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I won’t be able to sleep tonight. I can feel it.

I couldn’t sleep last night either. It’s cliche I know, but as soon as I need to get to bed, the worst thoughts come to my head. Embarrassing things I did years ago and almost forgot about–almost, until some innocuous train of thoughts leads me back to those terrible moments.

Tonight I won’t be able to sleep, because I saw “The Wolf of Wall Street” earlier this evening and a specific scene really bothered me. Leonardo De Caprio’s character is talking on a payphone when he begins losing the ability to speak, because some drugs he took an hour or so ago suddenly kicked in. He falls to the ground and has to crawl back out to his car.

The scene is intended to be comical, and indeed the audience seemed to find it hilarious. But it brought back such a terrible memory for me–I can’t even talk about it here, in this anonymous place.

There was nothing funny about being in that situation, though the character–being psychotically rich and safely within a country club–probably had little cause to feel true fear in that moment. Not the kind of fear a small woman in a strange place surrounded by strangers might feel in the same physical state.


But it’s not the only thing that will keep me up tonight. At the movie theaters, I saw too many people I knew–some friends and some relative strangers I grew up with. Some people I’ve never talked to and others I haven’t talked to in years, and the realization that in that moment I was embarrassed to see them, back in this place we started.

I don’t want to stay here. Not even for another few months. I want to go far away–California might not even be far enough. I want to go to China–Shanghai maybe. I want to go to Thailand, or New Zealand, or Kenya–I’m not even sure I care that much where. Just somewhere new, somewhere different–so, so painfully different.

But my boyfriend won’t forgive me if I leave again. This last trip almost sent us over the line. Following my heart out of here would mean the end, for good this time. I told myself I wouldn’t compromise myself for a man, ever. But that’s exactly what I’m doing with him. I love him, and I’m giving up everything else I want to stay with him.

So I’m going to stay up all night–and probably many more nights to come–trying to figure out if it’s worth it.