I decide it’s ok to give a shit.

Do you get a weird source of inspiration from public transport? Like, I always feel like I’m at my peak of inspo wen I’m on a train, plane or bus. I’m not sure if this is a normal thing, but I always get my best thoughts out at the expense of a $3.65 metro ride…or $178 round trip flight.

I say this slightly intoxicated on my flight back to Boston. By slightly I mean 3 whiskey shots, 1 Sam Adams Summer and 2 vodka sodas deep. Sorry, mom.

I’ve had an interesting love life the past few months. Active, yet unactive. It’s strangely familiar. Guys have sorta sucked, but that’s nothing new. Again, it’s familiar.

I expressed my sentiments to my best friend, sober, “Why don’t guys wanna date me?” I felt desperate asking this question, yet I find myself genuinely curious. It sounds like plea from sad, single girl who is searching for love in all the wrong, yet seemingly right places. Yet, I don’t really give a shit. I’m just curious.

I see couples all of the time. Holding hands down 14th street or intensely making out at my bar, I replay my girlfriend qualifications.

-smart

-friendly

-attractive

-kind

-gets along with moms

-gets along with friends

-cool

-chill

-fun

etc.

I engage in an internal debate about casual sex. While I once was so confident in the fact that I, Beth Cormack, am SO ok with casually sleeping with men, recently I have began to question that notion. I feel like from a societal standpoint, my reaction towards casual sex should be, “This man’s penis entered me. We were safe and consensual. Welp, onto the next one! It’s cool!”

Am I allowed to feel there is something more to sex than just sex? Can I believe that I am able and willing to engage in “casual sex” yet still expect to feel some sort of way about it? Is there an in between on the sliding scale of a giving a fuck?

Names have been changed

***

Are you going to talk to me after we have sex? Drunk words slur from my dry mouth. He’s laying on top of me in my twin size bed. My phone lights up. “Want me to sleep at Kate’s and leave you two alone in there?” My roommate was good at casual sex. I told myself I didn’t like one night stands.

Because I didn’t.

Of course I’m going to talk to you. I just can’t really do girlfriends right now. Those words weren’t enough. In the moment, I pretended like they were. The next morning he was gone. I picked the red condom wrapper up from the floor and felt my eyes fill. I was ok with this. I can be cool. Days went by. A blank response to my “Hey how’s your week going text?” Crickets.

I saw him at the library the next week on campus. I smiled and looked his way. He burrowed his face in his book.

***

Hand jobs and blow jobs were fine. I let him touch my breasts and basically do everything but “go all of the way.” For a while anyway. When you have sex with a man right away, he’s going to view you as a slut and will therefore never date you.

I didn’t want to be a “slut.” Well, I didn’t want other men to label me as such.

It took a few weeks of drunken sleepovers before I let him enter me. I felt safe and comfortable. I didn’t feel like a slut. Nor did he make me feel like one.

We didn’t have “casual” sex for too long before I started to question where this was going. Late nights turned to longer mornings. Drunk sex turned into sober sex. Less casual sober sex.

I love you, he muttered. I love you too. Maybe casual sex wasn’t so bad. Maybe men would still acknowledge me and want to date me after all.

***

I was excited to start swiping left and right in my new city. I sat on my bed in night one and scouted out my prospects. Different from Boston. More attractive, yet more douchey, it seemed like.

Hey, how are you? David messaged. Jack Rose was our first date spot. I, in a black mini dress paired with gold sandals and a long necklace. He, a suit with a pink tie. A consultant at Deloitte. Attentive via text before and after our date. Did I hit the jackpot within my first few weeks in DC?

I felt an instant disconnect after the first night we spent together. A not-serious relationship hanging on by threads. We sleep together a few more times. Texts less frequent. Sorry super busy at work. Can’t hang this weekend. Eventually leading to nothingness.

A few months went by. I hardly remember his existence. My phone lights up. It’s David. “Hey, I hear you work at Hawthorne. Any chance my friends and I can cut the line?”

Crickets.

A year goes by. I’m his bartender. Can I have a Tanqueray and tonic? Oh, wait, your name’s Beth right? I pour him Bowman’s. Your Tanqueray is going to be $11.00. 

I wanted to say, yeah, it’s Beth. Your penis was inside me, remember? Same.

***

Harry. How do I explain Harry?  He’s a guy that I had been on and off hooking up with for the past 2 years. Very very on and off. I consider him more than a late-night text even though 95% of our texts took place after 2am. Definitely didn’t “date” although when we were together, I considered what that would look like.There was a connection we acknowledged, sober and drunk.

