My drunken escapade

I got invited to a friend’s wedding just months after a major break up. I was so depressed but figured going to a wedding would distract me from my misery and I decided to attend because my friend really wanted me to be part of their celebration.

It was a Russian wedding so there were bottles of vodka at each table. I was assigned to sit at a table with some people I knew but they weren’t very close friends of mine. They all appeared to be coupled except for these two younger guys who were sitting to my right. It seemed these two guys knew each other but didn’t know anyone else at the table so I broke the ice by asking how they knew the bride and groom.

The blonde haired guy sitting beside me responded with, “I know the bride. She used to babysit me.” He then went on to introduce his friend, “This is Vlad. He’s a family friend from Russia. And I’m Daniel.”

I was surprised when he mentioned that the bride used to babysit him so I couldn’t help but ask their age.

Daniel said, “I’m 17 and Vlad is 16.” There was a pause. I had a feeling he wanted to know my age so I said, “Guess how old I am.”

“Twenty-one?”

“I’m flattered but I’m much older.”

“Twenty-five?”

“I’ll be honest, I’m thirty.”

The shock on his face gave me a boost of confidence, at which point I think I started flirting with him because the moment he told me he was a ballroom dancer, I touched his arm and told him we had to dance so he could show me some of his moves.

The conversation flowed so effortlessly and at some point we noticed the bottles of vodka and started doing shots. Needless to say, I got pretty drunk which was the perfect opportunity to start dancing. I have to admit, I’m a frisky drunk so our dancing got pretty provocative.

Fragments of my memory disappeared from that point on but I remember this boy taking me by the hand to get some fresh air and the next thing I knew, we were making out.

We both knew that nothing would flourish from this encounter but as a heard him whisper, “You’re amazing.” I believed him and instinctively knew that I would one day find someone who’d see and appreciate how truly amazing I am.

The day the underachiever in me achieved more that I expected

I don’t remember ever being an ‘A’ student but the closest I ever came to getting 100% on an assignment was in my high school Geography class. It wasn’t my favourite subject but the assignment must have really inspired me to want to do well. We had to report our findings in a speech about a specific topic and create a three sided display board with specific headings related to our topic. My topic was farming in Canada.

I didn’t think I would find this topic to be so interesting but the more research I did, the more fascinated I became. I must have been so enthusiastic and passionate about the topic because I took so much time to make an attractive display board as well as taking the time to make cue cards and memorize everything I was going to say.

I still don’t understand how I was able to stand up in front of the class and deliver my speech when I think about how shy I used to be. I remember every single other person in my class had to read directly from their notes which made their speeches kind of boring to sit through. It was part of the grading criteria to present our topic without reading from our notes.

I presented my speech with such passion that it flowed out effortlessly. When I was done presenting, the teacher asked the class if they had any questions. This one guy, who always came off as a know-it-all smart ass just had to ask me an obnoxious question that I wasn’t even sure how to answer. In that moment, I felt humiliated because I thought I wasn’t smart enough to answer his question but the whole class seemed just as confused and I remember my teacher telling him that his question was irrelevant.

When we finally got our marks back for that assignment, I was shocked to discover that I got 99%. Everyone was asking each other about their marks and I remember a bunch of my classmates congratulated me on my success (more so for getting a better mark on my assignment than the obnoxious, know-it-all, smart ass in the class) but it was the first time I achieved more than I ever thought I was capable of.

My inner struggle

sad-girl

I have a flashback to a moment when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old and my mother gave me a photo from my biological father with his new family. She said she wanted nothing to do with it but it was my decision whether to keep the photo or not. I was torn between longing to keep the photo so I could secretly examine and find resemblances to my father or throwing it away to please my mother. In my mind, I looked nothing like my mother. I have darker skin, smaller eyes, dimples when I smile in places she doesn’t.

I would have liked to keep the photo but instead I tore it up out of loyalty to my mother because I didn’t want her to know that my biological father could be of any importance to me. I look back at that moment and wonder why I tried so hard to please her – why I went against my own desire to keep that photo. I was so young, so impressionable. I grew up believing my father abandoned me to start a new family – that he was a womanizing asshole. How could I be so stupid to want my biological father in my life if he hurt my mother so badly?

I wish I had a carefree childhood. Instead, I was instilled with a constant fear that all men are evil – that they are all deceitful, cheating assholes. That men view women and even little girls as prey. I knew what rape was before I learned the graphic details behind it. I learned as a child that I should never fall in love because it will only lead to heartache and pain.

Oppressed by my mother’s Catholic upbringing, I was told to, “Do as I say, not as I do.” My mom had the best intentions but of course I didn’t listen. I resented her. I rebelled. I became what my mother never wanted me to be – a promiscuous girl going out with all the wrong guys seeking validation from men because I didn’t feel validated or recognized as a daughter by my own father.

There was a constant fear of getting too attached to any man because I’ve gone through life learning that the moment I grow close to someone, they move, they go away – they leave and abandon me too. I have never had a best friend for that reason. I see no stability in people. People are constantly changing. Lifestyle and circumstances might bond you one moment and tear you apart the next.

I struggle with this dichotomy of emotional sensitivity and logical detachment. I feel deeply, I love deeply but I use reason to numb my heart and hide my true feelings. I wear a mask of happiness for the world to see when the truth is I’m falling apart on the inside – troubled by my battling thoughts and feelings that make me feel so unworthy, rejected and alone in this world.