Everywhere I go, there is a reminder of lost opportunities or failures. My life is outlined by men I miss or men that miss me. In my bedroom, down the street, downtown, at the university, in the county, in America, Finland, Russia, Germany, and Amsterdam. It is a universal theme of wanting and waiting and failing to see eye-to-eye.

I’d like to think I’ve grown from these situations. In some ways I have. I know how to spot manipulation and emotional abuse. I know to say know when they keep pressing on. I know that negotiation is the best thing next to communication. I know that I’m supposed to be loved for who I am.

But who am I?

That’s the thing: I lose myself too often. My whole life is revolved around trying to find an identity; my writing exemplifies that. When I feel the slightest bit out of it, I run away. And thus a guy is left wondering where it all went wrong.

I want to find myself with a guy. I want to be on the same pathway as him. I want to learn new things and discover more and more about each other and ourselves. I want someone to inspire me to be a better person.

But I can’t rely on that guy to be a better person or to find more about myself. I need to rely on me. It’s a paradox and a looping route of desire -> solitude -> desire…

I thought I knew who I was in my one long-term relationship, but I was young and wanted freedom to explore a little more. I regretted it since, because I’ve been looking for that connection every since.

This new guy, I found it with him. I haven’t felt so infatuated and fluttery in years. When I woke up to him, when I could nuzzle up closer to him throughout the night, I couldn’t have felt more welcome or beautiful. I didn’t feel like I needed to impress or that I needed to change. It was amazing.

And then slowly things became awkward and now I find myself hating everything I do. I go, “That’s why he doesn’t like you,” and, “You’re not good enough.” How much more immature can I get? How far backward have I gone in my journey of self-love and self-discovery?

And so now I reject him, too. I say he’s not good enough for me and I turn tables to make myself feel better. But I’m still left watching girl-power movies, wishing that I could have that connection. Wishing that growing up didn’t have to interfere with romance. Wishing that I could find someone on my path.

All these men – or rather, some boys – scattered across the world… I’ve learned from them. They are each a star, collectively forming a constellation of my past and the lessons I’ve learned. But it’s not they who define me. It’s the fact that I have traveled and that I’ve walked along this earth. They are simply people I’ve encountered, but they were not on the same path. That man is yet to come, I hope. And I hope by then, I’ll know just a little more about myself.


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