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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

As Taylor Swift’s lyrics overtake my TikTok page once again, I’ve found myself relating to the current trend of people sharing how they are “still at the restaurant.” The phrase comes from Swift’s song, “right where you left me,” where she describes the aftermath of a relationship and not being able to move on. My current situation is embodied by the lines of this song and has urged me to share in what ways “I’m still at the restaurant.”

Many of my close friends know me for consistently holding onto things, even when they don’t want to be held onto. In my mind, there is still this guy that I think about even though it’s been about a year since we’ve actually been friends. (Yeah, I know. I never actually dated the guy!) I’ve recently grown to understand that our falling out was mostly my fault, as well as my decision, and now I’m deeply regretting it. I thought I was completely over losing him until I realized that I may not ever see him again.

I spent the summer reminiscing over our good times and forming some sort of apology that I revised over and over again until it felt right. However, I never intended to send it. I thought that if I really cared about this guy, then I could just let him go and hope that when he thought of me, it was only good things. I chose (for about a month) to let time take him away, but it’s like time only brought him closer and closer to me when I didn’t even know where he was anymore. 

I eventually sent out the apology (and phone call, and voicemail), but I never heard back from him. I took his silence as a sign to let go. That was about a month ago, but I still feel compelled to have a final conversation with him. Maybe then I’ll be able to put the nail in the coffin and watch as it’s lowered down into the ground, never to be seen again. I’ll wonder if it will always feel like a bandaged wound, or if I’ll ever really get over it. 

I want to, but I know that isn’t always the case. 

My restaurant consisted of intertwined fate, embarrassing pining, and many (SO MANY!) moments that left me feeling like “??!!?!?!” One of my favorite things to have was a simple shared smile over eye contact when we came into each other’s view. The restaurant wasn’t perfect, but it really was my favorite. At times, there were some sour moments that made me unsure of what we both wanted, but we always came back to each other. In the restaurant, a love brewed in the kitchen that neither of us ever claimed was ours. However, looking back on that year, I don’t believe that it ever could have been love. Neither of us could ever accept the differences of the other person and that is what led to the downfall of our friendship.  

We had a restaurant that only ever needed the two of us, but I walked out of it thinking I wouldn’t be back. When I came back to check on it, it had undergone a natural disaster and he wasn’t even in there anymore. The restaurant that I missed, could now only be found in my memories. 

You may be going through the worst heartbreak of your life, but you can live with it. It won’t be easy and you will have your setbacks, but there will come a time when you’ll know it’s for the better. Growth doesn’t come all at once, and sometimes it doesn’t come at all. That’s a part of the process too. You don’t always have to learn your lesson. Sometimes you just miss a person and what you both had, but don’t ever let that hold you back from living your life in the present. Pain is a part of life, so it shouldn’t be the thing that takes it away from us. So take your time traveling around the ruins of any of your failed restaurants, but know that there will come a time when you’ll have to walk away from it. 

Hi everyone! I'm April and I'm a first-year advertising student. My love of writing stems all the way back to when I would write about my piping hot second grade drama in my One Direction diary. Since then, I've expressed myself through writing in hopes that others can relate to my experiences and find peace through that. Besides writing, I have incredibly unique interests like shopping, watching anything with a hint of romance in it, and listening to the same songs over and over again - with a HUGE emphasis on Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo! <3