“I just texted him to prepare my chakras for cleansing.” I was proudly telling this to my friend earlier this afternoon, and while I wasn’t yet 100% sure what cleansing a chakra meant, texting him had seemed like the right move. Wrong wrong WRONG.
Last night, after watching an episode of Airbender where Ang moves through the spiritually draining but restorative process of cleansing his chakras, I had been inspired to do the same. I’d even picked up three chakra books from the library during my lunch break, intent on doing yoga and figuring this chakra business out right after work.
My friend was surprised I’d finally mustered the guts to text him; it had been a full month since I’d last spoken with Captain Kangaroo. Quick recap: He’s the guy who (when I’d said that, for me, intimacy = exclusivity) said he wanted to date me exclusively, slept with me, and then told me – a mere week later – that he was afraid he’d “given me the wrong impression” as he wasn’t actually ready to be exclusive yet. Although, curiously enough, he’d implicitly said he was ready to be exclusive approximately ten minutes before sleeping with me. Yes… him.
Well this afternoon, I texted him to say that I was sorry things hadn’t worked out but that, regardless of whether or not he had intended to use slash hurt me, I forgave him and wished him well and would even be happy to be friends — listen to records, play tennis, you know; real friend stuff. And I felt good about it, this making amends. I sent him a song by Queen, too — the one I had considered sending via text two weeks before (and then deleted).
My friend, who I was sharing all of this with, is a social media guru; without me asking, she quickly typed his name into IG right as I was speaking and pulled up the most recent picture he’d shared. “Oh wow — look at this,” she said, turning her phone towards me.
My heart literally sank. I felt cold and nauseous at once and my skin was tingling and I was crying before I even thought of crying.
“I have to teach class in five minutes,” I croaked, fanning myself. I’ve always thought it looked stupid when people fan themselves in television shows and movies — so dramatic… but I get it now. You’re distracting yourself from your massively mega grief with physical movement and cooling your burning wet face at the same time. Brilliant. I love multitasking.
So I took some deep yoga breaths, opened the door to the classroom, smiled, and nobody knew.
It’s not even that I’d hoped we might get back together at this point; it was reliving what had happened — mostly, how disposable he’d made me feel.
I’ll never forget that Instagram picture; in it, he’d cleaned up and was wearing a suit… smiling so big… about as big as I smiled at my students today. And he’d inserted a whole string of hearts into the caption. Wow. And the girl — she was gorgeous; tall, blonde, perfect make-up. My friend clicked on the girl’s name or picture or something and it pulled up a private profile — her bio said something about “it” being “her purse.”
“I don’t even know what that means,” I whispered, “but I can’t compete with that. Ever. And I wouldn’t want to,” I said softly. “He’s found what he wanted.”
I’m short, skinny, dorky-looking, weird, and clueless as heck about everything in the WORLD due to my cult-ish upbringing, and every guy I ever meet says I’m so sweet and I’m so funny and I’m so different, but I’m not the end-girl they want on their arm in an Instagram picture. I’m the girl they’ll while some time away with, sure, until they find their forever gal.
“I just feel dumb,” I told my friend later, when I was able to cry. “I gave him everything and it still wasn’t enough.” I cringed, remembering. God. I felt uninteresting and unpretty and worthless.
“You didn’t give him everything,” she said firmly. “You gave him two weeks. And he gave you a lesson.”
That he did.
I texted him another awkward goodbye; I had to! “I don’t want him to think I saw that post and was trying to get him back,” I explained to my friend, feeling ridiculous on top of unwanted. And I actually don’t want him back now, I decided. I just want to cleanse my fucking chakras.
The truth hurts, yeah, but it’s so, so liberating. I will always prefer clarity over illusions.
Walking with Zach yesterday, I felt at ease. We asked each other silly questions: favorite color, what’s your shoe size, ever broken anything…
As we talked, I was reminded of some of my favorite childhood memories: sliding down hills in South Carolina on these cardboard boxes my family had pulled out of dumpsters (there was a plaza neighboring these hills); rollerblading around the Catholic School with my mom at night because the pavement was great — smooth, gray. “I can’t believe she actually did that with me,” I laughed, smiling over at him.
Zach and I talked about how there are generally two types of people: those who restore your energy and those who drain it. How it’s important to pay attention to how people affect you and how they make you feel about yourself.
Christopher and Foster and Captain Kangaroo all made me feel like I wasn’t pretty or cool enough to be worth their time, attention, loyalty; I don’t think they meant to make me feel this way, but this is how I felt around them. Maybe it’s an inexplicable chemistry thing, or a fucking jackass thing, or a combination of both.
Steven made me feel like something secondhand — like: He couldn’t have the girl he really wanted, so he played with me instead. And then told me I was the back-up plan right after getting what he wanted.
These boys made me feel like a ghost. Like they couldn’t, or didn’t want, to see me at all; like they’d rather hold my okay body and kiss my alright mouth with their eyes closed so they could imagine I was the girl with big boobs, the girl with the great hair and make-up, the better, beautiful girl from last summer.
And I’m sick of being a back-up plan, stepping stone, substitute, door knob. I remember a boy calling me that once, way before I’d ever slept with anyone, because I was the weird schoolgirl who wore long skirts with skate shoes and he just wanted to make me feel bad: “You’re like a DOOR KNOB… everyone gets a turn.”
I remember feeling guilty, dirty, when he’d say that, although I’d scarcely known what he meant by it.
Well guess what? The next guy who gets to turn this doorknob (that doesn’t even make sense) is going to have to wait at the fucking door for five million years. And if we both aren’t dead by the time those five million years are up, well then maybe. Possibly maybe.
What I’m trying to say: I feel like shit this evening, but I’m going to watch anime and warm up some ravioli and pet a happy pair of fat shepherds and be alright. I’m going to trust myself (not dudes) and protect myself (better, more!) and enjoy life outside of love: words, dogs, hikes, lattes, music. I’m going to cautiously continue getting to know these other guys I’m talking with — these new friends I’m making: Matt, Zach, Levi…
And you know, while I like to talk like I’m all independent and cool now and finally fine on my own, you’ll still catch me standing by the window sometimes — often… waiting, watching.
Still here processing through a. feeling disappointed in myself for making dumb decisions and b. wondering why I’m never ever quite good enough,