Speaking My Mind
Personal blog about my life after college.
I’ve become the Charlotte York of the suburbs.
It’s amusing to me that I resonate with this character from Sex and the City because I found her to be one of the least likable characters in the show, particularly during the first few seasons. It drove me crazy how much of a hopeless romantic she was and how she craved male chauvinism.
I don’t know if I would consider myself a hopeless romantic, but I do prefer romance and emotional intimacy to one-night-stands and hookups. I also don’t know if I’m looking for true romance right now. At the moment, I mostly want to just put myself out there, meet new people, and have fun.
The ways in which I’ve been identifying with her lately are mostly in regards to how her dating life unfolds. There is an episode of Sex and the City when Charlotte goes on two dates in one day and well…one Saturday about a month ago, I somehow managed to coordinate not two dates, but three dates in one day.
Date #1: 3pm in a hipster town
The first date was with a guy who works in engineering management. We ate lunch, drank craft beer, and then enjoyed a spontaneous street-fair with live music.
He’s twenty-five and super sweet. He was interested in all my yoga stuff and asked me a ton of questions, which I appreciated because yoga is a significant part of my life. I don’t think he’s the most knowledgeable about issues that I care about, but he is open-minded and seems to be compassionate.
We actually went on a second date a few weeks ago. We explored different parks in the city, then went on a mini dage bar-crawl. It was a ton of fun, albeit incredibly exhausting since we walked nearly 10 miles.
While I enjoy his company, I don’t know if he’s attracted to me. He’s kept things extremely platonic, which on one hand I don’t mind because I don’t want to feel pressured and I also don’t want to get seriously involved with anyone right now. On the other hand, however, I would enjoy a little physical intimacy.
We sat beside each other a few times at bars in the city, and although I turned myself to face him, he continued to sit straight ahead. So…I don’t know if anything will transpire between us. Currently, however, I regard him the same way I regard my best guy friend. This guy would be a great traveling companion and he’s easy to be with, but the connection may end there.
Date #2: 7:30pm at a trendy bar
The second date was with a thirty-year-old guy from India. He has been in the US since high school and he works for a pharmaceutical tech company. He informed me that his last two relationships were three to four years long, thus, he is only looking fun.
We got one drink and talked for a few hours. He wasn’t as inquisitive about me as the first guy was, which suited me fine because I was tired of talking about myself after the first date. Notably, however, this guy was turned toward me the entire time we hung out, but nothing physical happened aside from a “goodbye” hug. For a first encounter, I appreciated it, but I think he’d be totally receptive to more, which is cool.
Date #3: 11pm at a local diner
On the way home from the second date at 9pm, I felt a pang of hunger. I totally fucked myself up by eating a late lunch on the first date. The Whole Foods guy happened to text me taco emojis while I was driving, so I called him up and asked if he wanted to meet for dinner. He had conveniently just gotten out of work so we met up at a local diner for a bit. We ate, chatted, and then parted ways. It was fun, but yeah, I just want to be friends with him.
Then, a few weeks later, I embraced my inner Charlotte a little more.
One Saturday night, I went out with a 30-year-old lawyer. He happens to be a cancer AKA the sun sign that I have been having strong magnetic attractions with lately. We had been talking for about three weeks and we were supposed to meet three weeks prior, but we had to reschedule a few times.
To compensate for all of the reschedulings, we spoke on the phone a few times and we texted each other a lot. More than I usually text people. The texting got a little out of hand because a majority of our correspondence was while we were both at work. Through our conversations, however, we seemed to have a decent amount of chemistry, so I was excited to meet him in person to see if the chemistry was genuine.
As it turned out, the connection was strong in person. Conversation flowed easily and his entire body was turned toward me at every bar we went to.
I find him to be sweet, interesting, fun, smart…lots of lovely qualities. We had a great first date, which included a sorta mini bar crawl (apparently this is the type of date that I prefer), and we walked around a bunch.
This particular date causes me to feel like Charlotte because, in later seasons, she starts dating a lawyer who isn’t her type because he’s “bald and sweaty,” but she totally falls for him. He was into her from the beginning and he completely sweeps her off her feet.
This guy isn’t bald and sweaty, but he’s not exactly my “type” either…or he’s not someone I would’ve been attracted to in the past. But so far, he treats me very well and I just…like him a lot. It’s surprising to me.
I’m not alone in feeling surprised and intrigued by the attraction. He asked me out for the following Saturday. Saturday couldn’t come soon enough though, so I asked him to go see the new Joker movie with me on Friday night too. It was an awesome date-filled weekend.
On Friday, I brought a blanket and we cuddled as well as we could considering the barrier between our seats. We began to make out after the Joker finally snapped and as bombs exploded on screen. The people next to us probably thought we were sadistic.
On Saturday, we grabbed food and went to a few bars. Then we made out like teenagers in my car for over an hour, almost killing my car battery.
I’ve been having so much fun with him and I feel like we connect really well, so he may stick around for a bit. We shall see…
My life has been flowing pretty well.
