UPDATE: This post went up on my SomethingSheDated.com website in October 2012, when I was busy with grad school, sad about the state of men and dating, and just generally burnt out. You’re now reading this, obviously, on my new site SomethingSheSaid.com – where the writing covers many more subjects than just sex and dating (thus helping to eliminate burn out) but I wanted to keep this post up regardless because it helps to show how I was feeling back then 🙂
PART ONE: BREAKING UP
I’m tired. Is that what you want to hear me say? You beat me, you won.
Those are the words in my head. They look even sadder typing them out than they sound bouncing back and forth between my ears. I want to pull the toque over my eyes. I want to put on ear muffs. I want winter to get here so I can forget all about the disappointment.
It’s been two and a half years since I started writing this blog; since it was just a way to avoid repeating the same stories to my friends. I had had such high hopes. Not for the blog, but for dating. And now it all just seems so sad, so fraught with failures, so lethargic with let downs, so many damn dating disappointments.
I haz sad. I haz dating sad.
But the truth is I don’t know how to write the crisis of this story. I don’t know what the problem, with me, is.
I used to be so hopeful. I used to think boys had such potential, such spirit, such masculine beauty, were so full of life and happiness and sheer unadulterated joy. I used to think they were amazing, all of them, in their own special way. But as the disappointments just kept hitting like bricks that stick, I just feel heavy, and I’m sinking to the bottom.
The irony is that I was never expecting one man to be everything. In fact, it was like I was hoping that all men could just be one thing, if they could just be one thing…
But I guess the implied caveat was the hardest part of the application to fill.
AND….Be interested in me.
Instead of finding this, I found a series of guys who I gave an inch and they took a mile. Or threw the inch back in my face. Or disappeared with the inch never to be seen again. And honestly, a girl only has so many inches.
And while I still think I’m lovely…I have to wonder…why can’t anybody see it? Why aren’t there any boys who think I’m funny, and pretty, and smart and interesting and who they themselves are funny, and smart and interesting?
Do I really only get one heart pounding relationship in life? Is that it? Is that all I get? Is this why people get married…because you’re lucky to even just find one single person who can see that you’re amazing, let alone several?
And in all honesty, along the way, and probably particularly because of France and The Comic, I’ve become distanced from the very notion that there are men out there who want me to experience pleasure, who give a shit about whether or not I get off, who want to see me sweat and smile and cum and smile again, who care about more than just getting their dick sucked and cumming on my tits. And while it seems dramatic (and problematic) to allow a few boys to taint my view of an entire gender, the feelings are there, the seeds are planted and I’m starting to think that my only choices are to become a sexual camel or to start researching the treatments for carpal tunnel.
PART TWO: IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME
But…it’s not just the dating.
It’s hard. Putting it all out there, ya know. And getting almost nothing in return. Almost nobody comments anymore. Sure, I get a few Twitter mentions and a Facebook like or two and yes from the stats I can easily see that readership is up…but still. Can you imagine a comic performing for a completely silent audience, night after night? Would you be able to bear your open breast for all to see, share some of the most intimate details of your life with complete strangers and be unphased by their near silence?
And I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it while it lasted. My goodness, did I. But when the chips are down and it feels too bothersome, too cumbersome, too…something…and you’re doing it just for you, it’s easy to say…I think it’s time to pack it in. And so that’s what I’m doing. Packing it in.
Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t the end of me, I’m not dying or anything. I plan to continue writing (and that’s another big part of why I’m stopping, because I want the time to take my writing in another direction). This isn’t the last you’ll hear of me. And don’t think I haven’t appreciated you all along the way, hell I even brag about you sometimes like you’re my children, like your presence is a photo in my wallet that I take out at family gatherings and work functions to show off, my sweetheart, look at her, isn’t she beautiful.
And this is really the worst description of why I’m ceasing the blogging ever…because honestly it’s a hundred other reasons too.
It’s wanting something different
It’s wanting to continue growing and developing
It’s writing funding proposals
It’s finishing my first fictional short story for publication
It’s work (TAing classes and running tutorials)
It’s the fact that I’m turning 31 in just a few days*
It’s too many things to list
It’s too many things even to think about
And then it’s 100 things more beyond that.
