11th January 13
I finally got my happily ever after, I just never realized I’d have to work to keep it. I thought I was happy with myself, a well rounded, emotionally stable person. I have a lot of work to do. I don’t think I ever noticed how self-absorbed, self-conscious, and critical I was. I guess I never embraced how caring and nurturing I was either. This relationship has already been a huge growing process for me, and if it never goes any further, I’ll always be appreciative of the maturing I’ve done.
I don’t know how to make it not about me. I spent a huge portion of my life blaming everyone and everything for my problems. Now I spend it blaming myself. You only cough when you go to bed? It’s because you’re next to me. My sales aren’t good enough at the office? It’s because I didn’t give me best. I wonder when the pendulum swung the other way. When I did become so hell bent on accepting everything? When did that switch from responsibility to fault and subsequent shame? At the end of a better part of a decade I thought I was through with therapy. I’m starting to think I stopped in the middle: where I finally learned what the tools were, but were never able to put them in place.
It makes me feel bad for the boyfriend. I am caring and nurturing not in monomaniachal pursuit of martyrdom, but a gross misconception of “The Golden Rule.” That if I was loving, good, passionate, and caring I would receive the same from the boyfriend in return. Keep with that line of thinking, and the two way street of your relationship starts feeling like a four line highway on one side, and a roadside pull off on the other. I have to admit and cope with the fact I’m bitter, and I don’t know about what and I don’t know where to start dealing with it.
15th May 12
It seems everyone I know is going to therapy or has been in therapy. A decade more or less of therapy later, and I’m even more confounded by the skills I do have than when I didn’t have any.
Really being able to talk about therapy and the repercussions is esoteric, but even more unlikely than being able to talk about therapy is apply it. People seem to fall into one of two categories: those who can analyze feelings in an existential way and those who analyze all feelings, including their own, all the time. My friend T falls into the first group. She can analyze everyone’s feelings, the origins, the explanations. She can exhibit great empathy and sympathy that make her a great friend. She also lacks the confidence (I’m guessing) to be remotely confrontational and discuss her feelings, specifically about you. Driven by an intense need to please (which explains her abusive relationships) $10k of therapy can’t change the fact that she’s more comfortable just being mad at you than telling you.
I fit into the second group. I’ll talk about feelings day or not, explain why I do things the way I do, little tid bits of history, and I’ll over-analyze emotions down to the semantics and connotations words hold. Actually I’ll only do this with people I think I can trust with it, although there’s no defining formula for who fits into this “safe group.” What I can’t do is sit with emotions very well. Talking about my emotions has become a coping mechanism for actually dealing with them. Just writing that seems counter-intuitive, I mean isn’t the point to talk about them so you can deal with them? I don’t think so. I can’t sit with boredom without eating, smoking, sucking my fingers, drinking coffee, texting. I can’t sit with sadness at all. It starts as a suffocating feeling and I really can’t just let it be. I’m trying to mantra away the suffocation, talk about it, take my woobie and rub it away, just anything. Anything to occupy some small part of my brain. I’ve actually spent so much time in therapy at this point though that I’m not okay with the primal instinct just to cry, it’s too basic. That’s lovely, because I’m a woman I have to make even being sad superfluously complicated.
The minority of people, in fact I may have only encountered one person who falls into this, is the person who thinks that because they’ve changed their life through therapy everyone else responds to therapy speak. My mom and I now have a system where we can flatly say “I’m mad at you” and leave it at that. We don’t need to yell, shout, or even raise our voices. This obviously does not work in the real world. People live so far out of the moment that nuances are lost. We become so desensitized to the definition of words we rely solely on the manner in which they’re conveyed. You’re not screaming, you’re not angry. Not jumping on couches, you’re not happy. I remember being 16 and actively having to retrain my brain what happy and sad were like. I went on Seroquel, a massive downer, and had to completely re-evaluate emotions just to keep myself sane. There was no big difference between fine and good or fine and bad. It was the beginning of a very interesting and weary road that while I wouldn’t advocate it for the faint of heart, I do think it’s necessary for Americans.