Seven months in, and I still enjoy my full-time job. I am continuing to learn so much there and I feel like I’ve made some valuable contributions. Additionally, I have a thriving part-time yoga-teaching job. I’m currently teaching two classes a week, but in 2020, I will be teaching three! Career stuff aside- I’ve accomplished a few of the goals I made for myself for 2019 and I’ve been upgraded from my dad’s old car from 2011 to my mom’s car, circa 2016.
Essentially, I am living the life that I couldn’t even fathom as a possibility last year, however, I have been a bit depressed. I’ve been excessively critical of myself for being stuck in a routine, for not socializing enough, for not traveling, for not being adventurous, for not learning from my past mistakes, and for being unhappy when I have so much to be grateful for.
Can anyone relate to this??
I did an oracle reading the other day to help me refocus, and the card I pulled for my “obstacle to overcome” was “Harmony.” This caused me to wonder what exactly do I believe I need to be in harmony?
A year ago, I believed I needed a full-time job to feel at peace. I wanted to have somewhere to go every day, a place where I could make an impact. I wanted purpose and I wanted to begin my professional career. I also wanted to teach yoga so I could my passion for it.
I have acquired both of those things, so now what?
Interestingly, one of the things I wanted last year but I feel at peace with now is graduate school. I am not anxious about going to graduate school. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to pursue higher education at some point, but I know that that “point” is not now. Based on my experience with flowing, I am confident that I will know when I am supposed to go back and I will also know what I want to study. So the lack of graduate school plans isn’t causing my current dissatisfaction.
I suspect that my unhappiness and mild depression are primarily due to my feelings of nostalgia. It seems that when the temperature cools down in autumn, I begin to reminisce and romanticize the past. A year ago I was romanticizing my childhood, which was pretty wonderful, but at the end of the day, I was focusing on the past because I was lonely in the present. My childhood friends had all moved away and thus, I reminisced about them.
Currently, I’ve been reminiscing about the hellish campaign job I had last year as well as my last relationship. I think the reason I’ve been nostalgic about my campaign job is that I miss some aspects of that job that I don’t have in my current position. For example, I miss the social nature of that job, although, at the time, I hated that the socializing was often late at night. In regards to my last relationship, I miss having someone to talk to daily. This is largely why I’ve been keeping myself busy with online dating.
How can I find harmony with where I’m at right now?
The cards suggested I use guidance from higher powers, whether that be figures of authority and/or spiritual figures, to support me. I think I need to practice what I teach in my yoga classes: being present.
Aside from practicing presence to achieve harmony, I have been writing quite a bit, I just haven’t been sharing my work. It’s been frustrating to spend hours or days on something and then have the work not feel…true to myself anymore. Maybe those feelings will change but if not, I’ll be working on new content. 🙂
Have a great week, everyone!
I will admit that I have developed an online dating addiction. I’ve been spending most of my free time “swiping” on my dating apps of choice, OkCupid and Bumble, and striking up conversations with various strangers in the hopes that one of them will have the potential to become a romantic partner.
While I spend way too much time on dating apps, I’m not ready to stop using them just yet. There’s something enthralling about the mystery and ease of chatting with new people online. Of course, it’s not always a glamorous experience: last week I was feeling pretty desperate and depressed about dating, considering what happened with the Marine.
Long story short: I got totally swept up in superficial chemistry with the Marine and I was treated like a piece of meat. I behaved the way twenty-year-old Victoria did (chasing faux-passionate, horny guys with reckless abandon) and unsurprisingly, I got the same disappointing, hurtful, and depressing results.
Thankfully, I’ve since been feeling more optimistic about dating after a week of introspection and self-care. So on this episode of the Bachelorette, I want to share with you the latest update on the contestants for my heart!
Here is a recap from last week’s episode:
- The dark, sexual/pervy, introvert without a social life and little family has been eliminated. He resumed school a few weeks ago and neither of us has reached out to each other.
- The insecure, angsty/poser guy who is also an aspiring chef continues to slide into my inbox in an attempt to make plans with me. He moved to Brooklyn recently though so I’m not particularly keen on making plans to meet with him, considering there are other people in close proximity to me that I actually have chemistry with.
- The very thoughtful and positive 31-year-old with a BA in psychology who works at Whole Foods and lives nearby: We went on a casual lunch date on Labor Day and I had a ton of fun with him, however, I am not attracted to him in any capacity. He continues to reach out to me and he has asked me out for a drink, but it’s hard to make plans with him because we have completely opposite work schedules. If possible, I’d like to hang out with him again but I doubt any romance will be blooming between us.
- The casual, friendly, local-to-my-area mechanic that actually lives in my town and goes to the gym I work at: I tried to make plans with him last Saturday but he ghosted me and has since been MIA.
- The random older guy that works in supply chain and wants to smoke and hang out at his place AKA fuck: Why did I even list him in the first place? Eliminated.
There are more, newer contestants now, but none of them are particularly noteworthy at the moment. Well, except for one person.
