Exhausted

I wonder if everyone has that moment where they look in the mirror, after suffering another rejection or dismissal from a crush, and face just debilitating hate for everything looking back at them.

Whether your thighs are cellulite-y and too fat or spindly and too bony, they’re gross.

Whether your stomach looks like a topographic map from the stretch marks or your jutting hipbones are the only curves on your body, it’s gross.

Whether your naked breasts are absent of all shape, or they exist purely because the fat has nowhere else to go, it’s gross.

…So you buy “shapewear”, “padding,” “extra-support” and “waist-trimmers” to improve what diet and exercise can’t, because trust me, you’ve tried.

You’ve thrown up your meals and ran miles to add a feminine physique.  You’ve eaten protein shakes and 3000 calories to create feminine softness.

You’ve lost the sparkle in your eyes and the shine in your hair, starving yourself.

You’ve lost the spring in your step and exhausted your body gorging yourself.

You’ve faced rejections wrapped with a bow and delivered as compliments…

“We’re just such good friends!”

“You’re just too cool to date- I wouldn’t want to ruin it.”

“You’re too good for me!”

And you face insults thrown into your face like trash.

“Fat ass.”

“You’re like a twig…you need a cheeseburger.”

“You look like a beached whale.”

“Ew, I can see all your bones.”

So you develop a unique defense mechanism of anticipating the jokes and making them before anyone else.  You become a caricature of yourself and participate in self-deprecation to show how “funny” and “cool” you are.

You make excuses for men who reject you for superficial reasons versus those of merit.

You study Youtube tutorials and paint your face in hopes of transforming it.

You are constantly, always, always…always aware of how to sit and stand, to hide what you hate and show what you don’t.

You stand on a scale and cry.

You try on clothes and cry.

You look at yourself and cry.

You cry. You cry. You cry.

Why I’m Glad I’m NOT Engaged

I’m so glad I’m not engaged. Despite the fact that my Facebook newsfeed recently became a bridal look-book, I don’t envy these bride-to-bes. I’m so happy for them, don’t get me wrong. I’m also super happy that nobody has liked me enough to even try to put a ring on it. That may sound super weird and self-deprecating, but let me explain…

When I graduated high school, I was unequivocally in love. I wrote poems about it, I doodled in my notebooks about it, I listened to songs and thought about it….simply, my life was divided into two segments, the “before” and “after” with him being the dividing line.  I barely remembered the “before”, and meticulously planned the “now” and “after”.  For years, my mother had poured the wisdom of her 20+ year marriage into my head, with the constant advice being “when you meet him, you’ll just know. It will be different.” My tumultuous relationships leading up to this one proved that this one was very different, starting with a beautiful friendship and just organically becoming something more.  I hesitate to say it, but the word “rescue” is on the edge of my lips because some days, most days, in fact, that’s what it feels like happened. He rescued me from fools, from deceit, from lies, from bad people.  We established an easy relationship with a healthy ebb and flow that my friends envied, my parents smiled knowingly at and I just basked in, undaunted by the threat of a long distance college romance.  I was in love from the bottoms of my toes to the hair that he complained always tickled his face when we cuddled, and that love filled me up in all my spaces in between. 

But things change. I changed. He changed. Or maybe neither of us changed, but our circumstances did…the details have always been blurry. But eventually my tickling hair was no longer charming when we cuddled, in fact, we stopped cuddling all together.  Before, I had been certain nothing could stop us from being apart, but soon all it took was a better offer close by. It’s a strange kind of love, knowing absolutely that you would take a bullet for someone, but being uncertain if they would do the same.  Watching someone you used to catch staring at you and smiling, stop looking at you, really at all. Knowing that in spite of a friendship remained steadfast through the ups and downs, you were watching the love of your young life try not to fall out of love with you…trying desperately and in vain to capture the light and uncomplicated bliss that had been wrapped around you, sheltering you, for almost 2 years.

Those last months, I became someone I didn’t recognize.  I went from being someone who was quick to laugh, kind and positive, to someone so resentful, jealous, angry and bitter, I hardly recognized myself.  I spent my days fighting with my boyfriend and my nights crying about him.  It was a sick vortex that I had immersed myself in and I couldn’t quite claw my way out because I was too busy clawing into him for “other girls” and various pictures that would pop up on my newsfeed.

Finally, the break-up came….despite all evidence to the contrary, it came rather unexpected.  I drove over to his house and after hours of talking, we decided (100% mutually) to end things.  We needed to experience “college” and all it had to offer and having a shadow of a boyfriend and a resentful girlfriend was hindering that experience for both of us.  So, after 2 years of (mostly) beautiful times, we hugged in my minivan, and said “We had a pretty good run, huh?” “No…we had a great run.”

The feeling of this heartbreak was unrelenting.  It felt like I had lost a limb…I could feel the emptiness circulating through my body like it was the blood in my veins.

But…here’s the thing.