A connection defined on our first “real” date after 2 years of nothing but late-night texts. Coffee followed by laying in bed fully clothed, reading the depths of each other’s personal essays. Silent yet intense. “I don’t meet many women like you.” “I keep you at an arms-length because I don’t want to hurt you.” Divorced with two kids, I guess I kept him at arms length, too. “Casual” sex that I’d label as something a little more than casual. Emotions were felt on both ends. At least I think so.

Things came to an unexplainable halt the week after he drunk called me spilling his feelings. I don’t know what could be. I’d be lying if I still don’t think about it.

I wonder if he does too.

***

I was intrigued by Luke within the first few moments of catching his glance. The bar was crowded, full of intoxicated fools on Sunday evening. The music was loud, the shots were cheap. Who’s that? I asked my friend. That’s Luke, she introduced me. We hit it off instantaneously, chatting at the bar for quite some time. Tall and handsome, we continued to show interest in the coming weeks. I noticed hints of jealousy on his end when he saw me with other men. Interest from both ends intensifies.

I call him out for being a minor fuckboy. In a joking way. I recommend him to a friend for a job. Thank you so much, this is really going to help me out. I’m happy to do it.

Sleeping together was inevitable, although the sex was less than decent. The flame was short lived. He has a way with words to get women into bed with him, perhaps that’s all he wanted from me. I can’t be sure. I still run into Luke on occasion — we pretend like the other doesn’t exist.

He doesn’t even pet my dog. I can’t explain this. Have you seen my dog?

My half-joking preconceptions of his fuckboy tendencies were accurate. Maybe he expected me to get attached — to give him attention or fit into the “clingy” mold.

It’s a strange juxtaposition. I care but I don’t really care.

My interest in him was short-lived even though I continued to sleep with him. I never cared to date him. Our feelings were clearly defined the last time we slept with each other. Afterwards, we laid in bed and talked about how much we missed our White Buffalos. Yet, I still sort of give a shit.

white buffalo: a term for “the one that got away” or “first love” 

It was the initial spark that drew me in and the sudden disregard that keeps me engaged to some extent. This draws up a debate in my head. We had sex…a few times. Yet to him, I am no longer worth a hello. I am nothing. Is this worth mulling over? I don’t know.

***

I met up with John for coffee about 6 months ago. We both swiped right! He was in the midst of a 30-day alcohol detox, so he suggested Colada Shop. Coffee? Obviously I’m down. I had just re-downloaded Tinder and I was lucky to match with this attractive, down-to-earth, successful & super sweet guy.

The date was wonderful, so much so we made out a red light in his car. I felt like I was in high school again. Months went by and with our busy schedules it was hard to make something out of it although we occasionally kept in touch via text and Snapchat.

Our second date took place at the Kygo concert with his friends — an evening that I never wanted to end. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with this guy, although I wasn’t really thinking about it. It was a fun, spontaneous date. What happens would happen.

A week goes by and neither of us reach out.

In a sweet and genuine (and very long) text about a week later he informed me has been hooking up with another girl and apologizes for not reaching out sooner.

Is now the right time to tell him that I hooked up with someone else the night before the concert? I didn’t feel the need to share my sex life with him. Is that wrong?

I showed the text to my guy friends. They read it as “he totally wants to see you again but he’s just informing you of the situation.” I don’t really know how to read it, but it was a sure sign that I have grown numb to disappointment in the dating world as my initial reaction to his text was, “wait, lol, is it bad that I don’t care?” It wasn’t an I don’t care that actually meant I do care but I’m trying to pretend like I don’t care because I’m ~chill~. It was truly and I don’t care.

Wait, so am I ok with casual sex? Again, this confuses me.

***

I decide it is ok to give a shit when a man’s penis enters you.

I decide it is ok to expect some sort of respect from the other party.

I decide you can still engage in casual sex while also giving a shit.

I decide to expect respect. I decide that this is OK to expect.

I decide I give a shit when there is a lack of respect.

I don’t think I’ll ever be the woman to not feel some sort of pit in my stomach when I don’t hear from someone after spending the night together. Even if the sex is shitty.

I believe sex is a natural, liberating experience that should be enjoyed in a safe and consensual setting. I used to fear the word “slut.” Years later, I realize the ignorance behind labeling others as such.

I look back on my sexual encounters and the men involved. The debate over casual sex continues. I don’t quite know how to define “casual sex” but I also believe there’s no, single universal definition to it.

Most of the time, the pit in my stomach feels unwarranted for. I don’t expect nor want a relationship from most of these men, but I still expect something from them after the fact.

I fear falling into the “clingy, psycho girl” mold. A mold constructed by (mostly) men — I decide to be ~cool~ and not care.

Maybe I shouldn’t expect anything. Maybe that’s where my disappointment lies.

Maybe respect is too much to ask.

Words.

