Let’s rewind two years: I was 21, skinny, and tan. I spent my summer days working and my summer nights out. One of my best friend lived with me, and when we weren’t working, we were on adventures. I was not in school, and due to my indecisiveness and fears, I was putting it off. I smoked (which explained my skinniness,) drank, and shopped. I was also single, and in the process of ending a two-year “situationship,” so I was casually talking to some people, but nothing too serious. I was not concerned in looking for a relationship either; I was just enjoying myself. All that changed when I met Oscar.
Throughout the summer, I had seen Oscar a lot. We were in the same circle of friends, so if I was at a party, Oscar was there. If we were at a party together, we would always end up dancing together. Although I thought Oscar was cute, I did not really put any moves. I actually commented a picture on his Instagram with the “fire” emoji once, but since he never responded, I concluded he was not interested in me. As my best friend starting dating one of my other good friends, they decided I also should start talking to someone in order to not be the third wheel in our outings. After one outing, my friend told me “Pick one of my friends to talk to, I’ll put you on.” Immediately, I said no. Who was I needing someone to put me on? I could do it myself. Besides, I knew all of his friends. None of them interested me. Or so I thought. The day after my friends offer, Oscar came into my mind. Before I could second guess myself, I texted my friend and said, “Put me on to Oscar.” (I actually called him by his nickname, but I’m pretty sure he would disown me if I published it.)
That day I waited for Oscar to text me. I texted my friend around 10AM, so I figured that it was early then. Around 5 that day, I had given up! “He’s not interested in me,” I told my friend. However, my friend gave me Oscar’s number to text him instead. Normally, I have no issue being bold and making the first move. This time it was different. “No, that’s okay. It is his loss if he does not talk to me.” I did save his number, though. I went to bed later on that night after losing all hope. Then at exactly 1:01 AM, August 21st, Oscar texted me. I could have died. However, I did not die. I learned quickly Oscar went to school all day, went to the gym, and worked, which is why he waited until he was done work to text me. After that, it was smooth sailing.
Okay, it was not. Oscar and I hit did it off immediately. Due to our complete opposite schedules, we only spoke to each other at random hours. However, when we did speak, it would go on for hours. We double dated with our other friends and always had a great time. After a few weeks, Oscar and I both agreed we had something special here. However, we had not made it official. I was wondering why since we had such a great connection, we really enjoyed each other’s company, and neither of us were seeing other people. Then Oscar let me know, he had some hesitations.
First of all, I smoked cigarettes. Although I did not do it around him, it was a turn off. He said it did not “look right” to smoke and it was gross, and most importantly, unhealthy. Secondly, I was not in school and was not planning my return any time soon, even though I did want to go back. He felt like my potential was being wasted at the grocery store I worked at. These were more than valid concerns. However, at the time, I was livid. I flipped out. I reminded him he knew these things about me when we first started talking. If they were that serious, he should have stopped talking to me. Hell, he could stop talking to me now! Why the hell did he waste my time? Instantly, I saw this good thing come crumbling down. However, before I could keep talking in my rage, Oscar stopped me. He told me he was not telling me these things to end what we were starting. He was telling me because he cared about me. He liked me enough to be honest with me. I was surprised.
In my previous dating history, I was always the honest one. I would also share my feelings when I thought my partner was wrong or needed to improve something. No one I dated was ever that honest with me. No one would ever tell me when I was wrong. The few people who would call me out on my crap was my family. And even then, when they did it, it just made me angry! I would grow defensive and try to argue my way out of it. Which added another item on their list of grievances with me. It took that moment with Oscar to realize that the people who care about you, will call you out on your crap!
Trust me, we all like to live in this fantasy movie in our heads. We are the protagonist, and although our life has all these twist and turns, our innocence remains intact. We are never wrong, and never do bad. The sepia-toned flashbacks in our heads, show us wistfully looking on as the bad guy makes his exit. When in reality, we just stopped texting them. I never thought I was perfect. I knew made mistakes. But I never believed someone else could hold me accountable for them. Furthermore, I never believed someone else would hold me accountable for my mistakes, in order to better me. Someone else wanting to better me? Not in my award winning drama film, get out of here.
Back when Oscar called me out, I couldn’t fathom he was telling me these things to make me better. I instantly took the most offense, and wanted to shut him out. I wanted to pretend he didn’t say these things, things I had been telling myself, and start again. Once he called me out, I knew he saw the real me; the me with flaws. And I predetermined, he did not like this me, and was going to close the book on the story that was still in the prologue. It was scary, which in turn made me angry. It is normal to react to criticism as such. I think we get so angry at criticism is because instead of seeing as a help, we believe someone is trying to hurt us. I also believe it hurts us the most, when the criticisms are valid. Now that I am older and wiser, I make time to discuss the things I do wrong. I make sure I listen and take note. I realized it is so much easier to let someone walk away, than to confront them. Walking away takes nothing, while being open and honest takes courage. You can let someone walk away without confronting them, because you don’t care about their future actions. But when you love them, you want the best for them and sometimes that means, calling out their actions.
Almost two years later, Oscar and I could not be more solid. We have a strong relationship based on love, trust, honesty, and communication. (Also our shared love watching movies and eating dinner doesn’t hurt!) Like any other relationship we are not perfect. Oscar thinks I’m a weirdo for talking to Suki like a person, all day every day. Oscar is a moment killer. It happens. We disagree on issues. We call each other out on the bad parts. We also build each other up on the good parts. Relationships are give and take, but you have to communicate what you’ll be giving and what you’ll be taking. Nothing is ever easy or perfect, but at the end of the day, it’s always, always, worth it.