The Tip of the Iceberg

There have been times in my life when I’ve said staunchly: I don’t want a boyfriend right now. Yup, there have. I’ve even doubled back and stressed: honestly, I’m serious. And then I’ve added: I’m not looking. (Just for good measure.) And, um, you better believe I was looking — under practically every chair.

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But for the first time, I don’t want a boyfriend right now feels pretty honest. I wrote yesterday’s post, and I realized how lucky I am to have met not one, but two people like that. And yes, it often felt like all the stars were going to align, and it was the end of the world as I knew it when they didn’t — both times. But the people in those stories…they don’t exist anymore. Not really. I can’t see how to work them into my new life, and it’s kind of hard to picture myself in theirs.

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You know, there is just the slightest possibility that I’m no longer heartbroken. That I might always love the first, and I might always treasure the second, and I might still want to cradle all of the mingled memories before I go to bed sometimes…but that what I really am is afraid. Afraid that there won’t ever end up being a third.

This is a working theory, so if I come at you with another sad song, then you can play this one back to me.

Remind me of this too, while you’re at it: There’s something kind of nice about making up my own world. (What’s in it, who’s in it, where it is now, where it could go soon.) And I mean, yes, this is also petrifying, and my life is in total upheaval right now. And I am going to have to cut a check — for half of my savings account — in 10 days.

But in spite of the all-too-real parts, there is something inside of me that says I would really just like to write. All the time. That if I did that, maybe I could write off this other voice, the one that says: this little hobby is REALLY not going to pay your rent, and you should hurry up and teach yourself SEO, and get on your feet, and go out and buy a pencil skirt. Or seven. The second voice is getting very loud. Hard to sleep, over her.

But luckily, nobody is saying that I should stop sitting in coffee shops, while I think these things over. It turns out that I love coffee shops! I mean I knew this, long ago, but now they’re just my favorite place to go.

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And this time, I’m not hoping for someone who might want to hook his arm around the back of my chair, and let me know when the coffee is just right, and get up for a napkin, and think to come back with a slice of carrot cake.

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Now I’m hoping to find you sitting in the window. And I want to feel a little unsure about hugging you hello. I want to spend about $2 on coffee, and about two hours on becoming your friend. I want to save up all of my social energy, and I want to spend it all on you.

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This friend-making thing — it’s the key to everything! How am I just learning this now? And how fun it is to meet someone like you — a little older, a little wiser, and a lot funnier.

You might not have all the same problems I do, but you also often wonder how on earth you have ended up where you are, doing what you’re doing. You also have this story about this one time you made bread, and it made me laugh so hard I had to start fanning my face. I am an ugly crier and a runaway train laugher. (Now you know.)

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You have more of an unflappable belief that something is going to work out. (Probably not the bread). Whether it’s in NYC, or Boston, or Philly, or Seattle, or the Middle of Nowhere.

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And you have a completely different view of me than I have of me, and that’s surprisingly nice. Even now that you now know that what you see on here is only the tip of the iceberg — that I am actually a complete and total disaster. And that earlier today I dropped a whole carton of eggs, and promptly burst into tears. Because that was my lunch, and at least four dinners, and I don’t own a mop. And that was my rug! My Ikea rug, hauled all the way back from hell, on the day I came closest to giving up and going home.

You managed to make me feel pretty delighted about the whole thing. And then I felt so completely sure about hugging you goodbye, and about doing this again, and about reaching out to someone else I’d like to get to know. I just love coffee shops.

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