The blind in the middle window of my bedroom is broken. I should get it fixed, but I enjoy Mother Nature as an alarm clock.

You cannot hit snooze on the sun. I’ve tried. Mother Naure is relentless.

I am relentless.

Continue reading Words.

“Dear, Beth. I am a fuckboy.”

I got a rather hilarious email from a reader last night. It was a strange combination unexpected and revolting yet charming to some degree? With his permission, he let me talk about it on here.

Continue reading “Dear, Beth. I am a fuckboy.”

I went on a date with a 30-something and the world didn’t explode.

The last time I went on a date with an age gap, I was a sophomore in college. Blissfully unaware of decent vodkas, 401ks, and the tackiness of my fake Long Champ. He was 27, I was 20. At the time this age gap seemed astronomical. Like, 7 years?! Omg he was legally able to drink when I just got my period for the first time!!!! (This was my dead ass thought process). The date was OK, but my anxiety about the age difference trumped any attraction I felt towards him.

Fast forward 3.5 years later. I’ve upgraded to Tito’s, still don’t totally understand how a 401k works, and finally invested in a nice-ass Rebecca Minkoff tote. Up until last week, my Tinder age preferences were set between 23-28. Anyone over 28 was “too old.”

I bet they have a sweet 401k plan. I can’t commit to someone like that yet. 

“You need to start dating older men,” he told me. Looking back at this conversation with my bar guest, this was probably an attempt to flirt, but we were so deep into this conversation about immature men that I disregarded the fact that he might have been referring to himself.

So I did it. I made the move. The big kahuna move from left to right on my Tinder age preference scale. 24-31.

31. Omg. 31?!?!!?! My palms started to sweat.

I then quickly shut the app as I realized I was sweating over Tinder. Get it together. 

The next day I was casually swiping. You know, just your every day, is she swiping or Pokemon Go-ing? millennial past time.

It’s a match!

My first definitely-has-a-401k-plan- match (I’m not sure why I keep associating adulthood so in depth with 401ks but it just sounds right). We chatted and I knew it was a Tinder-match-made-in-heaven when he agreed with my argument about vanilla being the best flavor of ice cream.

I quote, “When God made ice cream, he made vanilla.”

Aight, cool, I feel you 401k-er.

We had a very brief conversation before he asked me out. Omg aggressive, I thought. Then I was like, oh wait, maybe this is how dating apps should be-not exhausting conversations before you meet IRL. 

I agreed. He initially suggested drinks, then added dinner onto the deal. YES!!!!

Won’t give you the play by play of the evening (although I know y’all are DYING to hear it), but let’s just say the last leg of the date consisted of getting hammered playing Guess Who? at a board game bar. It was like the dream first date I never knew I wanted.

We talked about politics, jobs, and other “adult like” things. But the age gap didn’t matter. We were just two single people who enjoyed each other’s company.

I don’t know why 30-somethings frighten me. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a career set in place, or maybe it’s because I don’t match my socks (probs will never do that tbh). Not totally sure where the anxiety about dating them stemmed from.

Maybe the next 30-something I go out with will make me feel extremely 23. Not sure, but I’m down to find out.
Dating is weird and exhausting on so many levels, but you’re only making the process worse if you stick with what you know.

Like, I know the twenty-somethings I’ve “dated” here are kind of the worst. So, sticking to what I “know” hasn’t been working out. Perhaps it’s time to start adopting ~dat 401k way of life.~

I actually don’t know if he has a 401k plan. I never asked. Is that an appropriate first date question? But, I do promise I’ll stop overkilling metaphors in my blog posts.

Maybe.

 Just go the f*ck home.

 

“I’ll just have one more,” he promised. “I swear this is the last one.”

I laughed, knowing very well that this was definitely not the case. I pulled the Yuengling handle down and tipped the pint glass underneath.

“So, how many more beers is she worth?” I asked as I placed the beer in front of him.

He had been sitting at the bar for a while, chatting with me about this particular woman whom he had been sort-of seeing for the past month or so. I didn’t mind as I was debriefing about my guy frustrations as well. Continue reading  Just go the f*ck home.

I’ve already labeled you as a disappointment.

Since I have moved to a new city, my blog has taken a bit of a backseat; a fault that I can only place on myself.

I wondered why my hands were incapable of writing something up; inspiration isn’t hard to find as a writer. I tried to blame it on my lack of time, which is partially true, but it didn’t really seem to feel right. My brain wondered off to thinking “oh, there haven’t been any stories worth writing about recently.” But then I quickly shut that thought down because there have been plenty, trust me.

My recent posts have been lacking the emotion that I have been avoiding for reasons I was afraid to publish. I’ve been in a weird state of forgetting why I started this blog in the first place. It used to encompass fearlessness; personal stories published to provide a greater purpose, to provide meaning.