My mom constantly remarks to my statements that I’m being incredibly harsh, and conversely I tell her she’s being incredibly kind. Talking about my relationship with my mom I feel like the Universe has constructed us to be the yin and yang of each other despite being so similar. My mom has this belief that if you treat everyone with kindness, respect, and compassion great things will be accomplished. I think people need to be kicked off their high perch, given a large dose of tough love, and then they get some compassion. She is understanding where I am critical. Which is ironic because I’m the theoretical one. I truly have the belief that while this makes her an amazing person, a Dalai Lama-like woman, it’s ineffective. She treats the world like a therapy session, and I think sometimes she doesn’t adequately convey her point. Also odd, because she has the most communication styles and the best sense of feeling out how to communicate with people of any of the people in my life. Yet while she may not adequately convey the point, she rarely alienates people.
15th May 12
I’m in such a weird place. The only thing I can compare to is ADD for the soul. Every time someone even says my name it pulls me out of this carefully crafted, defense mechanism bubble I’ve created. Maybe it’s too much drinking, the jolt back to reality after vacation. It’s more likely the state of my personal relationships. I’m completely incapable of being there for anyone right now. Unless we’re sharing in the pain, the partying, the studying, I can’t just be there. I vacillate between feeling like I have nothing to give and feeling like all I do is give.
I’ve lost my best friend. She was my partner in crime, my confidant, and a good chunk of my stability and instability over the past three years. I don’t know who changed. I can’t figure out if she’s unstable and if the examples she’s giving me about my behavior are valid, or if I’m the one rationalizing. I don’t think it matters in the end. I try and play it off like it doesn’t matter, because on some level it doesn’t. I can’t fight for a relationship if she won’t. But fuck it hurts. You can’t help but feel the gap that relationships leave, even during new ones. Person A can’t possibly cover all the bases that Person B did and vice versa. It hurts my feelings that she left. It hurts even worse not really knowing why.
I think girl relationships are much more fragile relationships than guy friendships. We give so much to each other, spend so much time together, entangle ourselves in the intricate strings of life, we expect this level of commitment from our girlfriends. You reach a point of maturity in your romantic relationships where you acknowledge and accept you can’t get all your needs met from one person. Before you reach that point though, one person usually will change to meet the other person’s needs. You don’t want to date a party girl, the party girl domesticates herself (on some level for some time) et cetera. With your friendship though you don’t have that same commitment. Nobody is changing who they are for their best friend, and if you’re not on the same page you kind of seem to find new friends. Despite the fact both sexes use colloquialisms like “bros before ho’s” and “chicks before dicks” chicks really don’t place an emphasis on maintaining their relationships. We drift in and out of each other’s lives, almost to the ebb and flow of disappointment and resentment. I do the same.
This cycle really seems to be hitting me the hardest. It’s always been pretty easy for me to focus my attention of something else, someone else. But right now it feels like meaningful friendships and relationships are out of my grasp. I’m sure this is just a period of time where I learn more about loneliness. Where I should learn how it sinks into your bones, how you deal with it. I’ve often been alone, though not often been particularly lonely. I guess I’m thankful for the realization that neither my relationship with my friend nor a relationship would fix it. I’m obviously not happy with some component of my self, and it’s a good time for me to figure out what that is. I’m sure part of it is my recent birthday, and the inherent self-reflection that comes along with getting older and sitting with where you’re at versus where you wanted to be. I need some navel gazing, but the bigger goal is to really push through this feeling. Just to get up and move, do yoga. Become closer to myself, and then maybe float to get rid of the external influences. I need to keep studying, keep pulling good grades, because I need some external validation.
