We met through Twitter. You messaged me, and asked me to lunch. You sat wide eyed, staring at me nonstop with a smile on your face. I never thought I was that interesting, but you made me feel like I was important. I wasn’t expecting us to become such close friends. We had so much in common- we were both sensitive, empathic, understanding, and came from similar backgrounds. Or so I thought. You were an expert at nodding like we were always on the same page. You claimed to have difficulty making friends and expressed you wanted a close friendship. So I gave you a chance. We started going to brunches and dinner together, shared cheesy buttered popcorn at the movies, and went to each other’s houses just to talk. But something underneath it all felt uncomfortable. You were moody, unpredictable, easily distracted and increasingly preachy and judgmental. Regardless, I was unconditionally there for you.
Our daily phone calls turned into you complaining about men who rejected you, you struggling to adapt to your ADHD medication, you needing support and comfort when you binged and purged every day. You told me your throat was constantly raw but you needed a way to dissociate. You would abruptly stand up and leave without explanation in the middle of watching a TV show or movie. You became increasingly resentful and dissatisfied with being a companion. I related to your pain, but in a different way. While I understood you no longer wanted to be an escort, I wanted to further my career in the industry. You wanted me to quit with you and apply to grad schools like you. You wanted me to find a partner to settle down with.
I should have listened to your warning- “I’ve lost many friendships because I get distracted with dating.” The daily phone calls, the regular hangouts, the secrets and intimate details we exchanged held no value to you. Once you found a boyfriend you could talk for hours with over the phone, you rushed into moving him in. Then you went silent. Our conversations were non-existent or single worded. You told me you were struggling financially, and asked if you could be my assistant. I agreed. I wanted to help you, and thought you would do an adequate job. While you said everything was working out, internally you lost complete interest in having anything to do with sex work. When you quit, I knew the only connection we still had with each other was destroyed.
I finally came to my senses. I looked back at all the times you weren’t there for me. When I broke my leg, you were angry I took too long to recover from the anesthesia at the hospital after surgery. You were distant and short with me during the ride home and promptly left after I laid in bed. I was in immense pain and completely disoriented. Healing my leg was a journey I took alone. You had no interest in partaking in my recovery. I found it odd I was there for you every step of the way for your surgery, but you didn’t care to return the favor. Then came the memories of you scolding me. You’d talk in a theater, and insist I shut up when I responded. You’d criticize everything from the sticker on my water bottle to my struggles with depression instead of trying to understand I had problems too.
Our relationship revolved around your needs and desires. Whenever you asked to hang out, I would meet up with you, even if I felt tired or burnt out. When your mood rapidly changed from calm to agitated, I felt responsible even though I had done nothing but sit quietly with you. When you would briskly walk away after the movies, I worried for your health. You were throwing up after eating, nearly every time we saw each other.
Months ago, I asked if we could have a talk about maintaining our friendship. I simply asked if we could discuss setting up a weekly or biweekly phone call to stay in touch. Your answer was, “I’m busy with school. I’m busy taking care of my boyfriend’s PTSD. I can’t talk yet.” I told you to take all the time you needed. My reply was met with silence. Months later, I brought up the subject again. Yet again you brushed me off, stating you were still too busy. It really hurt after all the times I comforted you, laughed with you, met your emotional and social needs, and helped you feel less lonely and rejected after men ghosted you, you couldn’t even spare a minute to meet my emotional needs. All I wanted was to hear your voice once a week. You just lost interest in me entirely.
Out with the old, in with the new. Your new boyfriend is your entire life, and it comes as no surprise he threatened to break up with you when you told him you used to be a sex worker. It shocked me you were willing to stay in a relationship with someone who had no respect for your past decisions. You hid my real identity from him, telling him I used to be a sex worker. Not only were you blocking me out of your life, so was he. You claimed my choice of career hurt me. You said you were angry at me for not leaving the industry. It confuses me you still have your companion Twitter up if you’re so against sex work. Are you really leaving the industry, or just choosing to judge me for taking a different path than you? I shouldn’t have been so eager to meet your needs. Maybe those needs were more like conditional demands. We didn’t have a genuine relationship after all. You were just using me to chauffeur you, conform to your rigid beliefs, entertain you and provide companionship until you found a partner who would replace me.
