For a long time I’ve believed that the majority of the world’s problems could be solved through communication, because frankly in my humble opinion, we fucking suck at communicating. I'll be the first to admit that I blow at it. Doesn’t really matter what the topic is. Take whatever you’re upset with someone over, and most likely it stems from the fact that one of you misunderstood what the other wanted/said about you/expected of you.
It can be professional relationships. You think your boss is an asshole and get’s a raging erection over the idea of shitting on your work, where in reality you let your artistic vision get in the way of what a client actually wanted in a project or thought deadlines were more of a "suggestion" (I’m looking at you creatives).
It can be platonic friendships. You see your best friend pop up on Instagram in a pic with your ex and suddenly you’re prepared to curb stomp him for his disregard to the bro code, when truth be told, your ex is fucking crazy (that’s why you broke up with her, remember?) and she wouldn’t leave your homie alone at a party asking about you.
It can be random people on the street. I've watched girls I know cuss out chicks across the bar because they thought "She looks like she's talking shit about me" (more likely, they probably weren't even looking at her, or if they were, they probably thought she was hot. I've got some attractive friends).
Obviously, it can be romantic relationships. I’ll skip all the obvious ones and jump to what I believe is the greatest evil in love: false expectations. People like sex. Therefore, people say the things they feel will help them achieve, you guessed it, SEX. Which is totally cool when everybody is open about what they’re looking for. The problem presents itself when you start saying what you think the other want’s to hear. Now you’ve got no real long term goals, while they are planning their future because you started using words like, “love”, “ marriage”, “family”, “forever”. And before you start bitching at me, I get it. Our generation has a hookup culture. We think we’re hard as fuck. We take pride in being emotionally void. Our parents couldn’t make it work, so let’s not waste our time on such “archaic constructs.” I've done that whole song and dance and I call bullshit. It all sounds super cool until you wake up at 27 wondering when you started doing shit you swore you'd never be apart of and you begin to try to figure out why you're incapable of investing into another human being. At the end of the day, if we’d try growing some balls and telling someone what we really think, we won’t necessarily get what we want all the time, but we might not resent each other so fucking much over stupid shit.
So Vance, why are you even talking about this, you ask?
Because I have become a victim of my own bullshit, and while I don’t believe my life choices should be a roadmap for any human being, I figure that if I’m going to fuck up situations with such excellence, hopefully, someone else can learn from my mistakes.
So let’s dive back in history.
I used to live in a town called Nashville. I then left the city of Nashville (I’m sure one day that will become a post of its own). But while I was there, I fell for a girl who was frustratingly beautiful and had a smile that made my heart stop. We’ll call her Erika. Was she into me? I don’t really know. I’d like to believe she was, but I suck at taking a hint. Like fucking for real, I can’t take a hint. Combine that with some poor timing and nothing ever came of it. Anyway, longer story short, when I was leaving the illustrious city of Nashville, I threw a small going away gathering (aka: SHIT. SHOW). Not that it should ever be a term for a grown ass man, but I fully managed to embody what some refer to as a “HOT MESS”.
I may have had a little too much to drink.
Ok, I had a lot too much to drink and blacked out. Twice. Which I wasn’t actually aware you could do before that night. I literally didn’t know 98% of what happened, so obviously the next morning I sent my friends the courtesy, “WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUCK HAPPENED LAST NIGHT??????” text. They started filling in the details. Praise Jesus this is pre-Snapchat days. One of them told me Erika was there and that she made sure I didn’t die. Do I remember seeing her? Sure don’t. So I text her apologizing for whatever it was I probably did and tried to see if she’d grab coffee with me before I left town. She shot me down. Feeling the weight of the cone of shame I was already bearing, I didn’t really press the issue and accepted defeat.
So let’s flash forward.
I had a project come along that we needed a female lead for, and out of nowhere, Erika was the first person that popped in my mind for the role. I knew she’d be perfect and kill it, but I had spent the last 3 years assuming she hated me, and would likely never talk to me again. So I did what any responsible adult would do and made a pro/con list (Shout out to Benny Franklin). I came to the conclusion that the worst thing that could happen would be for her to tell me to kindly go fuck myself and then not speak to me for another 3 years (nothing to lose, right?). After debating for a few weeks and some nudging from Gary Vee’s Instagram, I decided to grab life by the balls and see if she’d be a part of it.
***** I’d like to pause for a moment and note that this is a horrifically unprofessional life choice and I don’t recommend it. Don’t mix business with pleasure. It’s a cliché for a reason. DON’T FUCKING DO IT. Seriously. *****
Shockingly, she went for it. Like I literally fell on the floor when she said yes. Then I pulled myself together and we ended up spending a week together working on this project.
***** If you want a way to super fuck with your emotions and it be no one’s fault but your own, hire someone that you have feelings for to play a role in which they have to fall in love with you. I’m telling you, it’s dumb. I’m trying to help you here. DON’T MIX BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE. *****
So we spend this week together, reminding me of all the reasons I fell for her in the first place. She had somehow become even more beautiful than I recalled, is one of the most talented people I know, and has zero disregard for my feelings in letting me know when I turn into an asshole and say douchey things (apparently this happens more than I ever realized). Finally, at the end of the week, I ended up asking her about that night 3 years before and admitted how I was afraid of her hating me. Turns out that despite me making an ass of myself at the party, she was just busy when I wanted to see her.
Internal face slap.
World stopping moment here.
Let me reiterate:
I ASSUMED SOMEONE HATED ME FOR 3 YEARS BECAUSE I MISREAD A TEXT MESSAGE.
Just wanted to make sure that was clear.
So for the love of God, talk to people. Be honest with them. Lay shit on the table and let it land where it’s gonna land. At least, that way you know, and don’t have to spend 3 years hating yourself for something you made up in your mind like me.
So what’s next? I keep on keeping on. If I’m honest, it feels like we’re in different places right now. Both in life, and often geographically. So while I’m very much still into her, we’re finally friends again, and that’s good enough for me. If at some point down the road we’re both in a place where that turns into something more, fantastic. If not, that’s totally cool too. The more important fact is that she taught me a lot about myself in our week together and she probably doesn’t even know it. I’m eternally grateful for that. For now, I’m gonna just let whatever happens, happen, and for the first time in a long time, I’m cool with that.
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