By Matt Hearnden
The person who wrote to me and told me they were a writer but never wrote anything.
The person who messaged me and said they were losing interest in everything they thought they liked.
The person who told me they wanted to be a life coach but thought they wouldn’t be good enough.
The girl who told me that she liked a guy and thought he liked her back and was “lovely” but hadn’t broken up with his current girlfriend.
To the countless people who’ve told me they procrastinate, or that they’re not motivated, or that they don’t know what the fuck they should do with their life.
It’s your fault.
I feel good that you tell me these things but why are you telling me? Do you think I care? Do you think that it keeps me up at night?
I do care. That’s why I replied to you. But then most of you didn’t reply to me.
All those things, they’re entirely your fault. I’m not even remotely sorry for saying that.
The solution is right there. Stop asking me to tell you what it is when you insist on pretending that you don’t know.
I could say I was bullied at college. And I was. But who chose to kept hanging around these people? Who kept wanting to be liked by them? Who wouldn’t ignore them?
I could say I hated my job. And I did. But who chose to stay in that job? Who chose to complain rather than to do something, anything about it? Who refused to believe in any other kind of possibility?
I could say I was “friendzoned.” But who pretended to only want to be friends? Who never spoke directly? Who chose to obey his fear?
It’s my fault. Everything. All of it.
Do you not realise how liberating that is?
If it’s your fault then you can change it.
If it’s my fault then I can change it.
Unless you don’t want to.
Maybe you like blaming other people like they’re some object rather than a human, a human who’s cried until their throat hurts, a human just like you.
Maybe you like blaming them because that’s your secret weapon.
You blame them. You slather them in guilt and shame and unhappiness. You strut away.
Because you know.
Somewhere in you, somewhere hidden, somewhere in the real you, you know.
You know that your life is your fault.
But you think blaming other people is easier than taking responsibility so that’s what you do and then you fucking wonder why you’re not where you want to be.
You wonder why you’re not who you want to be.
My mum was telling me stories this morning about kids and how often they say “he made me do this” or “she made me do this.”
She told me she says “no, they didn’t.”
She told me the kids stare at her with wide and curious eyes.
She tells them how to take responsibility.
They know she’s right.
I said “all kids should be taught how to take responsibility.”
Perhaps I should’ve said “all adults should be taught how to take responsibility.”
Maybe that’s why I like writing. Because you can read it or not. Listen or not. Ok.
Even the time a girl I really liked said “Matt, it’s not going to happen.” Even that was my fault.
“HOW CAN THAT POSSIBLY BE YOUR FAULT, MATT? YOU’RE BEING TOO HARD ON YOURSELF!”
No. I’m not.
I told her I liked her. She was shocked. She said “I don’t know.” I told her I’d wait. Then everyone in our group of friends went to the cinema and we sat next to each other. Then we went to a club. Then we walked home together and she took me down a dark road and we kissed.
I thought “Finally. This is it. This is when we get together.”
I never asked her if she wanted a relationship with me. Not directly. I hinted, probably. I can’t even remember. But I remember we watched a film together and this was years before “Netflix and chill.” I probably had “Netflix and chill” intentions. But I was a coward and didn’t make the move I wanted to make.
She gave me a birthday present just before we both left university and went home for the summer. I kept that for years. Then we were both invited to a party back at university and I was excited to be seeing her.
Still, after all these moments, I’d never once said to her “I like you. I want to be with you.”
I got drunk at the party. Too drunk. By 10pm I was throwing up in the toilet and a girl, a girl who wasn’t her, was rubbing my back and saying “it’s ok.”
It’s ok? Are you alright?
Me and the girl I liked spent no more time together at the party. The next day I texted her, while we were in the same room, and told her that I wanted to talk to her.
She didn’t say no. She just said she was going home soon.
I told her to wait. Please. Just wait.
I left not long after.
We talked later that day and I told her I was sorry and, finally, I told her how much I liked her. Even then I don’t think I said “I want to be with you.”
And that’s when she said “Matt, it’s not going to happen.”
And then she said nothing.
And then I broke down.
So don’t you dare tell me that me getting my heart broken wasn’t my fault.