Dear Nicole

A few days ago, Patrick and I met up in my home. We spoke with each for about two and a half hours. We drank tea, ate some cookies, played with Rudi and talked mostly about his lack-of-romantic-relationship woes. In short, he told me he likes Nicole. He also told me he’s a chicken shit and won’t tell her how he feels. Somehow, before he left, I asked if he would be mad, if I contacted Nicole and told her he liked her. He chuckled and said he wouldn’t be mad. Unlike eons ago, where he was a super sensitive freak of nature, these days, he would care less about it. He also told me it would be super easy if Nicole felt the same way about him, that she would outright tell him. From there, he would be able to do everything he thinks he needs to, to get the ball rolling.

So there was a deal between us. I told him that when he’s at the airport the next day, before he boards his flight, he will have to call Nicole and tell her he likes her. He hesitated, but after some motivational speech I gave him, he finally agreed. Of course, the next day came…

I don’t know why I praised Satan, because clearly, Pat failed in what he promised to do.

So, like I said I would, I looked all over the internet for Nicole and found her on LinkedIn. Since I don’t have a premium account, I couldn’t message her directly. Instead, I sent her a Follow request and in there, left a message that I have something important to tell her about Patrick. She didn’t respond to me. She sent Patrick a message soon after. I don’t know exactly what was said between them, but basically, Pat told me Nicole thought he was sick or dying. Pat cleared it up by telling her he likes her.

Now, I don’t know exactly what happened but Patrick told me the following…

Focus on the first four comments he sent me. What does that look like to you? It looks like Patrick told her he likes her, then to protect his insecurities, retracted it by telling her, romance wouldn’t work out anyway, so let’s stay friends sort of spiel. While I don’t know if that is what happened, if felt like he rejected himself from the potential relationship, even before Nicole said anything. If that’s the case, then that’s fucked up. He didn’t even give her a chance. He didn’t give himself a chance! If I am in his shoes and I liked her and she hasn’t rejected me, I am going to do everything I can to woo her and to have a proper relationship with her! What’s a few provinces away?! They’re in the same country and they’re both making decent money. Amber lived in Germany and I lived in western Canada. We were both dirt poor and we still made it work!

You see what I mean? “I wish I wasn’t so shy and timid” followed by “I don’t think I’ll be doing that.” He didn’t say, “Nicole rejected me, but still want to be friends”. I wish I knew what exactly was said between them. Alas, I can’t, because I don’t want to be an intrusive bitch.

Anyway, prior to this conversation, I had a letter typed up if Nicole messaged me, which she didn’t of course. However, if she ever reads this blog post…

Dear Nicole…

My name is Li. Patrick has been my friend since 1986. He’s my brother from another mother. He’s been there for me for most of the important parts of my life and then some. He might not know this, but with him around, a lot of things that would otherwise make me feel anxious, disappears. While he’s not always on time, he’s still pretty reliable, and definitely, he’s loyal.

So I’ll cut to the chase. Patrick likes you. He told me himself. So why doesn’t he tell you? Why does anyone hold back their feelings when confronted with them? It’s because he’s scared of the negative consequences that brew inside his head. It doesn’t matter whether those consequences are going to be real or not. It only matters that he knows he isn’t in control of your reactions. He cannot rely on his own skills and talents to get what he wants. This isn’t a thing he has to meet a criteria and deliver it to get paid for. This is about a person he likes, that has her own personality, desires, thought processes, quirks and perks that will have a reaction based solely on impressions. The analogy is, he would rather not play D&D ever and enjoy the campaign with his buddies, on the notion he might possibly roll a critical miss on a D20 one day. That’s how he gives up on all of his romantic desires for people he likes, no matter if he feels there is a good connection between them or not.

I surmise, you would agree that every individual have their shades of strengths and weaknesses. We should not assume that just because someone is of a certain age, that they suddenly have the wisdom and courage to do X, Y and Z. We should instead recognize and understand that despite their shortcomings, at the end of the day, most individuals are dynamic. I know Patrick might not be able to ‘be a grown ass man’ and ‘do grown ass things’ as expected by traditional social standards in terms of romance and intimacy. However, I also know Patrick is a ‘grown ass man’ that is ‘doing a lot of grown ass things’ dynamically to what he’s capable of as a human being, whether that be work related, career, travelling, personal growth, fitness and health, so on and so forth.

