*opens door, changes into a cardigan and sneakers*
Well hello, boys and girls. It’s good to see you again. I know it’s been a while. I missed you and I hope that you missed me too (don’t respond to that, Cheekie). I hope that you’re ready for a story. You are? Well that’s just splendiferous!
*hits the DVR rewind button to two years earlier*
The story starts about the time I began my new
prison term life in Pittsburgh. I was still getting settled into my first apartment, learning the layout of the city, and trying not to get killed by monkeys in my research lab (wait, I’m still doing that). Then one day, thanks almost entirely to the fact that my car battery died, I met this woman who was also a new graduate student in the city. We started hanging out a bit and became decent friends. I was attracted to her and almost went into pursuit mode, but something stopped me. It was a weird feeling that I had never experienced in undergrad. It actually took me a little while to figure it out.
I didn’t think I was good enough for her.
When I looked at her and how she seemed to have everything together and then looked at myself and how I was still learning the basics of living independently, I called off the dogs. That’s not what she needed. At least, that’s what I thought. Thinking back on that decision I made, it’s a little easier to see that while my reasoning made sense, it was still a cop out.
First of all, I shouldn’t be making decisions for her. In my mind, dating me at the state that I was in would have been a waste of her time. I didn’t want to bring my naiveté into her life. I felt like I would just slow her down. But how did I know that that’s how she felt? How did I know that she would have minded dating a skinny, slightly awkward Ethiopian who didn’t know the difference between a frying pan and a tablespoon? Was I really protecting her or just protecting myself from feeling embarrassed?
Secondly, I ignored the fact that since I liked and respected her, that she might inspire me to be better more effectively than I could inspire myself, as well as the possibility that she might want to be an active participant in the process. You obviously shouldn’t look towards a relationship to motivate you to improve yourself, but that doesn’t negate the fact that you push yourself a little bit harder when a person you like & respect is in a place in their adulthood that you want to be in.
After a while she became really busy and we didn’t talk or hang out that much. *hits “Back to Live” button on DVR* She’s been a lot more free now during the summer and we’ve been talking and hanging out a bit more. I still like her so I’m gonna see if she wants to come over for dinner or go to the Pittsburgh conservatory or something. I still don’t have my life together like I’d prefer, but why let this opportunity slip away again? For all I know, I may have sent myself to the friend-zone because of that decision years ago. But there’s only one way to find out.