I am currently pretty interested in a mechanic from Iran. We’ve been corresponding for about two weeks, and he’s the only person I’ve connected with through Bumble so far. (All of the other candidates have been through the courtesy of OkCupid).
The mechanic has completely different vibes than the Marine did, largely because, unlike my experience with the Marine, I’ve had control over the relationship. Plus, he’s considerate and sweet. Here are some examples:
- The mechanic never asked for my number; I voluntarily gave it to him after some pleasant conversation.
- I initiated Facetiming with him
- He consistently texts me “good morning” and “goodnight” daily, without prompting
- He doesn’t try to talk to me 24/7 and he’s not particularly flirty. Once in a blue moon, he’ll call me “cutie” or something subtly flirty, but that’s it.
- The first time I called him, I wanted to speak to him only so he could listen to a story I wanted to share with my yoga class the following morning. When I woke up at 5am to teach that class, I noticed that he had sent me a thoughtful text about how my story-telling was great and how I was going to do a great job sharing the story with my class.
- He has one of the deepest, smoothest voices I’ve ever heard. It’s a radio-quality voice. Considering how incredible his voice is, I thought it was ridiculous that the first thing he said to me was that my voice would be great for NPR. From listening to cringe-y recordings of my own voice, I objectively know that that’s untrue. Yet he is very adamant about how nice my voice is.
While there could be potential with this guy, it’s too soon to tell because we haven’t even met in person yet. I’m hoping to meet up with him this weekend or sometime the following week to see if the slow-burning chemistry and attraction exists face-to-face.
In the meantime, however, I am working on prioritizing myself. As much as I want to connect with someone, the experience I had with the Marine made it evident that I need to connect with myself first. The fact that even after everything transpired with him, I still wanted to reach out to him, is severely concerning. I kept wondering what he wanted, what he needed…and at some point, my subconscious snapped at myself and loudly said, “Victoria, what do I want?”
I had completely stumped myself.
Yeah, I had some ideas of what I wanted, but I was having such a hard time specifying and vocalizing them. I’ve since been able to accomplish this after writing, meditating, taking meditative asana classes, reading, spending quality time with my family and friends, and listening to uplifting podcasts.
This is where I’m at now with “what I want,” which I’m no longer afraid to demand:
I want to find someone that I have a deep connection with intellectually, emotionally, and physically. I want to feel excited about that person and I want the chemistry to be really strong…kind of addictive. I want to be magnetically attracted to one another. I want to go on dates and spend quality time with someone. I want someone with emotional intelligence and I want someone who completely respects me. I want to feel safe with this person before I choose to be physically intimate with them. But physical intimacy is not important to me right now…I can find that with anyone. I can’t find a deeper connection as easily, but that’s what I want. I want more.
In one podcast I listened to last week about the Law of Attraction, I was reminded that once I stop wanting something, then I will get what I want. I will get what I want when I stop wanting it because when I stop wanting it, my vibrational frequency will match the frequency of already having what I want. Which means that what I want will no longer matter.
A simple example of my confusing explanation is how I flowed effortlessly into my current full-time job. I asked the Universe for a job, and then I knew I was going to get it. This “knowing” caused me to stop focusing my energy on wanting a job, thus, my frequency matched the frequency of already having the job. It was then that the job seemingly fell into my lap not through my parents’ connections, not through other professional connections, but through my part-time yoga job.
I’m not quite at the phase of “knowing” that I will find a compatible partner yet. Since my breakup in February, I continue to doubt the Universe’s plans for me, although the doubt certainly has lessened.
I will leave you all with one more quote from the podcast:
The Universe is not withholding from you and giving to another. – Jess Lively, The Lively Show
We will all get what we need in due time. In the meantime, I am going to do my best to enjoy the journey.
In the midst of uncertainty, I will make it through. I embrace uncertainty and I enjoy every moment of the journey. I trust my intuition’s guidance and I release fear.
Six months from now, I will have attracted more abundance in my career. I will have been at my current job for a year and I will get a raise. My role will change as well because I’ll be given more responsibilities. I will be recognized for all of my hard work and I will reap the benefits of my work.
Six months from now, I will have learned more as a yoga student and I will have brought those lessons into my classes, as a yoga teacher. I will have continued to grow and challenge myself to become a better teacher for my students. I will have evolved spiritually, and I will have become more connected with my intuition.
Six months from now, all of my relationships will be positive. I will be demanding from others the respect I deserve, even if it’s uncomfortable to do so. The people that enter and stay in my life will be people that add value and love to my life. I am deserving of relationships that support me, are peaceful, and mutual.
Six months from now, I will remember how I found the love I was initially seeking from others, within myself. I will reminisce about all of the love I’ve shown myself. I will delightfully recall the dates I’ve taken myself on, the gifts I’ve purchased just because they bring me joy, and most importantly, the kindness and compassion that I’ve overwhelmed my being with.
Six months from now, I will recall all the ways in which I’ve nurtured self-love. That self-love will become part of who I am.
Trigger warning: aggressive sexual behavior
It’s supposedly good fortune to have a bird shit on you, but I don’t think anyone feels lucky when they get smattered with poop while everyone else around them is unsoiled.
