Thank you for not respecting me.
Never thought you'd hear that, huh?
Thank you for only seeing me as someone to call after you struck out at the bar. Thank you for only seeing me as a body instead of a mind. Thanks for seeing me as someone who wasn't worth a dinner or even alcohol that costs more than $12 a handle. Because, without you, I wouldn't have realized what I was doing to myself.
I was so sure I didn’t want to be in a relationship. I thought “I’m young, I'm in college, I shouldn’t settle down. I should let myself have fun. I should do what I want and be unapologetic about it.”
I thought that being with one person wouldn’t make me as happy as all the attention I was receiving from guys at parties or tailgates or whatever drunken event I was stumbling into on the weekend. I thought that doing whatever I wanted with whoever I wanted would make me happy.
I thought I would feel empowered. I wanted to feel like the savage player. I wanted to channel my inner Rihanna and just be a boss female. When I had a roster of guy I could call and use, It made me feel like a dude. And It made me feel powerful. It felt good to be using rather than being used. But while they didn’t mean anything to me, I forgot that I didn’t mean anything to them either. Instead of me using them, we were both using each other.
So I have come to a recent epiphany—I’m not fulfilled. This isn’t what I want. And I feel empty.
You and all of the other boys I was so-called "using" value me for the awesome person that I am. And I can't blame you either. I never gave you a reason to.
As someone who considers themselves a feminist, and I always thought that being sexual and unashamed was liberating and empowering. And for that reason, I never stopped myself from doing what I wanted to do. But, I am my own worst enemy. And what I wanted is not what I needed. And yeah, I may have wanted you, but I didn't need you.
And my heart broke when a friend told me “you’re one of the funniest, smartest girls I know. But, it’s like, no one knows that. I see all these people treat you like you're nothing. No one gives you the credit for your sense of humor or your intelligence. And it sucks watching people treat you like crap cause they don’t know this other side of you.”
And that stung. Cause, I know for a fact, that it is true. And you are exactly one of the people who give me zero credit.
Granted, it's how I behave and how I present myself, I’m not just some blonde blacked out drunk—I can talk about literature for hours. I thrive on debating people. I cite psychological studies I learned in a lecture in regular conversation. And, my friend, is right. No one knows that about me. Or cares to know that about me. Especially you. It’s not like I am hiding that side of me, it just doesn’t come up when you're flirting with someone at a party. Or when I’m rolling through your house after 2 a.m. on a Friday night.
And you probably aren’t reading this nor will you ever read this because you don’t know that I love to write. You don’t know that I’ve been working on a book since I graduated high school. You don’t know that I love reading classic literature for fun. You also don’t know that even though I love reading, I’d never want a Kindle because I love the feeling of actually holding a book in my hand. You don’t know that I annotate every book I read. You don’t know that my favorite books are "Brave New World" and "Slaughterhouse 5."
You don’t know that I love anything and everything to do with politics. You don’t know that I love to debate people. You don’t know that I have a black belt in karate. You don't know that I knocked out a boys tooth when I was 12-years-old with a perfectly executed roundhouse kick to the face. You don’t know that I worked at a zoo for three years in high school. You don’t know that I spent my summer with giraffes and lions and rhinos. You don’t know that the scar on my eyebrow is from getting kicked in the face during my goal-tending days. You don’t know that I’ve done stand-up in Philadelphia. And you don’t know that it didn’t go horribly, either.
Because I never gave you a reason to know or care about any of these things. You don’t see me as a person. And granted, I didn’t really see you as a person, either. I don’t know why we got out of being together honestly. Maybe we were both lonely. Maybe we both thought we wanted the same thing.
But after this last time, lying next to you in the bottom bunk of a bed frame that didn’t have a mattress or anything on the top frame under you singular paper thin blanket-- I realized, this isn’t what I want. And every time you snored or twitched, I hated you more. And then, I hated myself more for being there. And I don't know if it was my epiphany or your neighbors screaming at pledges to take more shots that kept me up all night.
So when you woke up and I wasn’t there, it was because, after 3 hours of staring at the ceiling, I came to the conclusion whatever this was, it was not going to make me happy. And yeah, I did walk home at 5:30 in the morning in a snowstorm because I couldn’t be there anymore. I couldn’t hate myself anymore. The hooking-up that used to make me feel desired, wanted, and fulfilled became the reason I was empty.
And trust me, it’s not just you. This applies to more than a few people from my past. You were just the straw that broke the camel's back. You were just the one who came at the most opportune time. And, you weren't the first guy to make me realize I wasn't happy. I started to realize this lifestyle wasn’t working after I hooked up with a guy who thought New England was a state. And yeah, I still hooked up with him after finding out this knowledge about him. I assumed that anyone else in college would at least have to have a basic understanding of the 50 states. And I don’t know if that says more about him that he didn’t know or more about me since I was willing to overlook that fact just to feel desired for a night.
Because I do turn to other people for validation. When I think about it objectively, 90% of the reason I hook-up with anyone is to feel good about myself. As much as I wanted to be savage, as much as I wanted to be devoid of feelings, and much as I wanted to have the morals of a guy-- I can’t.
I am addicted to validation I got from getting with people. I needed that rush of dopamine. I needed to know I am wanted. I got addicted to hooking up. Cause it was the only thing that made me feel good about myself for a while. When I was feeling down, I turned to boys like you. Boys that didn't care about anything except what I look like. And I have been blessed/cursed with a pretty fast metabolism and a naturally larger than average chest. So I always have known I could default to my looks for validation. It's the easiest thing to get recognition for. And I got addicted to being told I was hot, or pretty, or whatever.
And, like any addict, It’s going to be hard to quit. When I am laying in my own bed alone, and I just want a warm body next to mine, it’s going to be hard not to send a “wyd” Snapchat to someone.
Because whether it's a cigarette, a shot of tequila, or shopping-- when you get addicted to something that makes you feel good, it’s hard to quit. It's hard to feel good about yourself without anything helping. We're all searching for that thing that makes us feel whole by ourselves, and I need to stop getting it from other people and start getting it on my own.
So thank you, for treating me like I was asking to be. Thanks for valuing me like I’m nothing. Because I don’t think If I ever felt that low, I wouldn’t make a change. Thank you for giving a reason to delete my Tinder. Thank you for giving me a reason to delete your number and many others. Thank you for giving me a reason to leave Snapchats opened.
Because I am proud to announce that you are the last guy I'm hooking up with. You are the last guy I am going to let into my life without knowing how cool of a person I am.