I’m sorry I trusted you. I should have trusted my intuition instead. There was always a look in your eyes that left me feeling unsettled. The way you bore your eyes into mine made me feel on edge, like I was some sort of foreign spectacle or performance artist to you. I am now certain we’re better off living separate lives. I no longer need your support, calls, or hangouts. I can still be a sex worker and attend grad school. I am determined to build my self confidence without you. I wish you the best in your relationship, and if it ends, I hope you can find someone who is willing to console you, befriend you, and inevitably be thrown out like expired meat.
I’m up past midnight reflecting on how far I’ve come since my first blog entry. Recently I decided to move to the west coast, either LA or San Diego. Many things led to that decision- I have family out there, I feel ready for a new start, and my vibe just fits the west coast in terms of my interests. I got into longboarding nearly a decade ago and fell in love with it the moment my feet touched the board. I just started taking surf lessons (lesson 4 coming soon when I visit San Diego in a few days) and enjoy the total freedom I experience mentally by mindfully paddling, popping up and gliding through waves with my feet planted on the surfboard.
I am naturally an overthinker, an overanalyzer, a deep feeler and a sensitive intuit. Oftentimes I find myself lost in a daze of dream and contemplation. I have been fortunate in learning more about utilizing these characteristics to my advantage- through the likes of therapy, good friends, and self help books I have been able to develop a stronger connection with myself and what I need to stay grounded in today’s highly distractible, comparison focused world.
This is not to say I don’t still find myself in the throes of yearning for something beyond myself, but I’ve found through mindfulness and radical acceptance practices I am coming closer to loving who I am regardless of how others react to me, or how I perceive others feel about me. By looking inwards and straying away from meeting others’ expectations, I draw myself closer to feeling balanced and good enough as I am.
Over the summer I read a book called The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck- it’s not as apathetic or rebellious as it sounds, I promise. I found Mark Manson’s insights to be quite helpful. He talked about entitlement- and the implications of having this expectation that everyone must like you. It’s complete self entitlement to think you can please everyone or gain favor with everyone. In the past I had seen it as people pleasing, not as a codependent need to control other people. The book also discussed values, how alignment with things like popularity and fame are detrimental to one’s core self, how relying on the approval of countless strangers is far more dangerous than relying on one’s own self love because there will always be an air of uncertainty, of never really knowing where you stand with people and what their motives are.
Sometimes I feel like I’m secretly writing for an audience of people who don’t like me, and I imagine them gathering in cyberspace to speak negatively of me. How entitled is it that I could think anyone would care about me to that extent, that they would dedicate time in their day to talk about me? Sometimes I get anxious I’ll say or do the wrong thing, and have to face repercussions for speaking my truth. But at the end of the day, there is very little meaning or consequence in a social media snub or perceived indifference from another person. What truly matters is the connection I am able to make with clients, the heart to heart exposing we vulnerably allow ourselves to share with one another, the indelible mark we leave on each other’s psyche.
I am grateful I’ve come this far with my own personal development and gratitude. I am grateful I have an audience I can write for. I’m grateful to have built connections with clients and providers alike. I feel fortunate I am interesting enough to have a platform to speak my truth and showcase my personality and interests. During my hiatus I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in. I felt certain grad school would be the right move. As of now I’ve decided to defer my admission to a prestigious university in SoCal and focus on my relocation to the west coast. I think it would make more sense for me to attend a state school next year where I could get better funding for my education. And as the old saying goes, good things come in time. I’m not in any rush to get that master’s degree in therapy- and it’s reassuring to know I got accepted to the top schools of my choice. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so far from the truth to admit I didn’t think my application would be impressive enough to gain admission.
To whoever reading this, I want to express there very well is a real person behind the images and videos you see. A breathing, thinking, feeling individual with complexities, desires and dreams. A growing, evolving, learning person with an exciting future ahead of her.
