The Pause Button
New York City. A city known for its hustle and bustle, a city known for being unapologetic for the millions here all striving to make their dreams come true. A city that at times can be the most exhausting place to live and in the same breath can be the most exciting place to be. However, it isn’t just New York that is moving at a rapid pace, it’s the world. Everyday millions get up to start a day that is hopefully filled with accomplishments, success and purpose. If only in life there was a pause button that we could hit that could allow us to have a moment to relax, recharge and appreciate the things we already have in our lives. Maybe that’s what vacations are for. But until that day comes when there is such thing as a pause button for our lives, I guess the only we can do is take a mental pause and take a look around.
Things with the guy were going amazing. In my last entry, I left things off where we had our very first sleep over last Sunday and the next morning I left his apartment where he gave me a big hug and kiss then he said to me, “Let’s get together this weekend.” It was one of the best walk of shame’s I’ve ever had. I left feeling like a million bucks. We both got past our tiny meltdowns and I felt like we were on the path to another fun weekend ahead. The rest of that day was spent writing and our usual text messages to each other. If I could hit the pause button and stay in that euphoria; I would have hit that button and never released it. I went to bed already excited that one day was down from the week and that we would be hanging out again over the weekend.
On Tuesday, the alarm went off and I jumped out of bed. Dare I say it, I was almost giddy. It felt good to check my emails for this blog and see the emails coming in saying things like, “I loved your last entry, I have a good feeling about this one.” Or, “Please keep up this energy because you deserve it.” It was the most amount of joyous emails that I received from around the world about this potential guy. I spent the entire day, responding to emails and it felt amazing to respond to every single one. I can honestly say, that ever since the blog has begun, it was this guy, this journey that I was on that I received the most overwhelming amount of love and it felt special.
Later on that day, it was your typical Tuesday just work and going to yoga after. I hadn’t heard from the guy at all that day, which was unusual but I didn’t think anything about it. So, I sent a text that said, “Hey you…how are you doing?” To which I got, “Hiya, I’m doing good. How is your day going?” All I could think to myself was, “Whew. I’m glad something didn’t shift between me leaving his apartment and today.” I told him that my day was going fine and that I was looking forward to yoga that evening. His next message to me was something that I wasn’t prepared for at all. It said, “Hey…we need to talk.” It was right then and there that I wish instead of hitting the pause button that I could hit the fast forward button instead.
My stomach sank and while I had no idea what we needed to talk about, the only response I could come back with was, “What.” The next two minutes was like waiting for test results from your doctor to come back, and then my phone alerted me that I had a message from the guy. I read it and there it went onto say that he likes me, in fact he likes me a lot and is probably making a huge fucking mistake by doing this but he feels we should be friends. I re-read the message just make sure I wasn’t thinking clearly. It was toward the end of the day and the only thing I could come up with to respond to his message was, “Ok.”
I know myself well enough that I would never beg anyone to stay with me. We all deserve to be with people that want to be with us. As I hit the send button, I could feel myself begin to cry and so I left my desk abruptly and walked out onto Fifth Avenue. I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to see any friends and as I stood there with the tears filling my eyes, I ran into St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I found a pew that was far in the back and I took my coat off and sat down. I had a feeling that I was going to be sitting there for awhile. As I sat there, with heavy tears pouring out of me; a very kind man handed me tissues and a smile to somehow tell me, “Whatever it is you are upset about, it’s going to be ok.” The truth was, I knew that it was going to be ok and the truth was, my feelings were hurt. I was blind-sided and there was nothing I could say or do to hit the rewind button. This entire incident just happened.
