The Art of Being Impossible

A Series of Essays on Being a Pain in the Ass

Category: Breaking Up

The Art of Doing It Differently This Time

So, we all knosingle-crisp1w that the usual course of action for me at the end of a relationship is to hop pretty well immediately into another one. Most of the time, this comes right on the heels of me swearing that I’ll be single for a while. Then a bar night happens, or a right swipe happens, or fuck, I buy a house, and WHAMMY, boyfriend.

We’re four situations into this one.

There was the pretty boy who proved himself way too bro and, bless his heart, just not smart enough. Also, I don’t like dating hot guys. There. I said it. For a variety of reasons from vanity to jealousy, I need to be the better looking one. It has also been my experience that the hottest guys just don’t have a lot to say. I like nerdy weirdos, y’all. I can’t help it. I will forever be the chick that people look at and think “What is she doing with him?” My insides don’t match my outsides, what can I say?

There was Favorite Old Flame, who, God love him, I hope we stay friends for all our days, but the thing I have learned most resolutely over the last year is that people don’t change. In this case, old flame remains all the reasons why he became an old flame (I’m sure me for him as well – we are divinely intertwined to be pals) and I was reminded by the Universe that the solution very rarely lies (FUCK! Is it lies, lays, I don’t know!) in the past.

There was blind date who cancelled on me at the last minute, which was really ok because I’d already mentally cancelled on him, reminding me that some parts of dating are just TOTALLY disappointing. I’d never met the guy, I wasn’t excited for the date, but it existed to remind me that I’m not the center of someone’s Universe right now and tough titties for me.

Then, there was the wonderful guy. Damn it. He’s wonderful. He is wonderful and right now that makes me feel like I am backed into a corner, placed into a line to give blood while I’m still bleeding out. My insides don’t have what it takes right now to give Wonderful what it deserves. So I cancelled a date after feeling anxious about it all day because…

I’m. Not. Ready.

I’ve never said those words before. Not about dating. Not about sex. Not about anything. I’m always ready. For whatever. This time, no.

Now, before you go thinking, poor Jenn, she must be so sad about her break-up. I need you to know some things. Most importantly that I am fine. I am not not ready because I’m crying myself to sleep over BoD. Oh, I forgot to tell you. RB’s new acronym is BoD. It stands for Bag of Dicks. Post break-up he has very well proven himself to be one…I didn’t want to write this post, cause I didn’t want anyone thinking I still care or don’t but, he’s still blowing my phone up…

First, did you see what I just did there? Amazing right? And actually, he’s blowing up my email because I have his number blocked, but I digress.

So, I’m not crying myself to sleep. I have cried.  A few times. It’s not like I have no feelings at all about the situation. But every interaction I have with him continues to prove me right and sit me super-grounded in my choices. Unfortunately, it also reminds me that I have been through a shit hard year and all I want right now is a little peace and quiet.

Last night, two of my friends and I ate tacos and sat on the couch and sang songs and told stories and it filled up my soul. These tiny little moments lately with my people, in my city. They feel like…healing. They feel like these lucky little selfish acts where the people I love don’t even realize I am stealing our life force Dementor-style to fill up that empty jar we talked about last time. Do you remember when I said there was joy in this reinvestment? It is epic.

I listen to all of my still-single friends who, as I have been, are trying so hard to find their person. And a thought occurred to me. What if I’m my person? What if all these years of constantly putting all of myself into SUCH UNWORTHY dudes has been the wrong relationship simply because it was with someone else and not with myself? I have NEVER put as much energy into myself as I have into a relationship. What if I showered myself with love and curiosity and forgiveness and fun and gifts and things just for the sake of making that person, ME, happy? WHAT? Well, that’s the most novel fucking idea I’ve ever had.

People tell me I’m selfish all the time. I’m obviously a narcissist. If there’s anything I should be really good at it, it’s myself. I feel like the time is finally here where I can say that I am ready to be alone. Not only am I ready, I crave it. I need it. It, like leaving was, is imperative.

