This past Saturday was one of the best nights I've had with a friend in a really long time. Beautiful, yet bittersweet all at the same time. It was the last time we could see each other before he leaves for college on Tuesday. And we spent hours just talking; staring up at the sky in wistful teenage wonderment. You know, real snapshot-of-a-teen-movie type stuff. It was one of a select few moments in my life that I can honestly say I have memorized. And that moment came at a really great time, because it followed the creation of yet another shit stain on the underpants that are my life. Long story short, earlier on in the week marked the end of a prospective relationship that I really had high hopes for. You could say I'm a little bitter.

I've been screwed over by a good may people in my life, and I'm afraid it's turned me into a terrible cynic. I've come to believe that real, honest-to-goodness love only exists on the basis of sheer dumb luck. And luck is something that I have yet to come by in recent months. I'm a firm believer in the beauty of blind optimism, but sometimes it's easy to forget how painful it is when that optimism doesn't give results. But even with that being said, this newfound cynicism of mine has really got me thinking. When someone hurts you, it's easy to just say, "Screw them," and be done with it. I know it'd probably be okay to say that about the guy who got my hopes up and then so artfully shot them down. But the very simple fact is that I hate losing people.

It's both a blessing and a curse, being the bigger person. I know I should probably be thankful that I can always find the good in people, but it really sucks sometimes. In the case of this most recent guy, I'm locked in some never ending battle between wanting to justify his actions and wanting to hate him for them. Sometimes I just want to pick a side and stick with it, you know? But I'll say it as many times as I have to, I really hate losing people. I can't just "be done" with someone that I used to talk to every day; that's not me. It's not easy trying to see the brighter side of things all the time. But hating people is just so damn draining. As much as I want to sometimes, I just can't do it.

Love is a weird, funny, beautiful, and terrifying thing. I spent almost two years with somebody and now feel nothing for them. I talked to someone for a month, and felt more than I ever did in those two years. Love is nothing but good luck hitting the right people at a convenient time. Days and months don't mean shit if the person you're with can make an hour feel like a minute. I only went on a few dates with this person, but the month that I spent with him was so much happier than those two years ever were. I didn't think that at first. But you don't realize how much you cared about someone until you stop and see how lonely you are when they're not there.

I didn't have that many friends in elementary school. And there was no real reason for that other than the fact that I just preferred being alone. During all that free time, I started listening to people. I'd stick my nose behind a book and just listen. And - about a month in - I knew both sides of every argument in class. It started out as a game for me, a way to pass the time during indoor recess when I couldn't get to my friends in other classes. But once high school hit, all those years of listening made me realize something. No person is every fully, completely bad. In an argument, everyone likes to think that they're the victim, being shamelessy wronged by a truly evil person. But we all have reasons for the things that we do. So - while I may not understand why this guy broke things off with me - I can't hate him for it. I know that what he did made sense to him, and I know that he's still a good person.

You can't erase time. And I really think it's a crime if you try. I relish every failed relationship in my life for all the seemingly insignificant good things that came out of them, and I like to think it's humbled me. I'm not going to hate someone that I used to care about. Now, that is so ridiculously hard to do sometimes, but hating people is easy. I can't forget the fact that I've been hurt by someone. But I also can't forget the fact that I started caring about them for a reason, and those reasons don't ever disappear. Good times are things that should never be forgotten. And if someone does try to forget, maybe those good times weren't as good as you thought.

The past week I've spent dealing with this failed relationship hasn't exactly been easy for me. But I guess the one good thing that's come out of it is - with all the thinking that I've been doing - I at least know what kind of person I am now. And I get some consolation knowing that I would probably be a lot worse off right now if I hated every person that screwed me over. I know full well that the Gods of Good Fortune haven't exactly been that kind to me lately. But I haven't done any weird shit to my hair yet, so I guess I'm a little stronger than I thought. Before my friend left for college, he told me that it was a personal mission of his to be a bright spot in someone else's day, because you have no way of knowing what they've already been through. Well you know what you've been through, so you have to be your own bright spot. That's how I try to live my life, at least. I've had a bad time lately when it comes to guys, but things will come around eventually. All it takes is time.