Friday, September 11, 2015

"People always say that it hurts at night and apparently screaming into your pillow at 3am is the romantic equivalent of being heartbroken. But sometimes it’s 9am on a Tuesday morning and you’re standing at the kitchen bench waiting for the toast to pop up. And the smell of dusty sunlight and earl gray tea makes you miss him so much you don’t know what to do with your hands."
i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body.  i like what it does,
i like its hows.  i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones,and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the,shocking fuzz
of your electric furr,and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh….And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

-E.E. Cummings

My Better Half...

So I was drinking a coke the other day--diet, of course, because I'm addicted--and this is what it said on it: "Share a Diet Coke with your... Better Half."

Now, I don't want to excuse the fact that my newly single state may have something to do with the rage this caused, but I think I was overcome with anger for another reason.

In this 'modern' society that we live it, we encourage hook-up culture. We tell ourselves and our friends and our frenemies, "don't be in a serious relationship while you're young! Have fun! Sleep around a little bit before settling down with someone!" Society enforces and then reinforces the idea that we don't need anything serious in our lives until we are much older.

(I strongly believe this is why E and I broke up, but hey, that's another ranting blog post for another day).

But society also enforces and then reinforces the idea that when you are in a relationship, you become only half of a whole.

 So because I am single, I am not whole?! But wait... I thought I was supposed to be single and enjoying my life and engaging in the (horrendously stupid) hook-up culture?!

How about we start perpetuating the idea that you, alone, are enough. You are WHOLE. And when you are in a relationship, you don't need to give up half of yourself. When two people are in a relationship, it should be a formation of a dynamic duo, not just one entity. Batman is not half of Robin, and vice versa.

And this is all hitting me in this newfound single-ness. After E kissed me goodbye for the very last time, I found myself feeling like a half. Of course, this is natural in a break-up, and I'm not trying to blame society for my feeling of loss after breaking up with my boyfriend of three years. But why did I feel like I had been supplementing my identity with E and now I had to fill in the gaping holes he left me with?

I found it hard to remember who I was as a whole for a while. I really did give into the idea that the two people in a relationship are each one half of a whole. Our whole lives, we are told that 1+1=2. Yet somehow, when I started dating E, I divided that all by 2 and ended up with 1.

You don't need to work as one in a relationship, you just need to work together. There has to exist a YOU outside the blurry and blissful cloud of kisses and hand-holding and Netflix and cuddles and understanding and kissy face emoji-filled text messages and drunken nights and sex and love that is a relationship.

You are nobody's half. You are a whole--a beautiful, smart, unique, and worthy whole.


Anyway, I just hope that everyone sees how important it is that you don't need to sacrifice any part of yourself when you are in a relationship. It's not something that I wanted to do and not something that E wanted me to do, but it happened. And I blame you, Coca-Cola, for perpetuating this silly idea!!!!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

And, so...

We broke up.

After three beautiful years, it was ended.

And now, to the great disappointment of everyone who knows, we are texting all the time, and hooking up, and best friends, but just that.

And tomorrow night, I am meeting up with him. We are going to talk. And I am going to tell him that I don't think he knows what he wants.

After he was camping for over a week, the first thing he did when he got service was text me and only me for thirty minutes. And when he got back from camping, he met up with me that same night. He can't stay away from me, and I can't stay away from him.

And doesn't that mean we want each other back?

I don't fucking know.

I think it means that we are confused. Well, I know what I want. I want him. I do. If I am being 100% honest with myself, I am a relationship kind of person, and I want my beautiful relationship back.

I think it has to be really different. Because I also have a lot of other things I want. Independence, friends, self-worth and self-confidence, freedom.

I don't know that I have to be single for those things to happen, but I do know that it would help.

Most of all, I just want to know what he is thinking in all of this. I want to get inside his head and crawl around a little.

Everything is going to be okay, I know that now. As I was washing dishes at work last night, I realized that the things I am doing right now are the memories I will tell my kids about one day.

