Not too long ago I got dumped, and after I’d cried, and told all my friends; after the shock started to fade (although I couldn’t breathe properly for days); after all that I thought of all the things I could do to be more worthy. Self improvement: the kneejerk reaction to a breakup.
I wouldn’t stay up til midnight eating cheese and watching Netflix, even though I really like cheese and TV.
I’d begin the day early with yoga, or a run, or both. If I could stand on one leg I would be more balanced (though it feels hard to stand on two). I could get myself a runner’s body and lose these curves. I’ve been told all my life that I shouldn’t have curves.
Normally I don’t mind living in this body, with these freckles, these chubby bits, this sweat, these tears that come so easily, this heart that is so stupidly resilient even when it should have been destroyed by now… but I could get myself a yoga runner’s body and lose these curves – which men seem to like, but there must be something wrong with me so I could start with yoga and running because it is an action to take.
Then I’d have a coffee without my usual caramel syrup because sugar does not make me a better person. I don’t know how people drink bitter coffee but I’d become one of them somehow.
I’d work on my novel for a couple of hours each day because writing a book is impressive and it’s good to have something that’s just for me. Then I’d go to work and when I’m at work I wouldn’t get distracted looking back at old conversations or photos.
Worthy people don’t get distracted. They pack healthy lunches and save money and they love themselves and they are happy being alone and they don’t need a man to love them and they believe their friends when they tell them they are beautiful and wise and brilliant and worthy.
I could do all these things, I’m used to trying to impress people. I’ve done a lot of impressive things. Trying to win the approval I never got from my parents – so textbook.
Men make cameos in my life, they stick around just long enough to hurt me when they leave. They love me enough to confuse me when they choose to not love me.
He was the first person in a long time to enthusiastically hold my hand in public and not just hold my hips in private. He held me so tightly so quickly, and spoke such sweet words I started to wonder if he wouldn’t leave, but he did, and this time I will do fucking nothing.
I cannot be anything that will bring him back, or anyone else from my past, or endear me to the next one, and I’m exhausted by the perfection I feel like I should be to be worthy, to be lovable. I am somehow too much and not enough at the same time.
If I take up yoga at 5am and eat less and shrink myself (let’s be honest I don’t have much of an appetite at the moment anyway) and Achieve Things, it’s just another way of telling myself I’m not good enough but of all the things that I am unsure of, the one thing I do know is that I am good.
I am 30 years old and I drank a bottle of wine by myself for the first time because I got dumped but this time, this time I am not going to punish myself.
This time I’ll just add him to the list of men I was wrong about and resist the urge to add more to the list of things that are wrong with me. Pass the wine and cheese, I’ve got Netflixing to do.