After the heartache, the mess, and the challenges that occurred two days ago, I’m feeling the light breeze from my open windows, thinking to myself “I needed that.” Seems bizarre considering a few days ago, what I thought I needed was a therapist and a sedative. To be fair, I probably still need both.
Rewind to one of my first weeks as a LA native. I open up an unread message in my DMs on instagram that I had been ignoring for days.
I read “Hey there I think we had a little chat on okc about your mesmerizing eyes and smile haha How are you?”
I told him I’m not on the dating app much, and gave him my instagram. I didn’t think he would actually send a message. He created an instagram account just to talk to me, which gave me some serious serial killer vibes.
Initially, he seemed like the type of guy that would send me a random friend request on Facebook and I’d think, “What in the no mutual friends do you want from my life?”
Then, foolishly accept the request, only to receive daily cringy messages and maybe an unsolicited dick pic.
He’s Israeli. Dark hair, dark skin, dark eyes, and a bright smile. He had been working at a summer camp in California, and was spending his final month traveling America until his flight back to Israel.
Eventually, my judgments of him being a creepy serial killer faded. I knew that we would have a good time if we met up, so we did.
We met at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I wasn’t nervous. I was happy to have good company in this new city.
When I first saw him crossing the street, I wanted to take him shopping so he could buy a new wardrobe. His jeans weren’t doing it for me. However, that’s not my job. He can call Queer Eye for the Straight Guy if he wants help.
Instead, we walked up and down the outlandish crowds and buildings on Hollywood Blvd. We talked, laughed, and teased each other until the California sun inspired us to take a seat at a table in the shade.
After 45 more minutes of fun in no sun, a man who had been sitting next to us walked over with the wrapper to his sandwich, and a nearly empty soda.
“Sorry to interrupt, but I overheard your conversation. I just had to say, you guys have such amazing chemistry! It’s beautiful.” The stranger said to us with a smile.
That moment my friends, encapsulated our connection that day, and week to follow. However, that connection didn’t last forever.
He spent the following week traveling with his pack of Israeli friends. All the while, texting me all day, and FaceTiming with me every night. He would tell me daily how much he missed me and thought about me. I generally don’t miss people, but I pretended I did because I liked him.
He came back to LA early just to spend his final week with me at my apartment. *Insert dramatic impending doom music here*
We had completely different ideas of how we wanted to spend our week together. I wanted to explore the city. Maybe walk to the Hollywood sign, or take a trip to the beach. I thought about going to new restaurants or a bar in Hollywood.
He wanted to stay at the apartment all day, eat ramen in bed, and get his dick sucked. Our differences became more obvious each day.
On the fourth day, we were laying in bed, once again.
He put down his phone and said, “Change of plans. I’m going to spend my last few days with my friend in Pomona.”
I instantly felt a rush of emotions. Old trauma of abandonment issues and unworthiness began to bubble up within. I looked over, confused.
“Okay.” I said as I rolled over to face the window.
I couldn’t fathom having a conversation with the aching in my chest. I knew if he liked me the way he did before, he never would have wanted to leave.
After about 45 seconds he asked “How are you feeling?”
He knew something was wrong because my mouth usually doesn’t stay quiet for that long.
“Sad.” I said, as my eyes began to tear.
I could have played it off like I didn’t care, but I didn’t want to.
I didn’t want to act like a little bitch to make him feel bad. I wanted to feel my aching heart so I could give it the space, love, and attention it was desperately searching for.
I let myself cry. Yes, in front of him. I wasn’t about to shove my feelings down and not give myself the opportunity to heal because of some 24 year old, ugly jean wearing dude.
I wasn’t Kim Kardashian’s ugly crying face sad. My eyes filled with tears, and in between my wavering words, I sniffled.
“I can’t see you like this.” He picked up his phone to book an uber instead of staying one more night.
He continued “Look, I’m just a 24 year old….”
“This isn’t about you.” I interrupted.
“I’m not mad at you. This is not about you. This is old shit coming up for me.” It felt good to say.
I selfishly didn’t want him thinking he was that special. He wasn’t. We had a special connection, but he definitely was giving himself far too much credit.
I had a line of guys out the door waiting for him to leave so they could see me. If he thought all my eggs were in his basket, he was sadly mistaken.
He did not create this feeling of unworthiness. He was the catalyst for this trapped trauma to resurface and, with my willingness, heal.
This was not about him. This was my father leaving when I was a child. This was my first and biggest crush choosing to be with someone else. This was me, looking myself in the mirror every day as a kid thinking “You’re not good enough.”This was me, taking a knife to my body in middle school, and developing additions to cope in high school, because I wanted to escape the internal pain rather than face it and transcend the trauma.
Wasn’t expecting this to get so dark, but here we are. Don’t worry, it lightens up.
I acknowledged that it wasn’t about him and I did nothing wrong. Ever.
This is life. I am worthy of a good one. My worthiness is not dependent on the actions or feelings of others.
I let myself feel all of the past pain, and gave it the space to exist without judgement.
By the time the uber arrived, my tears and aches passed.
I’ll never forget the sad look in his eyes when we hugged goodbye. I made a lighthearted joke which I can’t remember now. Then, with a smile, I turned around to leave his sight for the last time.
We haven’t spoken since and I’m genuinely fine with it. I truly believe he was brought into my life to help me heal, and help both of us grow in profound ways.
…But for fucks sake, I was only the second person he had ever been with romantically. I should have at least gotten a written thank you card after all I taught him, if you ask me.
Jokes aside, I didn’t expect it would end this way. I will say, when it’s all said and done, I am beyond grateful for how things played out.
Sometimes the experiences that feel bad, are the ones that bring you what you are needing the most.