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Jealousy Alley

So, tonight was kind of an interesting evening.  I was going to post something on Facebook, but people read Facebook... And no one here at camp reads this... And I mean, for the most part no one that would make things extraordinarily awkward would read this.

So this works.

Let's do a little bit of a backstory first.

I come to my old summer camp to volunteer.  The money gets donated to help pay for a camper to come to camp that wouldn't be able to afford it.  I was a camper here and a counselor and my mom also worked here.  So, it kind of is a way to connect with her memory.

It's just something I do for a couple of week every summer by taking vacation off work and doing this.

It's fun.  It's always an experience and I meet some interesting people, make some new friends, reconnect with old friends.

But it's nothing that really... "Rocks my world" shall we say.

What I mean by that is, I come, I chill out and work... and I go home.  See, there's this thing called camp drama...

One of the things here at camp is that there have been a lot of camp relationships.  Even some people who have gotten married.  Even the owners of the camp met here as counselors and got married.  There's just this sort of thing in the air that... People meet here.

See... When you live in a confined space with a group of people for an extended period of time, you create close relationships with people.  It's like having 24/7 roommates and friends and coworkers at the same time.

There's no home, or work, or third space... It's all that at once.

The downside is... You get like a "Real World" effect.

I try to avoid it.  And most years I do.  It's hard to remain detached when you're here for the full summer, but when you're only here for 2 weeks, who cares.


Well, usually.  And you know, the last 10 years, that's how it's been.  For some reason this year, it got me a little.

I'm shrugging it off at the moment because, when you take a step back, I'm leaving in a few days anyway, so... Who cares?

Alright, so all that being said... Some how I let myself get a little "sucked in" this summer.

Okay... Let's start...

There's this girl.  It's always a girl.  Because, that's just what happens when it happens.  It's like, something just happens and you stop and say... Wait... Hey.  But it's a different kind of "hey".  You just look at the person differently.

I'm not going to say her name... But, you know, it's weird, she's been here the last few years too, and I have no idea, I didn't really think much of it.  I said hey to her around camp in other years... We crossed paths... I helped her with something here or there, we had smalltalk.... But she was just...

Another person in the community.  Not really like... Sticking out as someone that I was really curious about.  It was just like hey... what's up?  Cool.  Cool.

But this year, and not even on the first night... Maybe the 3rd or 4th day in... She just got me.

It was like every time I saw her... She totally kind of just made me feel all gushy.

I was like this is stupid because again, I'm only here for a short time.  I just said to myself this is stupid... But the feeling just kept sticking around.  I feel stupidly gushy whenever she's around.

Never mind the fact that I REALLY don't think I'm her type at all, or that she lives on the COMPLETE opposite side of the country than I do even AFTER camp she goes back to Portland, Oregon.

There's soo many reasons why I shouldn't bother to have her on my mind.

But isn't that the beauty of having someone on your mind?  You don't get to choose who you have on your mind.  It just happens.

Well, so... I basically just have been keeping those gushy feelings in check.  Just pushing them back and fending them off until I leave camp in a few days.

Because as soon as I'm out of here, she'll cross my mind a little less, and a little less, and a little less...

Until I'm back to where I was before.  Back to a few weeks ago.

Just ride it out.... But every time I cross paths with her, I can't help it.  Ugh.  The feelings just happened and then I was just like... Sigh.  Well, there's the feeling again, nothing I can do about it.

You can't control these feelings, they just, happen.  The best you can do is just wait it out.

It's kind of like today when I was out on the lake kayaking and waves would come through from the water ski boats and the kayak would rock to and fro....

The best you can do is just wait out the waves.  Just brace yourself and let it happen and know that eventually, it ends and won't go on forever.

That's where I'm at now as I sit typing this.  I know that the feeling I feel right now, has an end point... It will eventually diminish like the waves on the lake.  It won't go on forever.  It's not like 6 months from now I'll still be like... Gushing for this girl.

But, I also know, I won't be overwhelmed with jealousy either.

You see, just a little bit ago, like an hour or so ago, after a night of drinking and dancing... I walked up from the staff area known as "The Yurt".

It's a small building that the staff hang out at during their time off.

Well, I'll backup a little bit real quick again.  So, when I first arrived, like I said, I didn't really have any strong feelings.  It was just hello's and idle chatting.  But then, it grew over a few days, just like... Really fast.

So, again, we're at The Yurt tonight and before that we had gone out to grab dinner and drinks at a local restaurant as a group of staff.

Well, even with all the gushing I felt... I learned quickly that...

She spent a fair amount of the night being cozy with another guy.

