Author: David

She turned 21.

Yesterday, my ex-girlfriend and former friend turned 21.

I thought about her yesterday wondering how she’d celebrate or what her boyfriend would do for her.

I haven’t talked to her in nearly a year and don’t have her number anymore. If I did, I would have wished her a happy birthday.

While she did do some horrible things to me and treated me terribly, I’ve moved past that and let it go. The bitterness, anger, and sadness that first hit have long disappeared.

As much as I don’t like to admit it, I think about her sometimes. We were friends for over five years and had been through a lot together.

In the end, what killed everything was the fact that I’m a simple person. I wanted the ‘just us’ time, I wanted to stay in some nights, and I didn’t want to party that much because I had done my share of that in the four years leading up to dating her. I was partied out while she was just starting to experience it for the first time.

To my knowledge, we’ve both remained unchanged.

We have a mutual friend who has for the most part given up on her. My ex is kind of wild when she drinks a little or smokes a little. But if she does a little too much of either, she’s out of control. I saw it plenty of times to the point she’d flirt with and try to kiss other men when we were out together.

I remain simple. I don’t party anymore because my heart isn’t in it and I’ve grown past that stage of my life. Instead, I hang out with my friends once in a while and we go out for a couple drinks. Unfortunately, I can never get all five of us together and the best I can usually do is three people.. but we make it work. Sometimes I roadie with my friend’s band and get to hangout with musicians and I like that a lot.

I remember one of the last talks we had. It was about jobs.

I had just been hired by my government agency and I told her I was going to do pretty well in a few years based on the structure of payscale.

She said a formal job “wasn’t for her”, and that she would probably busk for money at train stations in Philly. I’ve never seen her at the stations. From what I’ve gotten out of our mutual, her boyfriend doubles as a sugar daddy.. and because of that she doesn’t need a job.

In a lot of ways, I’m glad things worked out the way they did. I’d probably be broke because I’d have to pay for everything. Instead, I’m financially well off because I still live at home and just about everything I make is mine.

In the end, I think my overall simplicity and desire for an old school relationship wasn’t enough for her and she wanted more. In the end, I think she got what she really wanted.

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Philly.

Philadelphia is my city. I live about fifteen minutes from the center, I work in the city (northeast), and I follow the teams (no matter how good or awful they are — awful mostly directed at Sixers).

We tailgate the Super Bowl two days in advance even if our team isn’t in it with Wing Bowl.

We’re a city who are absolutely in love with their sports. You hear the older fans talk about the Phillies and Eagles games in the 700 level at the Vet and how crazy those times were.

As a younger Philadelphia sports fan, I’ve witnessed a lot of disappointment. The earliest I can remember is the Sixers losing in the Finals against the Lakers in the ‘00-‘01 season. That clip of Iverson stomping over Lue will be a Philly classic forever. My earliest championship loss would technically be the Flyers losing to Red Wings in the Finals during the ‘96-‘97 season, but I wasn’t even three when that happened.

Super Bowl XXXIX I remember better. I was eleven and I was this fat and stubby kid. It was around this time a lot of people thought I’d be great at football because I was big. Because of that, I watched a lot of football at the time. Football never sparked an interest for me to play though.

The first taste of victory I had was when the Phillies won the World Series back in 2008. I was fourteen and I was so excited. The parade was on Halloween but didn’t get to go because my parents didn’t trust a young kid in the city. I was a freshman in high school and I remember watching the parade on TV in the Science wing of the school. I knew it would be a while before I would see anything like that again.

Fast forward nine years. We have this really good football team in Philadelphia. We’ve got this great quarterback named Carson Wentz. At one point I heard sports networks saying he was the next Tom Brady. Everyone in the city is optimistic about this team because of how good Carson is and how well the team works together. The optimism fades in Los Angeles during the Eagles/Rams game when Carson gets absolutely destroyed. From that point, everyone doubts the Eagles make it past the first round of the playoffs. Doubts grew when the Eagles lost 6-0 to the Cowboys at the end of the season.

Playoffs come and the sports commentators doubt the Eagles and call them underdogs. Eagles have their former starter Nick Foles as their backup and he looks shaky at times.

Eagles beat Falcons 15-10.

Eagles are still called underdogs

Eagles blow out Vikings 38-7.

Eagles are STILL called underdogs.

The two week lull before the Super Bowl became an interesting time. All the major networks were constant showing statistics of the team and the excitement of the city. It was very legitimate. Every day when I rode the trains and walked to work, I could feel the excitement. Philly embraced being underdogs and make it something funny and good.

The Super Bowl came. You could still feel the excitement. You also had a lot of doubters because the Eagles were playing the best football dynasty of the modern era that is the Patriots.

