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Boy, did I use to give Casper a run for his money. When I turned 30 I spent time reflecting upon my life, past and present. I thought about my decisions: the dumb ones, the brilliant ones, even the impulsive ones. I thought about my relationships: the dark ones, the out of this world ones, the toxic ones, etc. In retrospect, it was easier for me to think about the wrong I perceived others had done unto me—however it was far less easier to turn my pointer finger in my own direction. Ultimately, I knew that if I were going to be a more enlightened, woke person, then part of the journey was analyzing self.
There was one particular person I shared some time with in my life journey. How it all ended kept gnawing at me. I ghosted him. For anyone who is unaware of the meaning of “ghosting,” it is a figurative way of describing how you completely cut off communication with another person.
I first met him as a sophomore in college. There was instant, although unlikely, chemistry. We shared a moment of our lives together but eventually went our separate ways. As I like to say, life happened, and we all know how unpredictable life is. I became a mother and he moved around the country working in pursuit of his love of basketball. In more recent years, we rekindled, our friendly spark reborn again (or does it ever die). We decided after over a decade of not seeing each other to meet up once again at our old stomping grounds: Temple University.
Looking back, I didn’t know if it was because of where I was and what I was going through during the time, but that night became one I would never forget.
I even wrote a poem about it:
And so the music stopped playing: he went back home to his current state and I stayed in Philly, resuming my life. Afterwards, we shared a few phone conversations, text messages of future hopes, and then out of nowhere, I turned into Casper. I stopped answering his calls and returning his text messages. I ghosted him. Today, I feel pretty shitty about it. Notably, this was a first for me.
Sometimes I have this urge to call him. I think of him from time to time and reminisce about our unforgettable evening. What I remember most about that night is feeling young again. I remember really enjoying myself without the norms of being grown asf. There was no alcohol, no loud music, no altering substances, no sex, no clubs, heck… we didn’t even have a plan of where we were going… we just went. I felt care-free. Usual me is always thinking, worrying, or planning.
I realized that by ghosting him, I had some serious issues. Social media/society seems to glorify #savagemode or #beastmode but what about simply, human mode. How would I have felt if someone were to ghost me?
I think us frequent ghosters have a few things in common that would be worth the time to really ponder and address with the goal of changing.
This may be true for my fellow ghosters but here is what ghosting him taught me about me:
1. I had a serious problem with communication.
Whatever conflict I might have been feeling regarding the situation, I should have at least ended things in a more mature way. Anyone who shows genuine interest in you deserves the decency of real communication. A phone call, a chat over dinner, and in this digital age, a loooonnnggg text message is even suitable depending upon the situation.
2. I avoided conflict.
I thought about my tendency to ghost and how I’ve ghosted not just people, but also situations. Whenever I was presented with conflict, I ran from it. Foolish me thought this was easier, not knowing I was missing out on opportunities to speak up for and assert myself. Running from things or people I did not want to face was a toxic straight I’ve only very recently admitted. I am actively working to change this.
3. I was lacking self confidence and self love.
Here is another poem I wrote about the same person, after I pulled a Casper:
I remember feeling too much time had come in between us over the years, and surely I was not the same girl he was attracted to back in college. I felt unworthy of his attention and affection. I didn’t know anything else to do but push him away. I made myself believe his true feelings were the things I were insecure about. The problem wasn’t how he perceived me, the problem was how I perceived myself. I needed to love me a little harder before I was ever capable of accepting love of any kind from another person.
4. I was interfering with my karmic balance.
I do believe that what we put out into this world, both good and bad, will find its way back to us. By ghosting him, I disregarded the golden rule and my belief in karmic balance. We are not perfect, so we will falter at times, however we must always counteract our misdeeds with good deeds. I, on the other hand, was only tossing the wrong type of karma out there. I was getting too grown to be tipping the karmic scale in the wrong direction knowingly.
Deciding not to ghost someone doesn’t mean we have to continue a relationship or friendship with them. At that time, I was working on myself. I did not have the capabilities to nourish our friendship. I had too many open doors needing to be closed and loose ends needing to be cut. Overall, our expectations were different and this was okay. I should have handled it differently. Deciding not to ghost someone, just means you are maturing. Communicate. Assert Yourself. Stand up for yourself. Explain yourself. People deserve to be treated like people.
The next time you feel like ghosting someone, take a second to look at yourself. Even if you are ghosting someone because they mistreated you, tell them. This goes for relationships and friendships. Simply running from something or acting as if it never happened or existed, is toxic to our personal growth.
We believe that if we want something, we must speak it into existence. Well, if we do not want something, we must speak it into non-existence by releasing its effect on the soul. I said earlier the way I ghosted him was gnawing at me. If I would have ended things in a different way, I believe I would be at peace with the whole thing.
I know I need to apologize still. He deserves that. I am teetering the thin line of courage and cowardice, a topic I will visit in another post.
For now, let’s discuss:
Have you ever ghosted someone before?
Do you stand behind your decision—why or why not?
The point of it all: in our world where people are seemingly more disconnected than ever before, there is always a better way to just be more human.