"When I was in college, I worked in a pie shop, and I would bring home free pie all the time. My roommates got so sick of it! I always snuck them a free ice cream scoop when my boss wasn't looking when they came in to visit me."

I like who I am, I do. I have some learning to do, because I want to be able to show the rest of the world who I am. That's where I have trouble.

Sometimes it seems so fruitless to try and make sense of the nonsense that goes on in my brain.

And, so...

I will leave it at that for now.


TO: Self, Part III

Two more days until I am done at the Herald! 

The last two days have actually been interesting. Today is slowing down, now that I have written my story about air hostess Mandy Smith and I am just sitting around waiting for 2.30 to arrive so I can call this restaurant manager and ask him a few questions about his restaurant. Tomorrow Little Sis comes to me after work and we will drink a toast to the end of The Herald, bake Auntie P something gluten free, and then head over to Edinburgh Saturday morning.

I am excited to see Auntie P and S, but I am also really excited to get to Grandma's house and spend some time with Auntie S and Cousin B and my gpas. I am just ready to relax!

I feel like I have reached a new point in recovering from the breakup. 

I feel kind of liberated after discussing the prospect of 'friends with benefits' with E last night. I know, I know. I should not have had that conversation and it's a really bad idea. 

However, I am at a point where I can see that as a possibility. I think it would still hurt a little, and I think I have to have my first kiss after the breakup to be with someone else. But there's no denying that we are physically compatible, so if it's something that we both want, why not?

I do feel like I want something with someone else. I am ready to look at boys in another light. I am so fucking socially awkward, so I am not ready to actively pursue anyone. But if something were to happen easily, I would be into that. 

That's the thing with E, everything just happens easily. We talk easily and nothing is awkward and uncomfortable. 

That's something I miss about him. And probably will always miss about him. 

Maybe one day, he will be ready to be more than just friends or friends with benefits. But I know what he really wants and the real reason he broke up with me. He wants to be with other people. He wants that experience.

And I do too, deep down. I want to be wild and have stories to tell of one night stands and summer flings and London boys who swept me off my feet for six months.

I want to be like Auntie S and have stories to tell my nieces and nephews of all the crazy boyfriends I had and the random boys I found on holiday. I HAVE to have those experiences at some point, or I would feel that I missed out on something that I really wanted for the rest of my life.

And why not start now? I don't have to be incredibly thin, I just have to make an effort to look nice and be myself and come out of my shell and have fun. 

When I go back to San Francisco, I will make a commitment to eating well and working out, because I really do think that my health and my confidence could use a boost, and I want to develop a healthy lifestyle. But overall, I am not going to change myself. 

I am going to use this experience to get me to a place where I am confident and outgoing and having fun with my life. I don't think I was able to get to that place while I was dating E. Not that he wasn't wonderful and I didn't love him, because he was and I did. 

But if I want to enjoy these last two years of university, I have to make dramatic changes. So far, breaking up with E is a dramatic change that will change virtually everything about my social life. And instead of being scared of that, I have to embrace that and use it to my advantage.

Besides, nothing will make E miss me more than seeing me at my absolute best. Confident, easy going, fun, and maybe a little wild. 

Nothing is holding me back but myself, and that can be hard to grapple with. Money isn't an issue, time isn't an issue, opportunity isn't an issue. It's just me... Being shy and inward and unsure. 

But I want to change that. I want to be ME, the me that has an amazing time with Middle Sis and her best friend, the me that laughs for hours with CC and dances in the living room, the me that makes E crack up.

There's nothing quite so rewarding as pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Spain was out of my comfort zone, and it was an experience I will forever remember as one of the greatest months of my life. 

And so out of my comfort zone I am going again. 

Who cares what people think about me? I don't want to be in a relationship--friendship or otherwise--where the person doesn't like who I truly am. I want to be able to go home and be with my sisters exactly how I normally would and I want my friends and my significant others to see that same side of me when we are alone. 

What am I waiting for? I am 20 years old already. That could be 1/4 of my life, already gone. 25% done. That's dramatic when I think about it. I can't just keep waiting for something to happen that will make me change. It is entirely up to me to make it happen, and what the hell am I waiting for?!

