My friend Danielle recently asked me why I no longer write. I began to tell her that I had never stopped, but she called me out, “Yeah, but what are you writing about?”
I spent the entirety of my college experience spilling my heart into notebooks, wordpress drafts and published posts. Sometimes I eagerly chased love, in other instances I fled from it. Those who engaged in a brief courtship with me would read about themselves months later on my blog. I’ve written stories about hookups who never texted me back and lovers who were separated by airfare. I met more good men than bad.
I’m among many who struggle with writer’s block in times of happiness. This is why so many writers are alcoholics. I write best with a glass of wine and solitude. Sadly, I have acid reflux and a live-in boyfriend. I wonder if someday I’ll reflect on this moment in my life as some euphoric oblivion. My relationship is strong and stable, while I have always been a bit of a complication. The universe has gifted me with a love that is both powerfully consuming and effortless.
Two years ago, if you asked me if I had been in love, I would have confidently said yes. Between the ages of 16 and 20, my first “real” boyfriend and I took turns stabbing each other in the heart. We had a bit of a routine. He would break up with me with no explanation, and I would cry and starve myself for months. Though he was a wonderful boyfriend in the end, I coldly ended things over the phone. Somewhere in between, I was addicted to a long haired, soft spoken sexpot who was hooked on antidepressants and indifferent to me. Though I thought we shared some deep, dark connection; the reality was that I was desperate and delusional.
“I would never serve as the source of his inspiration, though in attempting to articulate the drama of my feelings I became more prolific and I believe a better writer.” – Patti Smith, “Just Kids”
I was swept away to Italy, by a Venezuelan man who showed me the world and then shattered my heart. It wasn’t until a year later when he begged for me back, tears in his eyes, that I realized I didn’t see a future with him. There is no greater satisfaction than being completely over someone. It’s like being freed from a cage of your own self destruction. There is no greater prison than your mind.
I had a few general rules when writing about my romantic life. One, I wouldn’t publish a story about someone until our “relationship” was six months obsolete. Though I would often write about our fling while it was still going on, as to not forget details. Secondly, I allowed most men to come up with their pseudonym. Despite having ghosted each other into oblivion, this request was always responded to eagerly.
Truthfully, I think most of these men enjoyed reading about themselves. For the most part, these narrations had fully developed plots, a beginning and an end. As I was writing them, I often thought about what it would be like to read a story about myself. Though, I think I would have preferred a song.
Up until meeting Ben, I had never had a relationship that didn’t have an expiration date. He texted me first, before my anxiety had the chance to catch up. He asked me out on proper dates.
I consider ourselves lucky that our relationship has very few complications. For a long time Ben would forget to say “you’re welcome” after I would thank him for something. Thankfully this is something he’s overcome. I’m messier than your average person, and come with the baggage that is 5 years of living life for a good story. Transparency has always been a key component of our relationship, but there are some things better left unknown.
When Ben and I met, both of us were chronically single. But we fit into each other’s lives quickly and with ease. By our third date we decided to move in together. By our sixth month of dating, we had a lease signed in New York. Life hasn’t been easy, but nearly two years of loving Ben has been mostly bliss.
I still have unshared stories about long lost lovers, but for now i’m going to keep it that way. If I ever choose to publish a novel, i’ll need some fresh material. I don’t intend on anymore steamy one-night stands and short lived international romances, so i’ll have to keep those narrations stored away in google drive folders. Bullet dodged, boys.
By this point we’ve read a million Thought Catalog-esque essays on the love that millennials are incapable of sharing. At one point, I was the author of such blog posts. They are bullshit. Our love lives are equally complex and sincere as that of generations past. We just have mobile apps and social media instead of speed dating and blind setups. People aren’t as frustrated with being single, because the deadline for settling down has been extended. If anything, we’re winning.
I’m approaching 6 years of blogging. I have never, ever stuck with something this long. My blog has given me a platform for years to develop as a writer and as a person. Through the emotional turmoil that is dating as a young person, the excitement that is seeing the world for the first time, and the pride that comes from creating something tangible. I may have run out of stories of one-night stands, but i’ll keep spilling my heart online forever.