Somewhere along the way, I lost that, and trying to regain it has been rather difficult.

I have pushed feelings aside to focus on myself, to thrive in a new city alone, to be who I want to be without having to invest myself in someone else.

I have come to find the casual dating scene to be quite exhausting when I have limited time on my hands. A man who wants to meet for drinks downtown isn’t a very far walk, but on my only night off, I don’t really want to make the time.

They leave their numbers on my receipt at work, with a short and sweet note that reads something like, “You were great! Would love to go out sometime.” It makes me smile, but I stuff it away with the rest of my checks and continue on with my shift.

Swiping right and reading “It’s a match!” boosts my confidence for a moment, then it stagnates once again. The countless “hey what’s up?” messages all become meshed into one, and I couldn’t be bothered.

I enjoy talking to them at the bar as I’m enjoying my after-shift vodka soda cran, and we exchange good conversation for a brief ten-or-so minutes. I provide a false promise to grab drinks and text them. Although my interest has been heightened in the words we have exchanged, I can’t get myself to have it go any further than that ten minute window.

The truth is, I have already labeled you as a disappointment.

To some I may sound like a bitter single 20-something, maybe to some I’m lazy. Some say you have to go out and search for what you want, others say wait for the unexpected.

However, I’ve done both. They haven’t worked. My love life isn’t “boring” by any means but it has been a constant disappointment and I’ve teetered between the ideas of placing the blame on the men I’ve encountered and shitty timing. But when do the excuses run out?

I try not to blame it on myself because let’s face it, you never want to put the blame on yourself.

It’s like staring at a mirror and watching it crack before your eyes. Unequivocally painful and indisputably harsh. The failures in my love life aren’t unnatural, I’m sure you have shared in some of these sentiments with me. They say “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding your Prince Charming,” or whatever.

Well, what if I don’t want to kiss anymore frogs?

In a world full of people, how offset is this ratio and how come everyone else seems to be figuring it out besides me? The dating culture encourages kissing frogs with the hopes of them someday turning them into something less grotesque, usually after several months and drunk texts. I know the system, but perhaps I’m doing it all wrong.

Or, maybe I’m the frog.

I don’t know. It’s an odd reality to face: knowing that you’re good enough, but trying to find why you weren’t good enough for them. It’s somber, it’s disappointing, it’s inexplicably exhausting. It’s tough staying optimistic when you’re track record steers you in the other direction.

I have waited for the text after sleeping together, deciding on whether you’re just too busy. A day passes, and my brain has been wired to lose interest after day 2. I refuse to lower my standards just to see if your interested. If you don’t care enough, then I won’t.

I have been the girl to continually go back to her ex, although every time I knew I was the one who would be made a fool. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me ten times, what the f*ck am I thinking?

I fell for a guy abroad, I promised myself we would always stay in touch. I held onto the idea that we would cross paths again and be happy in the same place. We exchanged letters, filled with romantic words scratched on paper that are tucked away in my nightstand. Every so often I carefully unfold the delicate college-ruled paper and read them, as a reminder of the love that never was. As a reminder of something that could have been, but wasn’t.

I allowed a guy to stay with me for the weekend. A guy I wasn’t all too sure about, but decided to take a chance anyways. I didn’t want to be his girlfriend, but the entire weekend I was thinking, “Can you at least pretend?” The weekend ended on a sour note and I, again, was not good enough.

I bounce back from disappointments quite quickly, simply because I’ve been wired to do so. When I say, “I’m over it,” I really am. But how many times can you truly force yourself to be over something before it catches up to you? As humans, are we really supposed to continually not give a sh*t?

Am I really supposed to not care?

I’ve waited, I’ve been the chaser rather than the one who is chased. I’ve set myself up, knowing I’d only be let down. I wanted to be the girl who changed you, even though I knew the entire time you never wanted to change for me. I’ve pretended to walk away, with the hopes that you’d follow me.

I’m not surprised when people leave, I’m more surprised when they stay.

Being single is fun and exciting. It ~liberates the mind and frees the soul~…right? There are days where I couldn’t imagine myself with someone seriously, but other days, I wonder why no one has given any effort to take me seriously.

I have liked guys, have thoroughly enjoyed first dates, some of whom wish to pursue me further. But, like I said, I have already categorized you as a disappointment. I have already told myself that I won’t be good enough for you, so I focus on being good enough for myself.

I don’t really want to put myself out there. I don’t have the time, I don’t have the desire I once did. You can tell me how much you enjoyed our conversation, but I’ll always be thinking “Well, this won’t last for long.” So, I force myself to end it before it goes anywhere.

