Why is it that we humans have such a hard time expressing our feelings – in the moment, as we feel them, to the people we desperately wish we could express them to?
I just watched a sweet Netflix movie that recently came out, To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved. Depending on your taste it might make you want to throw up a little or feel more depressed or feel more lovey-dovey about the world. I would say that, like most romantic comedies set in high school, it made me feel lovey-dovey; a little sad when it ended. Perhaps it’s because that time in my life held a certain hopefulness in it about love; one that I find it a bit hard, sometimes, to get back in touch with. There is something so fun about sneaking around, or fantasizing about it, and having those quintessential crushes that never quite materialize but hold so much power in your heart and mind that you just KNOW if that person only somehow indirectly found out how you felt you might have a shot at a sweet, rom com-worthy romance. Right? But you would never tell them you thought they were sexy because then you would be deemed a total freak and the entire school would think you were untouchable (this extreme thought might be slightly skewed by the insular experience of boarding school..).
In the movie, a shy, happy-to-stay-home-and-watch-a-move-on-a-Saturday kind of girl (like me!) has a box of letters that she has written to the objects of her massive, gut-wrenching crushes over the years.. that she has of course never sent. And I will not spoil the movie for you – go watch it, it’s adorable – but basically it plays with this theme of saying how you feel; why we don’t; what the worst thing that could possibly happen might be if we did…
The only way that one could initiate a relationship in my high school - and I will get off of the high school theme soon - was to somehow get close to them in the sweaty mosh pit of a high school dance, rub your body up against them, and hope that they responded well. And that might lead to a hook up which might lead to a number exchange and texting and further hookups and then some semblance of a relationship - of course, I assume, with all of the lovely conversations and moments that came along with it. Anyone who went to high school with me and actually managed to pull off a relationship there is more than welcome to correct me if I am wrong. I stuck to the sidelines at high school dances and avoided boys like the black plague.