The scary part about doing this is wondering how you will fill the time. The scariest thought is that you could end up alone every Friday night, miserly and sad. Ok, yeah right. My life hasn’t skipped a beat. For what it’s worth, only one of the like, thousands of cool things I’ve done in the last 6 weeks has been a date. (Ugh. A great date with Wonderful. Stupid timing.) Pretty came to hang out with me and my friends a couple of times, but otherwise I have been kept totally busy by a village of the most badass Bs. And every time we do something, I feel like I make a new friend, thus widening the pool of badass Bs with plans for me to the point of actually LONGING to sit at home on a Friday night.

No part of me wants to accommodate another human right now. I don’t want to, as I sadly told Wonderful last night, be beholden to anyone. If I cancel dinner with my friends, they know I’ll see them tomorrow or some other time with no guilt attached. That’s what I need right now. I need to answer only to me. Some times to Donna. 🙂

I’m gonna rock the free world Jenn Ciccarelli style for a little while. Maybe a long while. Fuck, maybe forever. Maybe I really AM Blanche and I’ll just be hot and old and doing the damn thing. I have no idea what’s coming. The future is as wide open as I think it’s ever been. I like this feeling. Like, SO MUCH. And if I do meet someone, I finally might just say, “Sorry, I’m growing as a person right now.” 😉


The Art Of Being Honest About It

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Alright, it’s time to get on with it. We couldn’t NOT talk about it, could we? We have to say something. I know. I mean, we don’t HAVE to, but this commitment to living this life out loud calls me always, so we’re going to give this a whirl.

Here’s what I don’t want.

  • I don’t want to smear him. That’s a lie. I do. But I respect his career regardless of his personal choices and so if it seems I am being vague overall it’s because I consider the details…libelous. Ish. Totally true but mean or something just the same.
  • I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did and that’s why we’re here. Friends who know the details of the situation called on me to speak out so other chicks feel empowered and strong to leave when it’s bad like it was. IT WAS BAD. AND I LEFT. And my life is better for it. Be strong. Take your life. Get your happy.
  • I don’t want this to come across as though I have no fault here. I have fault. I have a lot of fault. We’ll get that to that. I just want it to be said up front. It’s my fault too.
  • I don’t want you to believe that 3rd bullet point. It’s not actually my fault AT ALL. When St. Pete is casting down the final judgement on this one, little to none of it shall come my way. But I have to own some of it, so that bullet up there is more like, optional or something. 😉

Ok, here we go.

For the last year of my life, I have been my very worst self. I have been volatile. I have been vexing. I have been mean-spirited. I have been a total fucking bitch. Let’s own it. I HAVE BEEN A TOTAL FUCKING BITCH. Yeah, I have. I’m cool with it. If you’re like, wait, didn’t you say this wasn’t your fault, yes, I did, and it’s not.

See, cause, here’s the thing. Most of you who know me know that I am one of the most happy, silly, crazy, life-filled, adventure-seeking people around. I mean, I’m not jumping out of an airplane, but I’ll fly to Cuba on a whim with you for sure. I will start random bar sing-alongs and make best friends with strangers and I genuinely love life so much it’s hard for me not to scream it out from the Facebook roof tops every day.  For a person like that to become who I’ve been, well, it’s less like a match to a fuse and more like someone continuously dumping gasoline on a pile of burning tires. My point here is that I am not a person who spontaneously combusts…So.

I did all the usual things. I asked nicely. I tried being sweet and encouraging. I wrote letters. I begged. I cried. GOD DAMN DID I CRY. Y’all. I have cried more in the last year than my life. More than Charleston, more than that big one ten years ago that I was sure I’d never get over, more than ever. I cried every day. And then one day, I stopped. I stopped crying and instead I screamed. And then it felt like I never stopped screaming. I screamed and I screamed and NOTHING changed. Except one important thing. Me.

