Tag Archives: Dating

A letter to my 19 year old self

hands

Source: worldfiled.tumblr.com

Hello my darling,

I know you’re tired. Look at you, you’ve had the marrow sucked out of you by a parasitic force, you’ve spent 5 months trying to piece yourself together and you’re exhausted. My God you’re exhausted, but honey, you’re also so beautiful.

You are so much more than those nights you spent clinging on to a relationship that only gave you grief from the beginning. Remember how you’d run after his chaotic emotions, trying to make sense of the dark corner he stuffed you in? Remember the nights you spent in his bed, your knees tucked to your chest, your skinny frame shivering in his t-shirt, waiting for him to start making sense? Remember sneaking out of your house at 2am to race across the road and climb through his window, because you felt guilty for how much you thought you needed his embrace?

Sweetheart. He’s not the one. I know you think he is. I know he’s got you trapped in the toxic little universe he’s structured around your insecurities. I know you think you’re going to stay with him forever, that you’re going to get your degree and he is going to get a job and maybe he’ll stop freaking out if you forget to text him and he’ll let you go out with your friends every once in a while and maybe he’ll stop yelling. Maybe, maybe, maybe, he’ll stop yelling and shooting wine glasses with metal BB bullets and standing over you as the shards slip through your scarred hands. Maybe he’ll stop blaming you for everything that’s out of your control. Maybe you’ll stay with him forever and you’ll be happy because he’s got you convinced that no one else could possibly love someone as strange and as wild as you. Maybe he’ll stop yelling.

He’s not it my love. You know he isn’t. You know that with every icy word, every bite of his temper, every snarl in your direction that you’ll just get smaller and smaller. You know if you carry on you’re going to disappear. Rip out his claws honey, rip them out of your skin and start running, because your flame can only grow brighter from here.

You are going to burn all of the empty letters he ever left on your bed. You are going to start a mini bonfire in a tin can in your garden and you are going to belly laugh wildly and dance around the carcass that was the past 5 months of your life. You are going to kiss your scars and run your feet raw as you tear down boulevards. You are never going to be afraid to raise your voice ever again.

You are going to beat your pillow with a hockey stick until all the rage and regret  that he spoon fed you, explodes in a flurry of feathers and relief. You are going to change all the locks to your heart and then spend the next 2 years simply loving yourself. You are going to snip away at every single toxic relationship that eats into your spirit until the only people who are left are the ones that carry you to bed and bundle you up when you cry. Prepare to have your face stroked and your soul held and your forehead kissed my darling; prepare to feel confused and tentative about all these gentle gestures – I know it feels foreign, but this is what you need and deserve.

Then prepare to have the breath knocked out of you by someone who exudes sunlight and warmth.

I know you think you deserve locked doors and acidic words, it’s going to take a while for you to break that cycle. But when you finally do, when you finally look up and realise your own electric disposition, you are going to free fall into the arms of someone who makes your entire body burn.

He is going to take you to parties and introduce you to fellow wild things. He’s going to take you onto rooftops and sit and listen while you animatedly chat about everything important to you. He’s going to let you bury your face in his chest while he strokes your hair and tells you that he is never going to contain your spirit or lock up your happiness. He is going to look at you like maybe you are magic, and he’s going to pour golden words down your throat.

And you, my love, you are going to realise that the people who try to extinguish your flame are the ones who don’t deserve any of your warmth.

You will detonate into a plethora of water-colours and wild flowers.

I love you with all my heart.

 

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Coffee dates from Hell, not really- I’m just picky.

I went out for coffee with someone this week, and it was actually the most difficult hour of my young, angsty, emotional life.

That sounds nuts right? The indigenous extrovert, who can often be found drinking lots of coffee with lots of people and staying bonny and blithe in her quest to perceive the full spectrum of the human experience, goes out for such an event and immediately wishes she hadn’t.

However, coffee is only fun if you do it for the right reasons- I really didn’t.

Queue in the poor unsuspecting victim in this tale of woe, a male acquaintance who I’ve been conversing with casually, in an attempt to give way to a new friendship or, at least, to bag a date taller than me for various formal events this year. He probably wasn’t aiming to land in the friendzone so quickly, I placed him in there willy nilly for self-preservation’s sake.

He picked me up, a bunny in headlights expression clouding his face as he looked over my rather grungy, newly darkened aesthetic, I didn’t expect him to like it as much as he did- damn it. He took me to a cafe where the sitting arrangements were too small for our hands not to touch, so I sat on mine. He bought me iced tea, made long eye contact and leaned way too far across the  dollhouse sized table to be deemed comfortable. I’m sure he would have charmed the contour lines off of any other wholesome, fun-loving, bushy-tailed nymph spirit, yet I remained motionless as a heavily kholed, exasperated cloud, immune to his efforts and raining all over this poor guy’s one-man parade.

