As I’m starting to settle into my life here, I’m realizing that I need to scale back on my social media.
Last night, my daughter asked if our cat could have an Instagram, and my older daughter is now the cat’s social media manager. This kind of made me realize how dependent we have become on social media. Maybe we are way too invested in it, keep people on our Facebook accounts that we don’t like for no apparent reason or we post our whole lives, etc.
I’m super guilty of this, especially since the move. I’m on social media & blogging far more than I used to, mostly to stay connected. But perhaps I’m also inviting negativity into my home, which is causing me unnecessary anxiety. I am blessed with amazing friends. I am also friends with those who love to be right, at the expense of my happiness under the guise of helping. And by inviting people into my personal life as much as I do, perhaps I’m allowing them access to make me feel less than happy with my life.
I refuse to walk on eggshells. I want my life to be positive and joyful & happy. So, I’ve started distancing myself from people who do not make me happy, including family members. If you do not contribute to my life, my home in a positive way, then you are welcome to leave. I know who contributes positively to my life; Erica, my best friends Melissa, Doug, Sarah, Gleason, Bree & Damanda. My brother. My boyfriend. All of these people enrich my life & make it better. Crossfit enhances my life. But, my heavy social media presence is allowing others to analyze my life. Same with my blog. I write because, to be honest, I don’t have much else to do. But perhaps I need to be more mindful about what I put out there. I write about my failings because I’m human. I feel like being honest about my humanness will help people see me the way I want to be seen; as a resilient, beautiful, kind hearted person who is not perfect. And they can love me in my imperfections, because people on pedestals fall down. I just want to be a regular person who tries her best & makes mistakes & is deeply loved by those she loves. And those I don’t know personally can take some refuge in the fact that others are not perfect either. But, I also don’t want to be analyzed like a specimen or my blog used as a substitute to engage with me. Maybe I invite that by writing about my life so candidly. So, perhaps I need to scale back my social media involvement & keep more of my life offline.
Maybe this is a sign that I’m finally starting to embrace this as home. I don’t need my lifelines at home to make me feel connected to human beings. I have a great life here, I was just too afraid to see it, because I was afraid to lose it. I love my work. The stuff I’m writing is so cool. And I’m building contacts, which will help me later. I’ve gotten rave reviews for some of my articles & even my editor is impressed by my growth as a writer. My kids love it here so much. They love their school & their friends. I’m making friends. My new job is both exciting and terrifying. And for the first time ever, I’m really happy in a relationship & I’m not analyzing every move wondering if it’s gonna fall apart. I trust him completely & it’s such a good feeling to know you’re with someone & they make you happy & even months later you’re happy & you’re content with where you are. I have never had this & it scared me, but now I’m just so happy. And maybe, because I’m settling into my life, I don’t really need to advertise on social media that I’m doing well. Maybe I just want to do well.
However, social media is an addicting thing, so I’ll probably still post on my FB, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr & Snapchat (all of which you can find & follow by clicking here), but less frequently. I want to catch up with friends, but we can text. And if we can’t text, maybe we aren’t that super close. Either way, I will not damage my happy life with doubts or negativity. I’ve worked too hard to make my life epic. Even if you don’t agree, just be happy with me, because that’s what I want for everyone I know.
I’ve started to realize that when you’re in love with someone, there are various types of love.
There’s the super giddy, romantic, “Oh my God you are so incredibly perfect,” love. There is the super sad “I miss you so very much” love. There is the unconditional love that comes from realizing your lover isn’t perfect but you embrace their flaws. There is the friendship love that comes before you are in love, and now I’ve discovered a new one;
The “I like living my life with you” love.
It’s no secret that I don’t do relationships well. Or commitment. Or love. Or anything involving feelings. I hate feelings. They’re dumb. They make me anxious. They freak me out. Just the mere mention of marriage makes my teeth clench up a little bit. However, I’ve realized that I’ve always skipped steps in relationships & I don’t want to skip them anymore. I want to enjoy every single phase of my life with this person & let things evolve organically.
Previously, my relationships were fast paced. I was engaged after three weeks. We didn’t live together before the wedding, but we worked together and he was at my house pretty much every waking second except to sleep…and all we did was fight. Or I cried about the fighting. So, I always equated that part of a relationship where the honeymoon stage ends and you just get comfortable as “omg he’s losing interest, he doesn’t love me anymore because we’re not all lovey dovey and pukey and what is wrong?” Or “Dear God, what happens if we get in a fight? It’ll get violent or ugly or he’ll leave!” I was terrified for the chaos, the fighting, the violence. The only love I’ve known was chaotic, except for the person I am with now. I didn’t know how to effectively convey that I was afraid of that and I had never been in a relationship that just progresses when we are ready and not because it was essential. My friends at the time were all fast movers when it comes to love, so they too had skewed views of relationships. The questions of “it’s been six months, have you had the talk about where this is going?” This exacerbated my fears of what marriage represents to me, which is fighting and anger and a loss of identity. My married friends tell me that the right person will fix all of these things. But why do they need fixing? I feel like the right person gets that the piece of paper just freaks be out. I don’t want to talk about it, I want to live life until we’re ready to make a change. And my love should mean more than a piece of paper that signifies commitment. Does that really make me selfish?
