HIMYM Series 06: Shedding My Costume (S01:E06)

I’ve talked about relationships and love a lot before on this blog. It’s actually one of my main focuses, because… let’s be honest. It’s one of my main struggles. I have a distinct lack of something that I’m always searching for in other people, and I think it reflects back on to something I’m searching for inside of myself. Security.

I have grown older and wiser in a number of ways, and I’m still learning new things every day. Lately, I’ve hit a pretty bad run of ups and downs because of emotional topics. Things I don’t need to get into here, but I do want to share the reason I love this episode of How I Met Your Mother so much. “The Slutty Pumpkin” is about Ted returning to a lame rooftop party every year on Halloween and looking for a girl he had met years before. It’s a pretty standard idea for a television sitcom, but I think that it speaks to me (and has been speaking to me) on another level since I first watched it.

See, I find myself enamored with the safest possible option. The person who is far away, or emotionally unavailable. The one who can’t directly turn around and crush my heart. I do this because I’m scared. The problem isn’t that I can recognize it, the problem is that I’m unwilling to fix it. I think that subconsciously I would rather be in this emotional limbo than to really put my heart out there for someone. I’m sort of wearing this costume and it sucks. It really, really sucks. Of course, I don’t want to talk about it like I’m helpless in the matter, because I am not at all. It’s a matter of security.

I’ve asked my mom numerous times, as well as a handful of friends what it is that I’m doing wrong. Why I can’t seem to stabilize myself enough to stay in an actual relationship. It obviously isn’t because I have a desire to sleep around. It’s not necessarily because I work so much, because I make time for my friends as often as possible. I’d make time for a partner too. I can’t justify any of the reasons I’ve given myself so I was forced to look to someone who sees the outside picture.

When you ask questions like this, it’s hard not to sound like you’re fishing for compliments. So many people today will say things like “What’s wrong with me?” to get their friends to spout off all of the answers to the question that will puff up their ego. Well, when I asked one friend in particular, she could see right through it. I wasn’t asking so that I could feel better about myself. I asked because I’m tired of this back and forth. This false safety net that I’ve established for myself. I want out. I want to be able to go into something with all of me, to not reserve certain parts of myself out of fear of being hurt. She saw this, and she answered my question with another question.

“What are you waiting for?”

It hit me at first as odd. I’m not waiting for anything. I told myself that over and over again, and I said it to her, but somehow she knew better. Somehow she knew better than I did, even. After that we had a long talk about me doubts in myself and my capacity for relationships and it got me thinking…

Am I really just waiting for some girl in a pumpkin costume that I met four years ago to show up on my doorstep? Is this really a bet that I want to make? I’m not one to argue against the idea of destiny or fate, but I just can’t see myself in that light. I’m not a hanging Chad. I’m a person, who, for the first time, is finally stepping out of a costume that I’ve been wearing for just a bit too long.

I’m finally starting to understand that more than anything, I’m scared.

I’m terrified of real relationships. It isn’t the commitment that is a problem. It isn’t necessarily the sacrifices that I’ll have to make. I think it’s the possibility that I will be devoured. Whether I will be devoured in love or in pain, either way the idea horrifies me.

So I’m fighting it. That’s what this year is all about, right?

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