I Wish I Was


I've been listening to one song on repeat for the last 24 hours.

It's about not being the hero in the story. About the times you have to be the bad guy to protect someone who's good and deserves more. About the times when you wish you could be the more they deserve, that you could make something work just because you want it. But then you realize that wanting something doesn't mean you get to have it.

Sometimes I forget I'm not living in a Disney movie. I don't always get to be the good guy—I can't always be the one the audience is rooting for. Not everyone who comes into my life is going to be able to flip back onto the chapters we shared and remember me with a nostalgic smile. Sometimes they're going to wish that chapter hadn't happened at all.


I have a tendency to drag on relationships longer than I need to. I don't communicate the end well. I stumble and stutter and close off until a poor boy ends up confused, trying to understand what I'm saying and trying to comfort me as I fall apart under the weight of what I know I need to do—but they don't realize I'm usually even more confused than they are.

I don't like losing people. I don't care if it's a friend, a boyfriend, a family member, or a random classmate who loans me their white out on test days. I don't know anyone who does.

But when you're breaking their heart every time you try to convince them not to hate you, not to be upset that you want to take a different path, you're not being the person they deserve. You're not being the person your mother tried to raise you to become. You're not being the good guy—

Telling someone "remember, I'm the good one. I'm the one who'd never break your heart," comes with a big old, "I'd never break it on purpose." And they stand there with their broken heart wondering what to do next, but you get to walk away, wipe the sweat off your forehead, thinking how lucky you were to escape that one unscathed.

* We're living our stories where we are the protagonists, and we want to twist and cram everything we do into the role of the good guy. But there are people outside of our stories who deserve to be a hero too.

I know a boy who has done everything right. He cherishes his role in my life and hugs me close when I'm sad or sick.

He's made mistakes too. Sometimes he stops responding to my texts and tells me there's no time in the day for us. Sometimes he cancels dates and forgets to ask me about my day.

I've spent the last year of my life trying to protect this boy's heart—but when I look closer, I think I've really spent the last year of my life trying to protect my good guy status.

It hurts me to think about a time he'd look into my eyes and forget to see the good I wish him because he's drowning in the pain I caused. It hurts me to think about seeing his name in his phone and scrolling past it because he doesn't need to see a message from me.

And then one day a girl will come into his life and show him what it's like to stumble back into love and she'll take over the role I don't want to lose. The girl who is good to him and could never break his heart…even if it wasn't on purpose. The girl who he'll spend forever with, long after our chapter has closed to never be reopened again.

He deserves that girl.

I'm not her. Even though I wish—lord, I wish—I was.