It’s a despised statement that is used by women to hide their emotional or physical distress. Our facial expression, body language, and tone clearly indicate that we are not “fine” but we continue to state that we are “like, totally, one-hundred percent fine” in order to avoid being called “crazy,” the equivalent of being called the real C-word. By the way, I said “like, totally, one-hundred percent fine” in a valley girl accent, and I hope you did too.
“I’m fine” became my catchphrase for 2015.
In the blog article, “How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work,” I discussed, in the most poetic way possible, the downfall of my long distance relationship. Publishing that article was cathartic, because I could remove any illusion that I was accepting of the situation – quiet and compliant were never used to describe me anyway. You see, despite the vast knowledge available on the Internet, there were no articles on how to handle a terrible break up, while abroad, and without the immediate support of your family, best friends, or Netflix.
I had to find peace in my own way.
The day after I returned from my trip to Southeast Asia, I found chocolate and a note I wrote to myself that said, “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but know that everything will be ok. I know! I’m you. Here’s some chocolate.” “I’m fine,” I told myself as I ate the chocolate and cleaned my apartment in a frenzy. It was already clean, but I felt restless and a strange, unrelenting urge to organize everything. That following weekend, I realized I was not “fine.” I reached out to a friend who told me that groups of OkiJETs were heading to a club for a night of shenanigans and debauchery. “Perfect,” I thought. A good night out with friends is exactly what the doctor ordered, right? Well, after multiple drinks, a kiss, and an exchange with a well-meaning friend, I soon found myself in the bathroom, on my knees, weeping into my hands. The moment was short lived, as a friend fixed my makeup and sat down, on the bathroom floor, to comfort me. Then, two more friends and two random Japanese women sat down, on the floor of the women’s bathroom, to comfort me. This was one of many low moments for me as I struggled to repair my self-esteem and self-worth. Eventually, I began to dissect my entire being and overanalyze every situation. My thoughts were toxic and self-deprecating, but I continued tell myself that I was “fine.”
There is a saying in Spanish that goes, “un clavo saca otro clavo” or en Ingles, “a nail removes another nail.” For clarification, “nail” as in the one you hammer in. “Un clavo saca ortro clavo” means that something new will take your mind off of something old. The crude equivalent would be, “In order to get over someone, you have to get under someone else.” I’m unsure if this statement is true, but I found myself saying it nonetheless when I found out that my ex-boyfriend started a relationship with a 21-year old a couple months after our breakup. I wasn’t surprised, but I was bitter at the injustice.
In reality, I was tired of tricking others and myself into believing I was “fine.” I needed to take action. I needed a distraction (brownie points for rhyming). I needed to be kind to myself. More importantly, I needed to fall in love with myself again. I wrote down everything I wanted and needed to do. I purged all the negativity in my life. I couldn’t care less if people thought I was being petty, because I didn’t have time to take others into consideration when I was just an afterthought. I needed to do right by me.
Then, I planned a trip to Hong Kong and bungee jumped from Macau Tower.
I was “fine,” right?
Being “fine” didn’t come overnight but also, “fine” wasn’t my goal. I wanted to be happy, and not that fake-happy you see on Instagram. It took time. Somedays, I was great, and others I was not-so great. Working with children helped on the not-so-great days. I also reached out to friends A LOT. Not only to vent, but to plan fun get-togethers. Eventually, I no longer cared about my ex or what happened. Happy became my default. I didn’t notice when it happened. It just did.
I learned that it’s ok to not be “fine.” Seriously, no one bounces back in one day. However, it’s not healthy to dwell on negative thoughts and have, according to Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, your demon voice tell you that you’re not worth shit. Remember, you deserve someone that gives a shit, because you’re the shit!
That being said, I’ll leave this here for you: