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I want to run away with you
We are surrounded by exits, one in every direction. There are only so many times you can pass by that glowing red sign with the promising arrow and pretend not to notice it. We convince ourselves that we need this jacket, that duvet cover, this meal at that restaurant — we don’t need anything. We have the only thing that could possibly matter, and there is nagging part of me which knows that something in the daily tedium of money spent and hours worked is chipping away at it. It is so easy to look at another person through the fog of everything unrelated which is upsetting you, to take their beauty for granted because you imagine it will always be there when you roll over in the morning. I hate that I do this.
You have done nothing wrong in your life, you know. Well, maybe you have. I am sure there were times where you lied about who cheated on the third grade math test or said something unnecessarily cruel to a friend who stood you up. But I can’t recall a moment in which you didn’t merit being loved entirely, in which you were not an oasis from the relentless offenses of a world which is completely indifferent. I find fault only in the moments when you have to leave, when your body is being pulled away by some invisible force that goes under many names: “Work,” “errands,” “commitments.”
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But despite my respect for the time in my life where I’m Still Figuring It All Out, I can’t wait to turn 30, only to find out that it’s not that different from your 20s. I can’t wait to still not have it all figured out, make an ass out of myself on dates, never figure out how to properly interact with people and turn into Bridget Jones. I can’t wait to break the rules of ageism by not getting that much wiser and keeping my flaws. I like those flaws. Those flaws are a part of me.
-Nico Lang, I Can’t Wait For My 30s
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I often joke that I can’t wait to meet myself when I’m 35 (like in Looper) because that’s going to be my year. (2025, you watch out.)
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6. Hearing a song come on the radio that hasn’t come on in forever, and remembering exactly where you were and who you were when you used to listen to it all the time, and feeling like that version of you and your life isn’t actually that far away.
-19 Little Things That Reaffirm Your Faith In Humanity
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What If You Do End Up Alone?
Sometimes I think I could be one of those people who end up alone. And when I have even so much as hinted this to family or friends, their first reaction is to discard it as naivety or the hidden insecurity of a 20-something girl who only knows so much about life, and by so much, they mean very little. And maybe that’s true; maybe they’re right but a history of very few romantic encounters and a personality that is sometimes more guarded and independent than it should be, might point to the possibility that ending up alone is not that far-fetched, at least that’s the way I see it.
I know I’ve got time or at least that’s what everyone tells me. But sometimes I wonder if we realize that one of the few things we don’t have much of in this life is time. And 20-something can turn to 40-something and to 60-something in the blink of an eye. Life goes by quickly and before you or I know it, we could have spent our entire lives telling ourselves that we have time. So while we are apt to telling people they have all the time in the world to ultimately find someone to love, I beg to differ, we don’t. We shouldn’t rush it but we shouldn’t lie to ourselves either — our days are short and numbered. And some of us, undeniably, will end up alone.
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Life is not a game. Life is not a clean narrative and people are real and flawed and you can’t force anything on them or yourself. The second you try to love someone, it’s gone. And if you find yourself in this kind of situation over and over again, maybe it’s time for you to take some time to try to love yourself.
-Ryan O’Connell, I’m Trying to Love you More
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Because I really like Girls, and I never miss it, and at the end of another week of work and paying bills and having boy trouble and, yes, okay, dealing with a severe anxiety disorder, I just want a half hour to sit back and relax and titter derisively at Hannah’s awful behavior/unflattering shorteralls.
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Where we don’t ever flirt but there’s undertones and importance, a heaviness to every interaction. Whenever we say goodbye it feels very permanent, like one of us is getting on the Titanic.
We are so doomed.
— Gaby Dunn
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Letting someone go — when it is a necessary act of self-preservation, something that has to come if you expect to move forward in life — is regarded as a kind of victory. You have successfully overcome an emotional trauma that once surrounded you like a kind of fog which prevented you from ever seeing the sun. People will tell you, always with the best intentions, that one day you are going to wake up and realize that you are okay, and your life is not immediately over because they are no longer a part of it. And this is true, though it’s not the net positive that we are so quick to label it as. Because it’s not as though you simply wake up one day and proclaim yourself fine, suddenly hearing birds chirp and children laugh after months of only your own oppressive silence. You simply start to forget, feeling the acute pain of the loss less and less as each day goes on. There will come a day when you don’t care, but you won’t notice it, because you will have other things to think about.