“That’s your problem, you’re doing it to yourself.” Maybe I am, but at this point, what other option do I have? I’m not saying I hate being single, I’m not saying I hate the entire male race. I don’t really know what I’m saying.

I guess this post was written to attempt to explain the mind of a young woman who is continually asked, “How’s your love life?” A question I usually answer with something superficial and empty rather than being honest and replying with, “disappointing and exhausting.”

It’s taboo to admit defeat in the dating scene. With the rise of dating apps and seemingly endless options, it’s like we no longer have an excuse. Finding someone is supposed to be easy. You have a pool of men in your hands at all times, so what the hell is your problem? Why haven’t you found anyone yet?

I’m tired of being disappointed. I’m tired of trying proving myself to someone else when the world is constantly challenging me to believe that I’m good enough for myself.

I’m tired of believing in something when i know there’s the chance that there is nothing to believe in.

Two single people on the subway

I sat on the Red Line, my legs crouched up on the seat, sunglasses resting on top of my head. My back rested on the metal next to the end-chair and the germ infested hand bar. While seemingly uncomfortable, I was quite cozy with a book in hand.

The loud noise of the train made it hard for me to hear the Ed Sheeran playlist that played through my worn-out headphones, and each stop I looked up to ensure I didn’t miss my own. The T today wasn’t so bad. I was enjoying the silent vacancy of my train car.

“Next stop, Downtown Crossing.”

The train came to a screeching halt, and the empty car began to fill. I was no longer one of 3 others. I removed my backpack from the seat next to me, placed my legs back down on the ground. I had quickly lost interest in my book, my focus shifted onto the strangers than had began to fill the seats.

I looked to my right, a young couple in their mid 20’s sat down. The man had a long beard, the woman wore hiking boots with her hair tied back in a tight bun. She fondled his ear, whispering something that I probably didn’t want to hear, followed by silent laughter. My stomach turned and I looked across from me. A couple with scraggly hair, both wearing purple sweatshirts and ripped jeans. Her legs were sprawled over his lap while his arm rested around her back, desperately attempting to cuddle on the small metal chairs of the Red Line.

Gross. I thought to myself.

Next to the purple sweatshirt couple sat yet…another couple. They held hands, both dressed in business attire. I imagined they were the type of couple to leave their separate offices to meet up for lunch dates on the park outside of South Station (probably bought from one of the 100 food trucks). His hand rested on her lap, low-key PDA however it still screamed “She’s mine.”

“So, are you single?” I heard.

I didn’t know where the voice came from, as the train was quite populated by the time we reached Park St. I looked up from my seat and saw a man staring down at me. He had slick backed hair with an expensive looking suit. His leather briefcase brushed up against my leg as I glanced up at him. I took my headphones out and said, “Sorry, what?” even though I had totally heard his question.

“I can’t help but notice that you’re looking at all of these couples. So, I’m just assuming that you’re single.”

I was taken aback by this statement, unsure of how to react. Was he insulting me? Was he hitting on me? Or was he simply making an observation that was totally on point? I felt awkward, and I could feel my face turning red.

“Haha, um, ya I’m single,” I replied.

“Me too, and staring at these other couples is making me feel way more single than usual,” he laughed.

I had to agree. I’m content with being single, and I have enjoyed the freedoms that come along with being alone this past year. However, staring at all of these happy couples made me question if I actually enjoy being single or I just try to convince myself to avoid the emotional turmoil that comes with the feeling of loneliness.

This man told me his name, and we chatted for the rest of our T ride. He told me how much he truly hated PDA on public transport and basically snarked at the couples who were participating in it. I respectfully nodded, although it didn’t bother me all too much. I was suddenly curious about his relationship past.

“Did you just get dumped or something?” It came out like word vomit.
“Haha, um, yeah…How can you tell?”
“You seem to be a little bitter,” I inquired.

So here we were, two single people on a relationship-infested train car chatting about our dysfunctional love lives. It was oddly comforting venting to a complete stranger, and I could tell he felt the same. We were both surrounded by reminders of past lovers, and confiding in each other made it easier to cope with the fact that we were most certainly the minority on the Red Line that Saturday afternoon.

The train arrived at my stop, and I stood up and said, “Well, this is my stop. It was really nice meeting you, good luck with everything,” followed by a flirty smile.

“You too, Beth. Just keep in mind–someday you’ll be one of the couples on this train, I promise.”

I left the T and began the walk to work. I had never considered myself “bitter” to happy couples. Cute Instagram posts don’t make me cringe, and seeing a kiss goodbye on the street doesn’t make my skin crawl. My dysfunctional love life makes for great blog posts, and going on dates with different guys is exciting. I like being single. But, do I want to be in a relationship? I’m not sure. I hadn’t really thought about it until that Saturday afternoon on the T.

