I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I’m an escapist when it comes to heartbreak.

Instead of facing my insecurities eye-to-eye; I wear bulky black sunglasses, sniff key bumps with my house keys, then run somewhere – preferably to a dive bar on Dundas West that’s blasting Blood Orange and serving cheap beer. As I [struggle to] process the cramped, claustrophobic-chest pain, I neurotically chip at my nail polish, simultaneously texting Brodie, my BFF, an emoji story that always starts with a pizza love cloud, then abruptly ends with a broken heart, three cigarettes and a skull.

And it’s all because of him – again.

While I’ve always unknowingly been an escapist my entire life, it wasn’t clear until I (unintentionally) discovered that a friend-of-a-girlfriend was casually having sex with the man that I also, very casually, was having sex with.

I guess, to most, they might not be as offended as I was and still am – but in all truth, it made me see something I probably wouldn’t have seen if this hadn’t happened.

Flashback to last Monday, it wasn’t that he broke an unspoken agreement that burned me, or that he lied or had sex with someone. Truthfully, we barely talked about anything beyond fucking, sneakers and trendy new bars – ha! It’s just that, for whatever reason, I found out about the other woman – without him knowing – and there I was, face to face with it. Sitting in front of my friend, trying to understand why I felt so resentful to hear about the “other” woman, I was locked in a room with it and couldn’t Google Map an exit.

At that point, questions started to fog my vision; like I was smoking a fat bathroom joint with the hot water running. Was I the “other” woman? Did I lose the (imagined casual sex) power? Was I being played? I can’t really say.  And that’s why it made me feel so vexed – because this wasn’t the first time this had happened.  I thought my heart was harder than a jaw buster from my suburban Prairie childhood. But it wasn’t. I was wrong.

That’s when I had an “Escapist Relapse,” a period of temporary absurdity – most commonly recognized by terrible decision making; enabled by a credit card and internet deep diving. In a daze of jealousy and confusion, I impulse bought a ticket: to Hong Kong – by myself – for three days in March to go and see Art Basel. Why? Because instead of emotionally microwaving my broken ego with love and attention, I opted for an escape route – a 19 hour flight to Hong Kong, for whatever reason, to overcome a feeling of temporary weakness. It’s silly, trust me; I know that.

So while I start saving for a wild trip I’m clearly not prepared for, I’m ready to admit that casual sex is a loaded weapon, and while I like to think I’m protected by my sexually adventurous ego, I’m not. I’m an escapist – the queen of ghosting – a rabbit ready to jolt. And now I’m ready to come to terms with it.

I’m taking my sunglasses off, staying the extra hour at the party I don’t want to be at, and living through the growing pains of heartbreak. I’m 23, and now that I’m coming to terms with my insecurities, I can put my finger on what I’m looking for in a partner. Namely, trust.