20 Something: Stop, Don’t Stop, Maybe Stop?

Working a ten hour shift and getting off at 7am is not fun. Getting pancakes after that shift is fun. Doing so with your ex is confusing. That was my morning yesterday.

Exhausted and starving from being at work overnight (something I’ve never done before), I wanted IHOP with a burning passion. For some reason, while texting this guy the night before, I had invited him to join me. Of course, I didn’t think he would actually do it. But apparently he really does want to try being friends again, so he came.

I sat in the booth across from him, sipping cream with a little coffee and trying to figure out who the hell I was having breakfast with. He looked like the ungroomed version of my former live-in love, and he even sounded like him. But I alternated between not knowing what to say and not caring to speak. There were times when I wondered how I ever dated him, times when I seriously disliked him, but most of the time, I just didn’t know him.

We lingered over a second cup of coffee, but very soon, I needed to get to my bed. Exhaustion was setting in rapidly, and I expected to become delusional at any moment. I sped to my car after paying for my breakfast. It was an awkward exit.

Somehow, after a few hours of sleep and some soul-searching, I ended up with him again at the lake just outside of the city. I wanted to see the stars. He wanted to open up to me. He wanted to… Quite frankly I didn’t know what he wanted. I’m still not sure. Whatever our separate motives, we stood on an empty boat dock (well, it was empty after we accidentally scared away the couple having a romantic evening out there) and looked at the stars. We talked. I don’t even know what about now. I taught him how to two-step. I waltzed in a circle around him. We did the line dance to Copperhead Road. The stars disappeared behind the clouds, and it got cold. We went to my place and watched both of The Lost Boys movies back to back.

I wish I had some poignant thought to close this with. I wish I had some clarity into things. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know why I’m doing these things. I don’t know why he has texted me everyday for the past week. At some point I thought “Well, we can’t go back, but maybe we can start over?” But I don’t believe that’s what he wants. There is a dark little voice whispering to me now that he’s just lonely and I’m convenient. I can’t decide if I should squash that little voice or take its half-understood advice.

Maybe being in your early 20s is all about being confused really. In two weeks, I will be 23, and every time I think I’ve figured out something about life, five more things pop up to taunt me with their inexplicable nature. In a way, it’s kind of fun, though. I told him earlier that Everything is worth celebrating. So let’s celebrate. Here’s to being young, alive, educated, employed, not homeless, and generally happy. I’ll drink to that any night.

Random photo: Whatever weirdness I let my ex put me through, at least I’ve got an awesome roomie who knew exactly what to get me for Christmas.


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