Top 10 Special Weirdo Things I’ve Done Since My Very First Break Up

Hey so, breakups are the worst, am I right? Yeah, I just had one. My very first, in fact. I’m coping magnificently.


1. Put three Michael Kors watches in my Amazon Wishlist

This makes absolutely no sense. I couldn’t get Michael Kors if I was fuckin’ Michael Kors. There’s probably something to analyze here about my changing relationship to the passing of time and the significance of me desperately wanting to posses something material which would give me a physical feeling of being able to control time but really… look how shiny and pretty it is!

 


2. Resisted the urge to post Tegan and Sara lyrics to my Twitter

Which is really hard to do because I’ve had the Tegan and Sara lyrics I would post to Twitter after a break up picked out before Twitter was even a thing. Before I was even dating a person for that matter. Am I four years ago?
ts_unused_tweet


3. Thought really seriously about shaving my head

Top of the pros list: I talk out loud  so much about this already that it would feel relieving to finally do it and probably would make things less annoying for the people who have to hear my monthly loud pondering.

Top of the cons list: Everyone would ask, “Did you finally do it because of the break up?”

The internal debate rages on.

P.S. “I want to shave my head and lie in bed all day long,” is the hardest Tegan and Sara lyric not to post.


pillow_talk

4. Held lengthy conversations with my pillow at night

I’m telling you this primarily as self-motivation to stop. It’s such a good listener though.


5. Sat in my car listening to a police scanner app for an hour for no particular reason

I listened with interest to LAPD Citywide Dispatch for a while because it was so busy. That was until I remembered that “busy” was bad and then I went back to my own boring city. I learned a lot of police code though! And I only listened to my ex’s city for about a minute, I promise.

Wow I just realized that “ex” is a new word to get used to typing.


6. Ate A Sonic Red Velvet Molten Cake Sundae

As America’s drive-in, Sonic only wants to let You Do You. Your car, your rules! You get to feel like you’re being good because you’re getting out of your house, even though you’re basically just transferring yourself from your house to a vessel not unlike a portable version of your house. For a limited time, they have this red velvet molten cake sundae thing! It’s red velvet cake filled with hot fudge, topped with an ice cream sundae with whipped cream and a cherry PLUS some kind of weird cheesecake goo. I love you, weird cheesecake goo.


7. Did you know that when you mix one type of cheap wine with another type of cheap wine it still tastes exactly like wine?

wine_plus_wine

Which is to say “it tastes delicious.”

I feel obligated here to tell you that I’ve got my stuff under control and that this actually happened on a fun, stress-relieving night with a best friend where we drank those tiny single-serving bottles of Sutter Home, ate Cheez-Its and watched stupid stuff on YouTube. And then I fell asleep in her bathroom for a minute. Under control.


8. Not told my mom yet

Nope.


event_overload

(Lara Jane Grace via Josh Sisk for Rolling Stone, The Prancing Elites via Prancing Elites on Facebook, Andrea Gibson via Nebraska Writers on fuckyeahandreagibson.tumblr.com)

9. Managed To Go To Three Large Events Containing A Great Deal Of Other People Whose Hearts Probably Didn’t Hurt As Bad as Mine, Or Maybe They Did, I Don’t Know

Somehow, the very weekend after the break up, my city was descended upon by three fantastic shows all out of nowhere, as if sent expressly to distract me from thinking too much. I couldn’t think about my own feelings when Against Me!, the Prancing Elites, and Andrea Gibson all rolled up in my city for three magical days of queer visibility and expression!

Special note: jk y’all lolz. Of course I thought about my feelings when Laura Jane Grace belted “if she wants to dance and drink all night, well there’s no one that can stop her.” Of course I thought about my feelings when Andrea Gibson opened her mouth to say anything. Of course I thought about my feelings when the Prancing Elites pranced. Those last ones were purely happy feelings. They were so beautiful. By the end of the weekend I was feelings fatigued.


