I wrote this entry during my senior year of college. It was my first attempt in sitting down to start to write my book, something I am still in the process of. This is such a raw essay for me to revisit because while I was writing it, I was still in a place of being very drug hazed, lack of self worth and love phase of my life. It is incredible to read how much I have shifted in such a short amount of time. That is thing about personal growth is once you commit to it yourself, you can shift everything and anything. We all can release what is preventing us from living an incredible, happy life, so long as we choose it for ourselves and allow ourselves to heal. I hope this story touches something in you. Thank you for your time.
As the rain falls the wind makes the drops drip down my screen , blocking my view of the outside world, my mind hazes over and I’m taken back into time thinking of the one that got away. The circular rain drops against the little squares are pulling on my creative side. Is that what you and I are ? Circles and squares, the one slowing the other down, or confining its movement all together and keep the tear drop of a circle from going anywhere, or just perhaps it is perfect symmetry, a circle within the square. There the rain drop stays until there is a change in the wind and it finally falls and shifts into a new space and place.
The scene starts with a glance of a photograph through shiny plastic that is mounted on cardboard in a photo album on the floor of the dorm room of one of my friends. “Who is that?!” I asked with excitement and inquiry. “Oh that is James.” replied my friend. My immediate reaction was “And when do I get to meet him?” “Soon enough.” my friend says.
It was my Freshman year of college and I was almost done with my first semester, though I can’t say that I was paranoid about the upcoming finals, because well, I hadn’t really been at class the whole semester so it seemed foolish to care now. The wind was blowing outside and the season shift abruptly from fall to a Midwest winter. And for those who don’t know about a Midwest winter, picture flat land unable to block cold wind, plus snow and ice. It’s beautiful if you can smoke enough weed to appreciate the frozen tundra in all of its splendor.
My cell phone rings and shocks me out of my haze of staring at the picture on the floor. “Hey! What are you doing tonight? We better be doing our Tuesday night ritual” Stephanie asked me with the enthusiasm of an eight year old wanting to go to the playground. “I supposed I’m going out and getting trashed with you Steph, come and pick me up in 30 minuets.” “Sweet, I’ll see you then,” Steph said as she hung up around the beginning of the then. I tell my current hang out buddy that I must go, but that I still want to meet his friend. He answers, “Oh don’t worry, he will think that you are great.”
I go up to my dorm room and start to get ready for the night. This is a everyday ritual for me, at this point I have no real sense of myself and need to fill the void somehow. Trying on different outfits the sequence goes something like this, conservative with a sweater and a collared shirt, jeans, belt, and clogs, to then a switch when I realize I look like a teacher to, tighter jeans, low cut sleeveless shirt, and heels. I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t feel skinny or beautiful, but that is what the night is for, I’m seeking out others opinions to hopefully wake up tomorrow and see myself for how I truly am.
Steph calls me and I start to leave my dorm room, but my roommate on the way out. She smiles at me and knows she won’t see me because if I don’t see one of the many guys I have lined up, chances are I will get wasted and stay at Steph to avoid coming back to the dorm rooms. Once I get into the car Steph and I make a quick game plan of the night that we are trying to construct. I say, “I’m gonna either go for Ted or Nick, depending on who is there.” Steph responds with, “Eh, don’t go with Nick he’s a swimmer and is not cool. Ted has more house parties and his roommate is hot go for him.”
We get to the bar and I glance at my curly blonde hair in the rearview mirror and reach for my pocket for a little white self-esteem. I quickly do a key bump and we exit the car into the busy college bar. We know the bouncer and he doesn’t seem to care about our fake ids so we enter and scan for any other potential guys that we don’t know yet. My scan is stopped short when I see Nick from across the room, now I thought that he was better than my option, so I strayed from the plan and walked over to see him. He bought me a drink and we starting talking. “So, what kind of music do ya like?”
Nick asked with such intensity and sincerity I thought he knew I was coked up, which was bad because he wasn’t the kind of guy who was okay with that sort of thing. I told him how much I love Led Zeppelin and other classic rock and early nineties bands full of angst and that really kicked ass, as opposed to the pansy wanna be rockers like Blink 182 that were currently out. “I have to excuse myself for a minute to use the bathroom, be right back,” Nick said with a twinkle in his eye, that’s when I knew I had him, so clearly, I had to drop him.
I only got to turn half way around before I was stopped by Steph who quickly snapped at me, “Ted is here!!! He saw you with Nick and he’s coming over to talk to you.” At this point I’m not worried my high is still rocking and I’m starting to get drunk off the drinks that Nick has bought me. Ted comes over with his flashing smile and cocky asshole vibe, and its at this point that I realize, I’m going home with Ted.