He asked me about my favourite TV series and expressed his amazement at how avidly I read. He disregarded my blog as soon as I told him it was about “my feelings” and proceeded to embark on a long monologue about quantum physics. I almost exploded from trying to slurp my iced tea in a dignified manner without removing my hands from my butt and trying to figure out how to get out of the entire situation early.

He exited, oblivious to the bear I sent after him, returning my rag doll hug with a tight embrace and a salutation that listed all the things he hoped we could do together on another date.

I got home, slid down my door like a cliche and cried into my knees, because in the Jane Austen novel of life, I am eternally Marianne Dashwood- all sensibility, all feeling, very little logic. I cried because he was actually quite nice, despite his Vanilla disposition. I cried because I am cursed to crave people with more flavour to their personalities and to disregard anyone and anything who doesn’t make me excited. I cried because the only reason I went on that stupid coffee date was to feel like I’d somehow won something, like I wasn’t sitting at home waiting for the void to stare back, like I was achieving shit like bagging tall dates to formal events and moving forward a little bit.

He bombarded me with messages enquiring after my well-being and when he could see me again, I plagued him with several blue ticks of death until I eventually let him off the hook by expressing my desire to take myself out for coffee dates from now on.

I guess I can always pay attention to myself if there’s no one else exciting enough to do it for me.

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Break-up Season and The Art of Being Perpetually Single.

Source: weheartit.com

It’s September and with it comes along one of my favourite seasons; no you over – enamoured festival girls with your flower crowns and misappropriated Native American headdresses, it is not Spring. It’s break up season.

Aaah, break up season. The undefined amount of time when couples decide they need to start making alternative arrangements for New Years. It’s either that or the pollen has some kind of effect on assholes revealing their true colours. Either way, in breakup season my status as the perpetually single, professional third wheel is promoted to veteran. I become the newly single girl’s independence guru and it’s my favourite thing.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again- I have been cursed with experience. As my mother once aptly introduced me “this is Harriet, she has the WORST taste in men”. Right you are Lori, and don’t I know it. A miriad of philanderers, future strippers, batshit rockstars and one rather questionable character armed with a pair of roller blades and a spiked collar have come my way; and, because I like a good story, because I appreciate it when my life takes a turn for the bizarre- I give them the time of day.

I don’t know about you, but this makes me pretty good at getting rid of weirdos. In my experience, there’s two ways break up season can happen to you;

1. You cry, you ugly cry. You end up looking like Kim K eating a salad, or just Kim K crying. You binge on something – be it food, cheap box wine or love quotes on pinterest, you fill your void with something other than that person. I voice note my friend Chris at ridiculous hours of the morning after watching Pride and Prejudice for the third time and sobbing because Mr Darcy is the perfect ratio of socially awkward to adorable. Chris is a real trooper. Hi Chris!

2. You get over it quickly. You never liked them that much anyway. I always get a drastic haircut after a breakup, one time all I got was my nails done. It’s all relative, it depends on whether you’ve acknowledged yet that you deserve more than locked doors and explosive words. It’s about whether or not you’ve given away so much of yourself already that no fucks can be given. That’s cool, your favourite kind of no should be no fucks!

Once you’ve reached this Land of NSource: weheartit.comope, it gets easier, it gets interesting. The Land of Nope is my favourite place in the entire world – it’s the land of tequila and nachos, incredulity and cynicism. All hail the Land of Nope!

One of my best friends is going through break up season. She’s acknowledged that a relationship isn’t worth it if the other person doesn’t make an effort to make her feel safe, or special. She’s figured out that although it’s nice to have someone to cover her eyes during a horror film, it feels even better to have the strength and sense of self – preservation to walk away from her own. I love her for it, I think she’s so brave. I acknowledge how terrifying being alone can be- you don’t want to go back to pub crawls and batting off club goblins. Being single sounds like the worst thing right now, but let me tell you kids something from your friendly neighbourhood future cat lady: being single lets you be selfish, and sometimes you need to be selfish to figure out who you are and what you want.

October marks a year since the last break up I was an active participant in. After being single for almost a year you figure out some things:

1. Sweatpants are my best friends. My other best friend regularly jokes about how when I go out I make an effort, yet when I come to campus then everyone is forced to deal with the wild beast that is my naked face and unbrushed hair. I don’t care, because sweatpants are my best friends and you can’t deny the kind of love they wrap you in at 3 o clock on a Saturday afternoon, surrounded by empty pizza boxes and watching Adventure Time. Sweatpants are love, sweatpants are life.

