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He Was a Chapter in My Book and I Was a Sentence in His (Falling in Love Experiences)

No matter how much we try to avoid love as young adults, it always seems to catch up to us. We attempt to conform to hustle culture by trying to stay busy. This keeps us from thinking about a current relationship issue we may have going on in our lives. Yet the reality is, no matter how much we try to avoid it, the topic of love and relationships will always come up. Whether you are in your living room watching Netflix, in the forest on a camping trip, on an airplane 3,000 feet in the air, someone will mention something romance-related. Movies, books, and songs ooze of it and we are culprits of avoiding our emotions, especially those felt during our first heartbreak.

My experience of first falling in love was not an easy experience or one that ended particularly well. In fact, the complete opposite happened. It ended terribly and it could not have gone any worse in my opinion. Its outcome was honestly a 2010’s Taylor Swift song (“Haunted” comes into mind). In a society that normalizes the bottling of emotions, I am here to say that something going wrong while falling in love is completely okay. I was fairly young, 16 about to turn 17. It was my junior year of high school, perhaps the busiest year in terms of workload that I had ever had in my life. I first experienced the strange feeling of euphoria that came with falling in love during a group project in one of my classes. I did not know how to identify the feeling at first, so it scared me. Sure, I had liked other boys and been upset about other boys before, but all those experiences did not feel comparable to what I felt for him.

The amount of anxiety I felt around this one particular individual was immeasurable. However, I had to keep my cool because I was forced to work with him in class every day. I finally mustered the courage to start talking to him at the end of the school year but unfortunately, he was a senior leaving for college. Still, something in me wanted to get to know him — even though to this day I still have not figured out the purpose or meaning of this connection. It was going really well the first two weeks of talking and he seemed genuinely into me, plus we shared the same sense of humor. After having a nice hang out with him, which none of us officially proclaimed as a “date” due to the anxiety it would bring us both, I had to leave for a family vacation. I had many negative emotions towards said family vacation and I had my reasons. One of the biggest reasons, however, was that I would not see him again for a while since when I came back he would already be in college. During this family vacation, 17-year-old me decided to do the only thing I knew at the time, self-sabotage. Not the best at handling my emotions, I acted in an immature manner towards him and myself, ruining what was supposed to be a good connection. Thinking back, we both had some fault in this whole situation and continue to carry the burden. We never got any closure and our conflicts were never resolved. Nonetheless, after some time passed, I had the mental clarity to give myself proper closure and fully move on.

I would be lying if I said I do not still think of him. Even though he was part of my life for a short while, he did leave an impact and I still think about how he is and what he is up to, and there is no shame and guilt in that. Not every experience where you fall in love will end positively and it takes time to heal from any negative experiences or relationship trauma. It is completely normal to still miss and think about a person who has left your life while respecting your boundaries. Experiences are meant for us to grow as individuals, each packed with a lesson to be learned.

Featured Image Via Gemma Chua-Tran

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