Tag Archives: getting past it

Respect Yourself

I’m tired of women who get into a relationship, lose all of themselves in the man, the relationship ends in a matter of weeks, they come apart at the seams, and it’s “Oh, I’ll never love again.”

Please.

Get serious.

And to moan and piss and whine like this publicly, on social media sites?

Please.

Get serious.

I’m not lying and saying I’ve never done that.

I have, and I’m not proud of it, but it’s been a few years since. I don’t respect myself for having been that way, but at least I know it was because birth control fucked up my estrogen. Even then I knew it was shameful, the way I was coming apart over this guy I knew didn’t really deserve me or my heartache, not now, not after all I’d come to learn about him.

It’s a few years later and I know now that, this dude I came apart for, I wouldn’t even date today. I’d be friends. I probably wouldn’t get turned on by him, and I sure as hell wouldn’t be having the delusions of marriage I entertained then, but maybe it’s because I saw how he became in times that got bad.

All of us are pretty undesirable when our lives go off the deep end. We’re not ourselves. That makes sense, it should be apparent to others.

Times get bad. Hurts happen. Sadness is inevitable. Anger bubbles up.

These are human elements and we’re at home with each of them.

But I draw the line at tolerating victims. I draw the line at anyone who thinks shit keeps landing on them on purpose and that they have nothing they can do about it.

In the last decade, the amount of shit that’s come my way — man, if I thought someone had it in for me and it was happening to me intentionally, I’d just cry. And I’ve kept my head on reasonably straight about this throughout more than one depression.

Just an example: This back injury that debilitated me for a year? Rehabbing it repaired most of my other long-ailing injuries, and taught me that I finally understood how to eat properly to maintain my weight, and gave me insight into really seeing what living a long-term compromised life did to others, and I think the whole horrible year made me a FAR better person.

Almost every negative that has found me — including my mother’s death — has resulted in incredible personal growth and insight.

Am I tired of the endless struggle? Fucking right I am. But am I feeling like a victim? NO.

I’m feeling like someone who’s woken up and realized all the fighting I’ve been doing just to survive has been completely misplaced — those energies can be better spent, my attitudes & goals can be refocused.

If anyone can do it, I can, and don’t you even think I don’t know it.

I know I’ve overcome incredible odds, but the odds I’ve overcome are the kind that HURT the bank account and HURT the bottom line, not help them. To the outside, I’m some underachiever getting by in an expensive town with a job that doesn’t nearly compensate me for my skills and talents, working too little to really get anywhere, with a stubbornness about “selling out” to get by.

TO ME, though, I’m an incredibly resilient person who’s been kicked somewhere new by life almost every 6 months for 10 years, but I still keep improving, I still get better, I develop more empathy not apathy, and I grow from every single thing that hits me.

I don’t need to be a social butterfly or the talk of the town. I don’t need a fancy car or pretty things. Like Atwood says, as a woman, I need a man like a fish needs a bicycle.

What do I need?

I need to respect myself and know I’m doing what a girl’s gotta do. That’s it.

I got that. I’m down widdat. On it like Oprah on a ham, baby.

I still like the directions I’m going in. I wish I could have more — I wish I had a man on this beautifully full plate of mine, someone to sink my teeth into and a relationship to take shelter in on weekends, but space to enjoy during the week. I wish I had the energy and money for friends and good times.

But money and love, they’re out there, and I’m getting to them. They’re usually the icing on your life cake, and patience is needed.

I know, deep down inside, that I’m changing at a clip I can’t believe. The last thing I need is to get into a relationship with someone who’s where they want to be while I’m going a mile a minute. I need some stability and some comfort with where I am before I think I can choose rightly as far as man-things go. The more of this “self” I enjoy discovering, the more I’ll have to offer in a month or two or three, as my newly changing realities take firmer hold.

A month or two? Yeah, I’m not biting at hooks TODAY but I’m looking as of now. Why not? What’s the worse that can happen? I love a little, get left a little, hurt a little? Okay. So be it. I’ll try.

Because I know, who I am has nothing to do with a man. My attitude, my goals, my abilities, my dreams, they’re all me. Would I like to share them? Sure. But no one’s co-opting them or taking over the driver’s seat. Not now, and hopefully never again.

I think, biologically & anthropologically, something in women hardwires us to pairbond for security and protection.

But what happens in 2010 when a girl’s forced, through economic & social realities, to survive on her own? To get her own security taken care of? To protect her how interests?

Then what’s she looking for in a man? What’s she need now?

Does anthropological history and biological predisposition still kick in? Or does a different quality of pairbonding happen? “I’m the queen, I’ll let you rule in my kingdom alongside me. You, your chair is there. Don’t even think about sitting in mine.”

I don’t know.

But I know I look at men differently now than I did four to five years ago.

And I know I’ve proven I’m a survivor of the kinds of things that most people would rather not test themselves through.

So, a girl’s got to wonder.

What am I really looking for, and what’s it going to take to get it delivered? (Grin.) I really don’t know. I really don’t care. ‘Cos I know I’m gonna find out. Don’t know how, but I’m gonna. So are you.