2. You don’t need a significant other to make you feel important. You don’t need someone tracing the outline of your lips every night to feel heard. There are people in your life who will still be able to tell how your feeling from a single flinch. Chris has my hangover routine memorised, he has no need for it, but it’s nice to know that when I order chicken chow mein and spring rolls from Kung fu kitchen and then lie in bed watching Archer for the rest of the day, that there’s someone on the other end of the phone just as concerned about my liver as I am.

3. Freedom is the gift that keeps on giving. Once your tear ducts dry up, once your chest feels a little lighter and you’ve reached the Land Nope and No Fucks, you will start to smell the sweet scent of liberation, my friend. Turn off your phone, go exploring for a few hours, spontaneously kiss a stranger – or don’t, because germs are a thing; whatever you do it can remain unjustified. You never have to explain a single thing to anyone ever- you are a sentient human being who deserves to be wild.

4. You learn to love yourself; and kid, you gotta learn. Every stretch – mark, every split end, every out of place freckle. You can’t lay the burden of self – appreciation on anyone else but you, and once you learn to stand by yourself, once you establish that you are strong enough to be able to walk away from any relationship at any time, you will understand why none of your previous love affairs worked.

Breakup season sucks, for everyone, even experienced wise sages like myself. But the journey to occasional loneliness is worth it, my god it’s worth it.

Bring on the tequila and the nachos. I feel a one – man movie marathon coming on.

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Maybe People Will Actually Start Believing It.

I have this incredible talent for choosing appropriate times to screw up, often right before I go on holiday. I leave Pretoria the day after I make the mistake and come back 3 weeks later hoping that I won’t be reminded of my previous miscalculation. It never works. As I trudge down the boulevards, hands clenched in pockets, dorky backpack slung over my back, I am forced to recall every single dumb thing I’ve done leading up to this moment. I’ll take my keys out, unlock the front gate, step over the line between oblivion and recognition and then stew in my own stupidity for a good several moments. I’ll pause a bit in front of a certain patch of wall, feeling the blank space mock me for thinking I could disappear for a while and come back a completely different person. My room will smell like disappointment and look exactly how I left it: in a slight state of disarray, mirroring my tumultuous mind.

This time there is a collection of lost objects shivering on my doorstep. Tokens of an unfortunately unforgettable party that have found their way back to me. Carried by the ebb and flow of people dropping things at my door; lonely socks and house keys, items I forgot in my haste to run away.

I close my door against the cold and slide down it, back pressed against reality. Maybe if I draw my curtains, lock myself away and pretend I don’t exist for a bit then people will actually start believing it. No, that’s stupid. If life was that easy to ignore we’d all be doing it.

I think I’ll simply have to get off the bedroom floor, my companion through lonely nights and deep conversations. I’ll have to stand up, stretch, promise myself autonomy from my mistakes and then pretend I’m not a substitute person until people actually start believing it.

After all, I’m just a lost kid, in a slouchy beanie, trying to figure out how the fuck I’m supposed to behave.

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How It Feels To Be Recklessly Blatant.

I’ve always been a firm believer in the double text.

Anyone who messages me knows I like writing paragraphs and I love sending them one-after-the-other so the person I’m talking to is forced to read an entire essay before they can figure out exactly what I’m going on about. In essence: I text the way I write. I like to think I also live the way I write: no secrets, no shame, just a bunch of words strung together and bleeding on the page.

I’ve never been good at playing mind games. I can remember a certain night in first year when I came running home after a party-burning up with the idea that the guy I’d just danced with would call me or something like that. He didn’t, and I was told that I was too eager, too available and that I needed to learn the art of “Mind-fucking”.

I never mastered the art, nor did I particularly want to. There’s something incredible about being so raw. Maybe I’m a glorified thrill-chaser, or just a girl on a constant search for a good story to tell. All I know is that when I strip myself down, relinquish control and let my pulse beat out my emotions, I feel wholly human.

The best feeling in the world is when you’re dancing to the sound of an unexpected cello, your heart makes an indent in your rib cage and you finally feel complete with humanity. That’s how it feels to be recklessly blatant.

I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.

Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.

But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.

And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.

We never know when the bus is coming.”

—Rachel C. Lewis, Tell The People You Love That You Love Them

I know I may be Too Much, I know transparency scares a lot of people, I know sometimes I burn too hot to handle. I know that if I don’t place stones around my heart I run the risk of wearing it out.

But I also know that you can’t truly win people over by mind-fucking them- because humans prefer being nakedly adored than secretly manipulated.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop brazenly caring.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop double-texting.

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We are, in all finality, alone.

