“I thought you called dibs on him.”
“I did, but you can have him first. After he dumps you, imagine how good I’ll look in comparison.”
“Thanks, that’s not insulting at all.” ~ Cecily White, Prophecy Girl
I saw a photo of her recently. He sent me a photo of his now three-month old baby. She was in the photo, holding her precious three month old bundle.
She looked so tired. And so old. Inside, I felt a rush of joy. She looks like a grandmother, and here I am, going to the gym consistently and feeling as youthful as ever, and looking better than when he and I were together.
I looked through old photographs of myself, three months after I had given birth to G. I looked like a teenager mother. I smirked to myself that she is actually younger than I was when I gave birth to G. And now, although 8 years younger than I am, she looks about 20 years older.
I always felt like she beat me. She got him, and she got the baby. She was living my dream.
The joy of seeing the picture of her looking like a matronly and old mother was a small, shallow, and superficial victory, I know. But damn it, it felt so good.
“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.”
~ Eve Ensler, I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World
I am going through a bit of a hermit phase. While I used to crave human interaction, I now feel bothered and annoyed by it. All I want to do after work is to go home, do chores around the house, converse with G, read books, or watch television. Whenever I feel the ringing of my mobile phone to alert me of an incoming call or text message, I start to feel the prickle of my hairs along my neckline, and I am instantly annoyed. I used to feel weighed down by the heavy silence of my non-ringing phone. I even wondered at times if my phone was actually broken since it never seemed to ring. But now, the opposite is true. Maybe my phone really is broken? Because it never seems to stop beeping or ringing. I cannot even seem to get in one chapter of reading without someone calling (texting really, because who even picks up the phone to call anymore?) to tell me about their horrible day, and I, being the good friend that I am, immediately respond, and together we brainstorm how to solve the dilemma of the moment. Or, it will be a barrage of text messages from someone who is simply bored and is using me to fill in the dead time in their evening.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
After all is said and done, it will be almost midnight, and I would have spent my valuable personal and alone time texting or on the phone with people who do not seem to care that I have a child to raise, meals to cook, a house to clean, or a brain that, on occasion, I need to nourish with a good book, and on some lesser occasions, destroy with meaningless television. Maybe I could even be granted some time to sleep. I feel as though I haven’t slept in ages.
Maybe I stopped caring about people’s needs because no one seems to care about mine. Maybe my need is just to be left alone for a while – to think, to dream, to cry, to heal, and to find myself again.