Hoarding all the good advice (via miriadna.com

Hoarding all the good advice (via miriadna.com

10. Reread lots of things on Autostraddle Dot Com about Break-Ups

The only weird thing about this is that I read all of these things a long time ago, knowing that they would be there for me if I ever needed them, and now suddenly that time has arrived. This is weird and comforting all at once. I feel like a squirrel that buried nuts filled with brilliant advice and now it’s an emotional winter so I get to dig them up and eat them. Advice nuts like: the gut-wrenching yet encouraging Lifespan of a Lesbian Heartbreak, the brilliantly community-built Break Up Open Thread, the tremendously tasty 37 Delicious Things That Become Infinitely More Delicious After A Breakup and the ever-important Best Break-Up Advice You’ll Ever Get.


So fellow weirdos, what kinds of nonsensical post-break up behaviors have you gotten yourselves into? Especially the stuff you did after a first break up. I am open to suggestions here. Is the pillow thing normal? Unearth your advice nuts.

Avatar of Lauren

Lauren is proud Alabamian aspiring filmmaker who is learning to stop saying “aspiring” and just say “filmmaker.” A recent graduate with a degrees in film, Tegan and Sara, and t-shirt collecting, she spent all of her college time organizing the queers down at the University of Alabama and turning every class assignment into a chance to talk about southern queer black woman identity. She likes football more now that she’s graduated.

Lauren has written 9 articles for us.

78 Comments

  1. Thumb up 2

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    #6 is my absolute favorite! I went through a breakup when I was living in California far far away from home. Surprise! No one knew where the nearest Sonic was.

    Wake Up Californians!!! There is more to life than In-N-Out Burger…Sonic burgers and cheesecake bites were my rebound loves.

    • Thumb up 4

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      I know this is a bad place to be talking existing relationships, but that photo of Kiera Knightley was SUCH an essential part of my slowly-building-to-more-than-friends (“courtship” hur) process with my partner.

  2. Thumb up 6

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    Hey, Lauren — I know there are limits to how far a shout-out from a stranger will help. But, I want you to know that I love reading your words on here and look forward to everything you write. (Was cheering when you were added to staff!)

    This time last year I had just gone through a very rough break-up — not the first, but by far the worst. Among other things that I may or may not have done: posted some lyrics o’ heartbreak online (and then removed them shortly after); posted a note on my apartment wall with all the important dates of our relationship (including the signs of the end) because I felt like somehow that was something to hang on to; and also got a little tipsy on cough syrup (unintentionally, for a legit cold!) and wrote a long, intensely emotional email to a family member who was also going through a hard time. I felt the physical ache, like someone had pulled my heart out and driven over it.

    This may not be the time to ponder it yet — let yourself feel what you need to feel — but I want to tell you that looking back from the viewpoint of this year, I am mystified and amazed at how my life has changed. Granted, I made some of those changes happen intentionally (moving, changing jobs)but others fell right out of the blue (new feelings for other folks!). I am in a wonderful place that I never would have predicted last year. I still acknowledge that pain and feel the shadows of that when I think about it. But that heartbreak was in so many ways about the loss of the imagined future of that relationship/my life — having visions of new possibilities is what makes all the difference now.

    Sending you a hug and hopes that new visions will be there when you are ready for them.

    (By the way, your New Year’s, No Fears mix is still giving me life. And seems pretty fitting for post-break up, when you need to be reminded that “anything could happen.”)

  3. Thumb up 9

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    My ex moved out three weeks ago (after five years together) so this is extremely relevant to my life right now.