And it’s terrifying. Because it all feels so final. Because it all feels so for sure. Like I’ve just crumpled up the piece of paper that had my identity written all over it and threw it in the trash. And now I’m staring at a blank page.
*I actually turned 31 a few weeks ago, this just took me a really long time to post
PART THREE: CATHARSIS
What do you do when you let go of the most interesting part of yourself?
My preferred method is to cry. Like a grown up.
You told me to eat peaches and to try not to cry. Said, “Sit down,” and pulled out a chair while I seasoned my bowl with the drips from my face. Said, “This is going to be hard,” and rested your hand on my shoulder.
I stuck my chubby fingers into the bowl and squeezed at a slice but the slimy flesh swam away like a goldfish. I bet it’s forgotten me already. I couldn’t hear half of what you said because my ears were filled with water. I was swimming in a puddle. I was holding my breath. I was hiding in the weeds till you reached down and yanked me back up.
“This is going to be hard,” you said, and then you took my identity away. For three years I had known who I was based on the story that I told. I was a dater. I was a blogger. I was a writer. I had found myself huddled in the mess. I had written my way out in spaghetti noodles. I had dropped pretzels to become an adult. I was covering my map in trail mix. And then one day I wasn’t hungry anymore.
And now I’m standing out here in the middle of a forest, or sinking in a bubbling aquarium, or melting into the bottom of a chocolate milkshake. The metaphor is not the point. The analogy is not the destination. I am lost in the middle of my life. I don’t know who I am without this tagline. I don’t know if my jokes will be funny anymore. I am now a girl without context. I am no longer a sex and dating blogger. I don’t know what I’m going to say at parties when people ask me what do you do?
I put the peaches down and go into the bathroom. I look in the mirror; I seem smaller. I wonder if my laugh will be quieter. I feel naked. My cheeks are slick and smooth, today my teeth don’t shine. I stare into my own eyes and you ask, “What do you see here?”
My tongue has muscle memory. It rises up and shouts something loud. It looks like a fist. I want to eat something. I want to eat everything. I want to eat my own hands if only to stop my tongue from wagging. I want to consume. I want to run my tongue over every idea I’ve ever had about sex and dating so that they’re mine. Just in case, just in case, just in case this was a mistake. But if we’re being honest, they’re not that brilliant to begin with. This isn’t nuclear fission. I was just telling my story.
“What have I done?” I ask out loud, “what have I done?”
You tell me to go back into the living room, to sit down and eat some peaches and to try not to cry. Say, “This is going to be hard.” I expect it to sound harsh. I expect you to be annoyed with having to repeat yourself but the words are like feathers, or bunnies, or white Wonderbread. You reach your hand into the bowl and grab a slice of peach; hold it up. Juice drips from the bottom, it shines like my cheeks. You run your other hand along my chin until I open my mouth and then slip half the peach inside, lay it across my teeth, say “bite” and then “chew” after I do.
The peach is soft and squishy. I can chew this peach. I can handle this peach. I can conquer this peach. You tell me to try not to cry. You say “hush,” and then, “swallow” and I want to. My throat is our enemy. My heart has beaten its way across town. It moves in rook and pawn. I watch the clock tick and tock. I hear my heart thunder. I swallow.
You told me to eat peaches and to try not to cry. Said, “This is going to be hard,” and then waited. You made decisions like a grown up and asked me to live with the consequences. Said, “This is going to be hard” and then changed my life completely. You told me to eat peaches and to try not to cry and then asked me to trust you. Said, “This is going to be hard,” and then rested your hand on my shoulder.
I tried not to think about the next party when I would fumble to find interesting words and come up short with I’m a Grad Student and then I would shrug to fill the empty space. I tried not to think about the emails I would have to send to my supporters, to say goodbye, to say it’s over. I tried not to think about anything except swimming goldfish and their 3 second memories. I ate the rest of the peaches and went to sleep. I’m going to be fine, I thought. After all, I had seen this day coming.
“This is going to be hard,” I said.