Law of Attraction or Something

by Jane Moneypenny

The power of positive thinking and attracting what you believe in have always been mantras people throw at me. I laugh, nod and admit that I half-believe in it because I always seem to attract the negative on my life. For whatever reason that no one can comprehend, I can’t seem to think positively for too long. I default to realism due to fear of getting hurt or disappointed. Low expectations = no disappointment.

“No, you think like a realist, but you act like an optimist, which means, you’re probably a closet optimist,” one friend claims. She’s right. I know the relationship wasn’t going to work, but I continued forward in some optimistic cloud.

“STOP saying these things out loud, Jane! Your record is ridiculously dead on. I’ve never known you to be wrong when you say something will happen, especially with men,” another friend exclaims when I call her distraught.

She’s right. My predictions are always eerily dead on. The night of the incident that ended it all, I jokingly said it would happen thirty minutes before it happend to my friend Dan. Tonight, while out with Dan again, we mused how strange it was that I predicted the exact situation.

“I hope to God I don’t see him out tonight. But I will because I’m with you again and Austin is tiny and everyone’s out.”

Thirty minutes later, I spot him in a crowd of hundreds across the street on a corner alone. I stopped breathing and felt like I got punched in the stomach as he turned around to avoid me. He may have never realized I saw him first or maybe he did and turned around because he knows I don’t want to see him. Whatever the case, I could feel myself meet a wall of pain, replaying the incident in my head on repeat. This is the first time I’ve had such a finality to a relationship. In the past, I’ve stayed friends or had some kind of connection through other friends, work or indirect situations. Seeing him made me sad and miss him all over again. And then mad. And then another cycle of emotions. I’m not crazy, kids, but the emotions are all over the place.

Dan, and all my close friends really, has to see me break down again in the matter of days. “You’re right. He is good-looking,” he jokes. I lament that I look horrible after a day of SXSW conferences.

“You look cute. You always do. And he looked great because you miss him. He, in fact, could have had a shit stain on his pants and you wouldn’t notice.”

I laugh because it’s true. Should I have waved? Nodded? Said hi? I suddenly wanted to run home, email him and tell him that I didn’t want things to be weird when we saw each other. But I did nothing. I came home, was calmed down by friends and took a breath.

I can do this. I know I can. I’ve thrown away all things from our short relationship. I’ve blocked him on Facebook so I don’t stalk him. I made an appointment with my friend’s highly-recommended therapist to deal with my anxiety and trust issues. He did a horrible thing to me and I need to remember that. I emailed a job lead that I met by fate. I’m playing tennis with a fervor. I’m going to bed earlier than my usual 1:30am. Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” seems to always be on the radio when I get in the car. It will get easier. I just wish he was feeling as shitty as I was.