    First I ate a lot of vegan creme brulee cupcakes and watched lots of Buffy (because Buffy is awesome and there are no romantic happily ever afters and also because it reminds me of the last time I can really remember us being happy together). I found a stuffed animal to cuddle with at night. Then I cleaned every. single. inch. of my apartment. I made everyone I know hang out with me and then refused to talk to them about how I was doing or what happened. I made a fort and new beds for my rabbits because watching them be happy and curious makes me happier. I also read lots of autostraddle breakup articles. Then I watched all the movies that I always liked better and we never watched as much as I wanted. Then I hung out with friends and got irrationally annoyed that none of them are single and in fact most have recently started a new relationship, moved in together, gotten engaged, married, or civil unionized. Then I started reading autostraddle articles about how to date and signed up for the wretched hive of scum and villainy and false hope that is OKCupid. So I guess that means I’m doing better and moving on. I require a lot less beer, cupcakes, and ice cream to get through the week anyway.

  4. Thumb up 5

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    I’m going through a truly horrible, complicated breakup. Yes, we’re still remaining friends. Here’s a couple of dumb things I’ve done:

    -Sent an embarrassing email to my teacher telling her about my breakup and using it as an excuse for not being prepared for class.
    -texting inappropriate people
    -checking facebook and okcupid constantly
    -crying as a new hobby
    -feeling like I miss the sex the most
    -spent $200 online shopping in one day
    -spent hours looking at dogs for adoption
    -stopped eating

    help.

    • Thumb up 2

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      yeah, not a shitty person but this playlist is bangin’. thanks!

      dem ting tings. dat le tigre. dat BEYONCE. and OH MY GOSH I JUST LEARNED ABOUT CHRIS PUREKA. Because of Andrea Gibson! I just saw Chris Pureka at that show! what a voice.

      • Thumb up 3

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        Oh. My. God. Chris Pureka is, like, one of my all time favorites! My ex actually introduced me to her. Ugh, amazing. Tell me everything. What did she play? Did she play Landlocked? That’s my favorite. Burning Bridges is my second favorite. Uggghhhh, I haven’t seen her live in TOO LONG and I am SO JEALOUS right now.

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          this playlist not only helped me multiple times by itself during break ups, but also introduced me to chris pureka, who continues to save me daily with their amazing music. thank you times infinity.

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          I wish I knew for sure, but drinking and emotions!
          Ok, after some research I think “Landlocked” for sure. Because I remember watching that one before the show and then feeling like I recognized it once at the show. Super cute on her little stomp box.

  5. Thumb up 5

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    Ah, I broke up for the first time a couple of months ago, too … I’ve never related to The Con so much in my life. Also, number 10 – I’ve definitely done number ten.

    Other things I’ve done:
    Blogged about it
    Gotten very high
    Joined an LGBT group (this has been a great thing!)
    RELATED TO ADELE SONGS (I knew it was a proper break up when Rolling in the Deep came on and I understood what she was talking about)
    Gotten very drunk
    Processed the break up with my ex, many many times

    Yes, we still talk. She lives in another country and I haven’t seen her since we broke up and it’s weird.

    Anyway. If anyone wants to recommend break up songs to me (of both the “I MISS YOU SO MUCH WHY DID I LET YOU GO” and “I AM SO MUCH BETTER WITHOUT YOU BECAUSE I AM STRONG AND SEXY” type), go for it!

      • Thumb up 2

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        I, too, am in the middle of this and have had to come up with elaborate strategies to avoid Adele. For some reason they feel the need to play “Someone Like You” in the cafeteria at work EVERY DAY. Why would they do this to people? I have no idea. But I guess I’m saving money and losing weight by sitting at my desk eating granola bars for lunch instead.

  6. Thumb up 5

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    Oh how I loved this. 8 months post first breakup and tonight I’m struggling.

    The pillow thing may not be “normal” but it made me smile.

    I started writing fiction and killed off my ex in a thinly veiled character “loosely” based on her. ;) totally cool, right? :P

    I hated hearing how “normal” it was to be feeling this way, because even if it’s common, I reject the idea there is or should be anything “normal” about a breakup.

    I found it helpful to read about psychology and grief. That way I did know what was normal for me, and also could diagnose what went wrong, which of course has changed a million times in my mind since then but at least makes me feel like something productive came of it all.

