On becoming Christine.
It has been an interesting time, coming into 2018. Just Bad Timing is becoming a physical thing in less than a month and I think I’m going to have postpartum after it does.
As you might know, Christine is my pen name. Except that some people now know that I am Christine. I’m having a hard time coming to grips with that. A lot of people have asked me if it’s changed people’s behaviour towards me, the facts they’ve learned here. Of course it has! Mostly in a good way. I get to have deep and meaningful conversations with more people than ever! Yet sexually, it’s done something a little odd.
I did this insidious thing: I connected my personal Tinder to Christine’s Instagram. Talk about a way to get views and warp your gender stats! So now, on top of five super strategically angled pictures, Tinder dudes have access to justbadtiming. “Maybe I can be your next chapter?” I never thought this would be a recurrent pickup line!
To be honest, I’m a little over the whole Tinder, ONS craze. I will never really be over it as long as I don’t pick a place to settle down, because you know, a girl’s gotta eat. I do however really feel tired of the whole game. I know I can pick up, I know the sex can be surprisingly good (or bad). It’s feeling like the same night over and over again, with slight variations. This is the problem with the game. Once you have enough market research under your belt, you spend your nights waiting for someone to surprise you.
After trying so hard to be calculated, to be smart, to market myself over the past couple of months, I sit in front of this blank page again, drinking cold coffee, deeply unsatisfied.
I don’t even know what to think anymore. Throughout the editing process for the book, I have had to go over my life, my decisions, my mistakes, over and over again. The rollercoasters, I’m told make for great story-telling. “Tell us more about that fight”, I’m asked. What is it about human misery, or about someone’s ability to take shit, that is so relatable?
I have also had to prepare real people for some of the content in my book. No one prepares you for these conversations, especially when you didn’t expect to have to have them. In these conversations, I have had to defend myself, defend my choice to tell the story, defend my plea for vulnerability. How do you do that when you are presently uncomfortable with your own weakness? You push through it. You have to, no one else will.
So you go home after a long night of explaining why you don’t have a house, why everything you own fits in your suitcase, why you have no money in your bank account, why you want the world to know your secrets… You go home and you sit there in front of a screen, ready to further the cycle.
And all you can think about, while looking into your reflection, is how you wish someone was there to stroke your hair, to kiss your shoulder or the top of your head, and whisper: “you can do this.”
It’s a stupid thought really. It’s not like I have anyone in particular in mind. And even if I did, what would I really do about it? Stay, go, leap? I’m craving those instant perfect connections which don’t really exist. The ones that do, they take a long time and building skills. I’m not that girl yet. I’m the girl with the suitcase, waiting to be swept of her feet in some hidden corner of her brain. Yuk, why?
Why can’t I wish the rollercoasters away? I am trying really hard to be grateful for the glimpses of happiness, for the moments of connection. I am trying to take them as signs of hope, that it’s not so hard to find someone to connect with, that these people who get me, exist. But I’m failing. I’m failing, because I’m tired. I’m tired of having to go the hard way around. I’m tired of being one of those people who will have to go through hell to deserve what some people just stumble upon.
Or is there such a thing as stumbling upon happiness? Do we just portray ourselves that way, not to let people glimpse into the hardships? After witnessing two “perfect” marriages this week, in their fifth decades of common living, I started to think it was just a relic of the past. Then, I spent more time talking to them, delving into said “perfect” relationships. Both of these women went through hell and back with their husbands. Liam and I’s relationship looks like a walk in the freaking park next to those. That made me feel even more defeated, a coward crippled by egotism.
I can feel that “expected disappointment” rearing its ugly head and I don’t like it. I am sick of feeling like I need to reassess my decisions, my choices, my life. Can’t someone just want to fit into it? I know this wishful thinking isn’t helpful; I can’t help myself. Doesn’t everyone go through this?
What are these glimpses for? What do these hyper-fast connections mean? What am I meant to learn from them? Fuck. Can’t one of them just surprise me, and be at least close to my level of crazy? My life feels like driving an old manual car in traffic: stop, start, stall, stop, start, stop, stall, start, stop, sigh. When’s the highway? When do I get to stick my hand out the window, play with the air, feel the wind in my hair and the sun on my face, while I grin stupidly, thinking: “how did I ever get this lucky?”
“Why did I meet you now?!?!”, exclaimed the last perfect crush. He seems so perfect for me, it hurts sometimes. Dude, I don’t fucking know. I ask myself that on a regular basis, about many of you. Of course, I didn’t say that. I just asked when he would have wanted to meet me. “I don’t know. Earlier?” Well, yeah. But that doesn’t help does it?
Just when I’m okay with being alone, just when I decide I don’t have to have sex all the time, I can take a break, that’s when I make an impulse decision to take a chance and end up on a perfect date with an impossible guy. Or am I the impossible girl?
I’m sorry, you’re catching me on a bad day. Most of the time lately I’m good. I’m strong and ambitious and convinced I will succeed. The other twenty-five percent, fine, forty percent of the time, I’m pushing through. I’m putting a smile, my reading glasses and my brave face on.
“Let’s do this, let’s conquer the world,” I say to myself, as though talking in the plural makes me less alone. I have to be mindful of the intention I’m gonna set for myself this year, it might just come true.
“What is it that you want?”
Welcome back my darlings, thanks for still reading. Watch out for the upcoming pre-release of Just Bad Timing, and for cool marketing stuff. 2018 Christine is here to get more naked than ever!
Yours with all my heart,