25th April 12
Everybody thinks I’m crazy, in a silly, amusing sort of way. Usually I view myself the same way. But I think I’m losing my mind. I can’t explain the moth thing, I just know it’s night two and they won’t go away. It doesn’t matter how many I kill, or that I make sure no door is opened past sunset, they just keep coming. If I see them on the wall I try and practice desensitization by leaving them there. I seem to do okay seeing them on the walls, I can forget their presence. Then they fly around, and worse than even being able to see them in the peripheral is the sound of their flapping wings and the incessant tink, tink, tink of them flying into lights, light bulbs, lamp shades, walls. I can’t even escape them during the day, they hide in crevices, behind doors, in curtains. My incessant swatting at them is only heightening my anxiety, every time they touch me and fly in front of my face I’m only more nervous. I’m using every self-soothing measure I have to not let this turn into a full blown phobia, and it’s making me feel like I’m fucking crazy. I feel so isolated. Nobody gets it, everyone thinks I’m silly or weird. I’m sure it’s attributed to something other than the moths but that’s how it’s manifesting itself. I’ve never liked them or butterflies. I remember going to the butterfly pavilion as a kid and thinking it was horrible too.
I heard one drown itself tonight. It flew into my coffee cup and made this hissing noise as it flapped its wings against vanilla flavored coffee. I let it drown. I could have scooped it out, taken it outside, anything other than listen to it die. Last night I just felt shameful of having anxiety, but now I feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment. I feel shameful of having anxiety and listening to the moth die, I feel guilty I didn’t do anything, and I feel embarrassed that not only am I having anxiety about something that can’t even do anything to me but that people think I’m crazy for it. I can’t sleep now, just like I couldn’t sleep last night. You go to get a drink of water, they’re flying around. A light shift on the tv, they’re flying around. And they can’t just stay in one fucking spot. No, they get confused, disoriented, they fly over your head, all around the room.
The irony isn’t lost on me that the moths are scared and fleeing in the same way my parasympathetic system causes me to become scared and flee. I suppose one could go so far to make the connection the moths are a symbol of my fear and anxiety in life. I would also say spanish is the source of the majority of my anxiety, where the last two films we’ve watched have had butterfly in the title. Irony is the resounding theme in my life. This clarity somewhat makes me feel better, but it’s the age old dilemma: you’ve admitted you have a problem, what are you going to do now? Classes are almost over, moth season is not. I don’t know what to do now. Wait it out, bide my time I suppose, try and remember life’s little ironies, focus on being mellow and kill every assignment just like the moths I guess.
24th April 12
They say life’s a process. The old proverbial saying “It’s a journey, not a destination” rings true in so many ways. I’ve managed to combat a lot of my anxiety and fear towards life by understanding there’s no actual check points, and certainly no finish lines. Occasionally I forget this, and the reminders are significantly less subtle than the peace I’ve gained from that knowledge. I actually believed I had conquered my anxiety, that I had not only reached that check point, but that I had actually hit a destination. A swarm of reasonably benign creatures reminded me that while I’ve come so far, it is in fact, still a journey I’m on. I had my first anxiety attack in at least year, and quite possibly longer than that.
Unable to sleep, I walked into the kitchen to make a bagel. After putting it in the toaster and checking my email I walked back to the fridge to be surrounded by five (six? seven? I guess it doesn’t matter) moths swirling around my head, competing for the light. My parasympathetic nervous system set off that all to familiar, yet recently forgotten urge to fight or flight. Luckily reason prevailed and I was able to calm down just enough to realize I wasn’t in danger yet still started hyperventilating and sobbing on the floor of my apartment. Whatever our biological rescue remedies are kicked in, and I was able to calm down in about ten minutes. The lingering emotion is just as difficult to deal with; I’m flooded with shame. Shame that I had an anxiety attack, more so because of a group of ugly butterflies. I was supposed to be beyond this, I had moved past anxiety dammit. But I haven’t, and the fact I feel shameful for it, despite all the “check points” I’ve made in emotional health, make me disappointed.
"Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning."
