though the concept is both intriguing and terrifying. No, I'm not ready yet. It's still too soon; there's no statutory mourning period here that I know of but I'm still at the point where everything reminds me of him and I sigh wistfully. That one Katy Perry song makes me tear up a little(a lot) and the phrase 'my ex' still feels foreign and treacherously terrible. So, no. Not yet. But when I am, what then? Is it awful of me to wonder already what it would be like to go out with *that* guy there(him with the abs, oh yes), or him(a musician! god, could you imagine it), or construct some kind of idealised image of slightly rugged, tousle-haired perfection? Or, are one-night stands a thing that happens outside of fiction? Sex for the enjoyment of the moment, rather than as part of a longer-term agreement? I don't even know what I think about it. And, inevitably... what about him? Not him, but him(aha), who has been here, so patient and understanding through these end times. He and I get on so well we seem to think the exact same thoughts sometimes, and being with him is so easy, so natural. He's right there, and if I knew I wanted to, I think we could be good together. Is it wrong then to wonder if I should hold him at arm's length until I have explored other options? That sounds so callous. I like him, but he really is so dear to me now that the thought of taking it further, fucking it up somehow and losing him altogether makes me scared to even try. He is the closest, truest friend I have right now, but I worry that some unseen variable could ruin it all. At any rate, ether, I think you'll agree that until I'm sure I know what I want I should just stay single and thoughtful. I just... want to understand my options right now.