Crushes vs Communication: A Retrospective, not a Troll

Plugging away at the article while listening to Unknown Mortal Orchestra while navel-gazing about crushes, or mostly — my history of writing crush posts on the older version of this blog and then deleting them. Elicits some chuckles from me.

For me, blog posts about crushes aren’t so much what they seem. For example, in 2014 — several horrible SFF-related things had put me in a very dark place, coupled with my work-related stress. Just posting about crushes had the effect of amusing me enough I was laughing PLUS trolling various people who keep reading my blog, esp those creepy people from SFF who were digging for dirt because they thought I was in the “inner circle” of an SFF author they hated.

Crushes are fun but they also aren’t very mature things. They’re not committed relationships. And this morning I reflected on the fact that maybe I squirrel away myself into crushes simply because I have neither the time, energy or experience to want to comprehend the kind of work that goes into relationships. Friendships, I am re-learning. They require some work. Work we take for granted with the friendships of our youth. Re-learning it as an adult? It’s something else. And for most of my time back in Malaysia I’ve just been focused on surviving on various basic levels in a toxic system. I’ve been focused a lot on self-care. Crushes were also a form of self-care so life would not feel so bleak. I am, after all, a person who lives inside her head a lot.

But I also compartmentalize. Like, I can hold crush feelings within friendship feelings, and not want to go beyond the crush. So these posts aren’t a beacon inviting affection so much as “scaring away” affection. This is the kind of thing only a fellow extreme introvert would understand.

But anyway. Being out and about, busy etc has done its job. I’ve come over the most of my extreme grief over Dad. I’m healing. Which also means that I have no more crushes again. Yahoo. I mean this year’s crush was way too long distance etc. At some point in the future if things are feasible, I’m happy to consider friendship because this year’s crush seems a lovely and interesting human being. But for right now, I’m just happy not to have those feelings so I can focus on my work. As for past crush, ahahaha. Bumped into past crush lately. Happy to report that apart from some awkwardness etc, I don’t think I’m going to be in that state again. I am safe! Maybe it’s because with this year’s crush there was actual interaction despite distance? And I’ve had plenty of great interaction with great (albeit distant) guys over the past 2-3 years that feels far more real than this crush. People with whom I’ve shared a lot more, and who have been in my corner as an author. I will never forget those kindnesses and what it means when people are REALLY there for you like that. I’m not crushing on these bros (thank God, I do not want any SFF industry crushes aiyo!!). They’re all friends in this writing thing and I see them more as “bros”. But they’ve also become a new (old) standard for me. At the bare minimum, any romantic interest should involve communication, I think — now that I am older and (we hope), more mature.

But I did have 2-3 crush-free years. So I should be okay. I was a bit worried for a moment the other day because of brush-in with past crush, but then I was okay. No fireworks, just the odd comfort of familiarity coupled with hilarity over an absurd situation.

(I may also have been trolling an eavesdropper because you know, my inner loki)

And that, as they say, is the end of that! Back to finessing this article for submission!


Listening to: If You’re Going to Break Yourself — Unknown Mortal Orchestra