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  • Lotus Magazine MC

yours truly, caroline

One thing I have always struggled with is my feelings. I think everyone has their own way of expressing their emotions to people, and I think it’s one of the most interesting things about us as a society. The idea that everyone essentially has their own love language fascinated me, yet I never saw where I fit into the mold. My walls have been built up so high that I no longer saw myself as someone able to pursue a relationship with anyone, let alone have a specific way to love someone. I spent a period of my life thinking I was the most unlovable person. I know now that it’s not completely true, and I also know there are tons of other people out there who feel the same way.

I avoided being involved with anyone in order to put myself in a position to never be hurt again. It seems that my heart got broken years ago and I never fully recovered, so I never wanted to put myself out there again. It almost became a routine, an instinct to put on the ‘hard-to-get front’ everytime I liked a boy, or someone had interest in me. I sit and think of all the things I regret because of how I’ve put my feelings on the back burner. From someone who has never actually been in a relationship, I’ve always felt my opinion on love was invalidated. I thought that because I never fully felt the bounds of a relationship, I didn’t have any reason to feel a certain way about love. But I realized that you don’t need to be in the typical relationship setting to feel like your heart is broken or trust is severed. Hurt comes in different forms, and I know firsthand the intensity of hurt from something that hasn’t really reached the point of being labeled ‘love’.

Love and any kind of romantic interactions wasn’t where my struggles with feelings ended. I’ve always felt like a burden to everyone around me, and tolerating me was just an easy way out of committing to me. Empty rooms scare me just as much as crowded ones. Conversations have always felt weird to me. I always wondered why I could never connect with anyone. I feared physical and emotional connection because I felt my words already made me vulnerable. I didn’t want there to be any more part of me available to be hurt. I was never willing to put myself out there and I set myself back, missing out on so much. I always thought it was just a maturity issue, but now that I’m 20 years old, I’m starting to think it’s just a personal struggle. It’s nothing I am truly ashamed of, but after a while, the comments people seem to make about it have gotten to me.

I made the decision to transfer in the middle of my freshman year, and it is one of the things I am most proud of myself for committing to. I was thrown into a completely new environment of people, many that already knew each other. It felt like a clean slate. There was what seemed like an unlimited amount of possibilities for a new relationship. Even the idea of new friendships excited me. For the first time I didn't want to shut myself out. I craved the feeling of something new.

I opted to continue my ‘hard-to-get’ mentality for most of my freshman year. But, I felt myself changing. I began to feel that excitement and hope again, the same feelings I came into college with. I let my guard down here and there. I wasn’t hurt, but I was reminded of the idea that not everyone is made for you, and not everyone will always stick around. But it’s not always because they don’t wanna stick around. Sometimes things come into life to remind you of what can be. That’s what I think of when I think of the Spring of my freshman year.

Now a year later, a completely new and changed 20 year old, I’ve taken a new perspective on the way I let myself be seen. I will still always be viewed as the ‘cold-hearted’ and ignorant to any love kind-of girl. It hurts to be seen that way sometimes, but I know deep down that’s not who I really am. Knowledge of my own feelings is a much better realization rather than basing my own thoughts on what everyone around me sees. I’ve started to open up more, not because I think I need to, but because I want to. I still don’t see myself with anyone for a long time, but day-by-day I am getting better at it all. I’ve realized I don’t need to protect my heart by pretending I don’t have one.

Yours truly,

Caroline

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