I am ready to be me. I am ready to make the most of my life. I don't know what experiences are going to make that happen, but I am going to try everything until I figure it out.

F out.

(omg I cannot believe I just said that)


TO: Self, Part II

Another week has gone by. On Monday, it will be one month since E broke my heart. One month since he sat on my bed and said that three years was a long time. 

I think that I hoped I would be better off after one month. I envisioned myself being strong and happy and adventurous, perhaps kissing boys in pubs. 

I am not doing that. I am being strong, though. I haven't had many breakdowns. Last night was an exception, but mostly, I am tearless and fearless. 

I struggled last night with E telling me that he has been feisty since we broke up, in what he called 'the post-F days.' I think that I was good for him, and that is hard for me to grapple with. Because I still love him--that, I cannot help--it is hard for me to hear that being without me is hurting him, in many ways.

I wish that I could really be there to guide and support him, but he made the decision to cut me from that role, and that is something I have to learn to respect. 

I am not okay. 

Well, I am okay, but not so totally okay that I don't need to be concerned about myself. I can't think about him before myself, he isn't my person anymore. Even if it hurts him to break off contact with me, if that is what is going to help me heal and advance the ways that I want and need to, then I do that. 

It can be hard for me to be selfish, and I think that comes from a long history of self-loathing. I didn't ever think about myself first in my relationship. I see that now. I think that maybe, had I been a little more selfish, I would have had problems in that relationship a long while sooner. 

E hurt me, sometimes. He often did things without considering me. Not responding to my texts, or blowing me off, or lying to me about being tired when he wanted to see his friends, those were not things that I should have dismissed. He should have seen how much those things hurt me and he should have stopped. And if he couldn't stop, I should have left.

But I don't love myself enough. And I think I rely on him to tell me that I am cute and smart and funny and great, instead of knowing that within myself. I am sure that is one of the reasons it is so hard for me to cut off contact with him now. 

I am beginning to think that perhaps I need to do the hard thing and stop talking to him. It will be miserable in the short term, but I think that without that constant source of confidence, I will be forced to seek confidence from within myself.

Oh, I don't really know. How am I supposed to figure any of this out?

I think that I don't let him compliment me. I think that if I find myself fishing for compliments, I stop, and I compliment myself. Instead of subtly bragging about how I finished a book, I finish the book, close it, and congratulate myself and take the time to think about why that was a feat. If I need to brag, brag to myself. Congratulate myself. Or brag to mummy. 

E is allowed to think that I am great--I hope he does. I am not sure if it is fair to cut him off from talking to me simply because I am unable to love myself. I do like talking to him, it's nice to have him as a friend, for now. I just need to amend how I personally speak to him. Bragging as a means of phishing for compliments needs to stop. However, celebrating experiences that I am proud of myself AFTER I have allowed myself to be proud of them, is perfectly fine. 

I think it is also good to remember that whatever E does, it does not concern me. The input that I give can be no more than input I would give to CC, or HC, or BW, or AD. While I have opinions on what is best for my friends, I only share them with them if they ask or if I think they are making a really huge mistake with severe consequences. 

I have no need to truly worry about him and his decisions anymore because he isn't my boyfriend. As of right now, there is no future with him. Any worry that I used to have was because I saw my future as intertwined with his; however, that is no longer the fact. 

I am going to find someone else who I won't have to worry about, who I won't feel the need to guide, and who won't hurt me. And he will find someone else that he doesn't feel controls him or hates when he has fun without.

This HAS to be better off for both of us. I think that ultimately, we are a good pair. We get along really well and we laugh together and have loads to talk about. But right now, I don't think it works. I think E needs to go through a rebellious phase and I don't think I can handle going through that with him. It would cause me so much emotional trauma. He has growing up to do that I have already done. Where we are good for each other, we can still be good for each other as friends. And someday in the future, once he has done his growing and I have done mine, who knows. Maybe we can be good for each other again.

