Thoughts from Toronto (written November 18):

Being in Toronto has taught me that I seem to associate cities with boys. Or rather, two cities to two boys -- Montreal for Moose, Toronto for the ex- (the One Big Love ex-).

I keep looking for familiar places and sights, and not especially finding them, at least, not beyond places like the Eaton Centre or the Atrium at Bay. While in the Atrium, I found the Pickle Barrel at which we used to dine, and, across from it, the used game store where we used to hunt for treasures. I never found much -- their selection was much more console-focused.

There's a lot of nostalgia associated with those boys; I look back and focus on the happier times, rather than the bad. I think of waking up from a nightmare and feeling safe in his arms, rather than the insane UTI I got, my first full week spent visiting.

But, rose-coloured glasses and hindsight have allowed me to also see, rightly or wrongly, that I wasn't always my own person back then. I spent a lot of time following, and not always enough time asserting myself. This is a pattern I seem to fall into fairly regularly -- not being willing to ask the questions, forge the path, by myself.

Or at least, I used to. I think being single has perhaps given me that sense of self -- either that or just being somewhat older and theoretically wiser. I'm not sure, but somewhere along the way I became better able to express my thoughts and emotions, rather than burying them or denying them in quite the same way I used to. Now, I can tell E that I am (well, was) angry at him, and why; now, I could tell ex-J what I thought and felt. Or at least, I can -- and did -- express all of thse things in email (ages ago, calm down). I'm slowly working my way up to face-to-face, and I'm still fairly incapable of saying the stuff I know will hurt someone else.

Those hard truths are the worst ones to try to express for me. I'm so dodgy when it comes to those, it's ridiculous. Not that many of the guys I know are any better, but still... why is it just so tough to tell someone, "I'm not interested in you that way" or "I'm not physically attracted to you," or even, "I don't want to jump into bed repeatedly, so despite our past, I don't want to have sex with you -- also because I'm not physically attracted to you"?

I want to claim it's because I'm too nice, but, well, I don't think I have a single friend who'd describe me as nice or sweet. I try, but in the end, I'm just too honest, and that bothers people. I try not to be outright or deliberately mean, but sometimes "mean" and "honest" are damn close together. Or at least, are read the same way by some people. They don't say that truth hurts for no reason. Or even, there's a reason they say that truth hurts -- for you grammatically-correct sort.

But, on my original point, cities and boyfriends. My hometown is overrun with memories and exes -- fortunately I never seem to run into exes on the street. But I do see locations and remember things, and some days I just *really* wish I could escape all of it, and move somewhere completely new, hell, without telling anyone where I've gone, and just start over.

But... and so the list begins.

Sometimes I just feel like everyone is moving so fast and leaving me behind. I want to be ahead, be on top, be important, be noticed, be known, be respected, be appreciated, be loved. I want to stop hearing about everyone moving away, moving in together, getting married, getting the awesome job, and, for a change, have them talk about me -- and none of this bullshit, "OMG, she's such a slut, did you hear what she did?!" stuff -- but actual, "Did you hear about Jen? She got published -- isn't that awesome!?" or something. I guess to get published, one has to actually write, huh? Huh.


And that's about the end of that. Btw, new site: The Angry Apostrophe. This is where my writing's going to appear, once I get something up and going that's worth posting, and this way I can dump the original My Novel site.

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