About a week and a half ago the person I was dating broke it off with me officially; she had/has fallen for someone else and wanted to be with her exclusively. I had already been feeling the distance between us, I just didn't want to admit it because I liked her so much. The night she broke up with me I was distraught; I phoned friends and cried in their ear; I considered getting drunk, but was too tired; and finally I capped off the night by un-friending her on Facebook. I didn't do this out of spite or malice, I did it because I knew I would just spend way too much time on her profile wishing and hoping, and thus never getting over her. It's with that same reasoning that I deleted all of our text message history. Drastic for some, necessary for me.
The next few days I moped and cried and drank and processed and actively worked to get over her. My regimen worked and by week's end I felt actually really good. I didn't think "Good riddance" thoughts I just thought realistic "we honestly wouldn't have worked and been truly happy together" thoughts. Then I thought, I hoped, that we could still be friends. I really value her as a friend.
Monday (just shy of a week afterwards) I called her to follow-up and, amongst other things, we both agreed that we want to stay in each others' lives because we both like each other, as friends. I went over to her (and her girlfriend/roommate) house and hung out for a little that night. It was truly a beautiful experience seeing her interact with this woman she has deeply fallen for; it was great seeing them and the freeness and love flowing between them.
So why is this called 'Still a Winner'? Because even though I didn't 'get the girl' (forgive me for the patriarchal idiom), I still got to keep someone amazing in my life and gained another friend (her girlfriend). That's a big deal for me, I don't have a lot of friends, I've got plenty of acquaintances, but a small handful of people who I'd consider to be friends.
Also, I have no regrets, I'm grateful for the time we had together, before we dated and when we dated, and I happily anticipate our time/friendship after the dating. I might be getting the hang of this life business.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
A couple nights ago a friend called me. She was a little boozy and hanging out at someone's house she feels a deep connection with. She expressed feeling so lonely, and that it's lonely being unique. I agree(d). This conversation got me thinking: are there specific things in our lives that cause this feeling of loneliness, and can one ever fully eradicate loneliness from one's life?
Loneliness is nothing new to me; I feel it each day in varying degrees and always have. Even when I'm amongst friends, family, loved ones, it's there. All that to say, I don't know if it could ever truly be extinguished. But perhaps it could be tamed so that it only rears its head under certain circumstances. That'd be nice.
One thing I think causes loneliness are walls. Walls we put up explicitly or inadvertently for whatever reason are ultimately put up to keep others out, but mostly (at least in my experience) to keep something within ourselves safe from harm. It can take very little time, even just one bad experience, to erect a wall within ourselves. But the amount of time it takes to destroy a wall can take a lifetime. And the breaking down of this wall has to be intentional (or maybe not). Let's use me for illustrative purposes:
Wall= not sharing my emotions and deeper thoughts with really anyone; passing off my surface thoughts as emotions
Purpose= I'm a very sensitive person whose feelings get hurt way too easily and I take everything personally; I don't like when my feelings get hurt for obvious reasons, so I put up this wall as a means of self-preservation
Anti-wall action= with the person I'm dating, I work really hard (and often fail, and I'm definitely super awkward doing it) to be/stay present with them by realizing and sharing my feelings and thoughts even when I am embarrassed/feel so small or petty/am not entirely sure what the fuck I'm feeling/thinking; I work to operate without my typical facade...it's bleepin' hard
The truth about these walls is that you're likely the only one inside your walls...do you see how that'd be lonely? Since we typically have multiple walls ranging in age, height, and depth, even if we have let people into some of those inner-circles of ourselves, there will always be another sealed wall, that is why I don't believe loneliness can ever be rid of. There's Loneliness lurking behind every wall.
Probably the only person on the planet who doesn't have insecurities is Kanye West (that was my feeble attempt at sounding witty and relevant), but the rest of us mortals have insecurities. At least when we're being honest with and about ourselves. One big contributor to insecurity is a skewed perception of our surroundings. We look around and compare everyone else's facades to what's behind our own facade. That's an unfair comparison and it's the contrast that makes us squirm and shrivel. When we regard our insecurities as situational truth, it leads to shame; shame tells us we are undeserving and causes us to retract into ourselves and hide behind those walls. Where the loneliness is.
A friend of mine a while back had finally admitted to himself and his world that he's gay. When he did that, he said that he just wouldn't act on it, that he wouldn't have romantic and sexual relationships with men. He grew lonelier. There were people out there fully experiencing their sexuality and he was just sitting there twiddling his thumbs, observing but not touching, not breathing. Being in a place in which we either don't allow, or aren't allowed to experience our life (and all the stuff that comes with it) is the loneliest place to be. Isolation is inevitable and isolation is lonely. Life is meant to be experienced for yourself and with others; when we stunt our and others' life experiences we are creating a position of me vs them (there goes that nasty comparison again). Our lives become a pretense in which we live these lives that aren't our own and were never intended to be. Living someone else's life is lonely because it leaves your life unattended and suspended. Since then, my friend has allowed himself to love and be loved (by men, duh) and is in a less lonely and much happier state. He's experiencing his life and the life he should be living.
Loneliness sucks and I don't know that it'll ever just be wiped out, but it can be subsided when we choose to let people in, love ourselves, and love and live our experiences.
Posted by coléa henderson at 6:24 PM
Sunday, February 8, 2015
This is my first (posted) blog of 2015! And I sure do have a lot to catch you up on, so brace yourself. And in true form, it'll be in list form because that's how I like it and it's my blog.