It feels good to have realized that and to really, truly believe it.

I got this.


TO: Self

Oh, how the tables have turned.

It's so funny, and oh so disenchanting, to look back on life and see how much it can change in what seems like an instant. 

I haven't posted here in a very long time, but I think (though I won't promise) that I will start posting again. 

A lot has changed... And I will let you piece that all together with this post, which I have copy and pasted from an email I sent to myself while I was interning at a newspaper in Scotland. 

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of ex-boyfriend and godmother, even though no one ever reads this blog.

What else is one to do but eat Smarties and email oneself?

It's day 6 in Scotland, almost one whole week into my journey. Which means that I have four more to go. I had goals for this journey--I wanted to heal and I wanted to learn.

TO HEAL. I want to be okay without E. I want to think of the memories, of my head in his lap watching Jurassic Park, and I want to smile, not blubber. I want to wake up in that moment of blissful naivety that follows from emerging from the dream world and I want that to last for a little bit longer. At least until my toast burns or the shower water scalds me, but not because I remember that I am without him. I want to have hope for the future, but not so much that it holds me back from future endeavors, just enough hope that I know that what we had was real.

TO LEARN. I want to learn to be happy on my own. I want to explore the corners of my brain that I have been too occupied to explore. I want to learn about what my life could be like in the future. I want to learn to love myself, to know myself fully, and to love myself. 

But in the midst of all of this, right now, on a Friday afternoon, at my desk at The Herald, I want him back. I want the last message I send him at night to say "goodnight baby, I love you" once more. I want to ache with longing for our reunion.

But this ache is a different one. This ache is of absence and the knowledge that the absence will not end. 

We have been texting a lot, against the better judgement of anyone who has given me their two cents. It has been really good actually. The witty banter and comfort of my best friend, who knows me better than anyone else on the planet, was something that I missed so much in that first week.

Yesterday morning, I was lying in bed sick, and texting E. It was midnight for him, and he had been drinking a little, and he was going through the usual E motions of doubting himself and his choices and his future. He wants to drop out of school; he wants to burn his own path. 

And it hurt me. Because I have so many opinions. SO many opinions. But what do they mean to him? What does he care if somebody that he used to know thinks that he is better than that? I can't tell him how much I love him and his brain and the intricate way that it thinks.

But I took a breath and I talked to him like the friend that I am. I told him that the world isn't out to get him--which he countered--and that his parents, his teachers, society, they just want him happy. I want him happy.

 Everyone has their own idea about how you are going to reach that end goal of happiness, and they are going to attempt to persuade you that their way is the right way because that's all they know. But in the end, isn't the destination the same, no matter which route you take? 

And he told me thank you. He told me that I make him happy. He told me that it felt so good that I was actually listening to him. 

You're welcome, E.

And in those messages of gratitude, I subconsciously placed a subtext: "I miss you and I want you back." Now I know that I am reading too far into those messages. And I know that my broken heart is seeking to mend itself my believing that he feels that way.

But I know E well. I know when he's subliminally telling me that he loves me, and I know when he is recognizing how much I mean to him. And in those messages, that it just what he was doing. 

I fall asleep at night and I dream of the day I land in San Francisco. I dream that I turn on my phone and I turn off airplane mode and I text him "I'm home!" and he quickly responds telling me that he is eager to see me...

...And so he comes over to my apartment, and we sit on the couch and watch some really attention-grabbing TV show on Netflix and eat popcorn. And then it gets scary and startled I jump. And I turn my head toward him, my palm guarding my eyes from the screen, and my head settles on his shoulder. I blush. I pull back. He looks at me, I look at him. I lean a little closer. He wraps his arm around my shoulder and he pulls me in closer to him. He holds me...

...And then the dream jumps and we are in my bed, the bed of dreams, legs entangled, under the Gordon blanket, with my laptop on his stomach. I am lying on my side, my arm thrown across his chest and my leg thrown over his. I reach my face up to kiss his cheek. I can smell him, I can feel him... 

