I was talking to my boyfriend a couple of weeks back and we were speaking of secrets. I told him, a little surprised at the realization, that I barely had any secrets any longer. ‘So does that mean you’re less interesting now?’, he teased.
I don’t think it’s that though. I think I am just less ashamed now. Back in high school, even near the beginning of college, my secrets were all about things I was ashamed about.
Mental illness, a dysfunctional family, crippling anxiety and self doubt, sexual assault, OCD episodes, hooking up, my writing which was less about love-stories and more about things like a fifth grader watching her schizophrenic sister being taken away for the last time, the fact that I trained in classical music. My jealous nature, my bad temper, my desire which remained hidden behind the veil of being a ‘good girl’. The intensity of my emotions, my depression which was all but undetectable behind the ‘bubbly-smiling-pretty-girl’ facade. And so on.
I like growing up, I do. I no longer have to hide. I’m not judging myself any longer, and if people turn away from me because it is too much, then well it’s a loss, but I’ll survive. So far, they haven’t for the most part.
When I have secrets these days, it is usually about things I am waiting to come to fruition and don’t want to tell people about just yet.
Here’s to more of the same 🙂
This reminds me so much of myself.
I know the future is open and unpredictable. My style, though, is to want to close it — to make it predictable — at least the immediate future (3 months, 6 months, a year) or the longer future with respect to my most intimate relations. A completely open, unpredictable future makes me horribly anxious. I can’t imagine how I will function (because I assume functioning in an effective, creative — not blundering — way entails making plans). Of course, I’m fairly confident that I could function somehow — but on a lower level — even if I have no certainties before me. But it has never really occurred to me, I now realize, that this is anything but an undesirable (and, in the case of love, extremely painful and destructive) limitation. It’s as if I’m supposed to walk through a forest without being allowed to inform myself whether or not it’s full of wolves. Sure, I’ll cross the forest anyway— but it seems just stupid, a pointless risk, that I wasn’t allowed to inform myself first, when I know the information is available.
[There are two vertical lines next to this sentence in the margin.]Only now do I see the limits of my view of life — how carefully I limit surprise, risk-taking, unanticipated sources of change.
The fact is that I have been unusually loose and open to risk-taking in matters of work— tolerant and relatively anxiety-free in work situations that seem to arouse intolerable amounts of anxiety and insecurity in most other people. But I have been so damned cautious, self-protective, uninventive, anxiety-prone, and needful of reassurance in matters of love. I am so very much more cool, loose, adventurous in work than in love. So much more inventive. So easily convinced that if ‘this’ doesn’t work out, something else will — that there’s always ‘more.’ Just what I don’t feel about people — whether friends or lovers.
[In the margin:] ‘scarcity economy of love.’
T: well long distance is one thing that’s working for you
R: haha how on earth is it working?
T: you can choose how much you want to keep in touch. it’s all in your hands really. if you actually wanted to, you could go incognito
R: maane? just drop out of his life without a word?
T: err mane just cut him off. i’m not saying it’s an option but that’s the thing with long distance. you’re not prompted by phsyical proximity anymore.
R: yeah. i think that’s too mean. but. it is an option.
i don’t know. i think i just realized how much of my mental space he eats up and how much i DON’T want that. it’s not his fault. it’s mine. and its because i’m intense and obsessive. but i really can’t afford to lose my focus now and i really have. so i need to get shit together and consciously think about him less, just spend less energy on him
T: well said. if i was there i’d pat your head 😛
T: i think the fact that you’re thinking this way means you’re seeing the larger picture
R: haan. i think its about time. i’ve been so scared of the future, i think i’ve been clinging to N as one good sorted thing in my life. but you know. here’s the thing. a guy can;t make you magically happy. even if he’s the right guy.
and ignoring my problems and just all the SHIT i have to figure out with gradschool and the future and whatnot won’t go away by focusing on N.
R: so. i’m not doing that anymore. i mean i just realized that i *was* doing that.
T: i’m glad. you have to balance the head and the heart
T: and being abroad and on your own, you need to do that even more
In other news: I ate escargot! It was too drenched in olive oil, and butter, and cheese for me to really make out anything of the flavour than it was rubbery and reminded me of mussels. Also, I have realized that I hate steak and I’m never going to put myself through eating it again. In even more news, I’m on the lookout for housing again. If anyone lives in Boston/Cambridge and is reading this right now, Heeeeelp. I do the dishes, and take care of floods, and cook once in a while. I’m generous, and make a mean chicken noodle soup. I’m also cute (no, really) and love babies, and animals, but don’t own a pet. I’m smart and a great listener and am willing to amuse you with music or horrific anecdotes and witty pop culture references, if that’s your kind’ve thing. Haaaalp.
self love is more about doing than trying to reach this state of zen in your mind. actually, i’m not a 100 percent sure that this is true, but it sounds a lot more approachable. and i’m definitely a 100 percent sure that doing things for yourself is a huge part of it. condoning foolish behaviour and mindlessly indulging yourself isn’t. understanding is key. but what is also key, and what i’m going to try to implement in my life from now on is treating myself- including my body, my time, and my mind with respect. stuffing my face with a box of chocolate is not self-love, it is indulgence. also obesity, and possibly diarrhea. spending a zillion hours on the internet and going easy on myself for it? again, indulgence.
respect yourself. respect and love yourself enough to recognize that your time is important. the things that give you guilt pangs or make you feel like you’re wasting time are an abuse of yourself. the right thing is rarely ever easy, but it is so worth it.
Thank you to thoughtcatalog (ironically) and lifelessbullshit for helping me come to this realization.
on that note, have a song everyone.
helping me turn my grumypants into something more palatable. friday, you cannot possibly come soon enough.