Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day Eighty-Six : Finale

Here we are at last.  I know there were some intervening thirty-nine days in between.  But except for a reply and a run-in that were bitterly short and well-nonchalantly-acted, and thanks to the undying support of my beloved sponsors as well as other friends, I did make it through, chaste and sound.

Well, I masturbated some, but no one's perfect.

There were a lot of other entries I had been working on, but none of them seemed to really find a voice for what this experience has meant for me.  Beyond letting my hymen slowly grow its way back, this was about learning what my life is about without men in it.  While I thought these lessons were going to be all super rosy like "I can live only for myself and be happy," some of them are a little more realistic, and at times almost as painful as guy drama itself.

For example:  "I always want those things that are unattainable."  Obviously, there's not much of a solution to this.  Either settle for what I find to be settle-worthy, or attain and become quickly bored.  This is issue is going to take a lot more than eighty-six days.  Let's call it a life's work.  But in short, I saw that my attraction to certain men, particularly men who on a clear day aren't worth half of me, tends to come from a sense of challenge.  If ever a frog was turned into a prince, it was from my sense of daunted romance.

There's no really easy solution to this, but generally putting some distance between you and that person and finding other distractions (for me, books and picking up the violin - much to the chagrin of my neighbors) does help, even if it's as trite as trite gets.  More importantly, don't let yourself talk about the person - something one of my sponsors was very good about guiding me away from doing.  (Yes, I was on to you.).  Finally, if you do hear from that person, and a tiny timbre in you still thrums in response, look at the practicalities of if you actually obtained them.  In my case, it would've been dealing with a very OCD boy who smoked so much weed he constantly pondered whether he had early onset alzheimer's.  Multiple times.  Take that reality and the punch behind it, and delete whatever shout-out you just received before you waste valuable memory space pondering it.

"I need admiration more than love in my relationships with men." This one softened the blow of seeing a recent crush at an event a few days ago, who I managed - with a good deal of help - to leave without communicating with further than I had.  I woke up the next day feeling sad and empty, like I had left something behind or unresolved.  And, in a sense I had - there it is, embrace the pain.  But on the other hand, if I thought about, what I really needed to know from the evening was whether this person still thought I was attractive, and I knew, no matter how short our interaction was and how much I put him at arms-length, that he did.  Is it enough?  No, of course not.  But it will have to do.

However, the disturbing insight here is that my relationships mostly fail when men try to love me or involve me in emotional intimacy.  I am not good at that, just like I am not good about wishing I never had to use the toilet or fart in bed.  I just don't like being vulnerable and human.  I have a real tendency to idolize men, now I'm realizing I want this in return.

In case you're wondering if you follow the same pattern, ask yourself: "Are you having charming conversations in the car with yourself pretending the other person is there thinking you're a bad ass?".  Yep, you've got it too.

Note to self, learn to let myself be loved, but let me not settle for anyone who can't admire me as much as I do them.

"I want to stay single for awhile."  I'm not ready for a man to be in my life again.  And it certainly wouldn't be good for the man.  And there are other things that I need to do and want to do.

As I told a friend, my biggest victory out of this project was not walking in a room and immediately scanning it for potential male prospects.  There is a part of me that has let go of that, and left it to chance.  Will it magically make me more attractive?  I have no idea, another victory has been being able to brush of all advances with polite disinterest.  It's also nice not to get all dolled up for the benefit of a man, but at the same time, I'd like to learn to get dolled up for myself.

Progress, progress.  It's there.

So, in conclusion, this has at times been really painful and hard.  I often get lonely, I often want to reach out and touch people.  But that contact needs to be in many ways real and sane, not a product of odd fantasies and delusions.  In the meantime, a whole life is out there to be lived doing a thousand other things, and I've realized just how much there is to do besides men. (Hee.)  I hope to keep in that mindset, so radically different from me in a skating rink in the fourth grade.

And then, one day if that sort of love needs to come in ... it'll come.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day Forty-Seven : Better

Things are going better today.  It wasn't perfect - still some things missing from the checklist - but it still wasn't bad.  I was productive at work and I was active.

I also heard from the last boy.  It was a poetic random text along the lines of "Tuesdays. Blargh.  What's up?".  And that was it.  Analyzing this is taking far less time.  He's bored and wants to see if I'll bite back.  Since even biting back has rarely led anywhere constructive, I'm letting it lie.  Geez Louise.

