Hey… you.

Long time no see. I know you recognize me, obviously. I’m all of your hopes and dreams. We met in middle school, remember? When the thought of me first hit you and it felt like a truck of eye-opening ambition colliding into your scrawny teenage body. But, that was a while ago now. What, 15, 20 years? And you’re still thinking of me? Look, it may have been cute when you were little, but now, I’ve got to ask… why are you so obsessed with me!?

This is starting to get weird, and it’s creeping me out. It’s one thing when you chug a few pinots and start raving about me to all your friends, and then the bartender, and then the Lyft driver on your way home. But now I heard you’re even talking about me in therapy? I was hoping you’d move on by now, since you’re in your mid-thirties and all. I mean, we weren’t ever really that serious, were we? Think about it. You had those posters of me in your childhood bedroom, but did I ever say that was consensual? Did I make any promises? It’s moved beyond inappropriate, and so I have to confront you like this.

Yeah, I know I’m a catch, all right? I mean, I am all your hopes and dreams. I’m a once-in-a-lifetime, make-your-friends-jealous, prove-your-parents-wrong, dazzling vision of what your one life on Earth could be. But it’s time you move on, pal. We barely know each other!

Look, I know there were times long ago when you thought this would really be a reality someday. You’d spend all of your free time practising the skills that could lead you to me, you wrote some convincing college application letters. You admit to your guidance counselor that you were gonna go for it with me, and that took courage, even though they promptly told you I was out of your league.

Yeah, I know it must be hard to see your instagram friends post about their hopes and dreams. It works out for some people, what can I say? They’re the rule, and you’re the exception. They were probably more chill with their whole things, and didn’t obsess about it day in day out, talk about it constantly, and whine to their therapists that it hasn’t happened yet. They probably didn’t drink as much wine as you. They were probably just better than you. They probably got lucky in the right place, at the right time. That’s right – all of them.

On that note, there’s something I should just tell you. And it might help you get over me. I’m with your college friend Mark now—please stop looking at me with those depressing, watery eyes of yours. Anyway, Mark found me when he was getting high with his roommate, did the bare minimum of work to get me, and now we’re together forever. That’s called fate. Meanwhile, you were slaving away at a nine-to-six job that you don’t even care about, doing customer service for water mattresses? Would you be doing that if you truly wanted me? I don’t know… I doubt it. That just doesn’t make sense.

Also… Mark is hot!

Your obsession is getting out of hand, buddy. Maybe instead you should focus on Contentment, or Settling. I heard they’re both available and interested! Bitter and Sorrow are always on the lookout for new partnerships too. And one final thing: if in another five years, on your fortieth birthday, I find out that you still think it could happen between us? I’ll get a restraining order.

Okay, thanks, byeeee!

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