Last weekend, however, this notion I had was challenged when a bird pooped on me while I was enjoying the chilly, albeit sunny, day at the beach. It was unfortunate that the bird shat while flying right over me, but fortunately, the poop had landed entirely on the beach towel I had wrapped around my shoulders in an attempt to stay warm.
Is that a sign of good fortune?
I kinda thought it was, especially considering that the following day, I began chatting with someone I quickly grew to become infatuated with.
I met this person through my new online dating hobby. I chat with people during my lunch break, before I go to the gym, while I eat dinner, before I go to bed…it’s gotten pretty ridiculous.
Although I’m judgmental of my own dating habits, I’m honestly having fun. I like chatting with new people, flirting, and the thrill of an adventure that is inherent to online dating.
Most of the people I have been messaging with have been older guys, not for any particular reason other than that they were the first few people I talked to. The guys are as follows:
- The dark, sexual/pervy, introvert without a social life and little family. Talk about some red flags, huh? He’s 29 and he is finishing his BA this academic year. He’s also a cancer, which is super compatiable with my scoprio.
- The insecure, angsty/poser guy who is also an aspiring chef. He’s 21 and is moving to Brooklyn for a new job. We have absolutely zero chemistry of any kind, but he continues to reach out to me for some reason.
- The very thoughtful and positive 31-year-old with a BA in psychology who works at Whole Foods. He is looking to switch careers and is pursuing higher education.
- The casual, friendly, local-to-my-area mechanic that actually lives in my town and goes to the gym I work at. He’s in his early late twenties, has an associates, and wants to be a mechanic engineer.
- The intense and persistent 28-year-old guy that served in the marines for five years, owns a house, and has a cat. He is a cancer too.
- The random older guy that works in supply chain and wants to smoke and hang out at his place AKA fuck.
The guy that I had been particularly attracted to was guy number 5. We had been video-chatting every night since we had started talking on Monday and we seemed to have an immediate, strong connection. A connection so strong, that he invited me to spend the long weekend with him in his home, and I actually went.
Despite my friends’ insistence that I meet him in public before I go to his house, I ignored their well-meaning advice and drove an hour and forty minutes straight to his house after working two jobs that day and on dangerously little sleep.
I don’t think I ever thought this was a good idea, but I was bored and curious. For some reason, I trusted him way more than I should’ve, considering I hadn’t known him for even a week. Perhaps my trust stemmed from how understanding he seemed to be about my disinterest in having sex that weekend. Perhaps the fact that he was a marine was enough reason for me to trust him…the only male that I had been with that had treated me decently was a marine too.
Well, twelve hours was enough time to break the unproven trust I had for guy number 5.
The night started off innocently with cuddling and kissing while watching Black Mirror, but it got rocky when we went to bed.
In his bed, I moved my arm across his waist and I accidentally touched his exposed dick. I asked him where his clothes went because he had been wearing them before, and I was wearing clothes myself. He blamed “comfort” for his decision to be naked, which is fine except if you are sharing a bed with someone you don’t know very well but are attracted to, shouldn’t you be more concerned with their comfort?
I was uncomfortable, but I ignored it because I was prioritizing someone else over myself. Despite all of the hard lessons I’ve endured that have informed me of my need to prioritize myself, I continue to put myself second, third, or even last. This is absolutely why I continue to undergo the same shit. Honestly, this experience I had can be comparable to the one I had when I was twenty with the douchiest guy I had ever known.
What I should’ve done was either sleep in one of the other rooms in the house, sleep on the couch, or leave. Better yet, I shouldn’t have gone to his house in the middle of the night in the first place. I should’ve followed the initial plan of meeting up Saturday afternoon and then deciding what to do after hanging out.
I didn’t do any of this though. I stayed and I dealt with the discomfort, which heightened when he wanted to masturbate while I lied beside him. Before I knew it, I was the one performing the hand-job because he, and I quote, “forced me to,” yet it was apparently, and I quote, “an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING” hand-job.
The other marine I had been with had ironically described my hand-jobs similarly, except he had never forced me to do them.
I wish the story ended here, but it doesn’t.
The next morning, I was feeling pretty good. Regardless of everything, I had slept better than I had the two nights preceding the forced hand-job night, so I was rather well-rested. The former marine was well-rested too, and aroused.
He got out of bed and stood stark naked, waiting for me to look at him. Embarrassed, I avoided looking in his direction as I gingerly made my way to the bathroom to get ready. Before I could escape, he shut the bedroom door and cornered me against the wall to make out, his erection poking into my belly. I stood stock-still as his arms wrapped around me. Then he lifted me up and threw me back onto the bed, crawling on top of me and wrapping my legs around his neck.
I then said, “It seems we have different ideas of what ‘not having sex’ means.”
He gave me a displeased look and then pulled away to sit on the edge of the bed. I sat beside him, and then we talked. I watched his erection deflate as he expressed illogical insecurities. Essentially, he was convinced that I didn’t find him attractive since I wasn’t trying to jerk him off in the morning.