As a reward to myself, though, and in the realm of TMI, I have decided that the masturbation ban is now officially off.  The reason is simple : in winter, I need all the endorphins I can get, and I realized I have now hit a stage where I can do it without thinking of anyone in particular (thus entrenching obsessions) and thus, not dangerous to my goal.  Of course, now that I've given myself permission, I don't really feel like it.  Oh well, I'm sure I will soon - but I will do everyone the favor of sparing the details.

I took a shower and moisturized my face last night.  No use getting old while not getting laid.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day Forty-Six : Steps

So, you know when you're depressed and hear the whole thing about "baby steps," which for me is frustrating because there's so much - maybe too much - I want to do.  And with the too much, I get overwhelmed and tend to look about for a pair of arms to run to ro someone to dream about.  This is better, but sadly, I am still unmotivated and spend way too much time thinking about how not to think about things while not doing the things that were supposed to keep me from doing the things I was thinking about.

That sentence totally made sense, I swear.

Anyway, I've been a little off lately, which has led me to lonely which has led my mind to dangerous hobbies (looking at potential mates on OKCupid, for instance, which was happily too depressing to go anywhere).  So in the spirit of CBT I will now write out five goals for the next day each evening.  And then not allow my mind to wander until they're checked off goshdarnit.  Today, being a holiday, they weren't too demanding ... update this blog (check), make cornbread muffins (check), load the dishwasher before my kitchen fills up with mold (check), make an appointment to see my shrink (check) and go to yoga (instead of continuing to cancel at the last minute because you hate it so much but still have 18 classes left on that pass you foolishly purchased a year ago) (kind of check, I'm leaving in 10 minutes).

Maybe it's the small things.  I'm not going to be good at being single overnight - not after years of being either in a relationship or being really really bad at being single.  Hopefully, these checks will move me in the right direction.

And I'm not allowed to read until all are checked off.  Yes, I always supply plenty of carrots with my sticks.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day Forty-Five : Don't Care

Winter already takes a toll on my personal grooming habits.  I am a firm believer that true beauty comes from health and upkeep should be minimal (i.e., I abhor all the effort involved with a hair dryer).  Any additional efforts beyond being neatly groomed must be dire - weddings, fundraisers, meeting Vladmir Putin.

But beyond winter, I have really stopped giving a damn about my appearance at all.  I don't know yet how I feel about this, if this is really a step in the right direction.  I seem to link needing to be attractive with attracting men, because when you feel attractive and have applied some work on top of that, you are (surprise) MORE attractive.

Last night I dropped contact down the drain - the last one for that eye - which means it will take a while to get a replacement (slooow doctor's office) and so I will be wearing my glasses for a bit.  This used to drive me nuts.  Wearing glasses (and the expense compared to my present financial state) was part of what kept me from getting laser surgery.  And yet here I am all hipster - messy hair in ponytail, glasses, face that does not get put through a four step cleansing regimin everyday and legs that were shaved around December 20th.  Add to that very worn clothes that fit oddly due to weight fluctuations down (running) and up (Christmas) and down (running) and up (not running for two weeks).

At least I can run now, which is awesome because I can just stop taking showers after I sweat too.  Not to mention I spent my cash on a violin this month, have frozen my credit cards and thus cannot get my roots touched up until next month.  And they are very very grey.  My teeth are sorely in need of a cleaning.  The scar under my eye hasn't healed but is disguised by the large circles that have been appearing their lately.

No, winter does not make me feel like I want to be sexy.  And this winter is odd because I'm realizing that I have spent the last to weeks not even noticing whether there was anything to attract.  I have been entering public places without the obligatory "are there any acceptable men here" scan.  The last guy, I even completely forgot about for a couple of days when I was dealing with much harder and serious issues, but even after him popping up in a dream the residual effect did not make me go to the salon, shave my legs, buy a new outfits, or check for cavities.  In a way, the unattractiveness I feel right now has the added bonus of being a shield.  While my vanity in my looks has subsided somewhat, I am still too vain to let anyone who I once made out with see me in the shape I was in grocery shopping today.  People were swiftly getting out of my way.  Was it because I had forgotten I still had pajama pants on until I got there, then thought "fuck it" and shopped in them anyway?  With a turtleneck and a buttonless leather jacket?  And flip flops.