I got through it. I didn’t die. I matured. I grew up. I looked back on the relationship and saw where not only he went wrong, but I did as well. I cried. I moved on. I kissed other boys. I dated other boys. I slept over other boys houses. I lived at college. I got super drunk…a lot. I almost got arrested once or twice. I didn’t make dean’s list. I really sucked at Kildare’s Quizzo. I went to a glow party in a frat basement. I had a huge crush on a frat brother. I had a bigger crush on a guy at work. I ate a lot of late night pizza. I made super shady friends. I put my life in danger more than 10 times. I’m still alive. I took a women’s studies class. I got a women’s studies minor. I became a registered Democrat.  I listen to Dashboard Confessional without crying. I stopped being jealous of my friends’ successful high school sweetheart relationships. I got my industrial pierced. I got my nose pierced. I got a neck dermal. I got other piercings. I plan on getting more. I have a tattoo planned. My grandmother died. A dear friend died. My best friend’s father died. My brother’s best friend died.  I met creepy guys from OKCupid. I not-so creepy guys from OKCupid. Long road trips alone became my favorite thing.

Somewhere along the line…I kind of became my favorite thing.

I became my own partner in crime. I found friends I never would have had if I had stayed in what I thought was the best relationship of my life. I would have never had a single one of these experiences if I had stayed in that relationship.  If you had asked 18-20 year old Chelsea, she would have easily, without hesitation, chosen to stay…no matter what, with no worry about compromising herself or her dreams to do it. But at 24, the thought of losing out on even more experiences to come, by being in a relationship with really, anyone, throws me into an anxiety tailspin. I have more growing up to do, more happiness to find within myself.

I’m not closed to love, I’ve fallen in and out of love since that relationship, but I’m also not putting any pressure on myself to find it. I’ve got a lot of things to do before I “settle down”.

 

I can’t wait to get started. 

10 Painful Things About Moving Home After Graduation

10 Painful Things of Moving Home After Graduation

College offers you a kind of incomprehensible freedom…one you might not fully appreciate until your back under your parents’ roof and in this day and age, moving back home is all but inevitable.  Below is a list of some of the hard realities of going from a weekly phone call to Mom and Dad to calling Mom and Dad “roomies”.

  1.       Your parents LOVE to ask questions. They LOVE it.  Whether it’s about your job hunt or what you did during the day, they’re going to ask you about it…and you’re probably going to lie. You lie because while your roommates didn’t care, you have a feeling your parents will, that really, all you did today was lazily peruse Craigslist for job postings, and masturbate.
  2.       Your parents taste in TV shows is atrocious, but rather than suffer through another “Mike & Molly” episode, you decide to educate them on “Game of Thrones”, forgetting the whole first season is basically Khal Drogo fucking Daenerys.  Staring straight ahead looking anywhere but at YOUR FATHER, while the sound of flesh-slapping goes on FOREVER is scarring, to say the least.
  3.       Casual Monday night hookups and booty calls are a thing of the past because there is NO way you’re getting out of the house after 11PM because of #1.

3.5   If you do manage to get out, it’s to have sex in someone’s car because your hook-up probably lives at home, too. You have to tell him to park a block down the road and you have to pray your dogs don’t hear you sneak out and start barking.  You’re stuck doing amateur gymnastics in the back of a jeep with your neck bent at a horrifying angle simply because the idea of your parents catching you having sex is worse than temporary paralysis.

  1.       Shower sharing and your too tiny water heater. Gone forever are the days of endless hot water. Your 4-person family starts the day at 8AM and the water heater ends its day at 8:27.
  2.       Getting drunk on weekdays, whether it’s Quizzo, karaoke, or just because you’re an independent person and you deserve it, dammit!…is like, the worst. Your parents WILL start slyly leaving AA pamphlets out, they ask so sincerely if you’re okay, and you’re forced to sneak out to these illicit events and either not drink or find a DD because….
  3.       You’re stuck. Unless you live somewhere cool, you’re stuck driving anywhere worth going.  Snow days? You’re stuck. Power’s out? Hello, 7PM bedtime.  Living at college, you can always find something to do. Whether on or off campus, power or no power, you can always drink with your roommates (or someone).  When “drinking wine with my roomies” turns into “playing scrabble by candlelight with Mom, Dad and Alex”, life takes a very sad turn.
  4.       Your room cleanliness is called into question- the yogurt cups and half-empty water bottles that previously decorated your windowsill are now in the trash (as they should be, but that doesn’t make you any less bitter).
  5.       Your financial habits are brought up and you are interrogated- When you come home with four Forever 21 bags, all filled with needless accessories and thing t-shirts with snappy phrases, your parents do not hesitate to bring up student loan payments and their fast approaching due date.  This also means…
  6.       Your mails is examined, thoroughly, before it is passed onto you- 5 parking tickets, a credit card bill AND a Birchbox? They know it all before you’re even home from work and do not hesitate to text you, subtlety mentioning those pesky loans and bringing us back to pesky #8.
  7.    The most painful thing about moving home is admitting you were wrong about a lot of things.  Mostly, your parents actually are kind of cool as shit and even if they ask you 47 questions about your FWB and guilt you into not going out on a Thursday and watching bad TV with them (with their incessant commentary) there are worse ways to spend the night.