I hear a lot of people talk about how they can't sleep at night. Late at night is when the deepest and most painful thoughts come out, they say. And I suppose they're right. It's why I'm always lying in bed at 3AM, staring at my ceiling fan spin around and around and around. Trying to force myself into becoming drowsy enough to drift off.
But those thoughts, they're so impossible to shake off. Once deeply ingrained into your mind, they seemingly never go away, especially not this late.
And my thoughts always seem to have a common theme: conversations. Always conversations I wish I could have, the things I would say to the most important people in my life. And I always manage to convince myself that if I could just have that one conversation, everything would be better. Everything would magically improve if we could just talk through things. And maybe I'm right, maybe a lot can be fixed with a single conversation.
But I'll really never know. As great as it is to pretend everything can be just fine, realistically, I won't get those chances. That person might not be in my life anymore, or things might be past the point of fixing. I just have to live with the "what ifs" and pretend things are okay again.
Pretending can be nice, for a while. Just try not to let it hurt more when you inevitably have to stop.
I've been trying to find a way to put this for months, but the words never come out right.
I guess it's just that nothing feels right anymore. I'm not sure anything really has at all this year. So few things have gone really truly well lately. This year has just been one disaster after another, and there really wasn't any good way to stop it. The only thing I could think to do was take this semester off from school, and even that's just turned into a routine. Wake up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, watch TV until I finally fall asleep. Over and over. Every day.
And everything seems to be a cliche these days. Feeling alone in a room full of people. Being that girl that goes to the grocery store two or three times a week in pajamas at 9:30PM and buying just a pint of ice cream. Running into people I went to high school with and "oh yeah, everything is going great, I just needed a break from school, that's all." Having trouble even finishing this fucking blog.
Then there's the fact that I'm finally trying to get my shit together and figure out what the fuck is wrong with me. I guess going temporarily insane this summer made me realize that I can't just let this sort itself out. So there's doctors appointment after doctors appointment and form after form to fill out and it feels like it's never ever going to end. Hopefully this works out soon so my efforts haven't completely gone to waste.
And maybe this is a cry for help. I don't know. I'm not sure how anyone would help, anyways. This is a situation I pretty much put myself in, so now it's my job to get myself out. I just don't want it be this way forever, and I'm really worried it might.
Everything kind of sucks. I think that's what I'm trying to say.
Every year, I visit this island off the coast of Georgia. And every year I write about it. There's something special about this place. I've been here two or three times every year for as long as I can remember, and I never ever get tired of it. But what always gets me is thinking about who I was the last time I was here.
Two years ago, I was a high school senior, making final college decisions, and ready to graduate. I didn't have a care in the world. I had my friends and that's all I really needed.
Last year, I was a college freshman. I was doing terribly in school, already two classes behind from graduating on time. I was involved in an emotionally abusive relationship. I spent most of my time avoiding what seemed like half of the people at my school after a fallout with my roommate.
And now? Honestly, I don't even know where to begin. I guess I've very nearly completely given up on everyone and everything.
But then there's this island. I get here and everything is okay. Nothing matters anymore. I can lay on the beach for hours and ride my bike for miles and just listen to the waves crashing onto the shore outside my window and everything is perfect.
Select all, delete. Usually how I end my writing process.
This time, I wrote about certain people and how they've changed recently. The girl who was my close friend, but now considers me her worst enemy. The guy who spent several months telling me he didn't want a relationship, but that he's now in one with another girl. The other guy, who actually promised me a relationship, but stopped speaking to me less than a week later. And worst of all, I can't even go to someone who is supposed to be one of my best friends with my problems anymore.
And then I went on to say that I've changed the most because I didn't care that any of these people weren't in my life before. That in the past, I'd be bothered by the fact that they deserted me, but now I'm perfectly happy without them.
And it was all complete shit.
Who am I kidding? Nothing has changed. Not at all. People will never change, as much as you'd like to hope they are. They'll always be terrible to each other.
That girl despises me because her pseudo boyfriend wants me more than her, and I'm a threat to their "relationship." That guy put me through months of making me feel like I was never quite good enough, and that I was only ever going to be second best. The other guy just plays games with girls and doesn't actually give a shit about them. And my best friend is convinced that everything bad that has ever happened to me is no one's fault but my own, no matter what the situation is.
Things don't change because it's a new year. Things never change.
"It doesn't when you write yourself off, when you know you're doing the least you can, when you don't have any confidence or self respect. Wake up, Caroline, you're more than that. Wake the fuck up."
"You're not a bad person. You're not bad at being a person. You're not a failure. You're fun, beautiful, smart, and a pleasure to be around when you show that you respect yourself. You're fun, you're hot, and that's what hurts. Guys love that and fall all over you, but then you don't hold them to respecting you."
"I know some of the things I've said tonight probably hurt, and I'm sorry, I don't want to hurt you. But I'll be damned if I'm gonna stand by and watch you hurt yourself and let boy after boy treat you like shit and continue to make you feel lower than a worm in the dirt. I fucking care."
It's 3:45 in the morning. I'm always awake late at night thinking about people I shouldn't be thinking about anymore. The people who moved on, left me behind for their new lives. I lay in bed, wishing I could understand what happened between us and why things had to fall apart like they did. It never occurs to me that I can't actually change those situations, I can't just fix things when I want. Those memories are in the past now. They're done.