“Hey Liz, how’s the night working out for you? You wanna come with me for a key bump?” “Sure.” I said. “I haven’t had any tonight yet.” Todd replies with, “Well then, big beautiful blue eyes, lets get out of here.” I signal to Steph with an enlargement of my eyes and a upward head nod that the goal has been reached and I’m out for the night. I see Ray out of the corner of my eye on my way out of the bar, I feel bad, but only for a minute because I’m leaving with a coveted lacrosse player.
The whole drive back to the house I’m trying to convince myself that I made the right choice, and that I shouldn’t have done that to Nick, but this is college and my priorities are who has the best parties at this point. Ted and I blow some lines and share a cigarette; he grabs my face and tells me, “You’re beautiful.” I’m done, that’s all I needed to hear, I feel better about myself and the choice I made. I need to feel better about myself. I need the validation. So I sleep with him, the clothes were off quick and the sex was even quicker. The high I had previously felt quickly faded and I felt even worse about the night and myself.
I stay over at Ted’s and he drops me off back at the dorm the next morning. I’m forced to walk past large groups of freshman smokers doing a walk known as, the walk of shame. And shameful it is. But, not a lot of people talk to me anyways because unlike most freshman, I don’t hang out with freshman. Steph and I had grown up together and made sure that did not get lost in the freshman shuffle, and as a result most of them hated me.
The first thing I did went I got upstairs was changed and headed down to the bathroom to wash my face. I didn’t want to wash my face at Ted’s for fear that he would not like me without makeup on. I ran into a couple of the boys I got high with on my way back to my room and decided I should not go to class, but get ridiculously high and make last night fade away into the background. Though, I only hang with guys mostly during the day I feel at ease with them and think that I should hang out with them more often, but that doesn’t work into my Monday thru Sunday bar schedule, so day shift it is.
I hang out with them all afternoon giving them advice about how to land girls and getting into the bars on campus. I finally leave to eat, now feeling better about myself, I go upstairs to again start the process of getting ready for the evening. I’m out the door before one of my dorm guy pals Red comes to see what my plans are for the evening. He tells me that we should meet up later. I tell him we can try to work it out.
I wanted to ensure my college career in locking down the social aspect and being the bar queen. This is how I fell special and cool. My friend and I bonded on this and made it a ritual to start the night off with at least 3 shots at her of Southern Comfort. I wanted to go across the street to get high with the neighbor because he knew Ted and I wanted all the details he could give me. I simply call the neighbor, neighbor Tim. He is also from Pittsburgh, so clearly we all bonded over a love of the Steelers.
“Hey there fun kid! What’s the plan tonight?” I tell him that hopefully I’ll see Ted because I’m under the impression that we are dating now because he took me home out of all the other girls that like him. Just saying it out loud, “He picked me!” gave me a rush of confidence that I was in need of due to the no call back from him and early morning drop off.
He wishes me good luck on my endeavors of the night and I’m back over at Steph’s ready to go looking for my new, upper classman, lacrosse playing boyfriend, or so I thought. We get to the bar and 50 cent “In the da club” is playing and I see Todd talking to another chick. I try to play it cool and stand across the room, but none of that matters when you are blantly staring at someone like you’re in a trance. I finally see what I knew all along would happen, Ted leaves with the girl he thought was beautiful that night.
I start drinking vodka plus whatever drinks heavily until I see Nick from across the room. A chance of redemption to get Nick back. I was fairly certain thought he would take me back. After all, I didn’t do any lines tonight so I was excited about that, I was able to approach him wasted, but not sniffling every second, “Hey Nick, I’m so sorry about last night! The bouncer started giving me a hard time about being underage and Steph’s friend was nice enough to drive me home,” I said to him batting my eyes and smiling sweetly to him. “You are a piece of shit Liz. I know you went home with Ted, I’m friends with his roommate, please don’t talk to me anymore, I want nothing to do with you.” “Fine!” I tell him. “Believe what you want Ray, have a pleasant evening!!!” I yelled with my sharpened pissed off eyes.
He knew what I was saying was bullshit, I knew what I was saying was bullshit, I felt everything about me was bullshit. I decided to walk home in the freezing cold because I needed to feel something other the spins and total disgust for myself. I finally made it back to the dorms and ran into some smokers, and my roommate just happened to be one of them. “Hey, Red stopped by right after you left, I think someone you wanted to meet is in town.” A wave of excited flooded over me and I was just praying that it was the guy I saw in the picture. I smiled and told her thank you. I promised myself that I would never allow Steph to make my dating choices for me again, and that I would never be so heartless to someone again. To be continued.....