Early on, the Eagles had the lead. I watched the game from home because my plans bailed. I ended up watching it with my folks. My mom got super excited they had a 22-12 lead at half time. I told her  not to get too excited because the Patriots trailed 28-3 against the Falcons and came back to win. The Patriots came out of half time hungry. They scored quickly.. and briefly had the lead not long after. My mom was getting nervous to the point she walked out of the room. Not to worry though. The Eagles took the lead back and piled on to win 41-33.

THE CITY ERUPTED AND WENT CRAZY.

Major traffic arteries were quickly filled with people in the streets celebrating and at one point a car got flipped outside a hotel.

Light poles were greased in advance so people wouldn’t climb them (a few people still managed).

Philadelphia is lucky if they get a championship parade once a decade. We’re going down Broad this week to celebrate the first Super Bowl win of a formerly ringless franchise. It will be unlike any parade you’ve ever seen before. There will be public drunkenness, there will be people who end up going to the hospital or going to jail for being too rowdy, and there will be a lot of places closed that day to bask in the glory for a day.

As a Philadelphian, you damn well know I’m participating in this day that will become like a national holiday in this city.

[side note: our local college team, Villanova, won the NCAA finals in basketball two years ago but it was celebrated small on a Philadelphia scale and not included for that reason.]

I came back to write more.

I’ve laid in bed for three hours and not moved once. It’s rained most of the day but we had a small amount of sunshine at the end of the day. I saw the sun set as the room gradually got darker by the minute.

I’ve got post-party depression. I was at a free concert (as long as you claimed the free ticket online) and had a great time. I didn’t know too many of the songs the headliners played, but went because it was a day out to be with great people.

I spent $40-ish on drinks for the day and $5 on food. But I also got a few free drinks from people who got a cigarette off me.

[Pro tip for concerts: bring a pack of unopened (most venues will make you throw out open packs) Marlboros and a lighter with you, even if you don’t really smoke. You’ll meet some really cool people and at times will get trades. A guy offered me some stuff, but I declined because my job tests. Still gave him a cigarette though because he offered.]

The nice thing is that this radio station offers at least five of these shows a year and they’re always great. Even greater if you know people and bring your friends. I think the next one is May or June. Can’t wait.

 

I often pretend to be happy.

Growing up, I was a very depressed child. I was a loner and could never make any real connections. I was very isolated. I never partied in high school because I didn’t get invited to anything. ever. I started drinking by myself at seventeen and would drink until I couldn’t feel anything. That statement would often hold true until I was in my early twenties. I never pretended to be happy and people around me who knew me knew I wasn’t happy. Every party story I ever told regarding my life until I was about twenty-one were highly fabricated because I didn’t want to appear boring or like I was missing out.. when in fact, both were true of me.

When I got older, I revamped a little bit. When I got to my second college, I knew I had to change if I wanted to meet people. I would often do things to perk me up to make me appear happy when in reality, I was still often depressed and unhappy. I met some great guys at college when I was there. It became the five of us. I was usually the loudest of the group.

But my loudness was fake in a way. I got loud because I took pills that make me happy and I still take them (prescribed of course). While they make me happy, I hate the fake happiness it brings. It’s brought so many people flocking to me and I have more friends than ever because of it.. but it’s all fake in the end. Without the pills, I seem off and incomplete. I’m even writing this without pills.

The pills allow me to pretend to be happy. I feel carefree with them and like I can overcome anything. I love that it’s given me a new life but hate that I feel so fake at times. Sometimes, I don’t know who I am anymore. I feel so unauthentic at times that I feel like I’m not me.

Even at work.. I take my prescription before I start my job. I appear different in the office and I think people notice. Sometimes, I get too quiet and sit there like a statue and do not communicate.

I’ve fought this battle for years, and I’ve grown tired of fighting it.

All broken promises.

Later at night when I should be sleeping, I think about things. It can literally be about anything from the clothes I’ll wear tomorrow to upcoming plans that are still six months away. Tonight, I really got thinking about the broken promises that surround my  life.

Here’s a list of some of those broken promises:

– My biological father always being there. I was fortunate enough to go to a loving family through adoption, but extra fortunate to have always known who my biological parents are and to even get to hang out with them when I was younger. The promise was broken when my biological father divorced my biological mother and moved to Florida to start a whole new life. I haven’t heard from him in five years. I still talk to my biological mother very regularly.

– My adopted father promising to never yell at me. He knows how much it bothers me and he promises to stop. But he at times get stressed out and has to let it out. Where does that stress go? To me by venting and yelling.

– My ex saying we would always remain friends no matter what. When we dated, we discussed the possibility of breaking up. We had discussed what would happen if we broke up and if we would still hang out. We agreed we would remain friends but we never did. Honestly, I’m kind of happy we didn’t. She brought a lot of pain and sadness. At the same time, I would like to know how she’s been.