And to be fair actually, she had been a bit close with the same guy the first night that we went out drinking which was the second night I arrived, but I guess I didn't think much of it because I didn't really care at that point.  And then I hadn't really seen them really being all that cozy or flirty since.

But tonight they were definitely the very start of at least a fling if nothing else.  And hey, for all I know they could actually be together and I had no clue they were until tonight.  Who knows, they may have been together since last year since they were both here for the last few years.

Again, what do I care... I maintain that.  Not to get invested emotionally.  It's drama that I purposely try to avoid.

And I just did a bad job of it this year.

So, tonight, I'm not having a bad time... It was good, just hanging with friends.  But the problem is, when you feel that gush for someone and you see that there's another someone else in the picture even if it's just that maybe they are a "thing"...

You feel that jealousy.  The gush turns to something else.  It turns to... that go away feeling.  It goes from... wanting to make excuses to talk to them to...

Make excuses to avoid them.

It was at that point tonight that I said, well this is dumb.  I'm not getting sucked into this.  I'm not getting invested in this.

So, I decided to go.  I left everyone at The Yurt and snuck out.

I went to my car to grab a few things, like a flashlight and my umbrella.  I start walking.  Good.  Situation is behind me.

So, out of nowhere, she's behind me with that guy.  And then she's beside me with that guy.  They're holding hands.  Close.  His arm is around her.

So, she says "Hey..." and I say hey back.

I then say hey to him.

I'm just.... pushing this jealous feeling away.  I'm pushing the gushy feeling for her away.  I kick a rock as we walk.

I hold my flashlight out ahead and say "Don't step in a puddle... Don't want the two of you to have wet feet."

Then we get to the the main lodge building and she holds the door for me.

It's the worst.

Because I didn't want her to hold the door for me.

I just wanted it to shut and walk on.  I thanked her for holding the door and went inside too.

I went a different way then planned after that.  Just to get away.

Just ride out the waves... Eventually the waves will stop just like they did while I was in the kayak.

I'm not part of this community for much longer anyway.  I know the drill.  I go back home, I get back to my normal routine.

In a month or two, I won't even have her on my mind.  And I won't feel even a hint of jealousy.

Although right now, it's subsided.  I'm just kind of... telling myself, who cares.  I'm not getting caught up in it.  I'm not getting caught up in the drama, or her, or the experience of having someone make you gush and then walking beside them with another guy's arm around her.

The gush was there... and then the jealousy was there, and then... I just let it pass.

Because, like I said, I'm only just passing through here.  Her and him are here for the whole summer.  I'm only here for a hot minute.

And beyond all that, I don't think the gush was mutual anyway.

It's all so silly and pointless.  Which is why I stay clear of the camp drama and silly camp crushes.

It just caught me off guard for a little bit, but now my guard is back up.

I just let myself feel a way that I hadn't felt in a long while.  I let someone make my heart skip a beat.

It was a mistake and I shouldn't have even allowed it to happen in the first place.

Some how it did even though I know better.

Anyway... In a few days time I'll be back home and far away and in a few weeks time... I'll be back to where I was before... No gushing, and no jealousy.

The waves that were stirred up will become calm water again.

Some people meet here, and that's great for those people...

But the one year, the one time I let my guard down and allow myself to have someone catch me off guard...

I'm sitting here shining a light so that her and another guy can avoid stepping in puddles.

This is why I don't do it.  This is why I don't get emotionally invested in the drama.

It's not worth liking someone because it only ends in sitting alone feeling jealous.

There's not much I can control when someone does come along that makes me all gushy, but I can just try to do a better job of realizing when it does happen and avoid eye contact and pushing any feelings away and trying not to think about that person or care.

There's a phrase that I've heard often...

"Nothing good can come of this."

That's my view when I think of the idea of letting someone capture your attention.

Anyway, so now I sit there just trying to focus on knowing that in a few days time I'll be driving back home and getting back to my usual life.

And that in a few weeks time, she won't even cross my mind.  Gush, crush, or jealousy.

And the next time I'll see her would be next summer if she came back... But, by then... I'll know better.

I know better already.

Nothing good can come of this.  Just wait out the waves and let it all pass.

I've never had a situation where anything good has come from a crush or a gush.

It's always ended badly.

It's best just to take a step away and sit on the sidelines and tell myself that I'm just passing through and I'm not part of any of this for the long term.

It was a close call though.  I will say this last week... A VERY close call for sure.

But now I'm back to knowing better.

Nothing good can come of any of it.

Some people meet here, have flings, or start relationships, or even get married, but for me... It's always been a negative outcome, like what happened tonight.

I was stupid and let myself like someone.

Best just to take all steps to avoid it all.

Let the waves pass.

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