16th February 12
Sylvia Plath (via shimmerandrot) (via cubiclerefugee, huiyan)
5th February 12
I stole my boss’ duck. Granted it wasn’t a real duck, but for all the hoop-la he caused about it, it might as well have been. His name is Sal the mallard; the duck, not the boss. A friend of mine and I developed a strange attachment to the duck in our Sunday Funday drunken state, and despite proclamations that we were not allowed to take Sal on an adventure, we ducknapped him. By the end of the day Sal had cuddled with a lab, squatted on a fire hydrant, and played on a playground. He drank copious amounts of Rum and capri sun, and finally came to a place of rest on my kitchen counter. The boss (TB) received a carefully crafted text resembling a ransom note informing him Sal was alive and well. Apparently this is a violation of trust. Apparently when someone tells you not to take their duck because it could potentially be valuable and/or sentimental, you’re supposed to listen. If you don’t, as we didn’t, it’s a violation of trust. Lesson learned. Also, when TB invites you to box seats for a Lakers game he should respect that invite despite your initial protestations of it being a blizzard. I did not respect him, and he did not respect the invite.
The very fact that I make such a statement, that our trust had been violated because of a duck and the Lakers is kind of ridiculous. Really TB and I have a much more complicated relationship; one which is entirely indicative of the mental problems I’ve procured over the years. I have attachment issues. Mostly of the ability to attach and only slightly of the inability-to-let-go kind. Quite the opposite if you look at it from a superficial perspective though. While I’ve probably impacted more lives by my inability to attach I’ve definitely far more impacted my life by the ones I don’t let go. TB was my boyfriend almost 4 years ago, and I’ve been working for him for a little over two years. We spent four months actually being in a relationship, and the better part of two years trying to figure out how to be friends. January something or other marks the one year anniversary of a completely platonic relationship. Working for him (at a company he owns) is a chaotic mixture of sexual harassment, general assault, long lunches, trying to find him a wife, and inappropriately sharing our history with our coworkers. We speak every day at least once, go out on what would commonly be defined as dates, and bicker like an old married couple. I can admit that I’m less inclined to actually date people when I have friends with benefits and TB. Moved on emotionally? Somewhat. I don’t want to date him, kiss him, or marry him and I also don’t want to share his time. I hate when he dates other girls mostly because it takes time away from me, and I know he’s not going to marry them anyway. Totally aside from any legitimate causes we had to break up, honesty finally created a scenario where we could no longer have romantic feelings about each other. You hear enough about the other person falling in love (me), their relationships with paid sex (his), how critical you both are, a litany of other tidbits, and you just can’t quite love the other person the same way. For us it created an undeniable bond leading to a defining friendship, and too much fodder for judgement.
The hardest part about being friends with an ex is having to imbed to memory all the lies you told when you were together. If you constantly protested you never cheated while you were in the relationship, you can’t tell the truth when you’re friends. I don’t know why, I don’t make the rules, I just follow that one. The second hardest part about being friends is not bickering about your failed romantic relationship. While you have to imbed the lies, the memories you hold as true rarely are. Dissecting your relationship for years just leads to strongly held beliefs that are more based on a truth you’ve concocted than what actually happened.
The best part is being able to have someone of the opposite sex who knows what it’s like to date you, be friends with you, and hook up with you as a sounding board for your current relationship problems. You know, with the other people you haven’t been able to let go of either. Like the first person you ever loved. The person you dated long distance even though you both knew it had to end at some point because there was no way you could change your circumstances. The person to whom you completely gave your heart in all reality probably because you knew they would leave. There was no guessing about if you were going to live happily ever after because you established from the beginning you couldn’t. Until you could. 3 years after your breakup, two more life changing loves, a dozen (more or less) relationships, and a dozen (leaning towards more) casual hook ups later, they walk back into your life for the chance at happily ever after. In some ways, I knew it was coming. We spoke at least a couple times a year, conversations dotted with enough you’re still hot’s and do you think we broke it off to soon’s. It seems so trite holding on to things like that, but when someone’s your first love, you do. You hold on to every thing you can catch and distort into some bigger meaning, regardless of the intent. Well hell, I’m not Cinderella and this isn’t a love song, so I’ll take what I can get. But then it’s a year later, three visits in three months, and you’re still not in very different situations. He still lives in a different state, and while he’s trying to get back, it just doesn’t seem to happen. You’re not naive, hopeful, and daring like you used to be. Except you are in your subconscious. You hold on to fuck buddies and people like TB because you’re emotionally incapable of attaching yourself to most while the potential of lover boy is waiting in the shadows.