So, here's the thing, it's really really good that I'm not giving a damn about attracting men - in fact even trying to ensure keeping them away.  But at some point, I would like to get back to where I have been in happier times of my life where I make myself attractive just for me, so I feel the pleasure of looking at myself in every available mirror.

Maybe Spring?

And seriously, legs like a caveman's.  I could curl some of these hairs.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day Thirty-Four : Blah

I got work today, so yay.  I am constructive, I am a productive member of society.  I am receiving one more paycheck.  Wait, where did my attention span go?  How do I do these job again?  Oh well, I'll figure it out.  On Sunday.  When I'm in the office.

New Orleans gets so insanely crowded sometimes.  Tonight some jerk parked halfway across our driveway.  My neighbor relieved me of the stress of calling the towing company.  regardless of how ridiculously inconsiderate this is, and how often it happens, I still hate calling the towing company.  Some part of me feels like it's such a harsh measure.  But then, I'd like to get out tomorrow morning for a workout because god knows I need it.  My eating habits have fallen by the wayside (chex mix?  Seriously?) and I feel fat and tired.  Exercise invigorates me, even if getting up early doesn't necessarily do the same.

I think I often feel hemmed in the hectic that can be NOLA - the crowds and excitement.  A new friend of mine asked me how people can live here and not drink, and I confessed I'm probably an alcoholic for that very reason.  I have a hard time not wanting to lash out at the world around me, and such anger leaves me feeling alone.  And alone = bad decisions trying not be alone.  I need to figure that shit out.

On the upside, I have a pretty great and active weekend planned with various peeps I adore, so at least I won't feel like I'm waiting from a sign form the universe (or much less importantly) from a stupid boy.

Wait, is the scalp itch from my unwashed hair a sign?  I'll deal with that tomorrow.  Onto finishing a book.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day Thirty-Three : Obstacles

So, I've hit a few walls lately.  Work continues to be depressingly slow and hopeless, which leads to even more stress (although a newfound love of frugal cooking).  A nagging pain in my foot took me to a doctor where I was told not to run until we can figure out what all the random bone fragments are doing lodged in the side of my right foot.  And the blahs have not lifted, even if the cold is bearable.  Washing my hair and shaving my legs feels challenging too, although I know it's partially as a defense to temptation to having any man near my unkempt self.

And thus, a couple setbacks as far as communications with last guy.  Although they've been short and haven't really led to anything coming toward hanging out in the future (because, I won't let it, and because, more horribly, he hasn't been suggesting such an idea lately) I know they are a relapse directly related to how lost I feel.

But, I think there is hope still.  I have wonderful friends who understand why I tearfully freaked out about not being able to run.  There's still Russian (I had forgotten that Rosetta Stone is ridiculously fun, although since it is also ridiculously expensive, I do a lot of reviewing).  And, after finding an old violin in my mother's closet when I was home, potentially a new hobby.  I've missed making music.  Not that I was ever great or have intentions of playing in front of strangers, but there is something zen about being in the moment, practicing, building on basics and improving.  I realize this is what all the hobbies I am leaning toward right now are about - perceptible progress.  And I also realize this is what my career lacks, which I think is why it is making me so miserable.

And reading.  I am still tearing through books, escaping in that way every evening before hitting the sack.  My dog's warm little body has taken up residence in my bed, and that makes me feel tender, happy, and slightly less alone.

And I updated this blog, something I have been needing to do.  Even these last few paragraphs made me feel better.  One of my sponsors stumbled across another eighty six days of a girl on a quest to lose weight.  It is only her "before" pics - in underwear no less - and two other entries.  From 2009.  I will not be this girl.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day Twenty-Eight : Sigh

I have to admit, this project is killing me in some ways.  No more deviations except returning a Merry Christmas text with a "you too!".  But between work going to hell and my brain spinning with what-to-do-when-I'm-unemployed checklist, spending Christmas with my parents' tense-filled power struggle of a marriage and no one to hear my frustrations on that score during pillow talk, and a weird moody gloom that I am having a hard time summing up the gumption to kick in the balls, I am feeling alone.

I should probably just masturbate, but I think at this moment it will actually make me feel even more alone.

Perhaps it was all the Christmas engagements that did it.  And a lot of them were the second ones for a lot of friends - some younger than me.  Really, am I that undesirable?  The whole world is conspiring to say "yep."

On the long drive home from a most unsatisfactory Christmas, this song came on my ipod.  Thanks Liz Phair for summing me up right now.

Fuck and Run - Liz Phair