It's OK To Care Even When You're Told You Shouldn't

It's OK To Care Even When You're Told You Shouldn't

For those of us who leave our hearts on our sleeves
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I shouldn’t care. I really shouldn’t, and I know that because I have thought about every single reason as to why I shouldn’t care, yet I do. It hurts more than anything I have ever understood, still I know I shouldn’t care. So, then someone please explain to me why I do.

I sit there, and you look to me as someone differently than I see myself in your life. You tell me I’m special and that to me means I still mean something, but you can’t tell me what I am to you anymore. You can’t tell me why I am special. I ask, and it looks like I annoy you; it looks like I don’t have the same sentiment from you. I know I should have seen this coming, but yet I still nodded my head and kissed you goodbye. I just wonder if you will be as happy to see me as I am to see you. I wonder if you actually miss me. I wonder if you see me at all. I know you see me, but I wonder if I look to the same to you. You don’t tell me you see a future with me anymore or that you want to do all these things with me anymore. It looks like I’m pulling hair when I ask you to do something. I wonder if you lie to me as not to hurt my feelings. I think in your mind that even though you are a nice person you are bored with me and you don’t know how to tell me.

I am 110% not a girl that sits around waiting for a boy to fawn over. Yet here I am. Sitting, knowing that I shouldn’t give a damn. And trust me I have tried, but my world has turned upside down. You left for a week and with no contact I tried I completely tried not to care, but the nights I tried I couldn’t help but care more. You have given me very little and most recently it seems like you don’t see that I hurt like a normal person. I can hold things back, smile, and look at you, but how am I supposed to be that person when it seems like I’m not valid in your life in any way, shape, or form?

This is not fully my fault or your fault. We have both had a part, and I have always seen it that way. I would never say that it was more one person's fault than the other's, but I for the love of god hope that you see it that way too. I want respect. I can never express how or why I feel like I do, but I do. I may not be great at expressing them, but I do have them. So, I would ask that if you have reservations, seconds thoughts, or whatever else, just tell me. I am your friend first and foremost.

Call me immature. Call me crazy. Call me whatever you want but I take saying "I love you" very seriously because not a lot of people get to hear it from me, and you have. I’m sitting here waiting, and I agree that I am choosing to do this. I will wait, and I will try to understand what goes on in your life because I don’t always know what it is to have your life. I do take that into consideration for you; I wish I could feel as if you could give me the same consideration. I know life can be stressful, but it seems like when I’m talking that I’m never as stressed as you are, or things aren’t as difficult for me. I don’t ever want to compare lives. Everything in life is hard but I just look for compassion. I look for you not to look at me with the "I’m bored" expression on your face. If I am wrong, please tell me because I want nothing more than to be wrong. This is what it feels like to me. It is definitely disheartening to say all these things and only hear "I’m sorry," and that’s the last of it. It is what it is, and I will get over it and you. I will go on with my day, but what else am I supposed to do? This is hard, and you don’t seem to give me much. I love you. I miss you. I just had to say something.

We have all had moments like this whether it is an old relationship, a family member, or estranged friend. We attempt to hold on to what was for as long as we possibly can. When we hold on for too long, we are told we should stop caring. We understand that these people may not fit into our lives, but there is no one way to really let go of what happened or who they were. I’m here to tell you that it's okay that you feel this way. Much like mourning, there is no one way or time frame in which you are supposed to get over something this significant. Caring is what makes us human. For those of us who leave our hearts on our sleeves, it's harder. Just know that no matter who you are, life does get easier and it's okay to care even when others tell you it’s not.

Cover Image Credit: Shannon Smirnow

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Finding Your Niche In College Starts With Finding You

Attempting to be someone you are not for the sake of having company only hurts you in the long run.

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Transitioning to college is hard enough, but trying to find a place where you feel "at home" can make this time even more stressful. Here are some tips on how to find that place/group of people that make you feel like sunshine.

I have always felt a little out of place wherever I went, but it wasn't until college that I realized that this feeling was so special and more people should capitalize on their differences rather than conforming to a certain mold. Transitioning to college and finding your place among so many people can be very overwhelming. The added stress of attempting to be someone you aren't for the sake of having company adds a whole other layer to this problem. The easiest thing for me to do in any situation like this is trying to make the setting a little smaller. One of the most obvious ways to do this on a college campus is by getting involved!

It is inevitable that within the first few weeks of the semester at any college, there will be an organization fair. This is a chance to scope out all that your school has to offer! Chances are there will be some type of group or club that lines up with your interests. Most college campuses have extracurricular opportunities ranging from social sororities and fraternities, professional ones, intermural sports, vocal groups, and so many more. You are more than likely going to find some type of organization that you can call home if you seek them out. Joining an organization is such an easy way to interact with people with similar interests. An interest can bring two completely different people together and create some beautiful friendships. It is situations like this where it is important to be your authentic self and mingle with those you share something with.

That being said, finding your place in college isn't always about being involved. Getting involved on campus is just one of the simplest ways to start. There are so many other opportunities on campus to meet people whether it be among others in your residence hall, people in your classes, or just people you find yourself stumbling upon! Finding people to spend your time with is easy; however, you should make it a point to surround yourself with people who bring you up.

Once you have a set group of people that you find yourself spending time with, it is important to pay attention to the way you feel when you're around them. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or get the impression that you need to change something in order to "fit in," chances are the people you're around are not the best for you or your self-esteem. It is important to surround yourself with people who allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin. That being said, you also want people who encourage you to make good decisions and help you reach your goals. People who encourage toxic behavior in your life might be fun in the short term, but in the grand scheme of things, you need to be surrounded by people with your best interest in mind. Essentially, surrounding yourself with people who influence you to be your best self is one of the best decisions you can make short and long term.

The key to all of this is being conscious of your own feelings and needs. Pay attention to who reaches out to you to hang out. Notice the ones who pay attention to you as you speak when it feels like no one is listening. More than anything, be conscious of who you're with and where you're at when you experience moments of pure happiness. Life is too short to waste your precious time on people who don't build you up. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with more moments of pure joy than self-hate? Start living for you!

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