In re-reading a lot of my posts, I tend to write heavily about first dates. Not so much second ones, or third ones, or gulp, break ups. And as I’m sure everyone will agree- that’s mostly because break ups SUCK. Like, suck hard. Perhaps I’m fortunate because I only had one really awful break up that made me a complete bucket of crazy… but I survived it. I came through the other end with only a slightly alarming drinking problem.
But- because I’m a good person and I have not much else to write about, I’m going to go ahead and tell you how I was able to move on. Because that shit is hard. And sometimes you need a tore-up 23 year old girl with a laptop to tell you how life works. It’s cool.
1. Get you some friends. Good ones. The last thing a broken hearted, melodramatic girl needs are girls who give shitty advice or just judge you as you cry into your
bottle glass of wine. Recruit the girls who bring you more bottles of wine to be your support system, not the judgy ones.
2. Leave it be. Just don’t. I know, you think you have something really important to say… If only you had told him that one thought you had! He would totally still be in love with you! …Only, he wouldn’t. So when you want to pick up the phone/email/blog/twitter (technology is not your friend), punch yourself or something. Or go back to the bottle of wine. But do NOT make contact. Just keep reminding yourself: out of sight, out of mind. Then repeat.
3. On the opposite end of #2, don’t let him jerk you around. They don’t do that because they are having genuine second thoughts, they do that because they are genuinely terrified of being alone. I’m sure you’re lovely, but if he wanted you, he’d be with you.
4. Watch He’s Just Not That Into You and cry for a little while.
5. Cry some more. I don’t really get (or like) the girls who say, “I just got over him. I turned off my emotions and I’m over it.” No you’re not you freak of nature! You’re dying on the inside. Stop pretending like your heart works better than mine. At the risk of suppressing all those emotions and having them burst out at the worst possible moment and embarrassing the bananas out of you- feel what you have to feel. Embrace the emotion, accept it, let it go.
6. Don’t get fat. Tempting, I know. But that “Nobody will ever love me again and I’m awful and oh my god I’m just going to wear these pajamas until I die of loneliness” is not a good plan. Again, call your friend and drink.
7. But don’t drink too much! This will make you fat. And maybe make you cry… okay, it’s totally gonna make you cry and your beer belly will be laughing at you and you’ll just want to die all over again. So balance the booze with something that makes you feel good about yourself.
8. People LOVE that saying “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone new.” That might work. But I think it just makes you extra crazy, and a whole lotta desperate and maybe an HIV patient. Triple threat, and I promise, you will only be distracted but not for very long.
9. Keep going… Just keep doing what you do. Don’t let a break up tell you anything about yourself except that you are ONE step closer to finding the right guy. So that’s exciting, in a bitter sweet way.
10. Have faith that you will, one day, be able to see him from across a patio and say to yourself, “oh, there’s the guy who broke my heart so many months ago.” And then that thought will be swiftly followed by, “Wait… am I… okay?”
And you will be.
Start your own blog!
Sike. (I’m bringing back the word “sike.” Certain parts of the nineties, like this word and the cabbage patch dance move did not, in my very humble opinion get enough credit).
In all seriousness, I’m noticing a troubling trend among women, and if you are reading this (thank you!) I know you’re guilty of the self-berating, awful treatment of yourself that I definitely practice from time to time. And if you aren’t, please vacate my blog- you are much too mentally stable for my yammerings. This is a place for fellow “what the fuck did I just do?” people. But anyway, I’m here to explain what I’ve learned in the past year and half or so of behaving like I flat out didn’t count. And it’s not true, so maybe I can help you if you’ve kind of fallen into that rut too.
First– believe that you are. Sincerely, honestly, know that you matter. Because you do, even if it’s just some random chick with a laptop and a free evening telling you that. Your opinions, your blabberings, your crying at stupid commercials or during that argument are valid, and important. But if you don’t buy into any of your beliefs/theories/platforms, nobody else will. Nor should they.
If you, like I did, don’t believe yet that you are important a pretty good activity for you then is to fake it til you make it. Tell yourself you are… Not in a creepy-homeless-person-who-talks-to-themselves-way, but in a silent, inside your own head way. If passers-by overhear you in the mall saying “I’m important!” not only will they not believe you, but they will alert authorities. And generally people in padded cells can agree on their delusions of importance… So avoid that, please. Anyway! When you catch yourself discounting your thoughts “Oh, that was stupid of me,” stop! Silently remind yourself that you are important. You are NOT stupid. (Unless you genuinely are, in which case I can’t help you).
