When I was ghosted I didn't know such a thing even existed. He said he was busy and I believed him, happily letting days turn into weeks while he attended to whatever business had called him away. After a month I realized what happened. It was Superbowl Sunday, actually, because I remember sobbing into my hot wings, growing so lovesick that I tossed the whole order in the trash.
Looking back on myself as the ghosted girl, I felt so confused—I could not figure out what I did to turn a man, who on our final date gushed on about all the ways he liked me, turn cold. I understand now that there was nothing to figure out, as people treat others the way they treat themselves. Thankfully, knowing that, I can finally see how adorable I was then, how brave I was for trying to connect with another person despite my own fears and insecurities, and really, just how stinking cute I was!
I mean, during the ghosting I boldly sent off a cheesy text that read "Hey good looking, what you got cooking?" on a Friday night before rushing off to dance the night away at a birthday party—I can still hear the shimmery Roland TR-909 sample that I skipped along the dance floor to in my black leather jacket and mod thigh-high boots. I had also just made the life decision that my nails would officially be painted violet from then on, specifically "Geisha Girl." I also remember daydreaming under the fairy lights in my room, playing "Crave You" by Flight Facilities on repeat and dramatically pantomiming along in the mirror.
Looking through pictures of myself during this time, I can confirm that I was having a good hair year. My curls were shiny, defined, and popping—daily! And months earlier, on what would be our first last date, I signed up for my first dance class, an act that drastically changed my life for the better. It was there I discovered that I could really move (as evident here, here, and here)!
But I didn't see this then. Instead, I bookmarked thousands of self-improvement articles on Elephant Journal and drank Moon Juice "heart opening" tonics. I wasn't completely low, I just felt rejected and had internalized it—re-wounding myself with the story of not being chosen, of being alone again* on Valentine's Day. And this created a subtle darkness that haunted me. I was in such a rush to be liked and to have it all together that I did not stop to fully appreciate myself or the magical things happening around me.
Weeks before the ghosting, I accidentally signed up for an Acro Yoga New Year's party. I had no idea what Acro even meant, but my body knew exactly what to do (as evident here, here, and here)! Again, another magical thing that changed my life.
A few days later, while still nursing my heart bruise, yet another magical thing happened. Across from the Acro studio, in what had just been a vacant storefront, arts organization Chashama popped up with an instillation for a "Love Letter Lounge." I wandered in and was immediately fed little red-wrapped chocolates by the "Jester of the Peace." She handed me a questionnaire for my love woes. Then, she had me write a love letter to myself and sign my name on a white couch that she would later destroy. She listened and nodded, handed me tissues, and even hugged me. The letter arrived a few days later in a pearlescent green envelope. I still read it aloud to myself.
Then, that Valentine's Day, a girlfriend and I found ourselves galavanting around a real life chocolate factory in Brooklyn, hand-making artisanal bars and nibbling raw cacao truffles. I did, however, spend that night watching A Life Less Ordinary while laughing and crying into my pillow—wishing Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo could have been my angels.
I would love to time travel to that ghosted girl and tell her she's about to be Charlie in her own chocolate factory adventure. I'd tell her about all the amazing dancing she's about to do, the fantastic hair days ahead, the surreal Jester of the Peace, and her acrobatic future. I would love to tell her not to be sad over someone with bad communication skills. I'd tell her that she's about to make a couple new best friends and have loads of laughter-filled sleepovers. I'd tell her that she's about to start working out with not one, but two of Madonna's ex-trainers and is going to get crazy good results from it.
I'd remind her that she's young and beautiful and living out her 20s in NYC... and, most importantly, that she's but a few months shy of seeing Beyoncé perform live in Central Park.
*NOTE: How awesome is Love's Alone Again Or? I dig The Damned's cover most—wish I could wake up in its Flamenco-dancing desert world