Breaking a tibia and fibula, the bones that run down the shin is no easy feat. There must be enough force to break both, usually found in car accidents or sports injuries. Mine was the latter. I fell off my longboard in such a way that the impact was mainly on my left leg, the limb always facing front on my board. I don’t recall another time I experienced such intensified agony. I remember people forming a circle around me, someone calling 911, and laying on my back with my eyes closed, writhing in pain. When I raised my head to glance at my leg, I saw my foot hanging loosely off my ankle. I couldn’t bear to see it anymore, so I clasped both hands over my knee, bending my leg against my chest, as if I were about to go into a supine twist. A simultaneous rush of terror and anxiety engulfed me. What felt like lightyears probably only took minutes for the ambulance to come. Paramedics strapped me to a gurney, injected Fentanyl into my veins to relieve some of the pain, and rushed me to the hospital. I was sedated at the ER so the medical team could put my leg into a cast. I spent the next few days in a splint cast binge watching The Sopranos and waiting for my surgery date. I can only describe the discomfort as feeling like my ankle wasn’t connected to the rest of my leg. It felt extremely wobbly and loose, like it could detach at any moment. I was so grateful when the day of my surgery arrived. When I got to the surgery center, I felt my adrenaline kick in, and I became afraid of what was to come. The surgeon explained he was going to insert a rod and three nails into my tibia to hold everything in place. The fibula, he said, would heal on its own. Knowing he operated on some prominent professional hockey and basketball players gave me a sense of relief and I felt my anxiety dissipate for a moment. I was rolled into the operating room and all I remember next is that I was rendered unconscious from the general anesthesia. When I awoke, I was rolled back into a private room where I could recover for a brief period. I didn’t like how disoriented, hazy, and comatose I felt. It was unnerving to feel like I had no control over my physical state. Shortly after my best friend, let’s call her Jane, picked me up, took us home in an Uber, and my recovery process began.
It took me close to four months to recover. I owe it all to my physical therapist, who I started seeing a week after surgery. He completely changed my life in the best way possible. I began seeing him three times a week, and the exercises we did were some of the most basic movements I could have imagined. We focused on knee bending and cycling motions the first few times we met. From there, I could feel myself healing rapidly. Soon I went from walking on crutches and a boot to walking with one crutch, walking without the crutches (albeit at a tortoise’s pace), and gradually I began to walk at a faster rate and my limp dissipated. By the end of physical therapy, I was able to squat, jump, do agility and balance focused obstacle courses, longboard, and run. Now I’m back to taking workout classes, and able to do all the movements I used to do.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt immense sadness and mourning when I broke my leg. Though friends and neighbors helped me, I was reduced to being nearly helpless when it came to basic tasks like using the bathroom, showering, and taking the trash out for about a month. I felt like I was stuck on my couch, I could hardly move without experiencing discomfort or pain, and in my mind, the injury was hindering my progress with Onlyfans and adult work in general. Though I’m happy to say, I came to some very insightful conclusions about online work.
When I was posting online before the injury, I felt like I was filming nearly all the time. It didn’t quite feel right to me; I was exerting so much energy and feeling trapped in a literal and metaphoric box during quarantine. Without face to face interactions, what I was doing felt impersonal and draining. Though the validation was pleasant, the constant pressure I placed on myself to keep my top performer percentage was incredibly stressful. I think the site does a great job of keeping their models motivated to post constantly, as the percentage improves not just with financial earnings, but frequency of posting to the site. (This is not to say I wouldn’t start posting to the site in lesser frequency in the future, but at the time, it was not what I needed.)
I didn’t realize how isolated, overworked, and unfulfilled I was starting to feel. Breaking my leg forced me to slow down, relax, and take care of myself. For the first time in what felt like a very long time, I was able to focus on things that nourished my soul. Cuddling my dog Camilla, talking to Jane on the phone, Facetiming family members whose faces I hadn’t seen in months, reading fascinating self help and fiction books, and journaling were just some activities I reacquainted myself with. As my leg became stronger I was able to do more things outside like walk my dog again, kayak, longboard, bike, do yoga, and chase Camilla around open fields. Hell, I could finally JUMP for joy. There are few things more empowering than being able to suddenly lift yourself off the ground in an act of explosive excitement and energy.