Second– Place blame when need be. I’m not saying keep your index finger pointed in a permanent position facing outward at people near you… that’s creepy… but know when you are or not to blame. Women are quick to fall into the “totally my fault. I sooo apologize. Please forgive me” thing… Even if it’s NOT. If he cheats- you aren’t to blame. If your boss is a crackpot who yells at you all the time, chances are you didn’t fuck everything up. If you don’t deserve to take the fall for something, don’t. It doesn’t mean you have to fight tooth and nail to convince everyone of your innocence or superiority, but it does mean that you need to stick to your own truth. Sometimes other people just suck. Sometimes we are not so fabulous, and that’s perfectly okay. Humans are awesome like that.
Third– and this sort of goes with “second,” but have some standards. Yeesh. I am so guilty of going out with someone (last night?), and having a sort of okay time, but still staring menacingly at my phone wondering why the guy who was mehhh isn’t calling me incessantly declaring his love and reciting poetry (today?). Don’t settle for less-than, or you will become less-than. And who wants to be less-than?! It kind of sounds like someone who would be missing an arm or something… I like my limbs. Not that anyone thought I didn’t.
Fourth– People generally referred to as “important” are impressive. And maybe right now you have a not very impressive job. Doesn’t mean anything. Maybe you have some habits (cough, cocaine, cough) that are kind of scary… But there’s always time to find a direction that IS impressive. And more importantly, “impressive” is a relative term. I don’t find blue-grass singers to be impressive, but D does. D doesn’t find political figures impressive, and I swoon over them. (Fact: I almost cried when my favorite Congressman remembered my name). So just because everyone else doesn’t go “Ohmigod you’re so cool!” over attribute X about you, don’t worry about it. It is so good for you mentally and emotionally though, to believe in yourself enough to set a goal that you think is impressive. First, be proud of yourself for attempting said goal, and then, be proud of yourself for achieving it. It’s a fun game.
Fifth– If my extensive yoga experience has taught me anything (sike! I don’t do yoga, who are we kidding?), it’s that getting to know yourself is a good idea. Fuck that. It’s a brilliant idea. Spend some one on one time with yourself and just do what you have always wanted to do- even if it’s napping, or sewing or whatever. Know what you like, what you despise, what you are and are not capable of. This way, when other people (douchebags) are doing that “Let me tell you something about YOU” crap, you can either admit internally that “yeah, maybe I could work on that” or “you’re a crazy bastard and I don’t need your judgements”. Don’t rely on the two-bit opinions of people to form your own opinion of yourself. More often than not, other poeple are wrong. This kind of goes back to the “know when to accept blame thing.”
Another fun thing about this little part, getting to know yourself can normally result in liking yourself more. Finding some sort of acceptance of who you are, of your big ears (cough, me, cough), or the way you laugh, or whatever it is you pick on yourself for without ANY reason.
Sixth– Finally, take care of yourself. Be a priority in your own life. For a long time people talked about learning to love yourself and I really didn’t understand. I thought that meant tell people how much better you were than them… and guess what? That just makes people call you a “bitch.” Which was sort of true at the time.
What I think they actually meant (I admit, I’m still sort of working it out), is to treat yourself like you were your own daughter (son if you have a penis). This does not mean attempt to put your head up your vagina and give weird bizarre birth to yourself. It doesn’t mean that at all. But- think of it this way- if you had a daughter, would you stuff her full of shitty food and dress her like she was homeless? Would you tell her she was stupid or not to bother with school or her friends? No. You would value her, make her feel special, treat her as the special being she is. So, in a sort of creepy way, what I’m saying is to treat YOU like the special, unique, lovely being that you are.
And there you have it. I spent a year and a half hating myself, blaming myself, being angry at me and actually starving myself because I thought punishing my own person would somehow improve anything. Surprise! It made it worse. We all want to be told how important we are to other people, and while that’s normal and (duh) I do it too, it’s dangerous if “other people” start to supercede our own opinions. So… just next time you feel like you’re becoming a big grey ball of “ugh,” remember that it’s temporary and you are better than that… and you are important.
*Also, points to me for managing to use SIKE twice in one post.*
Remember when I was funny? Remember when I posted with dependable regularity? Want to know what happened? I moved.
I swear, I got away from Charlie the Miracle dog and his douche-bag of a mom, M, and I am literally incapable of producing a blog that doesn’t blow ever since. I blame geography.
