Being completely honest, I have watched "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" an unhealthy amount (17 times to be exact). What keeps drawing me back to the movie is how much I find myself relating to Lara Jean. I don't mean relating to the getting a guy to pretend to be my boyfriend part, but I find myself relating to Lara Jean realizing how powerful her emotions can really be and attempting to own them, keyword being attempting. Something I've noticed more and more recently is that I tend to run away from any presumably good guy that may show any decent amount of interest in me.
Sometimes I think to myself, "What is wrong with me? I shouldn't be afraid to like another person, especially someone who has shown the same interest in me, right? What the HELL am I going to do?!?!?" At a party, I was the girl that actually (no, I am not kidding) went up to the boy she thought was attractive, stuck out her hand for a handshake, and proceeded to say, "Hi there, this is me hitting on you." I have absolutely no issues making the first move, so why is it so hard for me to fall further?
When I was younger, I had a monetary bet placed on me by older boys at my high school to see who could sleep with me first. I don't usually share this story, however, I think there is power in sharing our experiences, and who would I be if I didn't take my own advice? This distrust of men has ruled my life since that. Every boy I found myself caring about more than I expected to sent me running for the hills, especially now that I am in my freshman year of college. My inner self-seems to think that is protecting me by taking the emotion out of eventual "hookups" with boys.
It is almost as if there is a glass wall between me and them. Everything is fine if we are just friends. I am open and conversation flows naturally, but the moment the butterflies in the pit of my stomach begin, I freeze. My palms clam up, my brain freezes past the point of no return, and I find some excuse to stop talking to said guy. When he tells me he may be interested in me, this process is then sped up by about 1,000,000%. As I write this article, I can hear how ridiculous it sounds. Okay, Brooke, a boy likes you. Great! The correct response here is to turn around, pretend he doesn't exist, and repeat and repeat until you are so frustrated that you think no boy likes you. WRONG.
It would be one thing if I wasn't interested in pursuing something beyond a casual hookup, however, it is interesting to see how my past experience being objectified still manifests itself each time I come close to moving past it. That incident causes me to snap back into my fear of trusting anybody but myself, and I can now acknowledge it. I am working on myself and accepting that not all guys are going to do the same to me that the boys at my school did. And yes, I know I can't change the past, but I am working to change my future.
Like I said earlier, something I strongly believe in is the power there is in sharing your story and your struggles, no matter how hard, confusing, or scary it may be to do so. I feel like I have to take my own advice here and do just that. This is the story of my struggle to not only let go, or at least work through, my past, but also move into my future. I want to love and be loved, but I know I will have to keep working on remaining grounded, rather than running in any direction but towards the boy who I am interested in. I know I can't be alone in this internal war, no matter how irrelevant it sounds in the grand scheme of things. Talking to my friends more openly about this, I see more and more of them have the same issue that I do, and that isn't healthy by any means.
Although I may still need to do some digging in order to get to a place in which I can open up and be my authentic self beyond the point of friendship with men, I know that, sometime, someone will help me to break the seemingly bullet-proof strength glass wall between me and my happy romantic relationship. So, to all of the boys I have loved, or at least liked to kiss and then showed interest in more, before, I am truly sorry. I am working on shattering the emotional glass that remains in front of me. Slowly, but surely, I hope I can come around because, man, I want to.