solo girl chronicles: the dating game
It’s nighttime. My hands are icy cold, gripping the steering wheel, heat blasting out of my car vents. “This is what it feels like” by Banks is playing too loud on the stereo as my car hits 80mph going up 691 north. My stomach is full of wine and the guacamole I just shared with a wonderful guy who’s not originally from around here. This is why I was dating him. I crave to find people who have just a little piece of weird. a glimmer of unique. A hint of something that shows me that they’ll get it. That they’ve maybe seen, or understand a little bit more of this crazy world we live in. That they can get along with a multi-faceted soul like mine. And I am convinced that I won’t find this man in Connecticut.
I find it hard to bond with people. I live an isolating life by choice, and could argue that I’ve been of this mindset for many years. I’ve always had an inventive mind. An entrepreneurial spirit. I am now 25, and own my own business, MOJALVO. I tell the stories of people, places and things through the medium of video. Every single day, I get to learn,, travel, and interact with incredible people. I love my job. But, as any entrepreneur knows, having an awesome business you love also comes with a lot of heartache. I can argue that my entire social and [more importantly] my love life have been abandoned, left for ruin as these things have truly taken a backseat on my list of priorities.
I was never really one to date— My mindset has always been geared toward becoming successful— to share my perspective with the world, leave my mark. When I met him, I didn't really conceptualize that he would become a person I would want to kiss, squeeze, or laugh so hard to tears with.
I drive due north, Sia plays. My hands are hot from the heater, but my heart is cold. Hollow. I know the man I just shared guacamole with is not the one, but he is so kind, so simple. Maybe I should be settling for a man like this? My friends are all settled—engagement ring photos litter my social media news-feeds. Where will I meet him? Will I ever meet him? Sometimes I am sure that I will be alone forever. But I crave love. I am a hopeless romantic, and a lady-preneur. What a combo.
We met at the worst time—he was finishing West Point, and I was looking for an internship in the city. We were close-by for six months—we’d meet in the city, drinking too much wine in the back of a dive bar, and then cuddle in the corner of Grand Central Station, looking up side-by-side at the constellations on the teal ceiling while we waited for his train. I felt euphoric in his arms, somewhere between not being able to breathe and wanting to cry tears of joy.
Time passed, and somehow, when it came to defining things, neither of us really could. We didn’t commit. He moved to the deep south. I stayed in New York. We kept up daily communications through text, mostly consisting of pining for one another, and sharing frustrations [most times physical, many times mental] of a long distance relationship– or whatever we were. We arranged to visit each other. It was on the second visit that I realized I loved him. A lot. My heart also swelled to know that my videography side-work had also begun to build a small following. We went to Pensacola together, and held hands as the sun set. We laughed in bed, making stupid jokes. I laid on his chest, head heavy on his collarbone, my temple compressing and expanding with his breath.
We ate these moments up. But somehow, the vital conversations to make our relationship more stable were still frail, and the really serious conversations always ended up happening over text, where words could be minced and non-verbal communications were obsolete. Every day we’d tell each other how much we loved, missed and cared about one another.
I never told him how much I wanted to stay there with him. Wherever “there” was.
When we finally saw each other again, I had a strong feeling it would be the last time. Silent tears streamed down my face as I laid in bed next to him. He tried to comfort me, but I could already feel his change of heart. Something had changed, and we had become completely virtual.
I found out a few short weeks later that he was dating. It broke my heart into a million pieces. A new post in Germany and a deployment in Afghanistan were divulged to me soon after. He moved to Europe with my heart. He also took my pleasures—my youthful spirit. I became deeply sad. I didn't know where to put the sadness. So I thrusted myself deeper into my work. I moved home to Connecticut, into my bedroom, and began to build clients, a website, and a legitimate following. Two years later, and my business is still growing.
The truth is that I am heartbroken. On good days, I focus on the butterflies I have in my stomach— my driving factor. I have dreams to revisit Europe, telling the stories of these rich countries through my art. I reach out to travel media companies in hopes that someone will hire me and send me on an adventure. The thrill I get from reaching out to big industry names is similar to the thrill I felt when I was in love.
I look up from my desk and notice I am very alone. It is me and my computer. Me and my cameras. I am alone a lot. My career is amazing, but it is singular. and it hurts. My business has become my lover. When I think of the company I have grown with my own hands, I feel the endless possibilities it has for me. The doors it opens.
I worry about my location. I feel trapped. I wonder what would have happened if I told him I wouldn't take “no” for an answer. That I had to be with him. Move to Germany with him. What would my life look like today? Would my business be here? Probably not. And I’m sure he saw that. No matter how much I resent our fickle choices, or modes of communication, I do know that he didn't want me to sacrifice my entrepreneurial spirit to be with him. That’s what he admired most about me.
I fell in love once. And it left me empty-hearted and with a severe attachment to my phone.
I set up all of the online profile dates one person could possibly manage. I talk to some men. I set up dates and then cancel or reschedule them when work gets in the way. And when it really boils down to things, I’d much rather sit in my sweats, braless, finishing a video piece, than get dolled up to have a mediocre conversation over a burger. I need someone who is already “there”– who will be working on writing his book while I am editing a piece about Jamón Iberico.
You could say I’m a workaholic or a dreamer. I would argue that I am a hard-worker looking to create the life I’ve been dreaming up since I was a young teen. It’s a life where I call my own shots, and have a lover to love. I know this dream will be a reality one day.
Maya is the cinematic-short-films-maker behind MOJALVO, a brand specializing in telling the stories of people, places, and things. When she is not making films [which is not often], she can be found doing yoga, exploring farms, making a paleo meal, or strumming guitar. She enjoys writing about navigating love, as well as receiving and sending tangible letters.
Photo: Victoria Gloria
Photo: Victoria Gloria
Solo Girl Chronicles is a new weekly series on the blog. I am opening up the blog to admirable girls I have come across from years of "living" online who surprisingly have a lot more in common with my story, and maybe even yours, of anxiety disorders and social mental blocks than anyone would realize. Sometimes you just a need a chance to share your voice. After that, we all realize how similar we really are, and how no one is alone when it comes to the human experience. If you'd like to share your story, please see my new submissions page.