And then I wake up.

But before I lose the blissful naivety, I am flooded with hope. Can the subconscious not be reading the signs and piecing together the clues to predict the future?


What will instead happen is something more like this: I will tell him I'm home and a few hours later, he will respond something very open-ended and vague. I will probably ask him to hang out. We will probably go to a coffee shop. He will drink a large coffee, I will drink a small coffee. It will be awkward, we won't have much to talk about. He will take his bus home, and I will take another bus headed in the opposite direction. And then I will go home and wrap myself up in the Gordon blanket all alone and watch something shitty on Netflix and cry into my pillow. 

He wants to be single. He wants... (gosh it's so hard for me to even think it, let alone type it)... to be with other girls. To kiss other girls and to fuck other girls and to love other girls.

And I want to get home to the wifi this afternoon and send him a text: "Just please don't let it be with someone I know. I only ever want to hear about it from you, not from someone else. Promise?"

But I can't be that pathetic. I can't be that desperate.

Or can I?

I want so badly to play hard to get. I want to come home from Glasgow with new clothes and new confidence and a newly slimmed down figure. And I want to go for that coffee date and tell him tales of my solo adventures and the boys who would buy me drinks when I went out and the barista who gave me his phone number. And I want to look up at him through batted eyelashes and tell him that I like being alone, I like the independence and the freedom. 

And I want him to look back at me and feel his face flush and a knot rise in his throat. I want him to go to that bus that will ship him off in an opposite direction and put his headphones on and listen to angry punk ballads about lost love. And I want him to text me more and flirt more and endear me more until, finally, I kiss him. But without any strings attached. And then the texting and the flirting and the endearing will go on and on. And then one day, when I have him begging, I want to say yes and kiss him and be held in his arms and I want to cry tears of joy with him as we both successfully complete our conquests.

I truthfully don't believe any of these scenarios will happen. I could invite him to a party and drunkenly cry when I hug him and get a whiff of that all-too-familiar smell. Or I could fall in love with someone else. Or he could fall in love with someone else who forbids him from talking to me. It could be anything, and that is what I hate the most.

Because how will I ever know which it will be? How can I prepare myself for any number of scenarios when the most likely ones I can't even come close to imagining?

But I don't want you (you? You are me, I am emailing me) to think that I haven't progressed. Because I have. I really, really have.

First of all, just in writing this email, I am learning about myself. I am writing in a writing style that I like--a style that flows naturally from my fingertips and a style that I love to read. And that gives me hope for writing in the future, which is something I want to do, but I have always doubted my abilities. 

Secondly, every morning that I have been getting ready for my internship, I have looked in the mirror and I have felt hot. Now, I don't know if I owe that feeling to L's mirror or to my new Next jeans, but either way, I am looking in the mirror and I am seeing someone that could get hit on at a bar or who could warrant second glances on the street. 

And most importantly, I feel quite happy.The Herald is fun, I don't know if ever I have enjoyed work, but I am enjoying this and envisioning a future doing this. And L is loads of fun. She listens to me and understands my side of things and she takes care of me and makes fun. Being around her and her friends and talking to them, it almost feels like I have friends of my own. 

I don't want to wallow, I don't want to sit around and feel pathetic. I don't know how to handle all that I am trying to handle, but I am doing my best. Step by step, I really am healing and learning. I know that it will only get better with time.

I am taking this pain and this thrust into the complete unknown for good. I told myself that I want to become the best version of myself. And I think a good gauge for that is try and become the version of myself that E most wanted me to be, the version of myself that E would most love. And to banish the qualities that E didn't like so much.

Now I know that seems silly. But I am not trying to do this so that he will fall in love with me all over again. I am doing this because E made me a better person. I always knew that, but I have really begun to notice that while being without him. The person that E would most love is the person that I would most love. 

I want to banish my outbursts of anger, and I want to let loose, and I want to be unafraid of consequences, and I want to always think positively (although I don't want to lose my realism), and I want to learn the guitar, and I want to write a book, and I want to learn all their is to know.