The pandemic has been challenging for me in the sense that my way of life completely changed. The first few weeks felt intensely isolating and spine-chilling, not knowing how long quarantine would last and what the state of the world would ultimately become due to the virus. But my life just began to fall into routine, predictability, and ease. I started to fall in love with this slower pace of life and stopped working altogether. I decided to go on a self healing journey with the aid of my gifted therapist and best friend. I filled my days with sunbathing, reading books on topics that peaked my fascination, like cognitive behavioral therapy, solo wilderness travel, and the history of America’s historically beloved dog, the Pitbull. I incorporated deep breathing and meditation into my life more regularly, learning from spiritual Kundalini instructors through Zoom. I took my dog on long walks by the water, dipping my hands and sometimes my feet into the lake. I watched films that resonated with me, like Skate Kitchen, and cooked meals that gave me a sense of comfort and self sufficiency. I journaled whenever I had a compelling thought or troublesome emotion, or wanted to expand on an idea that kept circulating through my mind. I went to protests advocating for racial equality, supporting defunding of the police, and demilitarization of public schools. I went on nature hikes with my dog and Jane, driving to never before seen trails brimming with ancient trees and echoing the sounds of cheerful birds filling my ears with song.
I took time away from social media, and gave myself pause. A topic that resonated with my decision to do so was the pervasiveness of cancel culture and its effect on the psyche. We all say or do things we at some point regret, it’s human nature. When those things are said online, however, it has the powerful ability to attract a virtual mob, a vicious hive mind, determined to destroy another person based on one thing they’ve posted. I have come to this conclusion- social media platforms like Twitter are not the place to spout controversial opinions about things. When a virtual swarm of people attack with vitriol, it can feel like a personalized ambush on one’s identity and character. It’s important to be reminded that one’s real self is different from an online persona, and it’s not in any way a reflection of who one truly is as a person. I also don’t think it’s unfathomable to conceive there are people who simply don’t like a specific individual who jump at the golden opportunity to denigrate said person. It’s finally their chance to get out their aggression and point the finger, ostracize, and release the dopamine reward that comes from engaging in sensational cyber-sadism. And what better place to do it than Twitter, a platform that encourages users to post on an emotional whim, in 140 decisive characters or less. There is no room for ambivalence when you’re allotted such few letters.
My time away from social media was one of the best decisions I ever made. I started to deeply reflect on what I wanted out of my life, what was missing from my own fulfillment. I applied to several graduate schools to pursue clinical psychology, and I got into my first choice. When I received that acceptance letter, I was beyond ecstatic. Jane and I are both going to school now to pursue the same field, and it feels so amalgamating to be going on that journey together. I’m looking forward to putting my brain to good use- learning more about psychodynamic theory and therapeutic principles. I realize I’ve been yearning for more intellectual stimulation in my life, and am eager to start in the Spring semester.
I have evolved. I don’t spend nearly as much time concerning myself with gaining validation from strangers on the internet. I’ve narrowed my work social circle to those I feel true kinship with. I don’t derive my sense of self from social media, I nourish myself in real time by surrounding myself with like-minded friends and family who truly love me for me, with all my quirks, unsmoothed edges, and charismatic, lovable ways. I’m learning to really love myself, with one working leg or two, good moments and challenging ones, and working on my own personal growth through resources like the online life coaching program The Personal Development School. Fortunately there are many ancillary tools I can utilize to improve the quality and enjoyment of my everyday experience, and I’m savoring the process of maturation and change.
I am still seeing familiar clients, and treasuring those experiences with appreciation and love. I’m particularly enjoying longer dates, and am prioritizing those. I value the intimate familiarity that builds between two people, the connective magnetizing pull that creates a cherished bond and affectionate relationship. I plan on opening my availability to new friends within the coming months. Right now, I’m enjoying making the most out of this spiritually awakened summer, filled with hope, gratitude, and excitement for the future, however unpredictable it may be.