As the tears continued to flow, I felt my phone vibrate. It was the guy. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to read it because I was sure it was going to be a message with him telling me that I’m such a great guy and he wishes me the best. It was a message that I didn’t need or even want. I read the message and it said that he again knows he is making a huge mistake, that if for nothing else he really likes me and what he liked most was how thoughtful and kind of a person I am. He then said that if for whatever reason, some day he messages me that I will message him back for he wants me in his life still. My tears stopped. How dare he tell me these things and then still want to be my friend? I felt odd for texting while in church but I told him that I am not out looking for friends, I already have the most amazing friends anyone could ask for. I told him that while it was wonderful getting to know him, I appreciated all that he did for me and that I hope he honestly finds what he is looking for. I hit send and I wanted our communication to end there. I couldn’t handle anymore of the yo-yo messages. How could anyone actually say they know they are making a mistake and still move forward?
Once again, I felt my phone alert me that I had a message and it was from him. It said that he respected my wishes to not want to be friends and that he’s sorry. I told him that I appreciate him being sorry, that I will in fact miss him and to just stop messaging me.
His last response to me was, “I’m already missing you.”
It was a sentence that brought back my tears and I cried even harder. I couldn’t make any sense of what was going on and maybe that was the point. While it was short lived at least I knew that I shouldn’t be with someone that isn’t sure of wanting to be with me.
My emotions were starting to calm themselves when I felt my phone vibrate again. I didn’t want it to be him, I didn’t want to hear from him again. I looked and it was from my eight year old niece. She said, “Uncle Alex, I love you and sometimes I take the snow globe of the city that you gave me and shake it and make a wish for all dreams to come true.” Her message came from out of the blue but maybe not. Maybe somehow she knew that I wasn’t at my best. Once again, I cried from that message and as I looked ahead of me, I saw a homeless man lying in the pew in front of me. That was it. I hit my internal pause button and looked around. I held in my hand a precious message from my niece, I had friends messaging me asking if I was ok and seeing that man in front of me put everything in perspective. Here I was crying over a man and his problems are far more serious than mine. I got up, took a deep breath and hit the play button. Life is going to move forward.
I would like to think that our emotions are something that we could shut on and off but we simply aren’t built that way. The rest of the week, I remained silent with only telling a few friends of what had happened. I was depressed and by Thursday afternoon, I didn’t have the energy to want to go to work the next day. I told myself throughout the week that you are allowed to be sad but do not let this block you. It was two weeks of knowing him, granted they were fun but it was two weeks. That was the mantra to get me out of my state of depression.
Friday and I kept myself very busy with doing my taxes, gym, shopping and finally I contacted some friends to see if they wanted to go out and get plenty drunk that night. As I said earlier, I have the best friends anyone could ask for and before I knew it; I was doing tequila shots in the East Village bar, Phoenix, where we also went to see our friend DJ. It was just what I needed, my friends, good music and tequila. I was starting to feel like myself again. Of course, I know, that booze can’t solve everything but it does help! I went home with a smile on my face and it felt good to laugh.
The next day was filled with more errands and me meeting at my friend’s apartment in Chelsea where we had a much needed update on each other’s lives, which we then consumed a huge amount of take-out Chinese food. As we sat there with our belly’s full, we then thought it would be a good idea to go to the Eagle. There we stood amongst the furry men in all their glory while kicking back more tequila and beers. Our second wind was back and we all had a great time. We decided to have an early night and I was thrown in a cab and passed out.
Yesterday was a productive day with getting my apartment organized from the new roommate and then a friend of mine invited me to a Superbowl party. I had several parties to choose from but I wanted something very low key. Turns out, I chose the right one to attend because it was three of us, hitting up a crowded party before realizing that it’s best to go back to his apartment, order sixty bucks worth of Chinese food and watch the game. It was the perfect bookend to a weekend filled with the undying support of my friends.
If only in life there can be moments where we hit the pause button on events like weddings, vacations, promotions, great sex and fast forward through the painful times. However, without the pain there can never be any gain as they say. We all go through life most of the time at full speed, just trying to get through the work week in order to make it to the weekend. We are literally hitting the fast forward button of our lives in order to hit the pause button to enjoy a stress free life and maybe even a pain free one. Maybe in life, instead of living it with the fast forward button on, we take some time to think about actions, our words and hit the pause button.
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