The last time I wrote, I gushed about my job. I had only been working there for some weeks and was still in the awkward honeymoon stage, but that honeymoon is over and so is the job. I actually got fired almost two weeks ago. I have mixed feelings about it all: on the one hand I need a job because I need money because society says so, yet on the other hand, I'm kinda relieved. I wouldn't say the job quickly turned sour, but the more I worked that job, the more my soul died (is this the drama you're looking for?) and the more I realized I'm not cut out for that type of position. Now I'm royally sucking at the job hunt again. I just feel like I have no direction in my life. I can't put my finger on what I'd like to do and I certainly don't know how to arrive there. Something that I really struggled with with my last job was the lack of gratification I felt. I went from teaching, a very gratifying career, to selling stuff on the phone. I got whiplash from the change of career. I know I want my next job to be more face-to-face and to somehow have a bigger, or deeper, impact on people's lives. So if you have any ideas or jobs just let me know. Please and thank you.
I have a dog! She is the best dog on the planet and her name is Mia. She's an American Bulldog and is 6ish years old. I brought her home the week before Halloween and am in love. She is very confident and loves her butt rubbed (but who doesn't). For those of you who have known me for a while, you know how much I love animals and that I've wanted a dog for years; all that to say that parenting a dog (yep, I meant to say it that way) is as wonderful and exactly as I thought it would be.
(she hates selfies, but we both look damn good in this photo)
Yoga...I love it. I'm a member of a local hot yoga studio and I go a few times a week. I think I'd like to become a yoga teacher. It's hard to describe the feeling, but my insides and outsides feel like they are aligned with one another and I feel calm and happy and satiated and clean. For those of you who know my anxious, too-serious self, you know it's a rare treasure to find me in that state. I'd like to take a yoga certification class that's coming up in April, but right now my biggest priority is finding a job. It seems like every time I consider taking this class, money/job issues step in and slap me around.
Someone important asked me the other night about my religious/spiritual self. Specifically, what I consider myself. This is a complicated, heavy question. My short answer to get most people off my back is: Christian, but that word doesn't suffice anymore. Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I believe in the Christian God? Yes-ish. Do I believe all the same things about this God and His Book (I'm talking about the Bible) that most Christians adhere to? Absolutely not. Do I go to church? Nope. Being told who/what/when/where/how/why to believe my whole life hasn't really done me any favors. Now I'm kinda on a hiatus from all that. That's not to say that I don't contemplate these things, I just don't exert nearly as much mental/emotion/spiritual/even physical energy towards them. To be quite frank, it feels good. I am a questioning person, always have been, but now I'm not busting my spiritual ass trying to get to all the right answers, trying to be the right answer. The world looks a lot differently, sometimes better and sometimes worse, from this perspective.
I'm not going to go into too much depth with this because I like to give my family its privacy, but I will say that for the first time in a long time I feel like my family is in a really good place, an actual upswing. Some months ago there was some rock-bottomness, but now I feel much more optimistic and relieved at how my family is recouping. I am grateful. Also, I talked to my beloved Grandmo (not a typo) the other day for her birthday and she is literally one of the best people on the planet. And that's all I have to say about that.
6) New Category
This is something very new and different in my life: I'm dating (not in a relationship) someone. I haven't had any dating action since 2012, and those were just a one date thing. Here's the long and short of it: we met at my job (the one I got fired from); we hung out a few sporadic times; I developed a crush, but was too scared to admit it to literally anyone (historically, my crushing on someone has made a sloppy fool of myself); one night they told me they have a crush on me; I freaked the fuck out; a couple nights later I put on my big girl panties (thanks to the emboldening of a couple friends) and told them the feeling is mutual; we agreed that it's more than platonic. We are dating. Honestly? I feel so bad at it. I'll sometimes say and do shit, like today, and wonder why/if/how they still like me. Here's why I'm so bad at it: I don't readily share my emotions. I pass off my thoughts (which aren't that connected to my emotions) as how I feel about something because it's easier, safer than risking getting feelings hurt. I'm trying NOT to do that with this person, but it is hard and if I'm honest scary. I really, really like them and that scares me because liking someone has never not ended in heartache for me. I am the queen of unrequited love. Seriously, it's my specialty. But this is different and good. They are so different from the people I usually crush on, but they are wonderful and I like them more and more, I keep wanting more of them. That's scary. They don't want a commitment right now (after having relatively recently been in a serious relationship for three years, I get where that could be coming from), which is one reason why I emphasized that we're dating and not 'in a relationship', but I do want a commitment. Sometimes this makes me feel insecure, like I could just be dropped from their life at any second, but I try to push through that and be in the now. Sometimes I feel like I like them more than they like me; I don't think it's ever felt the other way around (them liking me more than I like them). I feel like I'm painting the picture of a horrible (imbalanced) dating relationship, but it really isn't...maybe. I'm voicing my insecurities. (I'm experimenting with this whole recognizing and realizing my feelings thing.) This person has issues of their own, things I don't like about them, insecurities, and walls. All that proves is that they are human like most of us. Take earlier today for instance: they said that there are parts of their self that I don't have access to, this kinda hurt my feelings because I push myself to be open and honest with them and felt like I was bringing down my walls to let them in, why wouldn't they do the same? But I realized that even though I want to deeply know this person, no walls, I can't make that happen; I can't use force, only time and learning one another will make them feel safe to let me past the walls. That's fair. Wow, I made myself sound super mature in that anecdote, but really I'm pretty sure I sounded like a whiney bitch earlier today as this convo was going down. Anyway, this is all new to me, everything. It's weird how my mood can be affected (is that the right e/affected?) by this other person who matters so much to me. There's a shit ton more I could write about this, but I won't.
Well, folks, there you have it: my life in six nutshells. Hopefully, it won't be too long before I write again, I become a wreck when I don't write regularly.
Posted by coléa henderson at 8:57 PM