So many people in my life are under the impression that getting into a relationship is going to save them. Save them from the bitterness that can come from being left alone, or from their own dissatisfaction with themselves, I don’t know, I’m not particularly omnipresent. All I know is that we are obsessed with finding other people to fill the empty spaces, to confirm that we are, in fact, beautiful and to fulfill our basic desires to fix what we recognise is broken in ourselves and other people. As soon as we find that person, we put our lives on hold, we choose them over our friends, we stop socialising and spend Saturdays huddled in a two-man love bubble of pyjamas and movies. It seems like we are species who wish to explore the world and extract all we can get out of our lives, but only as a temporary distraction from our own perpetual loneliness.

I have such a problem with that though. Out of all of the potential things in the world that could possibly irk me, co-dependent relationships take one of the top spots, right next to self-righteous bigotry, but that’s a rant for another day.

Why does it upset me? I seem to be perfectly happy curled up in bed, eating Chinese food, listening to obscure indie playlists and blogging furiously. I’ve got this whole independence thing down ya’ll. I don’t have to teach someone that I hate too much icing on my cupcakes (not a euphemism) or that they don’t have to ask which kind of tea I’d prefer because I honestly can’t tell the difference, or that drinking coffee makes me anxious. I like disappearing for a few hours without telling someone where I am and I love not feeling obligated to tell that someone what they mean to me every 2 god damn minutes. I like not being smothered (things that irk me number 3).

It upsets me because I’ve done it. I spent quite a chunk of last year being completely suffocated under the weight of someone who needed my external validation, who hated it when I did anything without him and who felt threatened by how many friends I had because he had none besides for me and his dog. I let it happen because I thought the fact that he was trying so hard was a good thing and I’m stubborn and competitive so proving everyone wrong makes me really happy. Now I’ve been cursed with the gift of foresight and experience. I have to stand by and watch while most of my friends go through the same thing I did, and I can’t do anything because they have to decide for themselves that they’re worth more than persistent phone calls and constant tears.

They need to be able to walk away at any time. They need to have the strength to delete their number, erase their messages and walk away intact. They need to reserve some attachment, they need to know that if they leave that they carry enough self-respect to be able to patch themselves up without falling apart.

I feel like society keeps telling us to love and be ourselves while at the same time pushing the point that we can only love ourselves fully when someone else is loving us too. It’s this sick vicious cycle of falling into a less-than-ideal partnership all in the name of loving ourselves and then not loving ourselves enough to be able to crawl out of the toxic hole we’ve gotten sucked into.

I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t let the presence of 2 blue ticks and no reply define me, that I’ll never let someone tell me I can’t do something and that I’m not going to die alone just because I prefer sitting on the floor of libraries and reading poetry anthologies instead of going on coffee dates with some guy who doesn’t read and who I feel obligated to like because society says I’m not a complete person without him.

The thing is, Society, we’re essentially, perpetually, alone. We’re born alone, die alone and despite the fleeting company we keep, we are, in all finality, alone.

We need to figure out how to gain back the love we keep losing before we can give anymore of it away. Co-dependency is a temporary madness in which most people never recover, because hardly anyone can fully except that we are just an advanced breed of monkeys, on a minor planet of a very average star, and we’re alone.

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A letter to you about the universe I almost suffocated in.

universeHi,

It’s been a while. Not since we talked but since we’ve had a non-superficial conversation about how we feel, or used to feel. The last time was standing in a drunken courtyard and I was looking up at you trying to remember what your lips felt like. You said “sorry” for forgetting me the way you did, for not replying, for treating my heart like a rugby ball and I swear I almost forgave you. Almost.

There’s a lot in that almost, a lot of what you did and said, how you suddenly stopped and left me with screaming feelings and unspoken words. I spent months trying to wrap my head around the enigma of you, how intangible you turned out to be, how broken you could make me feel. I’ve never been enough, I’ll never be enough. You were more than enough- you were sunlight and darkness and happiness and despair, you still make me feel like the best and worst person on the planet. Brush my skin, stroke my hair, look at me. Look at me, I dare you, there it is-the universe, the sick, dark universe that you can conjure up with one nod in my direction. It’s frightening. I hate it. It’s like my feet still point towards you, I still wish I could bump into you and feel that confusion all over again, but it’s not healthy, it’s not even exnice.

I heard about her; actually you told me. You felt about her the same way I wish you’d felt about me. She got beautiful pictures and sincere promises of forever. You did everything you could to hold her tears in your hands and then kiss them away. She was enough, more than enough and you were happy. She probably made you feel like a king and a wreck at the same time until one day she got tired and she stopped replying, started forgetting and then she threw your heart across a field so it could shatter in pieces.

I’m so happy for you. I’m so happy for every tragic word you howled, every suppressed moment of heartbreak you’ve had to control. I’m sure your heart feels like it’s about to claw it’s way out of your chest and start sobbing with every beat. I am so happy you’ve been destroyed, because the next time you torment a girl with the universe you won’t be so quick to watch her drown in it.

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