The morning from hell concluded with him kicking me out of his house three days early, and I haven’t heard from him since, despite the fact that I reached out to him to apologize for hurting his feelings (I did not owe an apology at all. I’m disappointed that I even did that).
Although my morning was fucked up, I’ve been feeling positive. I had relearned the lesson about the importance of respecting myself and my boundaries, a lesson I seemingly, continuously forget. This time, however, I’m learning it for the last time.
I also learned more about what I want romantically. Initially, when I got back into dating, I thought I wanted something casual…but I don’t want that. I want romance. I want to learn the ins and outs of someone. I want to go on dates and I want the person I date to have earned my trust. I want love.
So now my approach toward online dating is a little more selective. It’s better for my well-being that way.
What’s even better for my well-being though is consistently choosing myself over someone else. I need to improve the relationship I have with myself first and foremost. The relationship I want and deserve with someone else will follow.
That evening, after a Nigerian BBQ birthday party, I went to my car to head home. As I approached, I noticed that a bird shat only on the drivers-side door of my car, and the poop was everywhere, except for the door handle.
Is that a sign of good fortune?
I am done suffering. I have sufficiently grieved my last relationship, suffered through a premature attempt at being friends, and I am now done with that chapter of my romantic life. I want to mingle with people…perhaps go on a casual date or two.
I’m still not ready- or at least I think I’m not ready- to be in a serious relationship, but that’s irrelevant now anyway. I’m not in a position where getting serious with someone is even an option.
So…dating. I haven’t dated in over two years, and I forgot how terrible it is. I’ve only just grazed my toes over the dating pool and I’m already not enjoying it. I haven’t even waded in to my ankles yet!
The toe-grazing began a few weeks ago.
I was feeling quite depressed one day and thinking about how hopeless my romantic life was, when a guy from my previous campaign job randomly reached out to me. Initially I thought he was trying to network because he was asking me what I was up to professionally…but then he invited me to visit him in the city, and that’s when the alarms started going off.
Why does he want to hang out with me? Did he ask me out on a date? Is he dangerous?
While I had worked with him before, we had a strictly email relationship, thus, I had never met him in person. This made it even more unusual and a little scary that he wanted to meet up.
I called a different coworker, one who I actually knew in person and who was also friends with this guy, to get the inside scoop on this potentially creepy guy. My coworker affirmed that this guy is simply very friendly and no, he’s not dangerous or creepy, but yes, it could be a date. He said there was only one way to find out.
Well, I went to find out! My sister, her friend, and I all drove into the city and we met up with this guy and his friend. It ended up being a super fun, casual night of chatting and getting to know each other. We did a little bit of bar hopping and then called it a night around midnight.
I surprised myself because after that night, I began to really like this guy. During the months following the infamous breakup, I thought I was closed-off to being attracted to someone, but my sudden attraction to this guy proved me otherwise. My hardened, bitter heart was not that bitter or hard after all.
Then I did what most people with crushes do: text their crush and obsess over their text messages. We didn’t text much, and I did most of the reaching out, but he had sent me a selfie and told me that he “enjoyed me.” I was super excited about this crush.
The excitement spanned about two weeks before my crush was crushed by reality.
We met up a second-time, but this time we met halfway. The whole thing was set for disaster: we met up on a Wednesday after work, aka the most exhausting day and time for working professionals with 9-5, M-F jobs. Plus we had both driven through tons of traffic.
Overall, we had a nice time, but it wasn’t quite as glamorous or as enthralling as the night out in the city. I also later realized that we weren’t on the same page. It wasn’t a casual date. It wasn’t a date at all. He wasn’t attracted to me, or maybe he wasn’t attracted to how far away I lived from the city.
Nevertheless, this rejection was a disappointing discovery. Rejection, however, is unfortunately integral to the dating process. If I want to start wading back into the dating pool, all the rejections need to drip away rather than drown me.
A podcast I was listening to today explored rejection’s role in growth.
“Rejection is redirection to your soul’s highest evolvement.” – Sahara Rose, Highest Self Podcast ep. 212: Even Stuff That Sucks is Redirection
While rejection isn’t necessarily a negative thing, it doesn’t immediately resolve the issue of loneliness or wanting to meet new people or wanting to go out on dates.
So what is a twenty-something suburban girl to do?
The answer, my dear readers, is return to the dreaded world of online dating. I’m a little embarrassed, but I have four dating apps downloaded on my phone now. I’ve only been using one lately, and it’s been causing me to cross my fingers in the hopes that the non-creepy-email-city guy will suddenly be a teeny bit interested in me. Long story short- online dating is a nightmare.
Dating apps aside, I’ve also been hanging out with my friends and reaching out to people I haven’t seen or talked to in months or even years. These people I’ve lost touch with are solely friends, but it’s interesting to reconnect. Not quite as thrilling as a crush, but it’s thrilling enough.
Do you have any tips for mingling/dating? Let me know in the comments!
Hello, blog friends! I know it’s been too long since I’ve last written.
