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Empowered


Things just don't bother me the way they used to...


Case-in-point.


I was online reading for class, minding my own business when I received an instant message.

"Hey you".

I literally had to pause for a second. I saw the screen name and was instantly flooded with so many emotions.  Anger. Sadness. Confusion. Disgust. Worthlessness. But most of all... I was all like.."Really dude?"

Picture it.... North Carolina..... 2002....

Once upon a time I cared for this dude. And I don't even know why. We met haphazardly one summer.We had one less-than-romantic-mostly-lustful encounter over 10 years ago.  When I wanted more he said he was "an asshole" who "just wasn't built for a relationship". Although only being 35-40 minutes from me, he never would visit me again. And despite all of that..we kept in touch off and on ...all through Grad school...even when I was married...even after my divorce. He was the dude who was some ideal of what I felt a guy should be: fine, smart, accomplished. But all of that didn't want me.

But every now and then he would show up. He even showed up 2 months before my first wedding at my job. I almost was about to call it off because of the mere sight of him. Because he had kissed me goodbye. To him...it was all a game. He knew there was this girl down South who adored him...regardless of how he had treated her. Somehow that stroked his already inflated ego.

As my first  marriage was failing, this dude would show up. Filling my head up with these ideas that maybe there was a chance. Maybe my "dream guy" had gotten away.... that is... until he dropped the bomb on me that he was getting married. I vaguely knew of this girl but.....I just brushed her off. He admitted that she couldn't cook. Her makeup was always greasy. Her baby hair was more annoying than Chili's. And she always dressed like she was in an Abercrombie ad. I figured it was a phase. It wasn't. He was getting married because "we are great on paper together": a medical professional, in his "Sister" sorority, from money and oh.... "she looked good in lingerie". Those were his words "we was great on paper".

Immediately I internalized this to mean I "wasnt good enough". I'd never be the kind of girl who'd be "good on paper" for some guy who was in the right orgs, had the right job, and the good looks. I felt worthless.

And here he was..showing up over a decade later. He was trying to have small talk. Telling me that "marriage is hard". Telling me that he has a son (which I already knew). Telling me a lot of random bullshit that I wasn't interested in hearing. Just random talk to keep the conversation going. All I did was reply in one to two letter phrases. I didn't mention I was remarried. I didn't mention anything personal about myself. I could tell he was leading up to something more "intimate" to talk about....

Finally.... I had enough

"Listen. I think it's best that you do not contact me again. Ever. Have a nice life."

I could tell he was "stammering" to think of something to say. He replied something that was haphazardly thought out . But I closed the window of the IM before I could even be tempted to reply.

And just like that...the nail was in the coffin. I had closed an over 10 year chapter in my life. I felt like Kate Winslet in The Holiday



I even let out the same yell that she did at the end of her monologue!  I was free. I was empowered to say leave me the hell alone.  I was happy. I was over dude completely. And I wanted no parts of him. No need to compare the next dude to him because I realized he was simply a "shell" of what I thought I'd like. No need to hold him up on some ridiculous pedestal.

Empowered.

When my husband came home that night, I grabbed his bearded face and kissed him. He smiled, pushed his glasses up,  and said "What's that for??"


I said...


"For thinking I was enough."


He smiled.

"You'll always be enough............"

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