Writing from Unreality House, a hyperfiction project created and edited by Jay Gabler.

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On Keeping Your Balance

Tonight I was thinking about a post Tate wrote in December: “Just Because I’m In Love With You Doesn’t Mean Your Kitchen is the Best Goddamn Kitchen in the World.” (Photo of yoga, above, in her honor.) It sounded so much like something I’d write that I accused her of copping my vibe. Really, though, she was a lot more vulnerable in that post than I’d ever be likely to be.

I don’t like to admit that sometimes I get obsessed with guys too. The worst is when you have some connection to a guy—you’ve hooked up, you have something planned, there’s something there—and he’s off doing something with other people when all you can think about is him. You think about what he’s doing, who he’s talking to. It’s something you don’t know, something you’re not a part of. Your phone isn’t doing anything, so obviously if you’re on his mind it’s not to the point where he’s going to text or call you—let alone invite you along on whatever he’s doing.

It can tear you up, wondering what he’s doing and why you’re not a part of it. You listen to songs about people having crazy fun, and you imagine those people having crazy fun—without you. Here’s the thing, though: you have to keep your balance. You have to remember that what that guy does is beyond your control, and if you put your happiness in his power, you’re giving up your right to be an independent, happy human being.

It’s not that another person can never make you happy, but they should make you happy by what they do for you—what they contribute to what you have going on, because you need to have your own life going on. You need to be doing what you want to do, going where you want to go, being the person you want to be. If you can remember that, and do that, it flips the situation on its head. Instead of waiting for him to bring you into his circle of happiness, you’re giving him the opportunity—if he so chooses, and if he has some fucking game he wants to bring—to step into yours.

Jesus, that sounds so confident. Maybe writing works like smiling: you smile, and it actually makes you happy. Maybe writing confidently actually makes you confident, if you do it again and again and again. Just keep writing that, keep your head where you know it needs to be. Keep your balance.

- Lucy Coleman

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