89 days of insecurities

To be honest, I’m struggling a little bit.

Okay, a lotta bit.

We celebrated my brother’s 27th birthday this past weekend. Twenty-seven; six-ish years my senior. He has an apartment that he shares with his 5-year-old Golden Retriever. He’s a success story; an internship he had during his undergrad summers morphed into a career. He’s single. He watches seasons of TV shows on Netflix, takes the dog out for walks and visits friends. He’s happy.

In fact, I’ll never forget what he told me during my birthday celebration a couple months back when I told my family about a guy who wanted to take me out on a date.

“It’s okay to be single for awhile, Em,” he said.

You may have read this post a few months back. I wrote that 89 days ago. I’ve kissed six different guys over these past 89 days, ultimately (drunkenly) sleeping with two of them. I looked up the word “slut” in the dictionary and have concluded I am neither promiscuous or slovenly –– I’m merely going for the men who seem to readily give me attention. “Promiscuous” implies I’ve had sexual relations with each of these six guys and that is simply not the case.

Sounds about right
Sounds about right

Still, in the process, I’ve lost real feelings. So imagine me a little over a month ago when a really nice, respectable guy began giving me attention. I went a little nuts and it scared me shitless. He scared me shitless. My friends told me they could tell how much I liked him by the speed of my talking and the high-pitch tone my voice adopted. That scared me, too. Now I think I’ve scared him away. Real smooth, Em, ya dummy.

I’ve realized that being rejected really depresses me. I go into full-blown nihilism mode and lose track of everything I’m working for, everything I’m trying to be. I’ve lived under the mindset of what good is anything if I have nobody to share that ‘anything’ with? for a very long time, leading to never watching movies by myself or going shopping for fun by myself.

I need to get back in touch with the adventurous version of myself I found while living away from home last summer for an internship. My brother’s found it. I’d like to join him. I’d like to be happy, learn from my past mistakes and begin a new relationship when I’m good and ready for it. Too many of my insecurities rule my life and my way of thinking –– I need to squash them before I begin anything new.

Fuck.

Being single, day one

I haven’t been single since my sophomore year of high school. I’m currently a junior in college.

Eight months, three years, five months, five months; each one a separate relationship.

So when my (now ex) boyfriend called last night and said, “I just can’t do this anymore,” I breathed a sigh of relief, smiled and agreed with him. I had been thinking the same thing.

We started out strong and had a fun summer together, but my return to school really changed things. I noticed how different he and I are and how we don’t have much in common. We tried to build something substantial around a simple, mutual attraction. It didn’t work.

I could tell our relationship had been failing, but I decided to cling onto the hope that things would return to how they were in the beginning. It was effortless then. I was absolutely crazy about him and knew he felt the same way about me. But it slowly deflated. And instead of owning up to this and breaking it off myself, I waited for him to do it.

Why? Because I’m scared of being alone. 

There. I said it.

I’m scared.

“You’re 19, Em,” my mom says, “you’re fine.

I know I am. So why do I feel this intense pressure to meet someone, fall in love, get married and live happily ever after?

One word: Disney. And all the other happy-go-lucky movies I watched as a child.

It’s their fault I grew up and babbled about my eventual wedding and practically have the whole damn thing already planned.

A text from my brother.
A text from my brother.

I need to change some things.

I don’t just want to be alone, I want to be okay with being alone.

I don’t want to see my ex with his girlfriend and feel sorry for myself. I want to continue the laughter I had a few weeks ago when he returned to the dining hall with his and her dishes to put in the dish rack. He thinks he’s being a gentleman, but he’s really just stripping her of her independence. (She can do it herself, ya dummy!)

I don’t want to walk around campus looking for my next beau. I want to focus on me and my work. And if something should happen along the way, cool. It shouldn’t be It’s not a priority.

I don’t want to panic anymore. I want to feel secure in my own skin. I owe that much to myself after being a shapeshifter in these relationships over the past five years.

Jane Eyre said, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” 

No net currently ensnares me. Watch me fly away.