…Only that’s not the whole story, I’m afraid. My blogging skills/schedule was largely dependent on the general mood I was in. I’m good when I’m miserable. In fact, my humor reaches impressive levels the less happy I am internally.
So in yet another way the-universe-is-fucked-up, the defenese mechanism I have exploited for years is kind of useless when there’s nothing to defend myself from. When I am unhappy, I deflect the probing questions and sympathetic looks by throwing open the doors to my self-deprecating humor. I suppose I must be thinking, “well, I might be black and rotten on the inside, but at least I can still make people laugh.” Or something like that.
Imagine my surprise then, when I found myself comfortable for the first time in a very long while. And with this comfort came a mental break that took me off guard-duty for myself. I can communicate with people without the need to interject jokes to control the situation. I employ my sarcasm less often now since I don’t need it to distract whoever is unfortunate enough to be near me. I am, I cannot believe I am writing this, not angry.
That’s a lie. I’m less angry. I’m still frustrated with Democrats and my boss and the weather’s bipolar tendencies of late. I’m still disappointed with certain folks and myself for my various shortcomings. But I’m not (at the moment— knock on wood) pissed off at the air for being there. I don’t want to yell at trees and the sky and God. I’m just kind of… going.
Ironically, as I became less awful a person, my blog plummeted. I think it’s more because I’m not passionate about things now… That’s not right either… I’m not passionately aggressive. I’m still in love with politics and my family and my friends and good music and literature. But I’m not forcing myself and my thoughts on the world, and I’m not (currently— knock on wood again!) trying to prove a point that I was never able to articulate well, anyway.
And conssequently, I’ll be taking a break from blogging. I neglected myself lately, and I was miserable… I cried myself to sleep for a long time, and I never looked in the mirror and asked why. Choosing to wallow was sooo much easier and blog-worthy. The need to grieve a number of things took priority over my own emotional well-being and to be frank, I got lazy and in the laziness, incredibly selfish. Lately, I feel like I see a different girl in the mirror, and I kind of like her more than that teenage-esque bitchy-for-no-reason person I always thought I was.
Sooner or later, I’ll return to the world of blogging with what I’m sure will be a wave of observations, but for now, I’ll keep if off the blogosphere. I’m just done trying to be funny.
Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end.
I’m only 23, which is by no means anywhere near alzheimers or broken hips or divorce… well, I take back that divorce comment. What I mean to say is that I am still young, but I was a little blind-sided by how I have managed to morph into an adult without even recognizing it. Here I was, thinking that if I just continued on my merry way of poor life choices and boozing it up on work nights that I could maintain some level of youthfulness. Guess what? I was wrong. WAYYY Wrong.
Here’s how I know I’m growing up (prepare to be depressed when you realize you are also getting old and will die soon):
- My favorite gift this Christmas? A steamer. Which was awesome on a number of levels: like I’ll save money on dry cleaning since my dry cleaner is a douchebag but really close to my apartment, and I won’t have wrinkly clothes.
- I had the tools required to put the steamer together, before realizing I needed tools for this bad boy. A few years ago, I spent two dollars on a swiss-army knife thing that had a little screw-jobby from IKEA and I thought I had hit the domestic-jackpot. These days, I don’t fuck around. I’ve got legit tools… Like 3 of ’em.
- I could survive in the wilderness with great hair using only the items I have in my purse. My purse has enough hair-spray, gum, little flossing things, toilet paper covers, tiny brushes, mascara, combs and reading material to keep me looking nothing short of gorgeous in the fucking jungle… If I ever did anything that would result in jungle-dwelling… which I don’t. So maybe I’m just showing early symptoms of hoarding… Which would suck.
- Anti-oxidants have definitely climbed their way up the list of priorities (meaning they went from obscurity to somewhere in the mid 50’s). I take vitamins. Everyday. (It’s what responsible folks do). Yes, they are gummy ones, and yeah they might have sugar on them but they are delicious and I am healthy and taking preventative measures to not wither away prematurely.
- This is more like 4 and a half, because it’s basically the same thing, but about tea. I drink tea from my little mug in my office everyday, and I get genuinely excited about new flavors of tea… Then I drink it and think I probably look really grown up with my glasses and my mug and my sweater. Normally I decide sometime in this line of thinking that I will be a great novelist.
- Eye cream. A small fortune has been spent on what I’m pretty sure is normal lotion just in a smaller container that reminds me every night that one day I will need botox.
