I'm Single, and I'm OK With It
When I was 14, I listened to Nada Surf’s Concrete Bed for the first time. The line, “To find someone you love, you gotta be someone you love” stuck out to me the most. I thought it was the most stupid thing ever. Like...what? What did that even mean? It would be over the course of sophomore year that I learned the true meaning of that lyric.
During that time, I was wracked with anxiety about almost everything in my life. I self-medicated to deal with all of my problems. That only made them worse. I hated myself, and was trapped with having a crush on someone who clearly did not like me back. Even so, I was convinced this crush was the one for me. I was obsessed with the idea of love. Wasn’t that what the most amazing songs and movies out there are about? I was so stuck on the idea of being in love, convinced this was how to feel better. It wasn’t.
It’s a weird feeling to realize that I’ll probably leave high school without having dated anyone. I don't feel disappointment or anger towards myself; we all have our own timelines for certain things, and I didn’t have the most conventional timeline of things that have happened to me in high school.
There’s something about watching all of your friends get into relationships, and you’re just still...there. You know you don’t really like anyone, and you know you shouldn't care, but it’s still strange. For me, it’s a combination of #FOMO and personally attacking my own self-esteem: Why doesn’t anyone want to date me? After the fourth time third-wheeling on my best friend’s date or helping her with boyfriend issues, I was starting to get sick of it. When was this going to be me? I didn’t want to feel like I was missing out, but I also didn’t want to force myself to date someone for the sake of doing it.
Before I turned 16, I had only liked two people. In my 16th year alone, I had liked three times that. Some of those crushes lasted for a few months. Some lasted just a few hours. But whatever the duration, it was still enough time for me to go home, blast music (songs that now unfortunately remind me of those people), and spill my heart out through poetry.
Some of the funniest and most interesting people I’ve liked have been at my healthiest, when I truly did like myself, and having a crush wasn’t my absolute goal in life. There’s nothing like being able to talk to someone cute about your favorite band or an obscure historical topic and realizing, I’m so freakin’ lucky. So thanks, Nada Surf. I might be leaving high school as a boyfriend-less loser, but at least I’ll be a loser who finally understands the meaning of that Nada Surf song, something that bugged me for so long.
By Irine Le, 17