“I wonder what you could do if you weren’t so obsessed with boys,” my best friend said one day in my early twenties lightheartedly.
“What?” I asked, scraping the bottom of the salsa with one of about a hundred chips leftover. I always ate too much salsa too fast. There’s a business idea in there somewhere. Getting exactly the right amount of salsa to correspond with your chips – are you a light salsa eater, medium or heavy? Here’s the combo for you! But then again, not sure anyone is as obsessed with chips and salsa as I was as a 22-year-old.
“Oh, I don’t know, you’re so driven. Imagine if boys weren’t in the picture?”
“Well, that’s a ridiculous thing to say, what fun would that be?” I asked.
“It would be as if…you were a boy,” she shrugged.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, of course, boys like girls, but they don’t obsess about us like we do with them. They are just so focused on their…business and work and hobbies.”
“I wish I could be like that…”
At which point, we probably went back to talking about…boys.
Who did she like? Who did I like? What good were they? Why didn’t they understand us? Wonder what he was thinking when he sent that text. Why do the ones we don’t like get so needy after just a few dates? Why do the ones we do like never text us back?
Ad nauseous. Yes, nauseous.
It’s cliché but I’m finding truer than ever. I’m in the middle of a project which involves me re-reading all of my old diary entries and letters I kept from my childhood. Well, what’s left of them.
They show that 77% of the entries and letters revolve around which boy I liked, my friends liked and whether or not they liked us back. So, clearly, I was spending quite a lot of time obsessing over boys.
I hate the fact that I wrote so much about love and boys and wanting someone to love me. It gives me ulcers. I wish I could climb through that journal to that little girl and scream – you will be just fine with or without them!! Focus on other stuff!! But of course, like everyone, she had to go through her own process.
(Strange side-note story – every single one of my journals was read by a boyfriend while I was at a writing group in Los Angeles a few years ago. I was so furious I immediately went to the UPS store and shipped them to my mother’s house for safekeeping. I kept a few zipped secretly in the bottom of a suitcase until I could escape his house as well. The box arrived at my mother’s house a few weeks later stuffed full of old newspapers. My journals were stolen again from under me! I packed the boxes myself. I don’t think I will ever figure that one out. “Something karmic,” as my mother says. Probably getting me back for all those times I read my sister’s diary – sorry, sis!)
I’ve always been a feminist. I’ve always known I was more than a wife and mother…but did I really know it? Could I have really known it? Italicized to emphasize the deep knowing that flows from the top of the soul down to the bottom of the feet. That kind of knowing.
Even the “strong, female characters” that we all love to tout as the epitome of feminism come with a hard and fast love story – Katniss, Bella, Katsa, Tris. Women protagonists don’t tend to get their own story – it comes with a man. (I promise you that one of the books I’m writing won’t have love.)
I’m not anti-love. I love love.
I mean, I created The Tube Series, for God’s sake.
I just am sick of feeling like I should want to or need to care about it. Because I guess I just feel now that there are more important things to worry about or care about.
And also, I do love. I love so god-damn much…it doesn’t just need to be focused on romantic love.
So, in my mid-thirties, I can’t stop thinking about that conversation. I’m two years into singledom with a dose of maturity sans obsession…and, so?
What has this resolved? Or what have I accomplished?
If only I had listened to that best friend back then – imagine how far I would be?!
Well, that brings me to this blog here. I’m about to use my #IamRemarkable workshop training that I took from Google where we train women it’s OK to talk about their successes and achievements in life (Yes, I am also a facilitator):
On top of my full-time job, writing two novels, developing a cool weekend retreat called the Creative 13 for those who want to bring a creative project to the next level, NYTimes Women’s Network events, mentoring a young woman, traveling to Australia and Hong Kong on Friday, and working out three times per week…I’m also going to commit to writing once a day on this blog.
It’s been YEARS since I last wrote consistently on this blog.
(Ironically, as many of you may remember when it was called The Lady who Lunches and it followed my life in love with an Englishman writing my first novel. Sometimes love does facilitate the ability to venture into the unknown…with someone there to help you along the way.)
So, now I am going to do it again.
It could be a word, a poem, a photo, a book review.
I promise it will be interesting…at least to me, and my mom.
I’ve found inner badass strength, incredible friends, no boys and a chunk full of joie de vivre to push me through – I’ve got SO MUCH ENERGY!!!
Or perhaps that’s more because I’m not drinking this year….
Thanks for joining me on this ride!