When we see reminders of what we used to be someone, it’s natural to feel bitter. It’s natural to wonder when it’s going to be you, when you’ll be worth it enough to someone. It’s natural to wonder if you genuinely love being single, or if your forced to deal with it because you don’t have any other choice but to accept it.

I don’t know if I’m ready to be one of those couples on the T, I don’t know if I’m ready for lunch dates at South Station or public transportation PDA. Perhaps I’m too selfish to settle at the moment, or perhaps I’m just avoiding the idea of a relationship that is seemingly so far out of reach.

Thanks, Tony, for making the label “single on the subway” not so bad. You’re a cool dude.

When you expect something to come out nothing.

I walked by him at a party, surrounded by strangers and the piercing sound of rap music that I had no interest in listening to. I had never seen him before, despite him being in the same grade as me.

“Beth’s the kind of gal you take home to your parents,” he drunkenly announced to his friends. He showed me off as we talked for a bit and something about him drew me in. Drunken conversations usually don’t have much of an effect on me, but for some reason I never wanted this conversation to end. I was into him, like, really into him.

“I wish I had met you sooner,” he confessed.

Leaving the party, I had instantly regretted not getting his number. I don’t know what it was about him, but something had stuck with me. I didn’t kiss him, I barely even touched him. I just hoped I would see him again.

He eventually became just another drunken encounter in my mind, and I allowed myself to forget about him as the end of senior year was quickly approaching. The following weekend, my friend tapped my shoulder and said, “Beth, isn’t that the kid who told you that you were wifey material?” I looked at her with confusion, my memory being fogged by the vodka soda that I had just quickly drank. She pointed over at him, and I looked. It was him.

I wish we had met sooner.

I told her I was going to the bathroom, but I was really just going in the direction of him, hoping that he would notice me and say hello. I started running into him every time we went out, but it was usually just a brief hello drowned out by the loud music and flashing lights in the background. I briefly acknolwedged him and we, again, parted ways. However, the anticipation of seeing him never seemed to die out. (Do I sound crazy yet?)

After countless run-ins at the bar, I had just expected to see him out by this point. He approached me one night and said, “I have been thinking about you a lot,” he admitted, “You’re just one of those girls that never really left my mind.” The words sounded genuine, but I wasn’t entirely sure of his intentions and I told him I felt the same way. Our conversation was nothing less than enjoyable, as we stood next to a few guys shooting pool. The feelings of our initial encounter came back, and once again, I never wanted the conversation to end.

So, it didn’t. We went back to his place that night.

The night I spent there wasn’t forced, it wasn’t uncomfortable, it wasn’t something that I regret. We stayed up and talked for hours, and I felt myself wondering what he was thinking about. He called me beautiful, he admitted to creeping me on Facebook after the first night we met, he told me he couldn’t stop reading my blog, that I was a fantastic writer. Was I just another girl to take home, or was he kind-of-sort-of-weirdly feeling the same type of connection that I was?

“I wish I had met you sooner,” he said once more.

The days after our night together sort of felt like a dream. Our texts back and forth were like a game of ping pong. Natural and fluid, but entertaining. He expressed interest in seeing me again, being forward in wanting to spend time together. However, I didn’t really expect much, because, are we ever really supposed to?

I felt myself wrapped up in this weird connection that I had been feeling that looking back, the words “I wish I had met you sooner,” should have stung. They should have been a red flag, a chance to escape the connection that I was feeling and solidify the fact that this was nothing.

I was kind of expecting something to come out of nothing. 

I waited for his text the next day, and the next day after that. And the next day. But it never came. Ok, I thought, he’s clearly not into me, fine.

“Are you staying up in Amherst this week?” The notification popped up in my iPhone and I hated myself for smiling at it. “Yeah I am,” I replied.

Honestly, why did I care so much about this random person, and why was I sort-of-kind-of hoping for something to come out of it? I couldn’t say that I “liked” him, since our conversations mainly occurred under a few drinks deep, but sometimes it’s impossible to escape the feeling of hoping for something that seems out of reach.

He shouldn’t have mattered, but for some reason, he did.

He seemed to have lost interest pretty quickly, so I did too. I was no longer a “girl that he thought about a lot,” I was just another girl. Throughout the week, he texted me a couple of times but only to inquire what bar I was going to. There was no conversation and the interest that was once there seemed to diminish.

In his eyes, I was just another girl.

Two can play this game, I thought to myself. I strategically delayed my text response and eventually invited him over one last time the night before I left Amherst for good, and I was a bit nervous to get myself wrapped up in the fake connection that I had believed to be true all this time.