- Men have gone from people that buy me dinner to other people’s ex-husbands and baby-daddys. Gone are the days of dating charming but degenerate servers, chasing the guy who is chasing his (doomed) dream, and romantic spontanaeity. The baggage is closing in, and it’s practically forcing me to settle.
- Keeping with the above observation… Growing up resulted in a sad realization of what I wanted in a guy, which, unfortunately is as follows: good looks trump bad style. Smart
trumps good looks. Funny trumps smart. Meaning I’m going to marry Chris Farley… awesome.
- Sex takes on a different role… this is one of the better observations probably. It goes from being awkward and scary and one of those things that always makes you vow you’ll lose 10 pounds immediately, to a way to be intimate with someone while finding a really special, mutual vulnerability (if you do it right).
- 10. EMAILS. I love them. Phone calls< Texting< Emails< Letters. But nobody writes letters anymore (except the very emo girl inside of me that I normally keep muzzled) so I settle for emails which are pretty much the modern version. I email everyone; my parents, my friends, my sorority sisters, my boss… an ex here and there… As I get older, I find that I use bigger words and less acronyms in texts, meaning that I require more room for my impressively mature vocabulary… Leading to my love of emails. The perfect combo of technology and literary awesomeness.
There you have it. Symptoms of adult-hood. Granted, I only have use of one nostril right now because I think I got tuberculosis last night and I’m currently high on medicine so I can participate in my super elitist republican-lady program (I got accepted! youngest one! woo!) tomorrow without sneezing on everyone. So this may not really be all that applicable to anyone, or even me once I’m out of my pharmaceutical-induced haze.
It’s raining really hard. Which- I’ve heard- happens. But normally not in California so this is new, and a little scary and probably partially responsible for me not being able to fall asleep.
Regardless of my misanthropic tendencies cited here, I really do believe in the world, and the (majority) of people in it. Which is why I spend every Tuesday and some Thursdays hanging out with homeless babies. I look forward to it all week, primarily because who doesn’t love babies? and also because my life is kind of filled with things that I dread doing. But this place is where miracles happen.
I can’t give any details because a handful of the moms who live in the shelter are abused or looking for a way to run from their addictions or crazy stalkers, or whatever. But they, trust me on this, are incredible. And all I have to do is walk in, grab my baby (I’ve fallen madly in love with a 7 month old who just started crawling), and hold him and play with him and just watch his two little teeth show when he smiles wider than I initially thought his face to be capable of. He’s insanely happy and offers me a workout chasing after him. He likes to play peek-a-boo and I like to make funny faces, so we get along quite perfectly.
This place, I’ve been to before. I’ve volunteered here a few years ago, where I met a little girl (4 yrs) named Jessalyn who was being given up for adoption. When I found out she was one of the ones being given up, I didn’t really know how to be around her. Did she know she was moving away? Was she scared? Did she feel unwanted? This little girl, however, was a bad-ass. She proudly announced to me one day that “A lot of people love me.” I didn’t dispute this. Jessa was beautiful, and tiny with long hair and goofy bangs… it would be impossible not to adore this itty-bitty person who was actually kind of bossy. So I said, “I bet they do!” And she explained to me that she had both a heart mommy and a belly mommy, and she got a heart daddy too! There was no fear in her little face, no shame, no worry about where she’d end up. The sheer fact that so many people loved her and wanted to care for her was all she needed.
Jessalyn, and this shelter are why I decided to adopt. I could be a heart mommy… I feel it in my gut that I could do that for a child, and I could make them proud like Jessa was to have a parent like me. But- time has taught me that being a belly mommy is in my future, too. The joy of announcing to my parents that I am pregnant, the feeling of a little kick, and a hugely swollen belly (that I will totally complain about) are things that I now want.
So while I watch these women with absolutely nothing left find ways to make their babies proud, I have found my own direction and my own strength. It reminds me, on days like today when I have run out of reasons to think so, that people really are good. They mean well, but sometimes get a little lost- some though, find their way back. Every Tuesday, I watch magic happen and get to play a (very small) role in it.
Even if the rain is bashing the skull of Southern California in, and the economy sucks, and people get sick, and I sort of forgot who I was this year, I’ve got hope. And should I ever get lost, I know where to go: a tiny building with a whole lot of strollers and an abundance of beauty inside. Thank you Jessalyn, the shelter, and that gorgeous little boy who spit up on my shirt a few hours ago for reminding me to believe.