“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” – George R.R. Martin
The darkest night of my life lasted for three years. I was alone and afraid. Problems kept pilling up. Life was cruel, and no one around me seemed to understand. I couldn’t understand what was happening, even though I was trying to. Of course, the melancholia of imagining a better future was one of the things I did to make my existence bearable.
And I wrote.
Happiness for me was being able to write. I barely ate, barely slept, and had to take painkillers on an almost daily basic. Won’t bother you with further details.
No one would hire me, because I had no work experience, no self-confidence or self-esteem, and I couldn’t even look people in the eye.
Life was spiraling out of control.
Of course, I found a bit of comfort in writing. And I felt as if that was the solution to all my problems. In a way, it was.
When I started this blog, when I became somewhat popular, when I started to earn just enough to make ends meet… when I was okay, so to speak, I met someone. We started off as friends, then we dated. I fell in love with her, for a million different reasons and in spite of countless others. I tried my best to be by her side, to help her with her art. My priority was to make her happy, no matter what.
Every morning with her, that was paradise. That was magic. I felt happy in ways that only tears could ever explain. I felt as if I could conquer the world with one hand, if only she’d hold the other.
But, you see, having emerged from that dark night, I wasn’t half as good as I pretended to be. I didn’t trust people. I thought they were to blame for everything that had happened to me. And so I never really trusted her.
I began to act like the immature, irresponsible teenager that I used to be. I pretended to be everything that I never really wanted to be. Selfish, impatient, insecure, jealous. You name it. I never tried to understand her, or truly accept her as she was.
But I did love her. I still wanted to make her happy, but I just… failed to do so. Difficult to put into words, because I was becoming a contradiction. I wanted more. For me, for her, for us. At the same time, I just didn’t know what more was supposed to be. I wasn’t facing things, I was living in a different reality, one where I despised this stupid Universe for having made me a writer to begin with.
You see, I thought that I was writing just to get out of hell. And, yes, hell was other people too. I thought the world was a dark and endless pit, and I had got out. She had cured me. Reality was finally better than my dreams.
But isn’t it true that we all lie to ourselves in order to be happy?
And at the same time, everything was happening so fast, that I simply couldn’t adjust.
The truth is that somewhere along the line I became addicted to her. Slowly I lost control. I began to worry about losing her, I began to hate the idea so much that fear took hold over my mind. She was better than I was. After all, I wasn’t much. I wasn’t good enough for her.
And you know what people do when they feel a fear like this?
They resist change. They want everything to be done the way they want to. They want to exert control. They expect things to happen in a very specific way, precisely because they are afraid. They don’t tolerate anything that doesn’t fit the image they had formed in their heads.
But life doesn’t work like that. You do harm without wanting to. You say things you don’t want to. You grow angry and frustrated and remorseful. Vengeful.
We never hurt the ones we love. But we always hurt the ones we love more than we love ourselves, because we are hurting too.
The little control that I had left crumbled when my grandfather died. When who I was pretending to be died too. And so I was so lost and confused, and my personality so diluted, that I felt like I had no identity. I had become just a Mr. Nobody.
To paraphrase John Green, if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane. She was beautiful and smart and talented, and I was no one in particular. A scrawny kid, perhaps. I didn’t deserve her, but I didn’t do anything about it either.
We began to argue. I sensed that she wasn’t as happy as she pretended to be. I lost my patience, she lost hers. I think she just grew tired at some point, so she left. And I made matters worse, and I told her things that I shouldn’t have, just because I was hurt and alone and I missed her.
Funny thing, but words failed me. Time and time again.
I find it odd that we’re always searching for the villains that inhabit our own stories. We put the blame on people with the utmost of ease. But we never see ourselves as villains. We never see what’s bad in ourselves.
Never really managed to explain myself to her, even when I realized some of the things that went wrong. I never accepted my fate, with dignity, because my pride was hurt. So I tried to hurt her too. Because even though I wanted to make things better, I’d only make them worse.
Only after I lost her for good, only after we stopped talking, that’s when the real wake up call occurred. When I asked myself who I wanted to be, when, for the first time maybe, I tried to understand her. To accept that she did was she thought was best for her, and that maybe I would have done the same if I had felt what she felt.
In all my previous years of life, I never really asked myself who I wanted to be. I just let all the things that happened to me change me in the easiest way possible. Heartbreaks made me suspicious. People underestimating me made me bitter and angry. All the time spent all by myself during that dark night had made me weak, insecure, insensitive to what other people felt or wanted.
Ironic, perhaps, but you spend enough time alone, and you end up thinking that the world is all about you. About what you want and what you feel and what you need. And you expect people to feel and act in a compatible manner.
Of course, life doesn’t work like that.
We are who we are because of others. We want to be who we want to be because of others. So why not spend a little bit of time thinking about others too?
Nowadays I don’t just try to know others, but also understand them. If I can’t, I simply try my best to accept them. I don’t expect them to be like me. I don’t pretend to be better than they are. Because I’m not. And it’s not weak people who think like that, because arrogance can only stem from insecurity.
This world, with everything in it, is neither bad nor good. It just is. And if you change the way you look at something, you’ll see it change. And it’s not naive of me to think that you can bring out the best in people, if you know how to act.
Hope for the best, but never wish for it. Do something about it.
Someone once told me that maybe we meet a lot of people at the wrong time. Maybe life’s ironic like that, and the best time to meet them is when we lose them forever. But I don’t feel like that about her. I feel that I met her exactly when I needed to be confronted with who I really was, with who I was just pretending to be, and figure out who I wanted to be. It was a tough lesson to learn, but it was necessary.
I don’t regret what happened. I don’t blame her. I don’t feel like I need to forgive her anything. It happened how it happened, and I learned so much that I wouldn’t want it to happen any other way.
Here’s the thing. I’m what you’d call an independent writer. No one selling out to some big media corporation.
I write stuff. You read it. It’s that simple.
Now, I’m very grateful to be able to do this. But it’s not an accident. I’m not some rich guy with nothing better to do than read books and write articles. Daddy never bought me a Ferrari.
All I have is you. My readers. People who love what I do enough that they’re willing to help me keep being able to do it.
There’s no middle man here. I write stuff you like (or hate) and then I say, “Uhh, hey, mind giving me enough money so I don’t starve to death?” And then amazing people like you do. Because you rock. And you’d like to see more of this type of content. So you think to yourself, “Hey, maybe this guy Cristian deserves a good meal,” and then you give me enough money to go buy a cheeseburger.
That’s how it works, and that’s how it should work.
So if you’ve ever liked or shared an article of mine. If you’ve ever read something and thought, “Man, that’s amazing!” If something I’ve written has ever added an ounce of value to your life. Consider throwing me a few bucks.
That’s all it is. A few bucks to feed Cristian and help Cristian write more stuff. It allows me to keep doing what I love doing. And it keeps things simple. No middle man. No bullshit. Just me doing my thing and you reading and (hopefully) liking it.
I have set a budget of $6,000 for this year, out of which $4,530 have yet to be raised.
So, just use the (not so) shiny donate button below and thank you so much for allowing me to do this.