Becoming Lifeless Chasing the Quick Love Fix
It really is a game. I learned that the hard way, surrounding myself with people, parties and everything in between.
I needed it. Or at least I thought I did.
The reality was I was lonely and confused. I had just moved to NYC from college with the dream of being a TV Producer and the reality of being an actress/model/ part-time waitress that happen to land TV production gigs very rare and far between.
All of this was unacceptable to me, I was not trying to struggle after struggling four years in college with limited resources and support. Nope, did there done that…what’s next?
To cope with my disappointment and stress, I partied. Every night. And I felt GOOD. I felt loved and happy and connected.
Not connected to myself or my purpose, girl no! I was connected to the promoter, bartender, and bouncer who kept my fix going all night long, day after day until this became my purpose.
The priority was the dress and shoes I was wearing to that night’s event. Working to get into TV became a last minute thought as I stumbled into the house the next morning.
SO the more I partied the more blurry my vision became and the worse I felt, and then, the more I partied.
Until I was so tired that I literally could not get out of the bed for a few days. I was sick, sad and sullen. I began to beg God to give me energy and focus to change my lifestyle. I was done.
But then there were boys.
I began to stay home more and skip partying as much but I also began dating a WHOLE lot more. It was like I needed a replacement fix from the high of the nightlife. I started working more steadily, some in TV, and some in acting, and some as a teaching artist. But I felt more grounded and ready to play again.
This time, the party at my house. I had a few of those a week. I loved dating, I loved flirting and I loved affection. These, of course, were all quick doses of love that I still lost for myself but thought I found in these random men who had nothing to offer me but a fun night. And I had no standards, none.
I dated anyone who asked. Not all came home with me of course (I had some standards left), but most of the dinners I ate in my twenties were paid for by men I can’t even remember.
The low point in this phase was when I went on this date with “white Ryan” (I called him that cuz I had an ex-boyfriend named Ryan but he was black). He was cute and funny and wanted to wine and dine me. We went to this “authentic” Italian restaurant where all the servers spoke fluenItalianan and the menus were also in Italian. I was vegetarian at the time, so I wasn’t sure what I could order. Long story short, I ended up ordering a mushroom pasta dish that I scarfed down out of hunger and tipsyness, just to find out that it had pork all in it. I was SO sick after that and I knew that I had to stop pimping myself out for free food and attention. Once again, I was done.
I calmed down on dating for a while. I prayed for God’s help in getting myself in a better place.
God helped me. I was good again. I decided to put my energy into the church instead. I wanted to be grounded, disciplined, healthy. And I was. I got my priorities straight. I started working for a non-profit where I was managing arts programs that I loved, I made more money, moved into my own place, got a boyfriend…all of these things began to happen for me. I felt good. I felt happy.
I started serving at church. I was there as much as I could be. I met new friends at my church, I made business partnerships at my church, and everything seemed to start to fall into place for me… I felt loved.
Then, over time, something strange began to happen, I started to feel closed in. Like, there was nothing else I could do. I felt stuck. I started to feel cautious and judged all the time and like I couldn’t be honest with myself or others. I found myself not being happy with who I truly was and that I always needed to say things a certain way, think a certain way and, act a certain way in order to be in the “church elite” circles. I was in too deep and I didn’t like who I was becoming.
A few events led to me leaving this church. One, when church people stop being my “friend” after my church boyfriend and I broke up and I started dating someone new (outside of the church). Two, is when the pastor start calling feminism a “movement from the pits of hell”. Three, is when I was introduced to meditation and realized that God had more to say to me in the quiet of my personal spirit than anyone can say to me in the pulpit.
This last moment was transformational – the discovery of myself and breaking habits that once held me. I’m not perfect, but I’ve evolved to know that external fixes are temporary, no one or no thing can fill me up like the love I have for myself can.
No more quick fixes.