Learning To Say No

As a young girl, I was quiet and needy. I never really asked for what I wanted from others, so I would simply take whatever I was given and accepted that. I think this can be the same for other girls and women. Many of us were raised in a way where obedience is rewarded and acting out or “unladylike” is frowned upon. Princesses were always so passive, laying down on their beds as they awaited a prince to come. Little did we know that not every man that comes into our bedrooms are princes, nor do they desire a happily ever after.

We don’t know this, so it’s easy to get caught up in the desire for a prince and accept whoever it is that comes our way. As long as they’re fairly attractive and have a good head on their shoulders, why not give them an opportunity? Although, I’ve come to realize that many of these men want one thing and one thing only. They want a sexual relationship. They want to get in your pants. They want you laying in a bed, awaiting them. I guess you can’t really blame them. If girls constantly allow them to do this, then whats stopping them from continuing to pursue? If they keep getting the answer “yes” than how will they ever know otherwise?

I think it’s up to us women to show a man what it’s like to wait. When I’ve told a man no, he suddenly praised me and acted as if I was a rare being. You know how weird that made me feel? Is that really so rare to find? Maybe it was his choice in women, but still. I fail to understand how so many women can just say yes right away, giving into the desire to give a man what he needs. Honestly, I haven’t found much satisfaction in the couple of hookups I’ve had in my life. The only time I felt purely satisfied while having sex was with someone I loved. It was passionate, mind blowing, chaotic, beautiful sex that I will never forget. One time hook ups don’t even compare and that’s why I’ve decided they are unnecessary in my life. I can’t see how it could pleasure me.

It’s not that I think all women should feel the same way, but I just want to understand how someone can feel otherwise? Is it really that fun to wake up in your bed with a stranger next to you? After giving them your body to do as they please and than leave soon after, never to talk again? I just don’t get it.

I’m in love with deep conversations, not how deep you can fit in me. I’m in love with dinner dates, not “Netflix and chilling”. I’m in love with how you can carry yourself in a public setting, not how smoothly you can seduce a woman privately. At least, that’s how I feel at the beginning of a relationship. The latter is so much more enticing when you’ve already developed that strong bond.

I’m tired of saying “no”, but that doesn’t mean I’ll change my mind. I’ll simply find a partner who will ask me once and simply drop it afterwards, or maybe one that doesn’t even ask at all. At least, not until the time is right. This hook up culture just isn’t for me. I’m over it.

Freckles

I hardly remember what you look like anymore.

Isn’t that strange? How you can be around someone, be in love with them, be their best friend for six years and after only a few months you can’t seem to remember where your favorite freckle was on their face.

Shit, I see something now. Your fair skinned back, the broad width of your shoulders covered in them. Freckles. That’s all I see. You hated them, remember? I loved them. Every spot on you. Even your blemishes looked like tiny little masterpieces to me, or just components of the masterpiece that was you. Built with freckles, stubbornness, honesty and a huge heart. If someone needed the tools to create you, those would be them. I can’t forget that smile either and that one darkened tooth. The one that almost got knocked out by your best friend after he mistakenly hit you in a fight. The one I always stared at and laughed to myself about, thinking how stupid your friends were– thinking how stupid we all were.

Me and you both. We were pretty stupid huh? I say that as I think about your name tattooed on the lower part of my stomach, now covered with flowers. You can still see your name though. I don’t try to hide it any more. I tell people. “It’s my ex-boyfriend’s name” and for some reason I’m not ashamed anymore.

It is a part of me, just as you were. Just as you still are. Although it’s a part that only remains in my memories, in my heart, my soul and not in my physical reality– you still exist. You always will. The name on my stomach doesn’t mean shit compared to the scars you had left on my insides. The heart breaks you put me through and the ones that I put you through. Those will last longer than my skin. I will be buried, decomposing into the dirt. My flesh, blood and skin decaying into nothingness and still the memory of you will be lifted with my spirit, flowing in the wind.

I won’t remember your face. I may not remember how your hands feel against my skin anymore or the smell of your cologne. I do remember, however, the feelings you gave me. I remember how your presence felt. If I see you in another lifetime, with a different face and hair and attitude and clothes and gender and reality, I will still feel you. Just as I had the first time I saw you in this life.

Your freckles may fade baby, but you never will.

Facing Fear

I’m afraid. I’m afraid of facing my fears. I run away from research papers as if they’re chasing me through a dark hallway in the midst of a bad horror movie. I’m that white girl who runs away and hides, thinking the monster will just go into another room– thinking I’ll be safe until the credits start rolling, only to turn around and find the monster to be right behind me.

I don’t know if it’s the failure that really terrifies me or if it’s simply my imperfection. My inability to focus, to work hard. I have created this wall within my mind that prevents me from actually learning- from actually trying. Even as I type this out I’m afraid. I don’t want to confront my shortcomings. I gave up this quarter. I reached the end and I threw down my fucking cards before I even had the chance to see what the other players had been dealt. I folded. Like the way I fold myself underneath the covers in my bed to hide from my next assignment.

It’s hard to determine when it started being this way. I remember the English paper I had to write for 1B in community college. I waited last minute, as I do with everything else in my life. It was 11:50 pm and I had ten minutes to finish up my last body paragraph and conclusion. I was crying hysterically. I was reading through my paper, swearing at myself for the mess I had created on the screen in front of me, a bunch of jumbled words forced out of my head and down through my fingers so that I can finally just get it over with. I finally wrote the last word and turned it in, right at 12. I put my head down in shame. I knew it wasn’t my best work. I knew I could’ve done better. I also knew I wasn’t enjoying college anymore. I started to fucking hate it, just as I do now.

Then I see a person’s eyes light up when I tell them I go to UCLA. Like it’s a fucking badge of honor and maybe it should be, but I don’t wear it. I throw it in the corner of my closet with the clothes I don’t take the time to fold after wearing them. I don’t feel deserving. It’s my mindset. I know it is. I know I need to work harder, try harder, do better, be stronger. But, as I tell myself to do this and that, I still find that I fall back into that same pattern. Giving into my fears and folding.

I don’t know what I need to do. I really don’t. I tell myself I’ll do better next time. I promise the people who are counting on me that I will eventually do better, but I fail to do so. It’s funny because when I fail, it’s almost a relief. What I have failed at is over and done with, so I can be happy once again. Too bad, failing means that you have not achieved. It means that this goal that has been destined for you to accomplish, is still sitting there waiting for you. It’s lurking in the shadows. It’s coming up behind you, despite the belief that you are safe. It comes back again. What I have to do is learn how to face it. Take it head on. Turn around and look that monster straight in its eyes and attack it until it’s on the floor, dead in front of me. I need to face it. I can’t keep turning my back anymore. I’m tired of hiding.