Slice of Life

Valentine’s Day Reflections

When you’re single, Valentine’s Day is… eh. It can be tricky. Y’never know how you’re going to take it until you get there. This year, I was thankful to be working and not alone the whole day.

I had a bottle of rosé at home and stopped by the vending machine to get some chocolate before I left. It sounds kinda pathetic, but it made for a decent dinner.

After the first glass, I talked myself into writing about my best and worst Valentine’s Day. For me, it just happens to be the same year. More on that in a future post. As I was reflecting on the experience, recalling what I could, my wine brain did a thing. I looked at Ami and said, “We’re about to do something that maybe we shouldn’t do,” and I dug my old diaries out of their box in the side closet.

The thought process was to get quotes from a younger me or put my memories into more vivid context for the story. Y’know, research. But I accidentally went a bit too far. I read the entries around Valentine’s Day, easy enough. But then I accidentally and then more purposefully skimmed a few other entries. Who I saw was not only embarrassing, but pitiful (there’s that word again).

The girl writing was raw, emotionally volatile, all over the place. I know that I was going through quite a lot during that time, including weighing the cost/benefit of disowning my family name, but the person reflected back at me was painfully misguided and naïve and obviously hurting.

Instead of writing the original post that’s definitely worth a laugh, I chose to write a text.

I texted my ex.

Okay, maybe another poor decision to text an ex on a lovey dovey holiday, with a bottle of wine sitting on an empty stomach, while physically exhausted from pitching 500 boxes that day, after telling him to kick rocks. But I did it anyways. I unblocked his number and apologized for who I was when we were together:

“So I don’t want to invite more conversation than needed.

But I did something today that was bad, maybe good. I think a good thing. I read through some of my old diaries.

You and I were destructive together. I was a manipulative cunt and was too emotionally stunted to even recognize it. I blame my upbringing, but I’ve got a few more years under my belt now.

You didn’t deserve half of what I gave you, and I didn’t deserve half of what I got.

But I know we can’t be friends. I have to let that version of Mallory die. Involving you would only remind me how terrible and broken I was, which I shoved on to you.

Also, I think it’s trashy to text people one used to bone while boning someone else. Haha

I just wanted you to know that. I left hot because it was like that stupid, emotionally raw avalanche of a child came welling back up. I hate that, and I’m sorry for it.

I’m not apologizing for leaving angry. I was valid to be angry. But reading some of the things I read tonight… [we’re] better off.

I’ll never see you as anyone other than the white knight on the pedestal that absolutely demolished my fucking heart. And I doubt that you’ll ever see me as anything other than a petty, manipulative cunt with a weird sex complex.

I just needed to put this out in the world, whether or not you receive it. I’m closing the book for good and letting that Mal die.”

I sent it and immediately deleted it from my text list. I don’t want to see it or be reminded of it. I peeped through the looking glass, but I’ll be damned if I step through. I won’t go there again or revert back to that person. I can only move forward and I doubt the footing while I’m looking over my shoulder. I literally broke my leg on a 7th grade roller rink field trip while rolling one way and looking over my shoulder.

I’ve been in a terrible, dark funk the past two weeks. This Valentine’s Day was a win and I feel awesome today. I buried that hatchet a long time ago, recommitted to my resolve this past November, and married it yesterday. I will continue to move forward and learn how to love myself and become a better person to others.

Today, I made an awkward impulse buy from facebook of all places. Yes, yes, I’m rolling my eyes, too. You’ll roll ‘em again when I tell you what the heck I purchased. For the low, low price of way too much for a journal (is it? I don’t actually think so. I think I’ve just gotten used to free shipping), I purchased this “Single is Your Superpower” workbook.

The workbook is an “experience focused on empowering you to catch feelings for yourself, enjoy your single life, and discover your worth.” It will help you “become your best dating self” so you can “make the most of your single time.” It sounds a little silly, and in truth I’m taking some liberties here to poke fun, but I think there could be something worthwhile hidden in its pages. In rare form, I did no further research about this item than what’s on the selling site. Taking a leap of faith here, folks.

Now, I don’t buy into self-help. I think it’s a bogus high that takes greater quantities to reach the same “happy” after each consecutive use. But what I do buy into is self-reflection. As quarantine is holing us all up for what looks to be a second year, I’ve got to come out of hibernation with something positive to show. And as I genuinely can’t afford a regular bi-weekly counselor (I looked into it this week while contemplating some dark ideas), I’ve got to do something.

So this is where I’m starting: fresh post-Valentine’s Day high off an impulse buy. I didn’t think I’d be here, and damn, it feels good to be doing something.

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