I didn’t intend to take so much time off from writing. I’ve had the time to write, but I kept postponing sitting down and working on a piece. Before I knew it, weeks had slipped by and I had barely written a single word.
The reason I continued to postpone this valuable “me time” activity is primarily because I’ve been avoiding introspection. I haven’t been ready to make changes in my life, thus, I’ve avoided reflecting on my life altogether.
Over the last week, however, I’ve been suffering through the negative impact an absence of writing has on me. This manifests as excessively distracting myself with TV and irrational thinking. An example of that thinking is entertaining thoughts of getting back together with my ex.
While I love my ex, I know we can’t get back together. My poem, Flowers, helps remind me why I ended things and why I want things to remain “over.” Although I don’t want to be with her, I haven’t been ready to let her go. Thus, we’ve been maintaining a strained friendship, which until recently, has been overall pleasant and has benefited both of us. Now, it’s not serving either of us well.
It’s unsurprising that we can’t be friends because we haven’t taken sufficient time apart to be friends and we are still in love with each other. While I know this information, I find it to be incredibly difficult to do what is beneficial for the both of us, which is taking a lot of time away from each other.
I talked to my cousin about my predicament, and she responded with an insightful metaphor.
“It’s like you’re hanging onto the back of a car’s bumper, and your ex is driving. You can either let go now, which will hurt, but then it’ll be over. Or you can hold on for awhile and be dragged along, and let go later. Both options hurt, but one hurts less.” -my cousin, a writer
Ugh writers. They understand life.
I’ve definitely been holding on for a long time because I fear losing her. But creating space doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re never going to be able to be friends again. It also doesn’t guarantee that we will reconnect in the future.
There is a lot of uncertainty that comes with space that frightens me. Uncertainty in general frightens me, especially since my cousin passed away. Accepting uncertainty is something I’m just always going to have to work on. Writing and meditation helps tremendously, I simply need to practice them.
Other than this challenge, I’ve been enjoying my summer. Since the last time I’ve written, I partook in a wonderful yoga workshop, I’ve gone to the beach, attended an all-day concert, watched fireworks with my friends, and spent quality time with my sister. I’ve been enjoying the summer’s nice weather as much as I can before autumn’s briskness takes over.
How was your July? What are you looking forward to in August?
Yesterday was World Pride Day–the conclusion to Pride Month–and thus it is apt to reflect on my experience with Pride over the last five years.
I have only been to a Pride event once, and that was during the summer of 2015, which was also the year I had come out to my family. The months preceding June 2015 were extremely difficult in my house…I had lied to my parents to even go to Pride. I had told them I was going to the city with friends, which was partially true. I was actually going to experience the parade in the city with my secret girlfriend.
I had packed a bag with the clothes I was going to change into on the train: rainbow pride earrings, a rainbow pride industrial bar, and a t-shirt I had customized with glitter glue and scissors. That plain t-shirt had transformed into a frilly crop-top with sparkly letters that read “I love [insert my ex-girlfriend’s name].” My ex had made a similar shirt, minus the glitter glue and fondness for scissors. We were very festive.
On the train, I rode a few stops alone before my ex and her friends boarded. When we got to the city, everyone and everything was rainbow. I had never experienced anything like it before. It was amazing to be around so many queer people, to feel validated, and to be supported.
My ex, her friends, and I watched the parade and I took lots of pictures, which I no longer have. I did, however, purchase a pride flag that I have to this day.
After the parade, I met up with a friend I had met at a summer pre-college camp. I remember that she had just gotten her nose ring. Anyway, we all went to multiple sex stores, and that is when I bought my first vibrator, which I also no longer have. (I have gone back to that specific sex store though and purchased a new one. In my opinion, that store has the best variety of non-penis-shaped goods in the entire city.)
Before boarding the train back home alone, I had removed my pride gear and tucked it back into my bag. My dad had picked me up at the train station and didn’t ask any questions, and so I had thought I was safe from interrogation. That was only true for a few hours.
The next morning, my mom had suddenly become skeptical of my whereabouts. She questioned what I had done in the city, who I had been with, and why I had been alone on the train. She blatantly asked me if I went to Pride, and I had responded with a resounding “no.”
And that was the end of that.
Fast forward to 2019… many of my friends went to Pride and invited me along, but I refrained. Part of my reluctance to attend any Pride event was a fear of large crowds, not wanting to cancel my Sunday Yin Yoga class (which I brought to my local community center and I’m super proud of it), and a fear of telling my parents that I was going.
Is that weird? I’m twenty-three and I’m afraid to tell my parents what I want to do, particularly if it involves my queerness. This is despite the fact that I had come out to them twice and integrated my recent ex into my familial life as much as possible.
I am unsure why I continue to have this fear that drives my preference to avoid queer topics. For years after I came out the first time, I blamed this tendency on them.
I had felt like they rejected me when I came out, which is why I had continuously lied to them. It had seemed like we were at war with each other for months, and I never forgave them. I didn’t feel like I could trust them.