    I did cut and dye my hair. I started changing my style a bit. I got another tattoo… maybe I didn’t survive as well as I think. ;)

    It’s a total cliche and absolutely horrible to hear, but it does get easier so let the weirdness shine through, cuz you ROCK!!!!

    • Thumb up 3

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      “I hated hearing how “normal” it was to be feeling this way, because even if it’s common, I reject the idea there is or should be anything “normal” about a breakup.”

      Whether or not hearing this annoys me depends on the context it’s being said in, and the person saying it. It doesn’t bother me – and can even be comforting – if it’s coming from someone close to me who is saying something like “what you feel is normal and okay, I’ve been there too.” It ~really bothers me when it’s being said in terms of “you’ll get over what you’re feeling soon enough, it’s no big deal.” And that’s usually how it’s said to me, too … Because I’m “young and silly and I’ll forget about my ex soon enough.”

      Never mind that we were together for over two years, or that we lived together, or that she meant more to me than anyone else at the time … I just have a lot of (bad) feelings about people who invalidate feelings, and your comment reminded me to rage about it.

  7. Thumb up 5

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    I’ve never talked to my pillow but I’ve cried into it.
    Totally normal.
    My recent break I found comfort in telling all my feelings and ugly crying into my cat. (Im sure she didn’t appreciate it all that much.) Also totally normal.

  8. Thumb up 7

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    After not my first breakup, but my worst one, I:

    –thought to myself, “I am going to cry into my dinner” before making a bowl of bow tie pasta with parmesan cheese and doing just that
    –came out to my queer studies professor by telling her I’d been dumped because of homophobia and using that to rationalize getting extensions on every single assignment for the rest of the quarter
    –kissed a whole mess o’ boys
    –moved away from my friends into a studio apartment with an absolutely insane cat for no good reason
    –forced myself to sing along to “Just Give Me A Reason” whenever it came on the radio, simply to see how long I could listen before bursting into tears

  9. Thumb up 7

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    first breakups are THE. WORST. It’s a special form of insanity. I remember talking to my pillow like this: “Am I dead? I think I might be dead. If I don’t move for a very, very long time, it’s kind of like being dead. Is this death? I think I might be dying…”

    Also, the not telling your mom thing? Yep. I avoided that for months, out of fear of being perceived as less than the ex, even though I was the grieving party. In fact, I avoided all people. And food. People thought I’d had mono, and I just went ahead and let them believe it.

  10. Thumb up 5

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    A montage of dumbness after 2 big breakups, a not so long time ago…

    still trying to decide if its dumb or not (yes, really), leaving a secure job in my wife’s country for a job in my country (2 different countries) – just so I don’t have to know and face how well she is doing, and I am too this day resisting the urge to pack in my job here and haul arse back to her country but will resist it for a large while at least

    Still believing we can make another go of our relationship

    Eating lots of ice cream in the first 3 weeks of break up (salted caramel chocolate, macadamia and honey)

    Having to have my dear cat of 8 years, a cool loving fat tabby, put to sleep because of metastatic cancer, one month after we broke up and yes, I still talk to him in my mind….

    Getting an alternative lifestyle haircut to cut off all the dross

    Watching a lot of old Seinfeld, actually that’s just plain therapeutic, as George Costanza always makes me feel better about my own life..

    Continuing to wear my wedding ring, a daily reminder of her

    eating way healthy, now that is crazy. I need to be more balanced here.

  11. Thumb up 1

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    Oh whelp clearly you know what I’ve been going through for the last month. I’m in a first break up situation too and can relate to so many of these things!

    I definitely couldn’t bring myself to listen to anything except for Disney or Nicki Minaj for the first few weeks (I really appreciate your Nicki reference btw). I’ve been scouring Autostraddle break up articles for advice/comfort. And I have taken to online shopping for totally random things like Firefly quotes stamped into leather cuffs.

    The heart is a mysterious thing that makes us act insane. This is my conclusion.