Lover Boy (LB) and I have a relationship that kind of works in its own sick way. It only works because he can’t exactly figure his life out and I’m on my way to figuring out mine, so nobody’s on a clock. Part of me knows I have time to wait it out, see how this progresses. The other part of me screams “THIS IS BULLSHIT!” at the top of my miming lungs within the confines of my head. I’ve already spent five years of my life impacted by this human being, and I just want to know if we’re meant to be. Either this won’t work, and I need to move on for good, or we get a real shot. A legitimate chance where we’re in the same city, trying it out to see if it sticks. It also works because we’ve developed a system of only partial honesty. (Wow I seem to have issues with actual honesty) He intelectualizes all of his emotions, and I stuff mine. He rationalizes all of his by saying while he hopes for a happy ending, he knows there’s a thousand reasons why it couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t work out. I meditate, cry, float mine away. The more we talk and spend time together the more he permeates my thoughts and music choices. The way I miss him sometimes is a depth of loneliness I haven’t experienced in a long time. A depth I haven’t experienced since the second person I loved.
The second love of my life was a blessing and a perpetuation of occurrences I can now identify as a pattern, for I also knew he would leave. Because our brief romance lends itself to similarities to the movie Leaving Las Vegas, I’ll call him Ben. Ben came into my life the summer after I turned 21, as unexpected as Mayweather’s sucker-punch to Ortiz’s face in the fall of 2011. We met amid a warm afternoon, over a Xanax deal with a girl named Brittany. Despite anything that would happen over the next two weeks, Ben and I never spent more than four hours apart. We also never spent more than four hours sober. No matter how much I love LB, no one has ever and probably never will compare to what I felt for Ben. To be completely intoxicated with another person, completely addicted is an experience I’d like to only have once in my life. An alcoholic with a girlfriend and two kids in Las Vegas, he was wildly smart, charismatic, damaged, deep, well read, and disastrous for any semblance of a healthy life. We had an inate intimacy I can’t describe that was fueled by the sharing of quotes, authors, experiences, and vodka- gallons and gallons of vodka. We drank all day, every day for two weeks. We holed up in my French blue room drinking, having sex, and talking. Occasionally we had to venture out. We went and hung out with his (mostly) despicable friends, I joined him for a day of working in the gas station, we went to the library. By the end we had virtually stopped eating, drinking 1-2 handles of Taaka vodka a day, and I learned what it was like to love someone again. I loved person number two with whom I knew I could have no future. Despite the fact that leaving Ben at the bus station was one of the most depressing days of my life (that I can recall), it didn’t impact me as long after. With Ben it wasn’t as easy as dumping his girlfriend and moving back to Denver, we were too fundamentally different. Despite our shared love of Bukowsky, Ben actually identified with him. He loved to write obscure poems seeping with alcohol and depression, and found a romanticism in poverty I could never fully embrace. He always told me I was slumming it with him, that I would find the love we had in a much more stable, lasting environment. He said I would find it with someone who would elevate me emotionally, spiritually, financially. That while he was okay with living on the wrong side of Vegas, check to check, squandering his potential it wasn’t good enough for me. I knew for us to ever have a relationship, one of us would have to change. He didn’t want to live in a white collar world and I didn’t want to live drinking pints of McCormick’s in a back alley in the desert. Ben and I were given a unique experience where we could love each other irrespective of reality, and in a way that somehow managed to not destroy our lives. You can only sustain a Leaving Las Vegas romance if one of you dies in the end, and if you both want to live, well you have to let each other go.
