Boys, Friendships, Roommates, Movies and Adulting

So, it’s been a minute. A lot has happened since October, and normally I frequent this hub more, but I’ve accumulated a lot of starts-of-blogs and not a lot of ends. There’s definitely a lot of boy drama happening in my life once again, and I lost my friends once again, and I also am homeless once again– all of which are important social contexts to consider– but I figured if I just word vomit on the page and post whatever comes to mind, I’ll feel less pressured to make my endings perfect.

Part of the reason why it’s been super difficult for me to finish posts is because I keep pushing myself to be great– write some grand takeaway that blows my readers’ minds. But life has just been happening to me, and it has sucked, and I can’t think of any good reason why. Sort of. I can. I just can’t do it in a way that is satisfying. The English major in me is convinced everything is a metaphor and that I must achieve some narrative justice. The puzzle pieces should fit in perfectly, and everything should make sense. But nothing makes sense. Then it kind of starts to. Then it doesn’t again.

Life has been rough.

That’s not to say it couldn’t be worse. I’ve survived a year and a half of college, got a really wonderful boy in my life, and can afford to dine out a few times a week. Those are pretty awesome things I’m pretty grateful for. But I’m still overall just sad.

Atlas and I watched a movie last night. I actually met Atlas through my “perfect” ex-boyfriend Charlie. At the time, “perfect ex-boyfriend” was just “perfect boyfriend” and “perfect” wasn’t in air quotes. That was during the first week of September and I had friends, a room, and a relationship straight out of a YA novel. Charlie and I made it official about two hours before we got to his room– a man-cave set up with a comfy leather couch, a couple of armchairs, and a flat screen TV with a gaming counsel sitting on the coffee table.

I had been drinking– we all had– so when I got to the lounge of his suite, I plopped myself down on an armchair and shut my eyes. Charlie sat down next to me. He reached for my hand to squeeze it. By the time I opened my eyes, there was a new face sitting on the couch across from me. Atlas Iyer.

He was cute. There was a lot of hair on his head, though it wasn’t very long. Floppy, black, and straight. His face was one I was sure people mistook for a junior in high school, but he wasn’t. He was a computer science and history double major junior in college. Skinny, but not breakable. Doe-eyed and smiley. Always laughing at something.

“Where are you from?” I asked. Sloppy and drunk.

“Chicago.”

“Are you actually from Chicago or are you one of those people who say they’re from Chicago but they’re really from a suburb?”

The Naperville boy hated me instantly. Though “hate” is a strong word. At least he’d say “hate” is a strong word. I wouldn’t, for the sake of the origin story, but Atlas to this day teases me for hyperbolizing his hatred.

“Every time, you make it seem like I hated you one degree more. You went from ‘thought I was mean’ to ‘didn’t like me’ to ‘hated me.'”

Which is true. So, for the sake of narrative credibility, we’ll say he wasn’t the fondest. Despite his lack of fondness towards me, I still enjoyed the conversation that followed. We talked about his not-so-positive experience with roommates and he made me feel super welcomed in his room.

That feeling of comfort with Atlas grew as my relationship with Charlie progressed. Atlas became my confidant and my guide through the drama-filled world of my– then– boyfriend. When I was being broken up with, Atlas’ voice was the only one I wanted to hear. He waited for me in the library and I arrived tear-stained and broken hearted.

My relationship status, friendships, and living situation suffered, but Atlas was a constant. He stuck by my side through it all and I was so, so grateful. Hanging out was difficult though. I couldn’t go to his room because of Charlie, and I didn’t have a room to go to. But we managed to find private nooks around campus, and the other day we sat in one to watch the Edge of Seventeen.

It’s about the coming-of-age of a junior in high school that I saw for the first time in 2016 (when I was a junior in high school myself) and loved it. I love it in a different way now.  The film captures adolescence in a way that is gentle and tender, but acknowledges the importance of appreciating what you have. Quirky queen of first-world-problems, Nadine, learns through trial and error that she isn’t special for suffering. That everyone is suffering. But there was some comfort in that for her. She wasn’t going through life alone.

It alleviated this pressure I have to make this blog perfect. There’s no obligation that my writing solve any real-world problems, grand-takeaways, or jigsaw puzzles. In the movie there’s a moment where Nadine’s mother tries to calm her daughter down.

“Sometimes, I just close my eyes and remind myself that every one is miserable. Some of us are just better at pretending.”

I find comfort in that. So, hello again, blog. I have got much to tell you.

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