One time, Patrick told me he felt intimidated by someone’s university degrees, early career progression, and book smarts. That he lacks that intellectual connection his crush probably desires. I told him that he puts too much emphasize on a person’s book smarts and university degrees, creating a false sense of absolute importance over other aspects of life.

I asked him a rhetorical question, “How many people do you know have travelled as much as you have? How many people do you know have taught English in Japan for over a year, hiked up Mount Fuji with a retired policeman whom didn’t speak the same language but was still able share a laugh, use gestures to communicate and enjoy the journey up? How many people do you know whom have worked with other like minded and like hearted people to help build schools in South America? How many people do you know has traveled to the other side of the world to be someone’s best man? Who has met literally thousands of people from different cultures of many different ethnicities? Personally, I don’t know anyone else except you.” A light bulb lit up inside Patrick’s head, as I continued, “So while it’s easy for society to weigh success and intellect in people based on their degrees and their careers, I believe people should broaden their views especially in today’s day and age in what consists of personal success and intelligence. In other words, just because Jane and Sarah acquire their intellect from books and the news, doesn’t mean you don’t have anything worthy to contribute intellectually. Intelligence isn’t based off one thing. Intelligence is based off many different things. You might not be able to talk about Canadian politics, but you definitely will have a lot of other things to contribute. You’re more interesting than you think you are. Someone just has to trigger that lock of yours to open up.”

Basically, this is what I am getting at here. I surmise you’ve probably have had much more romantic experience than he has. This has nothing to do with being ‘grown up’ or being ‘mature’. Whatever experiences an individual acquires, is based off of their opportunities. So what I’m saying is that if you like him, then you need to tell him you like him. Patrick is going to go on in life convinced that his life is too busy for anything else but work. The reality is that his mind is busy sabotaging his life. So as the quest giver, I have a task for you, if you accept. Take up the weapon of your choice, don whatever armour you wish to wear, and go slay that beast that is eating Patrick’s soul. The reward? Potentially a life where you can share your best and worst moments with the man you love, to travel far and wide, to experience what life has to offer beyond books and political strife, to enrich your minds with the opportunities a dynamic duo might be able to conjure up. Fuck the idea of the princess that needs rescuing by the knight in shining armour. Right now, a beaten down ranger is imprisoned and require an empowered woman to break him from his bonds. Will you be that woman?

Of course, if you don’t feel the same way, then you can tell me that too. I think at our ages, it’s better to be clear, than to linger with questions.

– Li 2020/Nov/4th @ 7:15am

Update 2020/12/13: I found out through Patrick from our earlier Skype call, that he didn’t go through with what he agreed to do. He didn’t tell Nicole he liked her at the airport. Instead, he told her that ten years ago, when so and so happened, he wanted to ask her out for a date. She responded paraphrased that it’s good to get some things off people’s chest after bottling it up for so long.

WHAT THE FUCK?! Not directed at Nicole. This is directed at Pat.

Let’s just say during our Skype call, no matter what I said, Pat just gradually pissed me off with his issues on insecurity. Yes, I know. I should be supportive and I was. I never revealed my true emotions during our call. I tried to inspire him with words of wisdom from experiences I’ve gone through, adjusted to how he can understand them. However, ultimately, he’s so swallowed up in his own emotional vomit, that he can’t get pass the “You’re fucking 41 with not much time left to do the things you’ve always fantasized about doing!”

Eventually, he said one thing that made me almost laugh out of frustration. He said he didn’t want ‘this’ to define him. So I told him ‘this’ hasn’t defined him at all, because he hasn’t tried at all. Until he has tried to actually do something about it, the only thing defining him, are his excuses to not go for it. He can hide behind his career, his photography, his creativity, his legacy as an artist, but at the end of the day, all of those things result from one thing: his unwillingness to experience potential failure from something out of his total control. At least with photography and his career, he has a direct control over his ability, regardless of how his clients may interpret it. With intimate relationships, there is no interpretation. He’s one side of a story which he can’t write by himself.

What’s dauntingly stressful, is that he will regret not going for it. He already does, but later on in life, when he gets to swim around in the glories of his career, he will find that he will be going home alone, not being able to share the joys of his achievements with someone who can appreciate him.

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