“I would look at him, sitting there in our apartment, “How did I mess this up?” It was like looking through a kaleidoscope - rearranging pieces to make sense of the stories I had told myself again and again. Trying to put a charming, magical spin on a piece of reality. It’s funny how we don’t realize that we’re looking through these lenses until its passed. He ended things in November. We were still living together. It was just one of those things where I felt- I had hoped- we could be this exception to a rule. Still live together, apart. Isn’t that the shit.

In March, I was out of our old apartment and into my new one. It was my first night in an unfamiliar place. I sat there, lying on my bed. My new roommate, a girlfriend of mine, asked me if I wanted to grab a bite to eat. I told her with a smile I just wanted to chill, get my bearings, unpack. I closed my bedroom door and balled my eyes out. Full on ugly-face cry.

I had pictured my life at this age- idealistic, a family, the Rockstar job, owning something ... anything. But there I was, no Netflix account, no Hulu, and I need a new fucking T-Mobile plan. “This is my life now,” a phrase that sounded like a scratched record on repeat.

A month later, he called. I answered. The feeling came back, hope. An ever-persistent emotion I thought had gone dormant. It was more of the same. But I noticed it this time. I felt awake. Those shapes that clouded my vision fell apart in front of me. The rose-colored glasses were off. I looked back on the woman I was. I was no longer ashamed I allowed myself to wilt, to get lost. Yes, there was pain, at moments there still is. But there is also progress. Everything I did “for him” inadvertently gave me the strength and power I lost in myself. I can’t settle, I won’t settle. Not only romantically, but with my thoughts, my self- talk, my diet, my work. If I’m horny I’ll get a fucking vibrator.”

Shared by: Michelle Fernandez

Transcribed by: Julia Michael

Valeria Alvarez