There's this fun image that I'm sure the entirety of my middle school class can picture quite clearly.
It's of me.
And it involves a younger version of Elan, perched at the edge of her seat during silent reading time, book inches from her face, an animated storyteller whispering what's on the pages and shaking her legs up and down.
Although it brings me obvious embarrassment (especially when I learned that all of my classmates took it to be Elan's "normal behavior"), it also puts a smile on my face because near fifteen years later, not much has changed.
Ok, I don't read with the book inches from my face and I don't shake my legs up and down, but I do read out loud.
What can I say? I love storytelling. I love communicating to an audience. Whether through visuals, written word, or animated acting, there's something thrilling about presenting a subject to an audience in an engaging and entertaining manner, even if the audience is just my cat. Maybe it's my background in performing, or perhaps my continued daily journal entry!
Whatever the case may be, as of late, I've noticed that storytelling has become somewhat of a cathartic activity for me, therepeutic for the soul, helping in the process of healing.
Healing from what?
Wellllllll, to sum it up real quick, I've had some rather... humorous interactions with guys recently. In the last year, I've had about half a dozen hysterical date stories that are Cosmo worthy confessions. I did just join the dating pool, so what did I expect?
Anyhow, at the time, they're not hysterical. They're usually peppered with Bridget Jones's style cry fests to Celine Dion's "All By Myself" , 0-100 real quick mood swings, and many sappy entries in my journal.
But after? Oh they are the best stories to tell. And do you know how they become the best stories?
Recently, it's been about a previous encounter with a manly creature of sorts (that's all I'm sayin'). After the realization that the guy was simply not at the same maturity level as me (after all those dramatic journal entries and cry fests), I began to find peace with the situation the more I shared my story with people.
It was a funny story too. Lots of young drama, over-thinking, and many detailed justifications over what could've/would've happened differently. And the more I told it to my friends, to strangers, to those poor souls at the coffee shop who walked into the trap when they asked me if I had been seeing anyone ("boyyyyy let me tell you a story!"), the easier it was for me to move on and to take this experience in stride.
There are definitely still moments where I'm susceptible to bouts of loneliness and where I crave intimacy (like the subject of an Ed Sheeran song), but what I learned through all this is that sometimes, it just takes time to heal and move on.
And that's okay! It's normal behavior. Sometimes, your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows. And during that time, I can continue to enthusiastically share these stories in the hopes that not only I will take them as lessons learned, but perhaps bring comfort to someone else going through the same awkward stage in one's twenties where your dating life belongs in the category of a TV worthy farce.
I can't be the only one!