I spend a lot of time staring at bald spots and howling dogs and beach squirrels from seven floors up. I’ve dropped a significant amount of weight and pushed myself a state over into a “big city” and switched majors from something boring and certain to something “exciting” and potentially fruitless. This is what we do. This is how 20-something year olds behave. I’d denned up in Fort Wayne, Indiana for many (17) years and stuck myself in the slime of a horribly boring and stagnant relationship. I’d packed on a lot of excess weight that pulled my skin and pleased nearby fast food chains. I’d gone on and off medication for all the things that I inherited or that I spontaneously sprouted psychologically. I’d failed my first class in college (or ever) and grown so sick of the man I was living with that one night a pizza ended it all. The monotony of $5 pizza and TV drove me to the edge and in a tearful rage (as I am want to be in), I ended a four year relationship and found myself trudging through snow with all my meager bags could hold, ready to board my Grand Am and drive the long mile to my parents’ house, where I’d live for the next five months. I can still see myself looking up at a low-flying plane and smiling out of exhaustion or relief or complete terror, whichever.
The first week was a trip. I’d never describe myself as dramatic. Sure I’d vowed never to speak to my mother again no less than 15 times growing up. Okay, I’d slapped my little brother Alex across the face (really no explanation of motive needed, as slapping is a dramatic thing to take part in no matter the circumstance). I’d thought my life would freeze when my fellow classmates heard tell of me having started my period in the sixth grade. But these are commonplace dramas among growing young ladies and I thought myself a levelheaded and serene near-adult woman in March of 2013. But that first week of singledom was pathetic. I wore out the ears of my mom and ate nothing (oh, but thank heaven because I was getting so fat), and did nothing but sob and think my life over because no one else was going to ever fall in love with someone like me. It was a great week. I’d highly recommend it. Although, fun tip, when your mom takes you pity shopping: buy stuff. I was so “depressed” that I wasn’t “into” shopping and missed out on a lot of stuff I’d probably want now, sitting on my bed, broke as all hell in the future where I’m very fine and very in need of pants and food and train fare and toilet paper. But in the haze of drama, I saw nothing but eternal loneliness.
There’s nothing that feels like rock bottom like reading a self-help book. Granted I did not seek out nor purchase this book, but I read it cover to cover. I will not disclose which book, but my mom arrived home with it one night (undoubtedly because she wanted me to leave her the hell alone for a few hours) and I read it. And it made me feel awful. Not only because it beat the fact that my relationship was absolutely over into my head, but because it was written by two boobs and I’d prided myself on being an asshole who read Gogol and McCarthy and pooh-poohed Kate Chopin and lined my shelves with Dostoevsky, never to be read, but, oh, to be seen (ya know, cigar smoking and scotch drinking and all that, too). After reading this book I cried everyday for a bit and then was totally fine. This is not exaggeration. I was fine one day, about 8-9 days later. I had a drama queen week where I thought I would never recover (not helped by the fact that a lot of “experts” claim it will take you half the duration of your relationship to get over said relationship… to them I flip the bird because I recovered from 4 years in a week) and surely die in my bed from exhaustion and hunger.
After that splendid week I spent a lot of time with friends. I tried a lot of “new things” and continued losing weight and reconnecting with people I hadn’t talked to in a long time and running and bicycling and gaining some pretty sexual tan lines and occasionally eating food and kissing the shitty spring 2013 semester goodbye. I failed microeconomics by the way. And I think I owe my current situation to both my slimy relationship and to my D- in economics. Because both those things made me realize that my life was a turd.
[I’m by no means attempting to besmirch the name of my ex-boyfriend, as he was a disturbingly kind and loyal person. He put up with a lot of shit from me (including but not limited to: baseless rages, baseless tears, baseless arguments, occasional unintentionally violent night terrors, loss of much of his closet space and lots of forced back massages) and he will always hold a little place in my cold dead heart. But we were not right together and we both knew it and thus, we were sludgy and disgusting. He has since gone on to do other things to which I can only respond with a series of wrinkled faces. But wrinkled faces are fun and adorable so no harm, no foul.]
As is customary during times of drastic change due to realizing your life is a turd, I’m “expressing myself” like young women so frequently need to do. I’ve always been one to flop my business on the internet. My Xanga is a testament to my idiocy as a middle school lady and I’ve been member of nearly every blogging platform since. But upon re-opening this blog I’ve decided to get grossly personal because writing massive amounts in the TextEdit on my Macbook feels wrong. It feels cowardly. I tend to hide everything I make/write/do (I've also been known to retreat into the head hole of sweatshirts like a stupid turtle). And if I’m not hiding it, I’m terribly embarrassed and critical of it. I’d taken to writing loads and loads almost everyday as a means to release all the shit. I had lost my best friend and transferred my outpouring of words onto others who didn’t want it and thus, needed somewhere to shovel all the shit. It’s a beautiful image and I’m keeping it.
But all along I had this want for someone to listen - as humans do. I’ll admit the first few months of that little notepad are an abysmal mess of teenagery sob-fests and petulant rages, but as time goes on I feel I’ve regained my level head and forgiven people without receiving apologies and done all that adult bullshit that we are supposed to be able to do at 22.
It seems to be common practice to look back on who I was a year ago and weep for myself. The older I get, the more I realize this is not fading and I am not getting cooler or prettier or better. But the rush I feel from divulging is really cool. And not in a “wow, now that I’ve lost weight I’m going to show everyone by bubs and buns” kind of way. That rush works for some. I prefer words, which can often lead to feeling more naked than physical nudity does. But since I’m “putting myself out there” I feel I would be remiss if I kept my thoughts in private. I’m going to be showing classrooms full of people that I’m not adept at drawing like they are. I’m going to be reading my writing and showing others my “art” for them to tear apart with bloody teeth. This is very terrifying to me, so during this period of pharmaceutically-supported contentedness, I’m taking advantage and dishing out.
There’s something about only having spider and pigeon friends in a new city that really makes a person want to shove all their junk on the internet. Less in an Anthony Weiner/Vanessa Hudgens sense and more in a ‘what I’m doing right now’ sense.
So here’s to embarrassing my future self.