And if, or when, it goes south, since there’s 95% chance of that when every relationship starts, well, I’ll try to hold myself with a little decorum, because I’ll be pretty confident in the knowledge I’ve overcome bigger things than a boy.

Embracing the Angst

I’m in a bitter mood. I’m sure people would do well to enact a 10-foot radius around me today. Stay back, or be armed. Those are kind of your options for dealing with The Steff today.

It’ll probably die down in a couple hours. But I don’t give a shit. I don’t get bitter very often, and I’m not about to run around panicking because it’s happpened now. We get bitter. Emotions are a wild ride. Fight it at your peril.

Or be like me, and take it lying down. Continue reading

A Fondness for Figments

I’m feeling a little blue. I’m getting a stiff back, so I know my mattress needs flipping. I’ve just done that, and have changed my sheets besides. If anything reminds you you’re single, it’s changing the sheets.

You’re changing them because it’s been long enough. It’s time. Not because you got hot’n’sweaty and did wrong-but-so-right things.

It’s sorta sad, but not because I can’t handle being single. Been here, done this.

What makes me sad is having to remind myself that I’ve made the right move. We both decided to end the relationship, for somewhat different reasons. My reasons are not really ones I wanted to express to him, but that I’m sure he’s aware of. It’s kind of hard for me to admit it, though. I’m getting a little chokey just thinking of putting it down, because it feels like casting judgment, but the judgment’s long been done, so I might as well.

See, the guy I’ve broken up with isn’t good for me. In fact, he’s somewhat bad for me. He’s depressed, he’s self-obsessed, constantly distracted, and inattentive. It’s not good. It’s also not who he really is. But it’s who he is today. And I can’t begrudge it as I know what’s preceded it.

The trouble is, I’m trying to keep alive a memory of who he was before all that shit. A guy who was an upbeat skeptic with weird quirks and a cute smile, who won my trust and a bit of my faith for a while there.

The latter guy’s still around in ever-so-brief flashes, but they’re not the present. They’re animated flashbacks, maybe (hopefully) flash-forwards.

Keeping that memory alive is fucking with my resolve that the right choice has been made. The guy I just broke up with, well, he’s not really good enough for me. I’m a caring, attentive, loving woman, and I need that back. For his own reasons, he couldn’t provide that. I may understand, but I can’t live with that. No one really ought to have to.

I really, really hate having to choose between who a person is versus who they once were, but we all have to make those choices. I don’t believe in staying in a relationship longer than I have to, because if I do, it eats away at me. I’me constantly reminded I’m less attractive to them, for one reason or another, than I used to be. I’m forever wishing we could talk like we did in the old days. A whole lot of thoughts run rampant, all the time. I find when I’m unhappy in a relationship, I don’t live in the present. I get analytical and think of anything but that moment.

At this moment, I hope that old guy makes a return and when we revisit things, it’s a hit. That’s what I hope today. Do I expect it? Um. Hope ain’t faith, ‘nuff said. Get it?

Six months from now, who knows where the fuck I am. Six months from now, what if I’ve landed the job of a lifetime after what is, inarguably, the most challenging time I’ve ever faced? Who is THAT woman, huh? Who’s she? How’d she get there from here? That’s what I wanna know. I ain’t got no answers, and they’re a damned long time in coming.

I just don’t think this shit’s going to keep me down. Nothing’s ever done so before, but I’ve never stood all the way up after a fall-down, you know? I’ve never WANTED it this bad before.

How do I go from who I am today to who I am then, to wanting someone I was with a year before? I don’t know. I don’t know the path to take for that journey, and I don’t know what my life holds.

I know that I feel sad. I mourn for what mighta been, and what now might never be. At the moment, I hope I feel like I can go there again. It was a comfortable relationship when it worked. It was funny, irreverent, open, playful, and good. Then it changed. Sigh. I digress.

Now I’ve gone way off point, so let’s just get out that big ol’ hammer and nail this one down.

If your relationship is shit, and you spend more time thinking about then than you do of tomorrow, then maybe it’s time to admit that the person you’re with isn’t the person you fell for. Put on them boots and walk the fuck on. Life’s too short to live in the past. Don’t be scared of your future. Respect it, cherish it, ‘cos soon it’s gonna be your past. Futures, you can change. Pasts, well, they become baggage or cocktail-party stories. If you’re in love with a memory, you’re making a mistake.

Simple.

I saw my mom die at 57, and the last thing I need to forget is just how short life is. Why spend it doing the wrong things, right? That’s my motto. (I’m also opposed to doing the right things wrong.)

So, this I need to remind myself every time I’m sad I’m alone again: Beats the shit out of hanging out with an almost-boyfriend who’s depressed and can’t let me in. As a friend, I’ll cherish him. As a boyfriend, I was sometimes wanting to smack him good. And the future, well, who knows. I think, either way, some good stuff’s on the road and is headed to me. I’m just gonna keep up the good fight and hang on to the faith. Cogito ergo sum.