– That my friends would have a huge party to celebrate me being the first friend to graduate college and also that we would hang out for the holidays. The week before I graduated, we were hanging out at a table in the lobby at school and talked because I was graduating and they had month long breaks from school. We had talked about going out to a bar to celebrate graduation and then again about all coming together to celebrate New Years. I go back to work in the morning and nothing materialized. I sent messages in group chat several times but always got blown off. It was hard to get through New Years alone because I didn’t have a girl in my life for the first time in many years and resulted in drinking my sadness. I relied on the guys to have a night out to get me away from my feelings and it failed terribly.

I’m at the point where I don’t know who to believe and trust anymore because of all of this. I’ve also given up getting my hopes up because it only leads to getting hurt and disappointed.

I went numb this week.

It’s nearly 2 am on New Years Eve. I lay on the couch feeling empty, alone, and drunk.

I have gone outside minimally this week and have started drinking right after I woke up the last few days.

I think the feeling of emptiness and loneliness truly set in these last few days and I could only cope with it by drinking because I can’t do much anymore with my job and all.

I found out in the morning that the guys I was supposed to go out with for New Years Eve have each decided to make new plans of their own and I’m not part of any of their plans.. so I’m alone on New Years Eve.

I think about the things I was doing this time last year and how happy I was before I found out what was really going on. It was never really anything to write about and it was often one-sided in her favor, but at least I was able to wrap my arms around someone I had genuinely loved at the time.

Now I have nobody and nothing. I haven’t gotten out since before graduation with the guys. We were supposed to celebrate graduation together.. but it never materialized and it probably won’t.

I begin to see how my friends really are now. Like they wanted to just unload me after graduation.

End of the year wrap up.

It’s been a week of partying to finish out the week. I had a half day on 22 Dec and don’t go back until 3 Jan. There’s been quite a bit of drinking to accompany the partying. I typically don’t drink a whole lot anymore but I allow it two weeks a year (the week of my birthday, and the week between Christmas and New Years).

When I drink, I reminisce. It’s both good and bad. It allows me to reflect on things that happened during the year. I thought I’d write them out. So here’s a timeline of this year through the good and bad.

Early January: I get my very first New Years kiss by my high school crush and at the time girlfriend. I’m ecstatic at this point. I’m also in love at that moment.

Late January: “She” becomes a little odd. She seems like she’s hiding something. We go to a concert and she doesn’t enjoy herself. I drop her back off at her dorm and she abruptly gets out of the car. It’s our last time out as a couple.

Early February: I see a guy too close to “her” in a Snapchat story. I call her out on it. She admits she’s been cheating on me with several guys. We break up.

Late February: I contemplate dropping out of the university to collect myself and to become composed again (I skip a few classes, but don’t drop out).

March: I go back to my job during spring break and finalize my summer internship schedule.

April: I regularly hang out with the guys (Chris, Levi, and Joe) at a grocery store’s beer garden after Thursday night Finance classes.

Early May: I finish the semester with 5 A’s and a C.

Mid May: I start at my internship three days a week and take an online class for my internship credits.

Mid June: I go to two concerts on Fathers Day with Chris. The first one is sponsored by a local radio station. The second is U2 with Lumineers opening. Unplanned, we meet up with Chris’ dad who also had general admission tickets.

Late June: I go to my cousin’s birthday party and hang out with my cousin’s nephew. He brings tequila. I take one too many shots with him under the deck and have no memory of coming home that night.

Late July: I celebrate my birthday at the beach. I get both my ears pierced with temporary studs.

Early August: I start taking the train to work and no longer carpool.

Late August: I start my final semester at the university.

Mid September: I go to a wedding at a very expensive country club and drink too many Captain and Cokes. I hang out with my gay cousin for the night and have the best night I have in a while.

Late September: I go to the beach again and meet up with family friends. Oktoberfest is being held on the pier and I spend most of the night there.

Early October: I reach my 640th hour for my internship requirement. My employer has to now decide whether they want to bring me on board full time or not.

Early November: I hear back from HR and they offer me a full time job. I accept. I also get a haircut as part of a mutual agreement.

Mid November: I attend my first job conference.

Early December: I finish my final semester with a 3.78 GPA.

Mid December: In the same week, I start my job full time and graduate. I have to take a day off to graduate. I graduate with a 3.47 cumulative GPA.

Late December: I cycle my 85,000th mile on a chilly afternoon.

It was one hell of a rollercoaster of a year but I made it out a better, stronger person and learned a lot of bitter lessons. I was happy that I learned them early on and did not invest more than I had. She could have made me broke and more miserable had it all kept lingering.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2018.

V/R

Dave