To my surprise, I didn’t feel anything. Although, I was sort hoping he would. We woke up the next morning, and he was quick to make his exit…not to my surprise.

“So, when are you planning on moving?” he asked the next morning as I walked him out.
“Um, this summer at some point.”
“Oh, OK, well we don’t live too far from each other, so maybe I can see you before you leave.”

I smiled and awkwardly kissed him goodbye, metaphorically saying goodbye to the college dating culture that has become all too familiar.

And, that was it. I would love to tell you he texted me immediately after, wishing me luck with everything, reiterating the fact that he wanted to see me again. But, he walked away and that was the end of the kind-of-sort-of weird connection that I had built up in my mind so quickly. It was the end of wishing something to come out of nothing.

At some point in our lives, we have all experienced a connection you can’t quite describe. We have all encountered that one person that you wish to see again and wonder if they feel the same way. I don’t know how he felt, or if I was just another girl in his mind. I don’t know if he wanted the conversations between us to end, or if he wanted them to last forever in the same way that I did.

It was senior year, so the timing was bad, I suppose. However, is there ever really a right  time for anything? There are always things that you wish you had done or said sooner, people that you wish came into your life a little bit earlier. There are always going to be those people who you wonder if the “drunk words are sober thoughts,” statement rings true for them, or if they simply use the same lines on every girl they meet.

Or, maybe, there was never a connection. Maybe I just wanted to be someone’s somebody. Maybe I just wanted to hope for the impossible, because, don’t we all at some point? I know you told me that I was a “wicked awesome girl,” but I suppose I wasn’t awesome enough.

I don’t hate him, there are no hard feelings between the two of us. In fact, I think he’s a great guy. Disappointment has no perpetrator, it’s an emotion that we set ourselves up for. I’ll probably never see him again, and if I do, I’m sure the acknowledgement will be brief, if there is one at all.

I didn’t want nor expect it to turn into anything, but do we ever? Do we ever meet someone at a bar or a party and think “Yeah, this guy’s totally gunna fall for me.” Not usually. But, maybe that’s our problem. Maybe our problem is that we always expect nothing, even if we want to hope for something else.

Perhaps I do wish I had met you sooner, maybe the “nothing” would have turned into something if the timing was right. Or maybe I would have realized the connection was constructed out of the simple desire to feel wanted. I don’t know what would have happened, but I guess neither one of us will really ever know. Maybe I just wanted to expect something to come out of nothing because I was simply tired of expecting the latter.

Maybe I just wanted to be more than someone’s “sometimes.”

The power to both love and destroy

tumblr_static_tumblr_lt4c8lrsi81qkwwgfo1_500

There will be one person, or multiple people, in life who hold your heart. They are capable of holding it for months, years, and possibly forever. Life seems simple when you find your person, because you no longer have to battle through everything alone. The person who holds your heart holds a piece of you that is seemingly irreplaceable if you ever lost them. You hold on to them blindly, unaware that you are probably better off without them.

Your bond was seemingly unbreakable at one time, but when the bond breaks, you’re left with a sense of emptiness, a sense of confusion and vulnerability. They break you, but yet you find yourself continually going back to them. The tears that were once innocent become sharp pains down the side of your face, and you wonder why you’ve injected yourself with another dose of their toxic drug.

It’s often the people we least expect who destroy us the most.

We always forgive them, and it’s not always because we are still in love with them. It’s because we are weak for them. Because, how can you be in love with someone who is simultaneously destroying you?

Like small shards of glass scraping against your skin. It’s uncomfortable but seemingly painless until you’re left with an open wound. Every new sore stings with the burden of their empty promises, but it is the only way to avoid the infection of loneliness. The sore lies open and raw, but you continually let him scrape. You’ve somehow seemed to lost your ability to feel somewhere along the way.

Destroying you with one blow would be too easy. You’d probably never give them a second thought if you knew that’s what they were capable of. Instead, we give our hearts away to those who either hold it gently, or to those who take a small pieces away at a time.

They don’t shatter it into a million pieces instantaneously, like a fist to a mirror, rather, it’s like an artist chipping away at his ice sculpture with his ice pick. Tap, tap, tap. Carefully. Slowly. Painfully.

It’s like an application to your dream job that never gets a response. It’s a red light at 3am that won’t seem to turn green.  It’s everything in life that you believe is meant to happen, but never does. It’s everything in life that provides enough hope for you to keep holding on a bit longer, even if it’s slowly killing you inside.

So what do we do? We send a follow up email to the employer, we run the red light. We desperately take that leap of faith to avoid disappointment. We take action because it’s better than waiting for something that will never be.

