I’ve recently been having a bit of a difficult time, which the more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems.
Things are generally going very well for me.
I have millions of readers. I’ve recently received funding for two different projects. I live in the greatest city in the world with more beautiful women than you could count.
Everything is going well, sort of. Everything, except the one thing that matters most to me — this one girl.
Nothing gives you energy or drains you of it the way love does. When things are going great, you feel full of life, vibrant, ready to take on the world.
But when things aren’t going well, everything seems like a chore. Everything feels like it takes an enormous effort to accomplish.
Waking up and getting out of bed in the morning can even seem like a daunting task.
When it comes to love, if it isn’t reciprocated — even if only not to an equal extent — it’s your own personal hell.
I’ve managed to, once again, find myself in the same situation with, once again, the same individual, and I just can’t do it again.
There is only one thing worse than coming to grips with the fact that the one person in your life who is your priority only sees you as an option.
And it’s coming to grips with the fact that he or she sees you as option B.
It hurts worse than anything.
Love is the ego’s best friend and worst enemy. It can both reinforce all the great things we believe about ourselves and go on to tear it all down.
When you love someone, you are opening yourself up to him or her. You are making yourself vulnerable, showing this person a side of you very few people ever get to see.
You are basically offering yourself up as a sacrifice, hoping this person realizes he or she loves you just as much and decides to keep you alive.
But when you come to realize this person doesn’t love you the way you love him or her, this person means the world to you, and to him or her, you’re just an option — a possibility he or she isn’t even hoping for — it feels like this person laid you down on a table and drove a blade through your heart.
It’s the most embarrassing feeling in the world.
Our egos have the incredible ability to hurt in multiple ways, simultaneously. Yay.
While you may find yourself heartbroken after finding yourself in such a situation, you’re also likely to feel incredibly embarrassed.
People are afraid to say how they feel about each other, clearly for good reason.
I’m not sure how it is individuals can believe love to be some ethereal, tangible thing when it’s obviously possible for one person to love another without the other reciprocating that love.
And when that love isn’t reciprocated, you feel embarrassed. You put yourself out there, made yourself vulnerable, only to be told you’re being silly, basically imagining a love that doesn’t exist.
You may not literally be getting laughed at, but it sure as hell feels that way. You gambled, and you lost.
And the worst part is the one person you want to appear strongest to sees you as weak.
It makes you question your self-worth.
You may believe you’re an amazing individual. You may be right. Yet when we find our love is rejected or — even worse — we’re a secondary option, it makes us wonder if we’re as awesome as we believe we are.
Of course, we all have things about ourselves we’re proud of and other things we’re less than proud of.
Being told you’re not good enough will make you recheck yourself, but what you’re likely to conclude is the problem isn’t actually you. It’s the other person.
But coming to such a conclusion will take time — and the time it takes to arrive at such a conclusion won’t be pleasant.
Your future and your life have been completely altered, and it’s scary.
I’ve spent the last four years of my life trying to become the right person for — whom I now believe to be — the wrong person. It’s scary.
Most people won’t find themselves in my exact situation, but regardless of how long you’ve been pursuing this individual, how much you’ve dedicated yourself, your life, what difficult decisions you’ve had to make, the fact is that you created a future in your head for the both of you — and now that future is gone.
Now you have to start almost from scratch, heading in a direction you aren’t yet sure is the right one.
It makes you question your perception of the world, of life and of your personal reality.
Love has a way of tinting all that we see with a rosier hue. When we do things in the name of love, everything has a meaning, a purpose, a reason.
When we lose that purpose, the rest of our world seems to lose purpose.
Having been in similar circumstances before, I understood the chances of failure. I understood how likely or unlikely it was for things to work out.
My world wasn’t built upon the idealistic views of love they were once built upon — the views most people build their concept of love upon.
My world remains intact because I saw and calculated the risk of failure. I knew what I was getting myself into and built my reality around that knowledge.
Most people, sadly, are completely blindsided by such heartbreak.
They never see it coming, and when they get hit, they get hit so hard, their world literally disappears.
The only good news is if this ever happens to you again, you’ll be better prepared for it.
It pisses you off and, in a way, motivates you.
Should it? Maybe. Maybe not.
Maybe you should let it go — let this person go. Maybe you should suppress your emotions or reason around him or her. But, f*ck it.
You have a right to be pissed off, and there is no good reason for you not to allow yourself to be pissed off.
Anger can be an incredible motivator; you just need to be sure not to direct that energy at yourself — or at the one who rejected you.
You already have enough on your plate, and the one who hurt you isn’t worth the trouble.
If you really want to get back at this person, create a life for yourself this person wishes he or she was part of.
It makes you realize you need to slow down, retrace your steps, regroup and redirect.
The worst thing you could possibly do after discovering, to the person you love, you’re only an option is to try and distract yourself completely. That isn’t what you ought to do.
If you need a few days of rampaging then be my guest, but be sure to slow down afterward and deal with the situation.
Slow down. Find the lessons that need to be learned. Take some time to get reacquainted with the world around you, the physical world that exists outside of your head and move on.
It won’t be easy, but life isn’t easy. It never will be. All you can do is continue working toward a better life, a better reality, a better world. And, of course, do your best to enjoy every step along the way.
Never allow yourself to be someone’s option — especially not his or her second option.
Have some respect for yourself and find someone who understands your true worth, how you deserve to be loved.
You could spend years dwelling in your misery and heartbreak, or you can pick yourself up and focus on other areas of your life that matter — focus on yourself; as long as you continue becoming better, eventually you’ll find someone who wants nothing more than to love you.
When that day comes, the journey that got you there will all make sense.
by Paul Hudson