It’s weird writing about it, I feel the words lack the emotional attachment I really had. I go back and read some of the few journal entries I’ve ever kept, and the pain I feel reading them makes me have to catch my breath. Losing LB was a couple month process, whereas losing Ben was one day knowing that after you left that bus station you were going to drink yourself to sleep one more time before you woke up detoxing. I imagine detoxing in and of itself is less than pleasant, but emotionally it’s far worse than physically. One of the few people who continually called me during my forenight with Ben (just to make sure I was alive) was The Cop, who would soon become love number 3.
To leave a romance with an alcoholic poet and move to one with a cop was quite a change. It didn’t happen overnight, but it felt like it. Fuck buddies for two years, he called one night and I was there. I saved him that night, and from there our relationship progressed. The first six weeks I was his driver, I drove him to work, drove myself to school, picked him up, and we spent the night together. Actually we spent every moment we could together, building on what relationship we had before. Our casual relationship had an air of intimacy to it: we cuddled, I spent the night, we talked about our problems, but I always left before morning. Really getting to know each other was a healing process I desperately needed. In the beginning of our relationship I really grew as a person. I ate better, I worked out on a regular basis, I homecooked our meals, I drank less, I actually thought about the future. Despite two loves and one live-in boyfriend prior, he was the first person I could envision myself marrying. We played an interesting game of me saving him, then him saving me. I came to realize our relationship, for me anyway, really hinged on one of us needing the other. When he needed me to drive, to cook, to cuddle; when I needed him to work out with, save me, fix something it worked. He had saved me from a bad shroom trip, and I had saved him on the night of his DUI, but we reached a plateau where we were both stable. We had agreed to get a dog, but she was being raised at my house, so I didn’t want to go to his house anymore. The effects of his DUI had commenced, no more mounting debt, and he was looking at his future. I went on a trip, and when I came back I broke up with him. He was 15 years my elder, with a 12 year old illegitimate daughter living in another state, and a deep history of abandonment and attachment issues. He didn’t know if he ever wanted to get married or have another kid, and while I didn’t know if I did, I did know I wanted the choice. He was looking at a decade of working long hours, potentially overseas, and I was looking at a future with someone who wouldn’t be around. I think really I only loved him because I never thought it would last, and this time instead of the boy leaving the girl, I left him.
He didn’t really leave though, because they never do. It seems once I truly attach myself to a person they never go away. In April we will have broken up two years ago, and my stuff is still at his house. He calls every day, and we still talk a few times a week. He watched “our” dog for three weeks while I went on vacation, we do dinner together, he’ll spend the night occasionally. Neither one of us can bring ourselves to do something about my clothes, hair products, shoes. They sit in the same storage containers I bought to organize them, thirty minutes from my house which is three blocks from his work. I suppose that while I don’t particularly want a physical relationship with him anymore, the idea of not having something physically tying us together seems too final.
I spent my childhood with a fairly physically and emotionally absent mother and a non-existent father. When you grow up like that, you don’t let people in very easily, and apparently don’t let them go very easily either. I don’t think anyone would say I’m a clingy girlfriend nor ex-girlfriend, but I just have a way of keeping them in my life. Part of me wants to let go of LB, Ben, and The Cop. How can you let go of people who have fundamentally changed your life in so many good ways though? I still haven’t figured out how to get over liking people you never stopped liking in the first place. While I’ll never stop loving them two of them made it easier to move on. I knew with Ben we could never function in the real world, and the Cop after about a year of being broken up became so clingy he transformed into a person different than the one I fell in love with. I still love and adore LB perhaps because I can’t have him. He’s not here, he’s not impossible to be in a relationship with, and if anything, he’s changed into someone I love more.
