No doubt you’ve heard of me. Virginia. Yes, the Virginia. Yes, from the Train song “Meet Virginia.” Yeah, you “can’t wait” to meet me. But you don’t really want to. Trust me. I’m pretty fucked. I need to work on myself before I meet you or anyone else.
I know I need self-love, but it’s not like I hate everything about myself. Sure, I have some interesting quirks. My hair is always a mess. Tangled hair? Don’t care. And I don’t own a dress. Not even one? Nope. Never liked them. But I have some pretty bad habits, which I now realize are actually destructive self-punishing behaviors.
I’ll start with the one you’re wondering about. You’re curious if it’s true: if I really wear high heels while I exercise? Yes, I do. And yes, it hurts. So much. I’ve endured countless puss-oozing blisters from the elliptical. I’ve rolled my ankle on the treadmill so many times that the gym employees wince when I enter the cardio section. My stilettos are lined with dried-up blood. The bunion pain is excruciating. So what the actual fuck is wrong me? I don’t know. But thankfully, I now have a therapist to help me unpack this unexplained self-mutilating habit.
I also need to break some self-sabotaging patterns. Yes, I do smoke a pack a day. I’m not even 30 yet and my voice sounds 63. And yes, I do only drink coffee at midnight, when the moment is very much not right. My sleep schedule? Fucked. My body never knows what time it is. I’m constantly waking up on the couch or in the car wondering whether it’s morning or afternoon. So yes, my timing is “quite unusual.”
In addition, my personality blows, and I know it. My boyfriend says I never compromise, and he’s right. As the trite saying goes: “It’s my way or the highway” shitheads. I know that my rigidity is the reason why I’m estranged from my entire family. Nobody talks to me anymore. Not even my carburetor-workin’ mama or my alligator-wrestlin’ daddy.
And yes, I’m a kleptomaniac. What you heard is true: if you catch me stealing, I won’t confess. I live by Ariana Grande’s “Seven Rings” lyrics: I see it, I like, I want it, I got it!
Sometimes I get sad about how my narcissistic behavior pushed my friends away. Sometimes I get scared about how my relentless shoplifting will probably get me thrown in jail any day now.
Honestly? I’m only half-surprised that my boyfriend’s muddled opinion of me sounds like a Yelp review co-written by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He says I’m “beautiful” and then, the very next chance he gets, he says my “confidence is tragic.” Ouch! My boyfriend, of all people, implies that I shouldn’t possess confidence? Then, to boot, he says the shape of my body is “quite unusual.” Seriously? Body-shaming douche. I’ve often wondered why he dates me… but I don’t even know why I date him sometimes. Yes, I’ve heard the cliche, “You must love yourself before anyone else can love you.” I’ve started gratitude journaling to begin my healing.
My biggest concern, however? My intrusive conflicting thoughts. I hear a haunting voice in my head. She says, “I want to be the queen.” The voice says this one sentence, over and over again, so many times that, yes, it does make me pull my hair back and scream! Then: get this. The same voice then says, “I don’t really want to be the queen.” WTF! Even my head voice is ambivalent!
I do like some things about my life though. For example, I do like to sit at home, on the phone, not being alone. And my intuition is magic. Also, despite my boyfriend’s opinions about my body, I love my figure. I love babies! I love surprises! Plenty about me is “beautiful” indeed!
So, when I’m ready, I hope you’ll still want to meet me! Even though my weird boyfriend goes back and forth on this statement throughout the song, it’s true: I do want to live my life!
I want to be the “queen” of my own life. To that end, I need to work on loving myself and making a few healthy changes. Then, I’ll be happy to make your acquaintance.
Kerry Webster Reynolds is a Massachusetts Creative Writing teacher who writes her own nonsense sometimes, occasionally demonstrating proficiency. Words: Points in Case, The Belladonna, Slackjaw, The Daily Drunk, etc. Follow her! @KWebbyRey.