I changed. I broke. I broke in half and sideways. Even my face showed it. We all know I’m a pretty vain chick. For an entire year, I would smile at myself in the mirror and only see tired. God, I was tired. Tired of screaming. So tired I was convinced I was crazy and I went to see a psychiatrist. So tired that I let someone else steal my joy and convinced me I was asking for the unreasonable. I wasn’t. Never once. But I believed it. I believed it and everything he said. Because I loved him. Because, as a promise-keeper, I assumed everyone was. Well, they aren’t. And I want to tell you, if this is your life right now, there’s a good chance you aren’t crazy either and that what you are asking for is fair and right and good for your soul and you have a right to say no to anyone who refuses you it.  Some women pick a lifetime of it. I would have died.

So, for months, an equal combo of screaming and withering. To a moment where I wondered if this was what depression feels like. To not wanting to get out of bed because the minute I opened my mouth, the screaming would start. I was anxious to the point of laying awake all night and wondering what was wrong with me. I didn’t want to see my friends. Because I didn’t want them to know. About the screaming. And worst of all, I was smoking. So in sum, I wasn’t sleeping, exercising, eating well, having sex, and I was chain smoking. But more important than any of those things, I wasn’t being heard. Even in my loudest voice.

So, I lost my mind. I LOST IT. I will own this. When he tells you I went crazy, he’s right. Me and Tay and our long list of Starbucks lovers. 😉 At the lowest point of it, I looked around and I knew I was really on the brink of losing myself completely as a person and that’s when I knew it was time to go. I am Jenn Ciccarelli. I am not that fucking girl. I will not be a Lifetime movie. This life of mine is meant to be EVERYTHING. And so it shall.

It was hard. I packed up my clothes and my dogs and my dignity and I went to stay with my parents. At 34! I lived with my parents for two weeks until my house was ready because getting out of there was no longer a should I, it was imperative.

Funny thing. You would think the tears  started the minute I drove away, but instead, they dried up. And you would think I suffered sleepless nights worrying and wondering, but instead I slept better than I had in months. No anxiety. No smoking. No hurting. Just peace. Silence. The screaming stopped.

It’s been almost a month now. And I feel like I am coming out of a fog. Like the sun is shining on me for the first time in forever – and my face is showing it and my heart is feeling it. When you leave a relationship on empty, all you can do is fill yourself back up and, for me, there is a lot of joy in this reinvestment. In remembering the person I was and what I wanted my life to be like when I moved back to Atlanta. To making that a reality and knowing I was right to want it and to ask for it and to leave when I didn’t get it.

We joke about YOLO. But I try to live by it. This is mine. It’s the one I got and it will be beautiful or nothing at all. I made mistakes here. But man, did I learn. I learned so much.

  • Don’t give everything you’ve got to a person who excels at taking. They will bleed you dry.
  • Don’t look at behaviors that make you uncomfortable and try to get comfortable with them because someone tells you you should be. Stand by your fucking convictions.
  • Don’t let the things that make your soul shine go to the wayside for a person who doesn’t.
  • You are not crazy. You might be acting a little nutty. Maybe you are just fucking tired of asking nicely. Don’t let anyone convince you you’re crazy unless it’s your mom. Then listen. For the record, Donna is Team Jenn here and she’s the first one to call me out on batshit.
  • Don’t stay because “you’re comfortable.” You aren’t comfortable. If you think about it, you’re probably sad as fuck and the fear of the unknown can be crippling. I am here to tell you. I dove into the unknown. IT’S FUCKING AWESOME OVER HERE.
  • I always say that happiness is a choice. Choose it.

In close, here we go again. Life. The next step. The next chapter. I’m a few pages in and really lovin’ what I’m readin’. It’s fun and bright and feels like it’s only the beginning. AND GOD DAMNIT, Y’ALL. I AM SO GLAD I NEVER HAVE TO GO TO THE GOD DAMN FLATIRON EVER AGAIN.

Le fin.