Anywho, I’m rambling on. Let me get back to my point.
Over the last couple of days, I’ve spent time with my partner doing domestic-type stuff. We bought a table from Ikea for my home & put it together. He drove me to the gym. We spent a good hour laying in each other’s arms not talking, just enjoying that moment. I enjoyed it immensely, but it helped me realize something very important; that I finally understand that comfortable “I’m in love with you, but I genuinely just enjoy your company,” kind of love.
I am crazy about my significant other. There is no one else I would rather be with. He is smart, he’s funny, he doesn’t find my random bouts of panic or crazy frustrating, he thinks they are just a part of who I am. He’s loving and kind. He listens when I talk. He’s affectionate. He knows how I think. He respects my boundaries and understands that my fears when it comes to love are very real and he’s patient enough to walk through them with me. But I have no desire to marry him. I have no desire to change any aspect of this right now. I love right now. Right now is wonderful. We are building our respective careers. I am adjusting (sometimes very poorly) to my new province. I want to work on my portfolio and learn to drive & have built a successful career at my day job. I like that I get my space to do my own thing sometimes. But I no longer fear the “this is good, let’s stay here.” I like here. I like that here will progress when we are ready to move from here and it’s okay that I have no idea when that will be. Truthfully, I don’t want to know, I don’t really think about it, I want to be just as surprised as you are. I like random days of nothing. I like that we don’t talk every day, but when we do we pick up the conversation right where we left off. I like that we can talk about everything from our careers to our deepest thoughts, or laugh about stupid things.
But mostly, I like that I’m not afraid.
For the first time in my romantic history, I am not afraid. I cannot promise that this will continue forever, or even until next week, but in this exact moment, I am not afraid. I am not afraid of the future, because I know who I’ll be with. I’m not afraid of the present because it’s a really lovely present. I’m not afraid of the past because I know things are very different now, not just with him, but with me. I was afraid, but when I was overwhelmed with my life & terrified that he’d leave, I turned to him & he listened & helped me feel loved & for the first time in my romantic life, I feel safe. I understand that men resent this label, but I think it would be the best thing. I feel secure with this person. He builds me up. Celebrates my accomplishments, from fitness (even though he thinks Crossfit is dumb) to my career. He helps make me the woman I want to be. And I’m really happy with him. And because I am happy, I want to enjoy being happy. I don’t need to change anything. Not every moment needs to lead to something deeper. Sometimes it’s just a good day or a great conversation.
You can love someone very much, you can know you belong with them, but also not be ready for the end result. I always thought there was something so wrong with that, but now I know there isn’t. I know who I should spend my life with, but that doesn’t mean that has to start right now. Right now, I just want right now. I don’t just love my boyfriend; I like him. I like his company. I like talking to him about mundane, day to day things. I like joking with him. I like that I can tell him anything & vice versa. I like all the coupley stuff we do. But I learned that not every relationship needs to be a whirlwind. Sometimes it can just be a gentle breeze that guides you along, and that suits me just fine.
I write about my life with pretty candid honesty.
I have a lot of people tell me that they relate to me. I’m not sure why people seem to relate to me. I think I’m an idiot. That’s not true; I think I’m brilliant. I’m strong. I’m beautiful. I’m determined & talented & sometimes funny. I’m witty & charming & I have a great gift in that I can show compassion to literally anyone, even those who have hurt me. But I’ve always talked about my life, my experiences & felt better about who I am.
This time…I’ve said pretty much nothing. I’ve written stuff that I’ve deleted. I’ve written cathartic things for me. But I haven’t really said anything about my life to anyone. Not even Erica & she’s my person. She knows everything. But here we are.
I guess it’s because I’ve felt…nothing. I’m not shattered. I go to work. I go home. I go to the gym. I go home. I do yoga. I raise my family. I sleep. Repeat. I live my raddest life as I did before. I continue to get whatever I want in my professional life. I continue to succeed in my fitness goals & kick crossfit’s ass. Life did not stop. No, it kept going & I kept going & I did a damn good job. But I had nothing to say. Mainly because there’s nothing to say.
