A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those days. I posted on Facebook “Whoever coined the phrase ‘adding insult to injury’ must have had a 24 hours just like mine.” I took it down almost immediately, when I realized that I was being one of those facebookers that I hate, that post cryptic, passive aggressive messages. But, seriously, let me lay it out for you.
It started at Orange Theory on Wednesday. (This is my latest obsession. It’s seriously the best hour of my day. I absolutely love it. It’s a super hard HIIT workout that I do five or six days a week and it’s hard on my body, but it’s so fun. I love the way I feel while I’m doing it, and after I do it, so I don’t care how hard it is. I feel like I’m physically stronger than I’ve ever been in my entire life.) We did a series of major core exercises with lots of reps, (woodchoppers, dumbbell Russian twists with a press in-between, a few burpees added in for good measure). I was fine after the workout. I felt great.
I went on with my day, which included seeing the man that I had been…what would we call it? Involved with? Seeing each other? We were I guess dating for a couple of weeks in the beginning of October. This is a man that I’ve known since, well, I technically met him when I was in 7th grade and he was in 8th grade. I had a major crush on him starting the summer before my sophomore year of high school, and going on into that fall. I’ve known him a long time. He got divorced a year after Sawan died and started asking me out pretty quickly thereafter, and I always said “no.” It just didn’t seem like it could work. We had changed so much in adulthood that I didn’t think that we saw eye to eye on important issues. I never really even considered it.
But, something happened this fall that made me re-think it. We had had several good conversations that made me think that we weren’t that different after all. Even if we didn’t agree on issues, he at least understood where I was coming from, and didn’t think that I was stupid (for my way of thinking).
So, I let him in. We started dating. It was like high school, actually, in some ways, with lots of long make-out sessions. It surprised me that I was so into him, after feeling absolutely nothing for him but friendship before. I think I was partially seduced by the fact that things were different with him than with anyone else I’ve dated since Sawan. He didn’t make me feel like he was doing me a favor, dating a widow. Maybe because he’s known me for so long. Maybe because he knew us both. Maybe because he’s just not an asshole. The friendship that we’ve had for so long, the shared history, made it so much fun. It was so comfortable.
And then, every song on the radio was about him. I hadn’t experienced that in a long time. He said things to me like, “I think I could love you for the rest of your life…” and I believed him. He told me that he was attracted to smart women, but that physically I had it all, too. I have no problem in normal situations feeling like I’m physically attractive (call me arrogant), but this felt different. I felt attractive in a whole new way.
But, after just two weeks he was headed on a long trip overseas. The last night I was to see him before he left on the epic adventure, I said, “Ok, I’m sorry to be such a chick about this, but, before you go, I need to know where we stand.” And he said, basically, “I can’t make you any promises. I can’t take care of myself right now, much less anyone else. I don’t even know if I’ll be returning to Denver long-term.”
We turned the lights off. And that was pretty much it. The next day I briefly told him I was mad. That I had given him lots of opportunities to say those same things in the last two weeks and he hadn’t. He left with “Well, for what it’s worth, I’ve really enjoyed the last two weeks.” Well, shit. Me, too. But I’m not sure I would have done it the same way had I known that two weeks would be it. Especially because, with his connections to my family, I’ll be seeing him around for the rest of my life.
And now we’re back to Wednesday night, and my 24 hours of insult and injury.
He had one night in town between the epic adventure overseas and another two week trip. I was so excited to see him. I had really missed him even though, well, we had left things on such sketchy terms. We had communicated a tiny bit while he was gone, and I had convinced myself that he had to be just scared. He had said that this was 20 years in the making. He couldn’t possibly be over it after only two weeks.
But, the conversation Wednesday night didn’t go well. He basically said that he thought that it was going to be different (I think that he has this adolescent fantasy about what love is and honestly nothing real in the adult world is ever going to do it for him. I told him as much.). He never meant for me to get hurt. He loved me but not in “that way.” Yikes. I’ve honestly never been the rejected party before. It kind of sucks.
Too many beers in to drive home, I slept at his house.
When I woke up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I couldn’t stand up straight. I had tweaked my back somehow, and I was in incredible pain (damn Orange Theory). The next morning it was even worse, and I felt sick from too many beers and not enough (or any) dinner. When I told him goodbye, I told him not to text me or call me. I didn’t want him to string me along. Then, I got in my car and drove home.
Except, on the way home, I puked in my lap. Yep. I was trying to convince myself that I wasn’t going to be sick, but I couldn’t hold it in. By the time I realized that I was definitely going to be sick, no way to talk myself out of it, I had time to pull over but not to get my window down or my door open, so I just puked all over my lap. Classy. Isn’t it something, though, how you puke and then feel like you could climb a mountain? I could have if it weren’t for my stupid back.
I also realized on the way home that I had left my fitbit (and later, also my favorite pair of earrings). Seriously? So much for no calls/no texts.
I got home and laid on my bed, realizing there was no way I could work with my back in this condition. I called all of my clients, then my amazing bodywork guy, who got me in that day to work on me (this is something of a miracle, considering his schedule). I cried the whole time, from physical or emotional pain, I’m not sure which. He thinks that with all of the Russian twists I did, I
twisted my vertebrae out of allignment.
Or, he said (ever the Buddhist), alternatively, pain in the back comes
from relationship pain. Feeling
like you’re not supported. Yeah. Either
I went home and cried the rest of the day, and watched How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.
In spite of the fact that I’m hurting and I’m really mad, I find myself still believing the best of the man I had been seeing. I know him. I know that he really didn’t mean to hurt me. I think that he’s self-centered and therefore didn’t think about the consequences for his actions, but I think he probably means it when he says “I love you.” (and that, “just not in that way,” is also accurate). But I’ve also never been the type to hang on. I do not need to convince anyone to love me.
When I woke up on Friday, my eyes were so swollen from crying that I looked like someone had punched me in the face. I looked in the mirror at myself and said aloud, “F#ck. Him.” And then, as Barney (on HIMYM) would say, “Whenever I feel sad, I just stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.”
So, that’s the gross 24 hours and the 24 hour turn around and recovery. The moral of the story? Don’t date your childhood friends. Trust your gut. Don’t drink four beers and skip dinner. Don’t work out so hard at Orange Theory. I don’t know, maybe it’s one of those. Or, maybe it’s: BE AWESOME.