It’s why even after my ex and I broke up, after years had passed, I still lied to them about where I was going and who I was hanging out with. I would answer questions they had about my personal life as vaguely as possible so they wouldn’t know that much about me. I would answer their questions snippily as well, which would cause conflicts about my bad attitude.
So much has changed between us though. Thus, my fear of talking about Pride and sexuality with them seems to stem primarily from residual pain. I have to constantly remind myself that they’re not going to yell at me or interrogate me about this stuff anymore. I’m no longer an eighteen-year-old in high school. I graduated from college, I work a full-time job and teach yoga on the side, and I’ve been a fucking adult for a few years now. I make my own choices. I don’t know why I don’t always find this rationale convincing.
Yesterday, however, my mom shared a sweet moment with me that reminded me of how things have improved between us.
I was sitting on my bed, wearing the Pride shirt my ex had gotten me, and planning my Yin Yoga class with the Pride Parade on in the background. My mom knocked on my door and asked to come in. Once inside my room, she asked me if I was watching the parade and I affirmed that I was. She asked if my friends were there and I replied, “Yes, they invited me and I wanted to go, but I love this yoga class I teach, so I decided to stay home.”
She nodded, understanding since she takes all my yoga classes and since she knows how important this class is to me. Then she invited me to watch the parade in her room. I declined the offer, and then she went back upstairs. A few minutes later, she returned to give me a hug and she told me that she loves me no matter what.
Twenty minutes later, before I ran out the door to take care of some errands, I went to her room and saw her watching the parade in the rocking chair she used to cradle my sister and I in when we were infants.
It was the sweetest and simplest moment, but it provided me with the validation and support that I had gotten from my experience at Pride five years ago. This time, however, it was from the person I needed the validation and support from the most.
I’ve begun watching Sex and the City, and it is an addictive show. First of all, I love 90s/early 2000s shows, and I also love shows that center around a group of friends that I can connect with. Lately, I’ve been connecting with Miranda in Season 2, who so far is bitter in regards to dating. She is closed off to getting serious with someone because every person she dates proves to be scum.
While I am not dating casually and thus I am not meeting scumbags, I think I’ve become bitter and closed off to dating. One of my hometown friends pointed it out to me on the phone recently. She affirmed my suspicion that I need more time alone to heal, but she also warned not to be closed off to dating in the future. Unfortunately, I currently don’t envision myself being open-hearted anytime soon, especially considering how I’ve sabotaged my breakup healing process time and time again. It’s as if I keep picking at the scab, which causes it to hurt and bleed, yet I wonder why the scab is taking so long to heal…
Let me provide an example.
A few days before my sister graduated from college, I found out my ex was in a new relationship. While it has been about four months since our breakup, up until the week prior to her committing to someone new, we had been talking nearly daily.
Yes, I know that this was not the best way to handle a non-mutual breakup.
Unsurprisingly, we weren’t talking amicably as friends. She would confess that she missed me, that she still wanted to be with me, etc. I would reciprocate the feelings of missing her and still loving her, but I repeated that I stood by my decision to end things.
Anyway, finding out that she was with someone new caused me to completely lose all control over my emotions. Hysteria transformed to despair, and then to possessive jealousy that inspired me to hook up with my ex in her car after a night of bar-hopping together.
No, I don’t know what I was thinking because I wasn’t thinking.
I gradually came to accept the situation, albeit with some bumps that still need to be smoothed out. Those bumps are called nostalgia with a few dashes of illusion: I miss who I was when we were together, I miss how we were together, and most confusing of all, I miss who I thought she was and/or who I wanted her to be.
Clearly, I am not emotionally capable to casually date, let alone get seriously involved with someone. Instead, I want to spend time with my friends and family and mingle with new people. I want to focus on my full-time job, on teaching and studying yoga, on reading, and on creating. I think I’ve been pretty successful in doing these things, although it takes a lot more energy to do them rather than mindlessly watching TV, which was what I was doing previously.
When my energy feels low or when I get trapped in the nostalgia/illusion bumps, it’s helpful to reflect on why I ended things with her. There are a few reasons: I didn’t feel like I was being treated the way I deserved, no matter how many times we talked about our issues, and I didn’t want to be held back anymore. I didn’t want to spend so much time and energy on our relationship, partially attributed to the fact that it had become taxing and toxic. Most importantly though, I broke things off because I wanted to focus completely on myself. I wanted to be selfish and I didn’t want to feel bad about it.
I do believe that I’ve attracted more positivity into my life since releasing the heavy, negative energy of my last relationship. However, waves of loneliness crash on me sometimes, especially when my friends share stories about or pictures of their serious relationships. It causes me to crave the rush of falling in love, of being in love, and feeling at home with someone. It simultaneously causes me to desire more single friends I can commiserate with about dating, like in Sex and the City.
Anyway, I will have to manage with the occasional loneliness because I don’t want to put myself out there yet. I wouldn’t be offering my best self because I don’t feel like my best self even to myself. I want to finally allow the scab to heal and I want to smooth out all the bumps around it. Hopefully, it won’t take as long as it did when my first ex and I split, but even if it does, I want to have my own fun in the meantime.
