Posts Tagged ‘#studentsavings’

Box Of Chocolates

Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

Dating is like a box of chocolates in the sense that if I were to only eat chocolate, I’d end up at the hospital with scurvy. 

Old halloween photos. Pretty accurate depiction of how I felt at this stage of my life.

When I first started dating at college I was so caught up in hiding myself. The buzz of putting on the perfect outfit, fixing my hair just right, doing my makeup just right. The anxious excitement waiting outside the fancy restaurants. I’d get a kick out of saying the right thing and always laughing at the right moments. Everything could be in control for those three hours. Everything could be perfect for those three hours. For the evening I was a hologram, projecting a lit up image with big white teeth and temporary charm. I was choosing the most volatile and unreliable part of my life to cling to for stability. Looking to twenty year old men for stability is like being surprised when you light a match in a room full of leaking propane.

I wasn’t eating any potatoes or protein. Both literally and metaphorically, my doctor had to berate me because drugstore ramen noodles are not a source of vitamin C or iron. Turns out the cause of my intense fatigue wasn’t much of a mystery to a professional or my mother, who I wasn’t calling enough either. Metaphorically, I was neglecting the other relationships in my life. Calling my parents made me feel weak. Hearing the voice of the person that kissed me goodnight for eighteen years made the ache in my knees feel more pronounced, and it made the dull pounding in my temple feel like an aneurysm. It was like forcing down unseasoned brussels sprouts. I didn’t want to be aware of how much I was struggling on my own or how much I wanted to be kissed goodnight still. 

Friendships also made me examine myself. Friends saw me anxiously biting my nails before class, and making a joke that nobody heard at dinner, or the time the rain made my eggs and milk fall through my grocery bag on second ave. My friends loved me all the same of course, but I couldn’t hide myself from them even if I wanted to. So I gave up Friday movie nights for candlelit dinners.

I was fixating on dating because it allowed me to craft such a limited image of myself. Who I was under under dim lighting with mellow music was much better than who I was in the harsh light of day. I was neglecting the relationships with people who actually loved me. I was neglecting relationships with inanimate parts of life, like my relationship to health. Preoccupied with trying to be pretty for men, I wasn’t considering that I could be taking pride in knowing my body was well looked after. My relationship to money was strained, in other words, I kept letting money leave my pocket. Most of all I just needed to call home. 

Going on like this made me physically ill. Life has a way of correcting itself though. The best cure for a lack of self-love is a heartbreak.

Don’t get scurvy and eat your greens, 10% off!

Olivia Sully is a Junior studying English Literature at New York University. Olivia spends most of her school and professional life writing and reading, but she likes to decompress with her paintings. 

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