-Chelsea Fagan, How We Let People Go
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What if I’m always first to leave?
It’s almost that time of year again, the one we’ve all had the misfortune of knowing intimately. Here comes another Leaving Season, I say to myself, and taste it in my morning coffee. Taste it in the way spring drops sunshine upon even the most persistent end-of-winter chill (a winter swan song, if you will), taste it in the nervous energy of everyone around you who knows it’s coming too. The Leaving Season brings back my bad habit.
Burning bridges is my bad habit and perhaps the biggest problem of all is that I am really fucking good at it. Practice, I guess. So now, in the face of all these goodbyes I am about to embark upon, I say ugly things that I don’t mean. Even worse are the ugly things I say that I do mean, that I never said because I loved you but now, if I say them, it means I don’t love you anymore, right? I get too drunk and do ugly things like lie, or yell, or let go of your hand.
The Leaving Season is going to come and there is nothing to be done about it. It will not come on your terms; you can only react to its whim. Some people are good at this; they toe the careful line that is the silver lining. They play by selfless rules. I am endlessly impressed by these people and their resilience to being left. It impresses me that they can conciliate themselves with happy memories collected like shiny gold coins. Sometimes I wonder if, when they are finally alone, they have a milk jug full of these gold coins that they can pour out and hold in their hands, closing their fingers upon each solid one and feel it press upon their palms, feel the weight of each and every one. I wonder if they smile to themselves, then, and are satisfied because, even if these things can never happen again, at least they happened. Even when the ones they loved are forgetting them, they are still glad that the love was once there. I wish I could be one of these people.
— Heidi Liu
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Let’s Skip Ahead to the Good Part
Sometimes I want to skip to the part where we’ve been together a really long time. I don’t need the passion of the beginning — the urgency, the unfamiliarity, the shaky ground. I am stressed out and I am on edge. I want to be where we’ve been mentally, during this quick courtship and how fast we both fell, I want to be in a place where that kind of emotion and attachment seems appropriate. I want us to be comfortable and I want us to be cozy. I want us to be a seamless unit. Partners.
I want to curl into your back and fit between your hips where I always do. I want to watch you take your medications in the morning and you watch me wash my make up off at night. I make you dinners I know you like, you DVR all my favorite shows so we can watch them together. When I am sick, you spend hours by my bedside feeding me soup and rubbing my temples. When you are sad, you bury your face in my neck and I let you cry as long as you need to. I want to know the tempo of your breathing and I want to feel like I will never lose you.
Don’t you want that? Warm under the covers. No worries. No pain. No anxiety. No urgency. Just our arms around each other and the quiet of the house. Our eyes closed in certainty.
— Gaby Dunn
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I had a falling out with my very best friend, my number one, my life partner, and that’s pain that I can still readily access. That’s pain that never went completely away. Because I still think sometimes, “You should be here with me. I should be able to call you with this news or send you this funny YouTube video. You weren’t supposed to go away. You were supposed to survive it all.
-Ryan O’Connell, Breaking up with a friend is harder than breaking up with a significant other
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The snow falling off car bumpers sounds like a soft vomiting. I have not yet wasted my life, again. It’s warm enough outside to alter truck tire treads with a boot. They are not the kind of cold to remain unmoved. A larger man leans on a parking meter pay station to rest from his walking. I don’t think that’s why he stopped. He is out of breath and zips up his coat and his cheeks are cold but it’s getting warmer and I cannot tell if he is tired. We are both leaning and snow is falling then it stops doing that and no, the flakes are carved and unknown, I do not force any idea on them even this fleeting stagnancy because in this moment I want these flakes only to be flakes and it is dark and see, second chances are more like sundials. They don’t work at night.
-Alexander Helmke, What Second Chances Are Like