  12. Thumb up 9

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    my post-breakup crying routine was a multiple step process that required a) getting a milkshake or a burrito b) driving to the ocean c) cry until it was difficult to see d) consume milkshake or burrito e) regain sight and stare longingly into the horizon

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    So…there have been a few exes/break ups each with nuanced weirdness, it’s all super long ago now so I have critical distance to go Woah…crazy but necessary and understandable but let’s not do that again. In the course of coping PBU there was much drinking/partying with friends then crying to my pillow hungover. There were also a couple of exes where I was super relieved sooo…yeah, moving on.
    I have shaved my head, bleached my hair, cut my hair back into an ALH and dyed it purple, pierced my lip, stretched one of my ear lobe piercings, moved house and most life changing – got a dog. To clarify my mother got me a dog, she thought the dog would be more reliable than a girlfriend. I called my dog Shane…

  14. Thumb up 4

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    Ate a bunch of vegan junk food (I’m not vegan)
    Slept a lot
    Told her we could be friends
    Told her we could never ever be friends
    Joined OKcupid, put way too much thought into deciphering profiles.
    Nurtured OKcupid crushes, messaged none.
    Bought makeup and girly things
    Bought myself a cuddly unicorn and named it Tina (Belcher)
    Bought a properly good PINK vibrator
    Spent hours trying to find a site that would ship french lingerie I can’t even afford to NZ
    Convinced myself that if I owned a harness corset I would be TRULY HAPPY FOREVER
    Made my flatmate promise to be my single valentines date

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    Watching nothing but infomercials and getting really into them because you can’t think about your ex when someone is yelling about HOW THIS SPONGE WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER.

    Buying a range of fancy dress clothes. DO WHAT I WANT IN MY CAPE FOREVER ALONE.

    Being the most impressive and underdressed starfish on various friend’s kitchen floors while they lecture me.

    Eating one food group until I physically can’t anymore, is probably the weirdest thing i keep doing. I wish i would stop.

  16. Thumb up 4

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    Let’s go with the weird and not the sad/desperate things:
    1. Playing so much Fruit Ninja (my ex was/is really good at this game and I thought/still think getting a higher score than what she told me will balance out the fact that she found someone else 3 months after our 3 1/2 year relationship)
    2.Eating tons of legumes (beans and lentils and peanuts are heart food)
    3.Drinking lots of mango vodka mixed with warm tea (I don’t recommend it)
    4. I actually rejoined OKCupid pretty shortly after our breakup but spent most of my time messaging a cute girl… about how we both were struggling with breakups.
    5. On the Sunday night I found that she was dating someone else, I actively planned a cry session for the next weekend (not enough time during the week), and watched The Road while drinking Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch

    I’ve also debated tattoos and piercings and hair dying, but working in public schools nixes that. Instead, I cut my hair twice.

  17. Thumb up 4

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    …narrowly avoided setting off the fire alarm in my college dorm when, hiding from my roommates and swallowing super-secret sobs, I decided it would be a good idea to crouch inside the shower and burn every picture of her.

    Who knew a handful of pictures could generate that much smoke. O.o

  18. Thumb up 4

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    After break ups I get super hermit-like and binge watch tv. I also have always had cats and my cats always love me and know my feelings. So my typically non-cuddly cats will get all up in my grill and lay on my chest purring and watching tv with me. It’s like they know I need an excuse to be still and just process and that i’d like company while binge watching Battlestar Galactica. #crazycatlady4lyfe

  19. Thumb up 1

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    Casually looking at your photo at the bottom, and I definitely think you have the bone-structure to shave your head. Or you could always do my wimpy move from the one time I got a super short cut, and find an understanding barber who is willing to stop at different stages and understands the colour safeword system. You know, green if you’re fine to keep going, orange if you need to pause and talk about it before deciding whether to continue, red for “Stopstopstopstop”.

