Perception Perfection

Have you ever wanted something that others assumed you already had?

I have this friend. She’s an amazing woman; she’s smart, funny, and gorgeous. But, she’s my friend.
We’ve discussed possibly making it more, but she just isn’t crazy about the idea. Go ahead, deem me trapped in The Friend Zone because in this case, it’s true. Hey it’s no skin off of my back, I’m recently divorced and am focusing on myself. But–

But when we’re out together, I see the looks. People perceive us as a couple, seemingly the whole world around me perceives us as a couple. Which is interesting, because that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Now, it’s not that I want to be in a relationship with her, it’s just that I miss the person I used to be. The person who was the person others around me believed true. This former Jamie was able to juggle a relationship (including step-daughter), along with school, work, and side projects- it was a great version of me.

That is until I think about how much I neglected them during it all. Sure, my ex and her daughter were co-dependant of one another, but as a result, I just focused increasingly more on myself.

And now, here I am with all of the free time I could ever ask for, and I’m mentally stuck.

…Back to my friend. See when I’m with her, I feel some semblance of my former self, whether that’s good or bad. I appreciated being in a relationship and part of me wishes to be in another one.

I’m thirty now and I feel the time crunch even if it’s not really there.

Then I take a step back and look at other people– families, couples, individuals and see how I perceive them.

They seem happy. The kids’ euphoric ignorance of the looming chaos surrounding them, as they just yearn for that crayon to color on their placemat. Life was so simple back then.

I definitely want a kid. I’ve always wanted to be a father. In fact, so much so that Father’s Day bums me out. I think of my step-daughter and how she used to make me cards. I harken back to the Father’s Days of yore where I bought my Dad the cliche tie or a small “World’s Greatest Father” trophy. And then my gaze returns to the kids, who think their Dads are the strongest, most “bravest” man in the whole wide world.

And I want that. I want the bad times along with the good. I want to feel wanted. My birthdays don’t feel so special anymore. Now, I believe the need to give credit where it is due, so… My brother did throw this surprise birthday party a few weeks back, and my aforementioned friend took me out to the dinner which ignited this post… but it isn’t the same.

I don’t know what to expect. Do I think that the joy of opening a dozen toys and cards of money in front of a Super Mario cake will magically return? No. But I wonder if I’ll ever be a wanted man, a family man.

That’s what I hope to achieve, not only for others to perceive.


Follow me along my journey as I encounter existential crises and the resulting bursts of inspiration. Like, share, and comment on this post with your stories of perceived glances.  Do they match what you’d hope them to be? I’d love to hear them.

And follow me on Twitter @GuyOnAWire 

-Jamie

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