It’s been one year since I graduated from college, and what a ride this last year has been. At this point in my journey, I feel at ease and I’m enjoying the flow, but that wasn’t the case previously. A few months ago, I wasn’t feeling like myself at all. I was isolating myself, doubting myself, suffering from anxiety attacks, and dealing with other symptoms of depression.
If you don’t want to read those posts, or if you have already, I thought I’d share the highlights of what I’ve learned since graduating from college. These lessons are not a guide to land a job; they’re applicable to multiple chapters of life. If you are graduating from high school, college, or if you’re just moving on, I hope what I have learned will remind you to flow and to enjoy your own journey.
Five Lessons I’ve Learned Since Graduating from College
1. Honor where you are at.
I spent many hours scrolling through Instagram first thing when I awoke and then again before I went to bed. While social media is a great way to stay connected to people, which may be particularly desirable when you graduate from college and move away from your friends, I found myself stuck in the “comparison trap” based on other people’s photos. One person would post about getting a great job, another person would share that they are beginning graduate school, and someone else would divulge the glamorous details of their gorgeous vacation.
Although these were accomplishments to be celebrated, I often found myself feeling bad for not accomplishing or doing any of those things. Fortunately, I eventually realized how negative Instagram was for me at this transitionary point in my life, so I deactivated my account. It helped me to become present and thus, I focused on myself rather than what everyone else was doing. It was then that I paid attention to the things to be grateful for, which improved my perspective and my attitude.
Social media may not be a problem for you, but I encourage you to notice if you are honoring where you are at now and finding gratitude, or if you are more focused on everyone else and/or what you lack.
2. Be positive
One of my favorite quotes is “Your perspective is your reality,” and it is incredibly accurate. If your perspective is that your life isn’t going the way you want it to, you never get what you want while everyone else seems to, and that you are a loser, then yeah, that is your reality.
On the other hand, you can perceive your life as being full of obstacles that you are capable of overcoming because everything you’ve experienced in the past has prepared you for what is ahead. You can argue that you do get what you want because you work hard for your goals. Maybe you’re not getting what you want when you want it, but you will get what you need when you are ready for it. Lastly, you can practice compassion toward yourself.
The practice of positivity was very difficult for me initially, but over time it got easier as I began to feel lighter and happier.
Another favorite quote of mine is “Nevertheless, she persisted.” Your efforts are seen and they are not futile.
4. Be patient
I never had my post-grad life planned out, but I did expect to obtain a full-time job within a few months after college. Many people graduated with full-time offers, so this didn’t seem like an unreasonable goal to me.
As months passed without receiving a single offer, I felt like a failure and a loser. It seemed like everyone around me was moving forward while I was left behind, living with my parents and without a full-time job.
In retrospect, I am grateful that everything panned out the way that it did.
If I had gotten a full-time offer that began when I graduated, I wouldn’t have been able to do yoga teacher training. If I had gotten an offer right after YTT, I may not have gotten my yoga teaching job at the community center and I may not have been able to get as involved in the center because I wouldn’t have been able to sub as many classes. I also wouldn’t have built up as strong of a reputation at the community center.
If I had gotten a job right after YTT, I wouldn’t have accepted the campaign job, which introduced me to an unsuitable leadership style for my personality. If the promised job after the campaign had come to fruition, I wouldn’t have used a staffing agency. I also wouldn’t have had as much time to study and take the GRE. If I hadn’t had the campaign experience, I wouldn’t have had as much to talk about during interviews I got through the staffing agency. If I had gotten a full-time offer during this time, I wouldn’t have been able to accept a temporary position where I learned a lot about office culture and professionalism.
If I hadn’t attended my community center’s happy hour after work on a Friday, I wouldn’t have talked about my temporary job and what I was looking for next. If I hadn’t attended that happy hour and if I hadn’t been able to talk about my work experience, I wouldn’t have been noticed by a fellow staff member whose husband was looking for employees. If I hadn’t had a major shift in my perspective and if I hadn’t continued to persist, I wouldn’t have gotten an interview through the staff member or on my own job-search. If I hadn’t adopted a positive perspective and if I hadn’t found gratitude for my current situation, I wouldn’t have been an impressive candidate. My boss at the community center wouldn’t have vouched for me as being a valuable employee. Then I wouldn’t have had two job offers in the same weekend. Thus, I wouldn’t have accepted my current position, which I love.
This “logic” can go in so many more directions, but the point is that everything happened how it needed to.
“You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should.” -Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life”
Just because it didn’t happen when I wanted it to, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t going to happen at all.
5. Experience joy.
Transitions are uncomfortable, scary, and stressful, but that doesn’t entail you should feel that way all of the time, or at all. When times are difficult, it’s all the more reason to experience joy. This can be as simple as reading a book, having coffee with a friend, or volunteering for a cause that is important to you. You deserve to experience joy daily.
Let me know your thoughts on these lessons, and please share anything you’ve learned along the way!