Actually, there’s lots to say. There’s the guilt I feel. I did a lousy thing to a very good person. Erica will comment underneath with an opposite stance, but that’s how I feel. I was a hypocrite. I did the thing that hurt me the most to a person I care most about in this world because I was mad. Then I was hurting because we don’t talk. Duh, we don’t talk because of ME. It’s not their job to talk to me, it’s my job to ask forgiveness! I miss a person I love very much. I didn’t count on missing them this much. I rationalized how long they weren’t in my life & I could do it again, no big! I was wrong. I just want to talk to them, hold them, be near them. When the general awesomeness that is my life happens & something amazing happens & I’m proud, I go to text them because I want them to be proud of me too. But, I can’t. Sometimes I just want to hear their voice…& I can’t. And that hollows me out even more. I keep feeling like this ending is the wrong one. Like, no world could be so cruel as to put something so wonderful back into my life just to have it snatched away & gone forever again. No human heart, even one of steel like mine can handle that blow. This didn’t have to be this way. Maybe one conversation could have turned it around, one I didn’t have because I was livid. But worst of all, I feel like I hurt someone who I abhor the thought of hurting. But I also don’t want to give anyone I know the satisfaction of knowing I am hurting. I am invincible, remember? No one hurts me! I’m an impenetrable force, which means nothing bothers me ever. I’m also not one to whine about things I cannot control. They ran, I acted like a stupid bitch & cut them out. This didn’t likely show them that they do need me. It just hurt…me.
There’s the damage in doing to my own psyche in the name of self preservation. Anyone who knows me knows that the silent treatment is (for me) the worst form of torture. Even if I elected the silence, it makes me sick. I’d rather have my fingers broken. Erica said that obviously my position was something I felt so strongly about that I was willing to put myself through my own personal form of Hell to prove it. But all I proved is what everyone told me for a year; I had become a different girl.
I thought if I kept people away from me, and pushed them away when they hurt me, I wouldn’t get hurt anymore. I thought if I moved far away from everyone, I’d be alone & no one could hurt me anymore. I had built up these huge walls so no one could hurt me anymore because I didn’t want anyone to be able to hurt me anymore. I had become so afraid of getting hurt that I was orchestrating my own hurt. I shut out anything that might hurt me because I was afraid. I didn’t want my beautiful heart to be hurt anymore by anyone. It had endured enough & I wouldn’t allow it. I wanted to be alone, so no one could ever damage me again. But I had lost the ability to work through things with compassion. I had lost my patience, my understanding. Literally everything I loved about myself was gone. Now I’ve lost the one thing I couldn’t bear to lose & the guilt & the feelings of cowardice bother me. I refuse to let them interfere with my beautiful life, so I do what I do best every day: thrive. I succeed. I put on my happiest face & I am fine.
But, there’s also the tarnish on the shiny coin of my life; it doesn’t matter. I can’t shake that I don’t matter. I am not valuable. These words do not matter. They’re just words on a screen, of no value of importance to anyone, not even me. The feeling that you do not matter, nor are you missed by someone you miss tremendously should be skull crushing. But in the end, it feels like nothing. So, I didn’t write, because it felt like nothing, because I generally don’t feel particularly strongly enough about anything to write about. But I promised one of my dearest friends I would try, for if I had my heart’s greatest joy back, maybe I’d feel like myself again.
But in reality, I just want a phone call that can’t come through from a person who probably doesn’t miss me in the least & has never been known for bravery that I hid from because I’m a coward. And the fact that I brought all of this on myself so that I will never have that is the cruellest nothing of all.
You’re probably thinking “MHC, you are a boss ass bitch! If this is bothering you THIS much, stop being a huge effing baby & pick up the damn phone & call & talk & figure your shit out! What about trust your instincts, be brave, follow your heart?! Stop being such a God damn emo baby & take that step.” I know because that’s what I tell myself. It’s what I always tell everyone. But, I don’t know how to get past the fear; of rejection, of having my heart torn apart in a manner most cruel, or worse, the silence of getting voicemail, hearing a voice & knowing you won’t hear it again. I used to be very brave, then someone who’s opinion I valued said some very terrible things to me, claiming they laughed at me & I was a joke to them. This crushed my spirit in ways no one could ever understand. So, the very thought of putting myself out there made me panic. It terrifies me & I don’t think I’ll ever be able to adequately explain it. I want to call, but I’m afraid they won’t answer. I want to send an email, but I’m afraid of getting a cruel reply or worse, no reply. I want to unblock them on FB, but I’m afraid they’ll shut me out. I hold my phone & legitimately panic like I saw an army of geese because I’m so scared they won’t answer. So, I sit in the silence. I can’t let the walls down, because I might get hurt. I want to get past it. I don’t know how to get past it. I’d love for someone to tell me.
The other one I hear is “MHC how many chances can you give someone to hurt you?” (This voice has a Texan accent) My answer; as many as they need. For I know how good they really are & what it’s like to be them. So, I want to be good to them & (irony alert) show them they have nothing to be afraid of if they would just let me into their life. Because that is the very core of who I am & I need to love myself above all else. So, I love that part of me & I never want to lose it. This goes for everyone; if you were once my friend & you need one, then I will be here for you. It doesn’t matter what you did. I’ll be there. I wouldn’t want to be any other kind of person.
So, there’s nothing. Just living. Succeeding. Being a good mom. But nothing all the same. But I do know I need to start facing my fears & letting people in, before I do more damage to my beautiful life. I’m just not sure how.