We avoid disappointments because we don’t want to think life is meant to disappoint. We succumb to your let downs and tell ourselves, “He doesn’t mean to hurt me. We’re meant to be.” Are we attempting to convince others, or are we trying to convince ourselves?

You’ve become numb to the countless disappointments. You’ve become numb to allowing yourself to fall time and time again only for him to shamelessly remove his hands at the very last moment. You forgive and forgive, usually allowing yourself to develop some sort of friendship with this person because it seems better than losing them completely.

You “love” them. And because you love them, you justify. You justify the lost apologies, the empty promises. You spend more time justifying their behavior then actually loving them. So, is it love? What is it?

You’re afraid to completely release your grasp because you’re afraid you’ll lose a piece of yourself with them. Letting go is scary because at one point you felt like they completed you. At one point they loved you, and you loved them too.

They have the power to both love and destroy. However, we only believe the first one to be true because the latter is too difficult to deal with.

What’s even worse is that most of the time they have no idea they’re destroying you. They have no idea that they take are scraping you with small shards of glass to the point of an open wound. They think they love you too. They think that the “timing isn’t right,” but maybe one day it will be. So they hold on just as tightly, creating friction on the rope that you are both tugging.

And perhaps, you are destroying them too.

You’re both afraid to let go of your grasp because then what? You’re left with a blank slate. A blank slate of emptiness, of uncertainty. How do you fill the daily space that they once consumed? Who is supposed to understand you the way that they did? Letting them go tosses you out into the world of rejections and missed connections.

It forces you to start over.

Eventually, you take the first step of rebuilding. You realize that with each stride, with each scruff of your shoe against the sidewalk, that you’re in command of your own mind, your own soul. You become a woman walking into your own plans, your own dreams. The world is in your hands, and you become at peace with the blank slate, because the blank slate is what saved you; it’s what saved you from complete destruction.

Pain is inevitable, but so is happiness.

Too often we define our lives by our disappointments. Our failed attempts to control things that simply can’t be controlled. Our emotions, our heartbreaks, our “you’re not good enough” stories. Too often we place the world on our shoulders, attempting to solve problems that simply can’t be solved in the moment, or ever. We feel, and we feel deeply.

Our emotions are both a blessing and a curse. We love with every ounce of our fragile hearts, expecting the best outcomes, only to have our expectations fall short.  We want to change people. We want to change how they feel, how they act. We want to feel like we are worth it. We want to feel wanted.

To my readers: I have felt the way you feel, I have cried the tears you cry. I have defined myself based on the thoughts of others, based on the people who have seemed to take more than they give. I lose a little bit of myself each time. Each time I take that leap of faith, each time I allow my heart and my mind to fall vulnerable to the glimmer of hope I see in others. I tell myself, “Never again.”  I promise myself that this will be the last time I define myself based on how you see me. I promise myself that I’m worth it, even if I’m not worth it to you.

I came to a point in my life where I started asking “Why is the world out to get me?” Bad luck seemed to be embedded into the shadows I crossed, and I was slowly loosening grip on the things that I held onto so firmly. It was like my sensitivity was something to be ashamed of, it was something that only led to tears and let downs.

The world wasn’t out to get me, I was out to get myself.

People are always going to disappoint you. Life is always going to tell you that “you’re not good enough.” Don’t lose hope. Don’t stop taking that leap of faith. Some people say that feeling so deeply is simply a curse, but I’d have to disagree. I feel deeper than most, and maybe I have more failed relationships than you do, but I’ve come to realize that my life is so much more than that.Whit’s Wisdom: He’s Just Not That Into You

My life is more than drunk texts and missed connections. It’s more than shitty people and failed expectations.I’ve learned how to feel with every ounce of my body. With every inch of my skin. And it’s led me to perhaps some of the most rewarding experiences and friendships that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t put myself out there.

My sensitivity is something that I’ve always tried to hide. I have constantly tried to hide my emotions so far down in the basement of my heart, but I realized doing that only makes me forget who I am. It sends me into an abyss of nothingness, with no set destination. I may allow myself to get hurt, but I’d rather get hurt than feel absolutely nothing. I’d rather cry a thousand times than miss out on a single day true happiness.

Feel deeply, keep taking that leap of faith. Keep putting yourself out there and accept that you will probably get hurt a few more times. You can store your emotions in a black box in the basement of your heart, or you can let yourself be vulnerable. It’s how you fall in love. It’s how you feel. It’s how you understand yourself.  It’s how you’re supposed to live.

You’re not “stupid” for expecting the best out of people. You’re not “naive” for having a hopeless romantic heart.  You’re not “pathetic” for expecting something to come out of what was nothing to him. You feel, and that is perhaps the greatest and most powerful gift life could give you. Embrace it.

Pain is inevitable, but so is happiness.