I once had this theory of three marriages. You marry once for lust, once for stability, and once for the real thing. In their own way all three of my loves fit into this model. Ben was lust, The Cop was stability, and LB was the real thing. What remains to be seen is if LB is really going to be the last. Until I figure it out I have the boss for emotional comfort, a veritable pantheon of carnal pursuits, and a dog to keep my bed warm.
27th January 12
I read my previous post this morning after a whopping four hours of sleep. I’m not sure I agree with it. I think I’m okay with being a party girl. In my brain there’s a categorical difference between party girls and “socialites.” Party girls make wild, reckless decisions, drink three wise men just because they know the night will end in chaos. They’re the ones doing blow at the strip club at 4pm on a Tuesday because class was over and someone suggested a good time, dancing on bars in foreign countries because no one knows them, ending up in all sorts of environments on a fairly regular basis because they know the best experiences sometimes happen in the most unlikely of places with the most unusual of people.They’re more prone to going home with strangers because sometimes drunken attraction means more than a sense of safety, and they want to take in every moment life has to offer. What I don’t want to be known as is a socialite. “Socialites” are the girls who believe people have to get to know their “heart” before they can get to know their bodies, they actually ponder if blondes have more fun, and they’re the kind of girls who only drink champagne. They talk about being in the gym on a Friday night as if this somehow brings them closer to humanity while dismissing the fact they’ve been at every big scene event for the past three weeks. They’re horrified that out of their 5,000 friends, most of whom they don’t know, when they post half-naked pictures at least three of said friends will post a comment that doesn’t reference “eyes being the windows to the soul” or what a great girl they seem, and straight up call it like it is: they want to beat it up, and you’ve just provided PG-13 fodder for that. Party girls drink to avoid life, school, and work and subsequently talk about all those things. And while I suppose I shouldn’t condone using partying as an escape, at least they have something to escape. Socialites talk about their besties, how amazing life is, and OMG giggle giggle I’m like in the car with my friend, how cool is that?!?!?!? I just don’t empathize with the pressures of picking out the right outfit for the night, feeling objectified by 60 year old perverts you accepted as friends on facebook, and constant body maintenance. I want to offer something to someone, even if it’s a cautionary tale. Even if the only thing someone says is I’m a train wreck and did you hear that insane thing she said to so and so. I think that was kind of the whole point of being a party girl in general- to create stories and memories with everyone surrounding me. I like being able to say yes I spent last Halloween high on acid with a kid named God and a guy dressed up as Santa. Aside from the Mexico dinner party incident, I think that while people were willing to write me off as a party girl, they never discounted that I was real. I really did/do put it all out there, in whatever way comes across in my head, and that’s what I think made me such a successful party girl. And big tits with a liberal use of makeup.
I don’t know why the distinction is so important to me. Maybe it’s just a way of rationalizing my behavior, but I don’t think so. I was trying to compile a list of people I partied with who I actually found to be interesting and I realized two things. 1) this doesn’t apply to guys and 2) they were the girls who talked about other things than partying. Even if they lived to party they still had real jobs, were enrolled in school, something. I was thinking about those people because someone suggested I write maybe a call-to-arms to all the other party girls and encourage them to be more open with their personalities. I told him I couldn’t write about that because while yes I was just arguing about people discounting me as a real person with depth, I didn’t think that applied to everyone else. A different friend last night said he was surprised and impressed I could actually write about some of my struggles (even superficially) and he knew after we hung out a couple times I had more, and he was just waiting for it to come out. He apologized for judging me in the beginning. I rebuked his apology because he had a right to judge me. He put me in this box where I wanted to be. I didn’t want to let people in, and it worked. The fact he had hope for me, that he knew there was more was everything I needed to hear. He really let me know that people see past the facade, if there is something to see past. Thus where the distinction between socialites and party girls came from.
We all judge. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think it’s good to put people in a box so long as you can shift your perspectives of people and what boxes they belong in. Maybe there should be a call-to-arms for girls to consider letting people change what box they put them in. It doesn’t mean they will, and it certainly doesn’t meant they should. There’s nothing Paris Hilton could say to make me want to hang out with her, but Nicole Richie changed her box.