Tonight, I went back and read my old blogs. All 50-something of them. I thought about the people I had been writing about and what happened after I wrote those. I thought about how some of them got better, and some of them got significantly worse.
And then I deleted some of the blogs.
It was nearly painless, seeing some of my writing disappear forever. But part of me realized that I don't have to care about those people anymore. They left. They're gone. And if they're still around, it's not in the way they used to be.
People change. Life changes. And face it, it really fucking sucks sometimes. But you have to keep moving. You have to keep going. You can't go back. And you can either accept that and move on, or you can dwell on it and get trapped emotionally.
I've spent years on that second option: dwelling on things that don't even matter anymore. But tonight, something snapped in my brain. I realized I can't keep doing this to myself. I keep getting hurt because of things that ended a long time ago and I have no one to blame for it but myself.
"You have really awful timing, you know that?" He asked me, as his mouth formed a slight smile.
I looked down at my feet and responded, "Yeah. That's just how my life is, I guess."
The middle of a parking lot at 1:30AM on a Sunday night was probably not the best time to have this conversation, but it needed to happen. It was cold enough that I could see our breaths as we spoke.
"Seriously, though. What am I supposed to do?" This time, he did not smile.
I continued looking at my feet and leaning against my car. I had no words, because he was right. What was he supposed to do? He's been seeing this other girl since August, and now I had admitted my feelings for him.
"You know I've kind of been waiting for you to do this for months, right?" He was becoming more angry. "And now, all of a sudden, I'm involved with someone else and you decide that this is the perfect time to finally give me what I've wanted for all this time."
I couldn't move. Just stood there. Looking at the cold, dark pavement.
"You know damn well I'd rather be with you than her, and you decide you want this now, of all times? Are you fucking kidding me?"
I don't think I've ever heard less noise than I did in that moment. The parking lot was completely silent. I could feel his eyes on me, but I couldn't bring myself to look back. I felt like such a terrible person, putting myself in another ridiculous situation with someone I care about and possibly ruining a relationship between two close friends of mine.
We stood there for a moment, not moving. Then he pulled me close to him and whispered, "Just give me some time, alright? Things will be okay."
When I'm home from school, I get to sleep in my own bed, I get to see my family, I get to eat home cooked food and go to actual restaurants, I get to sleep in as late as I want, I have an internet connection that actually works, and I get to be alone for a little while.
But as much as I love all of those things, the being alone part really fucking sucks late at night.
Like right now.
I always end up wanting to talk to the people who don't want me in their lives anymore, or the people who used to care so much about me but don't anymore, or the people who I used to be so close to but drifted away from.
And tonight, I didn't talk to any of those people. I wanted to. God, I wanted to so bad. Just to see their names light up my phone or hear their voices one more time. That's all I wanted.
Instead, I turned my phone off.
Instead, I'm going to put on my favorite t-shirt and sweatpants, turn the lights off, curl up under the covers of my own bed, and probably cry.
That's all I can let myself do anymore. I have to let go.
This morning, I woke up to a peace offering. That's really the only way I can think of to describe it. It was from someone I hadn't spoken to in nearly a year, and had no intentions of speaking to again. But there was her name on my messages list.
"I don't want you going the rest of your life thinking I'm not okay with you." That's really what it came down to.
I sat there on the floor of my best friend's dorm room, just staring at my phone. I didn't know what to think or say. What do you say to someone who is trying to make things at least a little better months after we nearly ruined each other's lives? What is the right thing to do? Do you even want things to get better? Do you want this person back in your life, especially after what happened last time?
I have no idea. I don't think anyone could know the right answer.
46 degrees. That's what the thermometer read tonight when I got in my car.
Being home. Feeling the frigid breeze through my hoodie. Driving to the same places I used to go to all the time. Listening to the music I loved this time two years ago.
It felt right. And then it also made me want to cry.
I miss too many things and people I shouldn't think about anymore.
Everything that you do
Keeps me running back to you
I've spent the past year thinking about you. I used to think about how you tell me you love me and how much you miss me when you don't see me for a while. How it feels to fall asleep and wake up in your arms. How much I love your beautiful eyes and adorable smile.
I used to think about how we all knew you had feelings for me and were too afraid to do anything about it, but it didn't really matter because we spent so much time together.
Now, I think about how awful you are to me. How you replaced me without any second thoughts. How you tell lies about me to make yourself come off as a better person. How I should have listened to everyone when they told me to let you go months ago.
I'm at the point now where I don't need you anymore. I haven't for a while.
But then there are mornings like this when I've been up all night, and I look outside and see the sun rising, and I can't help but think about how much better it would be if you were there with me.
I've been writing a lot this summer. Mostly because I've been pretty much completely alone. My friends have been too busy to see me. Or maybe they just don't want to see me. I don't know. I kind of just stopped asking. Either way, I've spent most of my time alone in my room, thinking.
The past few months have been littered with poor decisions, illness, and just plain bad luck. And it seems to never end.
I will be ending my summer with a funeral for my grandmother.
A few months ago, she fell in church and had to spend two weeks in a nursing home. After that, she was getting sicker and sicker. About a week ago, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctors told her there wasn't much they could do for her, as she was too weak for treatment to have any effect. On Thursday morning, her nurse went to her house and found that she could hardly speak or move, so she was taken to the emergency room. Yesterday, I drove two hours south to see her for the last time. My dad called today to tell me the news.
She was the only grandparent I have had consistent contact with my whole life. She was even one of the main reasons we moved to Georgia five years ago.