One tough day a few months ago, I texted my friend Joanne.
"Jo-Jo," I wrote, "this is a random question so just go with it. What do YOU say to yourself to get over someone who has hurt you?"
See, the reason I texted this particular friend is because I have never in my life met anyone who has the ability to get over someone so definitively and so quickly as Joanne can. She's like an emotional superhero. My friends and I have even coined a phrase to describe that incredible, final level of being done with someone: "Jo-Jo Done."
"I tell myself that they are not worthy of me. I'm too good for them. They do not deserve to know me,” she responded. “I have a problem with high self-esteem.”
I hope her problem is contagious.
I made the mistake of wading back into something that I should have avoided like a vomity form of the plague. I knew going in that I had been hurt. I knew that I could be hurt again. And still, I flipped back my hair and threw on a good bra and I walked back in with a smile and with hope.
"It's sweet that she's an open-hearted girl," you might be thinking about me.
"Look! She hasn't lost the ability to trust," maybe some of you are murmuring.
"You are a fucking idiot," I'm saying to myself.
And, sadly, I'm the one who's right.
I did try the "Fuck-Him" affirmation process suggested by my friend, but every time I did it, I would get really angry. And then that anger would lead to feeling sad. And then that sadness would lead to barraging myself about not being enough for someone, and I'd walk away from the should-have-been-powerful moment more devastated than I'd been before.
I hate when I can't do things right...
Here it is in a nutshell: I simply should have known better.
I do now.
When someone tells you he never trusts anybody, listen. Because you've just been included in that shitty club by absolutely no fault of your own.
When someone tells you that "possibly" you can get together over the weekend, realize that he's just not dying to see you.
When someone speaks to you on the phone for three hours at a time and tells you during the conversation that the reason he told his mother that a screenplay you wrote that's got some risqué material is all fiction (which, by the way, it is) because "there's a chance we'll end up together" and he doesn't want to give her the wrong impression of you, wade through that sentence to find the bullshit at its center, the way you try to get to the gum inside of a Sour Apple Blow Pop. Because what he's saying is not real. And just because you would never utter those words to someone who cares about you if they're not true, it doesn't mean you're listening to any version of the truth.
When your stepfather, whom you adore, is in the hospital and he doesn't ask how he (or you) are doing, try to embrace that he's not considerate like you are.
When a long year of classes finally ends and he doesn't text you a mere "Congrats," tell yourself he's a cock, and not just because you have celebrated every win he has had that you've been made aware of.
When someone tells you there's an opportunity to get literally everything you've ever wanted creatively, be sure that you can trust the person who is dangling this offer before you write a 60-page pilot script and a treatment to go along with it, especially when writing that treatment made you want to pull your eyelashes out with rusty tweezers in the hot June sun.
And when you've been the very essence of yourself, and "yourself" is kind and funny as hell and giving and perfectly made-up, and none of that is coveted, run away --which you can do in heels, and you know it.
When someone seems like he's fallen off the planet and out of your life, let him fall -- but don't go down with him.
And when it's time to be done, move the fuck on and do it while realizing that, this time, it truly is his loss, that there's no point in grieving something you never had, and that you will actually be just fine.