“Who are you, and what have you done with Zoë?’ I was asked last week while catching up with a friend over Whatsapp. And as I typed the very honest answer: ‘I don’t know. I lost her somewhere around July and haven’t found her since’ – I felt a single tear roll down my cheek. #Dramaqueenmuch.
It’s a truth I’m still not comfortable with – but that is true regardless. Our conversation up to that point was the very undeniable proof of that – mostly because it went something like this:
Her: ‘How’s ….-insert name– doing?’
Me: ‘Dunno – we lost touch.’
Her: ‘And…-other name-?’
Her: ‘Oh. And how’s it going with….-insert preferred shared hobby activity here-‘
Me: ‘Quit that completely. And this too. And that other thing. And I haven’t been doing thisandthat either anymore.’
Pretty much the entire person she got to know no longer existed, and that became painfully obviously after only like 10 messages. Awkward much. Yes. It was no surprise that she followed up with that message at the top of this blog.
She’s one of my ‘recent‘ friends, meaning that she and I got acquainted in the last two years – and thus belonged to the entire network of friends that I cut off at the same time that I ended things with my ex. After I got out, I really GOT OUT. I dropped any and everything even remotely connected to ‘him‘ and ‘us‘ and buried my head deeper than the average ostrich in silly cartoons. I just checked out completely and entirely.
I went cold turkey on the entire person that I had been the past few years, and with that the entire personality that I had been discovering and developing. Hard as fuck to do, as you’ve probably noticed if you’ve been reading through my struggles these past few months.
What’s even worse? This is not even the first time I’ve gone through something like this, yet I’ve apparently learned nothing from the first (and second) time round. Granted, that was when I was way younger and focused around an entirely different part of life (and not love) but still – one mighta thunk that I’d have some grip on this by now.
When I was 16/17 I lived for tennis. I loved tennis. I breathed tennis. I grew up living across from our tennis club, and when I was 10-ish moved to a bigger house about 5 minutes away from that same club. And I spent my entire youth in and on the field. My week consisted of training (2/3 times), tournaments on Saturdays and competition on Sundays. Practice matches with my brother and friends on all the days in between and hitting balls against the practice walls when there wasn’t anyone to play against. When I wasn’t playing I was at the club watching other people play, working behind the bar or doing something or other tennis-related. My life revolved around tennis and my entire being was connected and intertwined to tennis-player Zoë. Until at 17 my decomposing body, college and other reasons caught up with me and I quit cold turkey from one day to the next.
I have little to no memory of the two to three years after that, that isn’t connected to me feeling sort of lost in a big world. I fucked up three attempts at studies in the course of that time – all of which mainly happened because I felt out of place in all of these schools between all of these people doing all of these things I never really bothered with. Not my best time. After that I found ‘that love‘ that set me straight.
The type of love that gave me something, or rather, someone new to revolve around for the next eight years. Eight years in which I finished college, built up a life and gained a ton of knowledge while I simultaneously managed to lose the connection to a part of ‘me‘ that I always felt was missing. Near perfect, but never good enough.
The pattern repeated after that. Two of three years I floundered again. Acting out, drawing inwards – kicking around. Once more alone in a world I seemed to have lost my grip on now that a huge part of myself was suddenly cut out. And then I found my footing again. Or at least, I thought I did. These past two years I spent finding new parts of myself, growing as a person and discovering sides to me that I always kind of felt existed, but never had access to. Until the break-up and immediate disconnection. Again.
Everything I became and discovered these past two years had somehow become s connected to ‘him‘ that when I cut him out – I also discarded this entire foundation to my current personality, leaving me lost once more. The type of lost where you look in the mirror and don’t recognize the person staring back. The type of lost where you objectively consider your actions and can’t figure out why you’re doing or saying half the things you’re doing and saying. Out of touch.
Even the basic feeling of belonging in your own skin? Feeling good about yourself? Or, god forbid, sexy?
Gone. There’s been moments where I’ve been getting dressed and pulled open the wrong drawer, only to end up wondering what the hell I was thinking for these past two years. I mean – I have a ‘basics‘ drawer in my dressoir with normal underwear, and then there’s the lingerie drawer (although…tbh, that’s more like three drawers and a box in the dressing room). But the person that would feel comfortable wearing any of those items? Gone. Hell. Even the person that could imagine a person WANTING to wear any of those things is gone. Lace? Nope. Baggy PJ’s life all day ‘erry day.
Another friend hit the nail on the head a while back when she explained to me how she thought I was doing/coping (she was kinder than to just say: not at all ;)). Describing how I was probably feeling lost ‘because I’d been letting go of something that I decided was the core to my entire personality‘ – without that really being something a person can do. Because you can’t just let go of what you (think you) are. But I still did. Rigorously so. And have been suffering the consequences still.
These days I’m figuring out that it’s a matter of getting reacquainted with myself.
The me that I am without other elements determining my me. The me I am without attaching my personality to elements or people outside of my control. And though it’s a slow process, it seems to be taking me somewhere somehow. At least that’s what I’m hoping – because I was driving home from my grandparents today and realized that I better hurry in getting it right – there’s not an infinite amount of chances to take:
When I was younger I was a HUGE Spice Girls fan. And where all the other fans I knew always ‘picked‘ their favorite Spice, I was always convinced that every person consisted of all five Spices, and that is what made them so wildly popular. Every human being has Baby, Scary, Sporty, Posh and Ginger Spice qualities that shape them into one whole entity.
I feel like I’ve been losing my Spice throughout the years though. Sporty Spice Zoë abandoned ship at 17 when I quit tennis (and any other sport became a chore instead of a natural part of life). I lost both Baby Spice and Scary Spice this summer when I closed the door on a very short but intense chapter of my life. And even though I’m currently very comfortable in the high-heeled all-work-no-play business-woman state that belongs to my inner frigid Posh Spice, I’m at a sure risk of throwing my towel (and soul) in the ring on my next loss and regressing fully to ‘just‘ Ginger Spice.
And I’m pretty sure I won’t like what’ll happen after I lose all of my Spices. It’s gonna be a short step to swinging around on Wrecking Balls, or hanging from chandeliers Sia-style or even worse: dumping a pack of blue hairdye on my mangy hair and going full Eilish. Nope. Nopenopenope. I wanna stay in the Spice-life, please. So I’m working on getting it right this time. And who knows, if I rock it out as Posh Spice long enough, maybe there’s going to be Spice Girls reunion in the future and I’ll get to be complete once more.
At least…that’s where I wannabe!