  20. Thumb up 0

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    This is all part of the healing process. 4 months out I still sit in my car in traffic and list out loud all of the things that are wrong with my ex and why she is a bad person. Then I carry on pretend conversations where I chew out her mean mother. Yeah, I’m totally over her. You’ll get over your ex, too :)

  21. Thumb up 4

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    This thread. I feel it. I’ve been reading AS for at least a year now, and I finally signed up just to comment here. So much appreciation for the stories that y’all are sharing.

    I went through the worst break-up of my life six months ago. The relationship wasn’t particularly long, but it was intense. I got my heart well and truly broken.

    I think the weirdest thing I did in the early-recovery phase was to lie in my bed at night, play Sudoku on my phone, and cry myself to sleep. Somehow I couldn’t really cry unless I was playing Sudoku? I don’t know why. It felt very Beautiful Mind. Now I can’t play Sudoku without having FEELINGS.

    I *was* doing a lot better, but I suffered a setback around 2 weeks ago when, through an unusual set of circumstances, I moved back into the place where I was living when the breakup happened. A couple of days later, I accidentally came across a snapshot from my ex’s apartment; I thought I had deleted it off my camera. Nope.

    My sister, who’s a nurse, told me something that’s helped me a lot: “Pain isn’t linear.” Not physical pain, and not emotional pain either. I don’t expect to feel a little better every day. I can accept that setbacks are part of the process, and try to take it easy on myself when they happen.

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      i wanna see if i can hold out that long.

      although, i didn’t tell my mom i was dating someone until a month in and i kind of like the symmetry of telling her that i’m not dating someone until a month out.

      her response when i told her i was dating them though was “yeah, i know, obvs.”
      so I’m pretty sure her response now will be, “yeah, i know, obvs.”

      I don’t know how mama knows….but mama knows.

  22. Thumb up 2

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    It’s been about 9 months since we broke up and I still feel some sorta way about it. Yeah, I know. Really, I know. But I’m super far from where I was in the beginning. The beginning… oy, that was a dark time. Dozens of messages I left her out of anger and confusion and pain and I really am sure I seemed like a crazy person. I went from “leave me alone”, “I’m changing my number” to “please talk to me” and “I miss you” in about 5 minutes. Yep, certifiable.

    I also forced my cats to cuddle with me. Nearly burned down my apartment bc I was distracted thinking about her and didn’t realize the cloud of smoke and mini fire happening. Got hair extensions. Retreated into my loneliness & basically became a loner. Learned to knit.. my cats scarves. Joined Tinder. Decided I needed to sleep with boys(?). CLEANED THE SHIT OUT OF MY APARTMENT. Finally decorated/hung things I had been meaning to for years. Learned how to be just ‘me’ instead of an ‘us’ and also generally just ate a lot of pie. A LOT of pie. And a lot of margaritas. More margaritas than pie.

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    Welp, the first thing I probably did was to buy a box of cheap wine and see how much of that my friend and I could drink without gagging bc coolabah wine is awful but it was on sale sooo.

    Other post breakup behavior included: regularly purchasing more boxed wine, visits to the university tav in between classes, realizing how much more money I had to spend on myself (retail therapy?!), watched the virgin suicides, joined OK Cupid, went to the zoo (by myself), dyed my hair, re-watching episodes of project runway and the real L word, chain smoking, experimenting with canna-butter, piercing my tragus, built a hammock, walking to the local grocery barefoot (although in australia this is acceptable), re-shaved my undercut, made friends w/ and participated in an orgy with the 4 friends who lived across my street, started a mosh pit in someones living room while a friends band played live

    but perhaps one of the strangest (and funnest!) things I’d ever done was to be led into a tiny bathroom filled with fog (while already having consumed enough alcohol) to discover around 10 other people crammed into said bathroom including one of my best friends who was currently hooking up in said bathroom (seriously though we could’ve died in there because that bathroom was smoked up so much I couldn’t see anything unless you held an object 2 inches away from my face)

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