Something’s been going on that may be affecting the Project, and it was recently suggested that I would be too ashamed by my failure to be honest with it here. That’s defeating the purpose, isn’t it? Lying, hiding? This isn’t about my audience. Yes, you’re here so I’ll maintain some accountability, but the purpose of the accountability wasn’t about avoiding judgment – my life has been riddled with judgment since I was a young white trash girl living with a goat in an apartment (long story). It was about maintaining accountability so I would follow my steps. I didn’t want to chicken out when things got uncomfortable as I pushed my boundaries.
Let me make this perfectly clear, first and foremost: My life is my own, and I make the decisions I feel suit it best. Sometimes people consider them self-destructive – such as the people who suggested I abort or give up my son because I was young, unmarried and had just moved in with Rich a month prior to finding out I was pregnant. Thank goodness I didn’t listen to those boneheads, I would have missed out on 10 years of one of the most amazing kids I’ve ever known. I was told to (begged to, really) quit my job over a year ago. I powered through it despite popular opinion, and despite the boss I had at the time making me cry on a regular basis. Today I have the most rewarding job I’ve ever had because I stuck it out. My gut doesn’t always steer me wrong. Only I can know my life from the inside, and I have to make the call based on what feels right.
So here we go. Transparency. Honesty. I have been talking to a boy. He lives in another country. He is handsome, charming, and he bought me a present.
You are more than welcome to consider this a blatant disregard for the Project. I can certainly understand the urge to consider someone I can’t touch, meet, have sex with, sleep next to, cuddle with, or even meet for coffee a very serious risk to my attempt at being alone. I have never felt so involved as I do right now. He is able to meet all of my emotional and physical needs as defined in a relationship from his vantage point 4,772 miles away. Okay, okay, my sarcasm is getting a bit catty here, but you’re catching my drift, right? I’m just saying – have a little perspective. However, you are more than welcome to your opinion of this contact.
I am Jack’s complete lack of concern.
The project is mine. I defined its boundaries, and its purpose. I defined its parameters, and they were as such: 6 months alone. Follow the steps, do them alone. Learn how to enjoy my own company. I didn’t consider my main goal to be being unsupported and cut off. I never claimed I would be celibate, I claimed one thing: no boyfriend for 6 months and learn to be comfortable in my own skin. The goal was so that in the future – relationship or no – I would be able to feel okay on my own so I wouldn’t *need* a guy. I would be okay doing things on my own. However, life changes every day. We adjust. The Project is only as static as my own reality.
On April 20th, Ben left. Since that day I have not been told “I love you”, no one has curled close to me at night, no one has held my hand or tucked my hair behind my ear. On October 20th, I will have been without the comfort of those affections for 6 months. Will that mean that I have not been told I’m pretty? No. I get “You’re pretty” at every dive bar and skeezy club I end up in. That’s not realistic. Will that mean that I won’t have had sex? Nope, it doesn’t mean that either. I’m saying – where do you want me to draw the line? Is it if I “seek out” men to tell me I’m pretty so it makes me feel better and less alone? Is it if I let a man buy me a drink at a bar? What if I talk to the man? What if I let him take me home for the night but never see him again? Where does the line end? My opinion is that it’s my decision. This is my project. I determine its purpose and its worth. No one else can decide that for me.
I am talking to a boy. He lives in another country. I am going to continue the steps because I think that learning to be alone is still real here, and still essential here, and I am not swayed by his attentions in relation to the project. I am going to continue talking to the boy who lives in another country. I am not going to be made ashamed by your disapproval because I believe I am still able to accomplish what I came here to accomplish – learning to be okay on my own. I am still here alone. My house is still empty. My bed is still empty.
When the Project is yours, you are welcome to make your own rules. I will judge them accordingly. If you give up on me and my ability to follow the steps, or if you have decided that the Project is worthless now, then so be it. I am not continuing it to appease you anymore than I started it to appease you.
But don’t think for a minute that I’m going to hide a damn thing. I may be a broken fuck-up, but I’m no coward.