26th January 12
26th January 12
“I’m worried people will get to know me, realize I’m more complicated than just a funny, inappropriate, party girl and they’ll feel let down.”
Apparently nobody loves a socialite robot as much as they love a human being. Ridiculous humor, a questionable moral compass, and a complete lack of regard for normal decision making skills are only one aspect of my personality. I happen to find it the most amusing. As I’ve grown up, matured, mellowed out I’ve realized that while that might make for an interesting person in their early 20’s it’s not upon whom I want to be solely characterized. It’s not entirely who I am. Of course it’s a personality trait, maybe even a large component, but it’s not everything. I like to make it out to be. I feel uncomfortable in the other place: vulnerability. While it may be as raw as the humor I project, it’s a place I keep far more guarded. Instead of guarding it for the decency of humanity (as I do about some of my more off colored jokes), I do it because I’m not ready to let people in. I have this fundamental belief that if you adore the carefree, go with the flow, adventurous wild child how could you possibly and equally love the high strung, sensitive, overly analytical therapy baby? I’ve started coming around to the belief that authenticity is a value far more highly regarded than amusement.
I remember a time sitting in Mexico with my “vacation boyfriend” and his friends who were speaking solely in Spanish despite their awareness of my English-only vocabulary. After a few minutes of being confounded why they weren’t speaking in English I realized it was because I was there to be seen, not heard. My opinion didn’t matter, my stories irrelevant, for I was decoration. Initially amused by this notion, then repulsed- I mean how could I be just a decoration? Didn’t they know how smart I was? How funny? Then I realized it didn’t matter. I was the pretty, party girl tourist. I served my purpose, and he loved me for it. In the way someone loves a show pony, their tap dancing 2 year old beauty queen daughter, or a prized rose garden. It had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the entertainment I provided in that moment. I didn’t want to be someone’s trophy wife. At the time this seemed like such a revelation, though it came to be a passing thought.
I spent 19 through the majority of 23 being a trophy wife. A trophy wife for the downtown scene. I went to all the parties, did all the drugs, performed all the crazy antics expected of me. The biggest difference between playing the part then and playing it in Mexico was this was my life, and it wasn’t one dinner party. It was a reputation I was creating, a component of my personality I was capitalizing on. In the process I wasn’t letting most people in. Most people didn’t know about the hard bout of depression I fought in the Spring of 2010 that almost led me to an inpatient facility, the crippling anxiety stemming from a belief I wasn’t good enough that led me to medical leave from school for 2 semesters. As a good friend put it, I’m the most open, emotionally guarded person she’s ever met. I believed that by not letting people in I was doing them and myself a service. They didn’t have to deal with the days where I’d sit on my bed and sob from feelings of inadequacy, the benders I’d go on to numb myself, or the vacant look in my eyes from disassociating. What it took me a long time to realize was that they also missed out on my loyalty, my genuine passion for helping people, and intellectual conversation. I had manifested this belief that people wouldn’t love me for that because it didn’t make for fascinating pictures, status updates, and stories. The people I did let in never seemed to leave. They seemed to fall truly, deeply, and passionately in love with me and didn’t flee the second we broke up. Those who didn’t find me completely bat-shit insane intimated they fell in lust with the party girl, yet fell in love with the complexity. The polarities.
It’s been an arduous journey to get my head to believe it’s what’s in the heart that matters. That while being inappropriate and outspoken are some of my better qualities, they’re not the only ones. To find a space to embrace being a good person, being sweet, being honest and emotionally open are the traits that not only serve me better in long run, but more adequately define me. That while I don’t count my party friends as my best friends, my best friends don’t discount me as just a party girl. One day I hope to find an inner peace to fully believe that being multi-dimentional means trusting all my qualities are what define me, make me interesting, and above all, good.