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Trading Places

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side”. At least that’s what we’d like to think. We’ve all had that moment of weakness where we want someone else’s life, or at least just a taste of it. We’ve all wanted to trade places with someone else because jealousy is just a natural feeling to anyone with a pulse. You try to listen to others when they tell you the grass isn’t always greener, you just have to water your own grass. But you can’t help but wonder what life would be like in someone else’s shoes.

There are many times in my life where I have often made bad decisions. I say something I shouldn’t say, do something I shouldn’t do, go somewhere I shouldn’t go. But, when I have the angst, I feel like I need to act on whatever that something is. If I don’t, I feel like it will continue to build up in my chest and I could explode at any moment (most of the time, at the wrong moment) from the anxiety and pressure of wanting to release and let this “something” be free! And thus, my life motto begins to burst at the seams: “what is life without risk?” This is probably one of those times where I shouldn’t say anything, but this is a part of my life, so…..

I have a story I want to share. I’m not sharing it because I’m looking for a reaction. I’m simply sharing it because I’ve always wanted to talk about it, but up until now, I’ve never felt the need to share. I could probably still keep it to myself, but the reason I started this blog was to share my truth and my experiences. I’m sure there is someone out there who has gone through similar experiences and can appreciate learning that they aren’t the only ones. You’re not alone! It’s therapeutic for me to speak my truth and that’s really been my mantra for 2016. This post is going to be written a little differently than the norm. I am going to write it as if I am telling a story of something that happened in my life, to one of my good girlfriends; that way the words flow easier and it doesn’t feel like I am stretching to make the words come out the right way (so that I’m understood and not misconstrued) and it makes sense. For the sake of discretion, I won’t mention his name. I will simply refer to him as “he”. So, here’s the story:

Growing up, I’ve always been able to make friends easily. I don’t know if it’s my outgoing personality or the fact that I attract all kinds of people from all walks of life. But my group of friends are very diverse and surprisingly, I’m able to adapt to all of them because I have always been an open book. When I was in high school, my friends were very different from each other. That’s what I loved about them. I’ve met people whom I would normally never interact with under different circumstances. One friend who I became close to has become a lifelong friend-thus far. I don’t know how we became friends, because we didn’t really share any mutual friends, but we did. We clicked. It could have been because we had class across the hall from each other and would often chat it up in the hallway before the bell rang. But the exact details of how we even started talking to begin with are real blurry, all these 16 years later-LOL. Anywho, it was always fun to chit-chat with him because he was a breath of fresh air. He was very different from the friends I already had, but not in a bad way. I had never met someone who wasn’t as wild and crazy as my friends and me. He was always cool, calm and collected. He seemed to have his head on straight and wasn’t scattered all over the place like most teenage boys. Because he seemed to be so put together, it was kind of intimidating….

I always tell him that I felt like I was the heathen and he was the good boy who was more into religion. I felt like I was the devil’s spawn trying to infiltrate! In his words, I looked up to him! Hahaha (insider), but what it really boiled down to was: I put him at a different standard than anyone else I had ever met. I respected him. I respected our friendship and I respected what he was all about, which to me, was being focused and not worrying about what was going on with everything surrounding him. I grew quite fond of him. Maybe a little too fond. But, again, he wasn’t worried about what was going on around him, so I don’t think he ever knew…even to this day. We used to write notes back and forth and I would get all giddy…don’t judge me, I had a little school girl crush! But it didn’t do me any good because I never said anything. Everyone around me seemed to pick up on it…except him. And that was fine. I didn’t really want him to know. That sounds weird, but because he was so different, I thought saying something would fall on deaf ears because I felt that I wasn’t good enough for him to even bring it up. I was so scared! So, that’s how I went through the rest of my high school life, crushing and being giddy, but too much of a punk to say anything.

After high school, we stayed in touch. We checked up on each other from time to time. I was bad at calling and keeping in touch, but he was good at calling to see how I was. It was always a surprise to hear from him. Our conversations were always interesting, to say the least. After a while, the phone conversations turned to emails and soon after, we kind of lost touch. Then magically, I was at the bowling alley (because my Mom bowled in a league) and I looked down the lanes only to see him bowling with a group of people. I was so excited! I hadn’t talked to him in a long time and suddenly, there we were, in the same place at the same time. What a coincidence. As excited as I was, being that shy person I am when it comes to him, I didn’t want to just walk up to him and start a conversation, especially because I didn’t want to be rude, considering he was there with other people. But at some point, we ran into each other in the arcade and we picked up in conversation like we never skipped a beat. He asked what had been going on in my life and I asked the same of him. After a few minutes of talking, he told me some really great news; he had gotten married! It was such a bittersweet conversation because I was extremely happy for him! At the same time, I was completely heartbroken. It was the same as when I found out my favorite fictional character on Grey’s Anatomy, Jackson Avery, married April Kepner. That was pure devastation for me. But just like Jackson and April, I knew marriage for him was inevitable, so I don’t know why I was shocked. I suppose it was more so unexpected than anything. But regardless, I couldn’t be selfish, so I was happy for him.

For years after the bowling alley run-in, we talked here and there. It wasn’t as often as before, and that was for no particular reason other than life happened and time got away. For the next few years I thought of him often and wondered what he was up to. I wanted to contact him, but I wanted to be respectful of his marriage. I was so envious of his wife and the fact that she was lucky enough to marry this man, who in my eyes was perfect. He was the epitome of perfection and what it meant to be a stand-up human being. I was so jealous. I often wished I could trade places. But just like that “the grass isn’t always greener” scenario I discussed earlier, I wondered if the vision I had of him would be better left as a fantasy. Although I would love to trade places with her, I wouldn’t want to taint the way I envisioned him. That isn’t to say in reality, he is the opposite of what I imagined; I don’t know that and will never know. But this is what I have to tell myself so I don’t torture myself every day for the rest of my life! I can’t say that I kick myself over the situation because it’s not like me opening my mouth back in high school would change a thing. Just because I felt a certain way doesn’t mean it was reciprocated. But in my mind he’s the one who got away…..I say in MY mind LOL, because it has to be a two-way street for that to work. But nonetheless, that’s what I’ll continue to tell myself. I have such a big mouth about everything else, but not when it comes to this.

So….that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That’s my truth and one of the things in my life that has taught me to be more open and bold, no matter the circumstance. It taught me to be gutsy and fearless. With anything in life, if you want something and you ask for it, the worse answer you can get is “no”. And if that’s the answer you receive, it’s not the end of the World! So yes, I’ve fantasized about trading places and I’ve wished my actions would have been differently. But at the end of the day, things work out the way they are meant to work out. God has a plan, life is already predestined, you just have to go along for the ride. You have to remember that trading places won’t change what’s already destined to be, no matter how much you wish, pray or hope it could. 😊

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