My coworker (and friend) at work and I often have those Friday conversations I’m sure are typical at most workplaces. “Got any plans for the weekend?” And often I talk about dinner with friends, or catching up over coffee, a hike, some household tasks, studying, seeing my dad, etc. But as these conversations have grown and morphed over the last several months (whaaaaat? It’s been that long??) we’ve come to find that she has few friends, and she categorizes me into “having a bunch”. I’m not sure what constitutes “a bunch” but I digress.
I have always been a highly social person. Whether with family or friends (and to some extent strangers who have then become friends). It’s part of who I am. Though he’d deny it, much of that derives from my dad. I am a true extrovert. I thrive on interactions with others. Though I’m an HSP and empath so it is also very effing draining as well. A constant battle for sure. What wins out goes in waves. But I’ve learned over my 30+ years (and even more so during the pandemic) that I need to be intentional about the time I spend with others and who gets access to me. And even though I’ve learned, I don’t always make the best and healthiest decisions in this realm. But I try. As you may have read in previous posts, I’ve let romantic relationships (situationships?) take precedence and this has been detrimental and somewhat demeaning. But I know I need to create those communities that I need and crave. And so I put in the effort.
So what do adult friendships look like (for me)?
Weekly texts with my dear friend in Spain.
Haphazard texts and phone calls with my longest term friend—since 1st grade??? 🤯
Daily (or almost) texts with my best friend.
Monthly dinners with some special couples.
Bimonthly book club.
Intentional check-ins with three ladies who just “get” me. And organizing times to hang, hike, frolic, eat, bitch, etc.
Coffee dates and park dates with friends and their kids.
Dinner and drinks shenanigans with my free spirit animal. How’s that for a ‘before and after’ Pat Sajak?
FaceTimes with family.
Seeing family friends once in a while, or when they are in town, or I’m in their town.
Phone dates with my house mom.
Random drop ins on my secondary dad.
Notes and texts when something makes me think of someone.
Holiday get togethers.
I’m sure there are things I’m missing…but I guess the moral here is that people are important to me. And it is hard for me to let people go. Even the people I know I should. So I make it a point to keep connecting. Because it’s what I need, and I hope it’s what they need too.
If I’m completely honest, there have been many times in the last two years where I haven’t felt like enough. That’s super vulnerable to admit. But maybe it’s important for someone else to hear and realize. If you’vehad those feelings you are not alone! I’ve felt like I’m not enough in a job where I was taken advantage of repeatedly. Where expectations were high, bosses were unfair, and compensation was low. I’ve felt not enough in dating. The constant swipe, the empty words and broken promises, the repeated dead ends.
I have to remind myself that I’m human. So what I am feeling is normal to an extent. I’m human and there are trials and tribulations and lessons along the way. But they are human as well. They aren’t perfect, no one is. And because of our humanity, we don’t always show up in positive, full bodied ways. We do shitty things, or act rude. We don’t always have the capacity to show up for others. And for whatever reason I’ve run into that a lot this year. People without the capacity to understand or receive me. I told a friend recently that all of it made me wonder what the learning is in all of it; what is G-d trying to teach me?
Though I’ll never know for sure His intentions, I think I’m supposed to be finding pieces that will come together and be embodied by one person. “Oh you didn’t think this existed? Let me show you this trait in one person. But ‘no’, he isn’t the complete person for you…” Things don’t always work out how we want them to. There’s a reminder in there that not everything or everyone is meant for us. Not everything or everyone is meant to stick around. And sometimes it is hard to let go. Sometimes it is hard to want something so much, and yet to have things fall so short.
At the end of the day I know my worth. And I know I’m not willing to settle. I know what is important to me. And I know what I need/deserve. I’m pretty secure in my life course at this moment, which is a beautiful thing. I would like to find someone who walks alongside of me in the journey and amplifies what I already have. But the time is not now, and so somewhat unsuccessfully I try to be patient.
I still get into “what if” spirals sometimes. And I have days where I don’t feel anxious at all. It’s a big back and forth as I process through gobs of emotions and experiences from the the last year plus. But it’s exactly why a break is needed. Room and space to just be, to listen to what is meant for me, to reground myself and have a fresh (more directed) start. Time to just be without putting in effort to things that were draining me (more than I realized). It’s finding new rhythms, a new balance. It’s about going to my core and making sure that continually shines through, regardless of who it does or doesn’t draw near.
I’m overwhelmed. I feel it. In my bones, skin, blood. Yes, in my being. I put so much into dating. Into getting to know other people. Into being my truest self: vulnerable and honest and raw. And so often that has led to disappointment. Don’t get me wrong. I am not berating myself. I am full and complete. But I throw myself and so much energy into the process that it can be overwhelming. I let myself expect consistency from others. I expect it because I crave it. I look the other way when red flags pop up–give people the benefit of the doubt and don’t run. I allow myself to be hopeful. Hopeful because now more than ever I know what I want. Hopeful because I believe someone is out there for me. Hopeful.
I don’t understand folks who say one thing and then do another. Say they will text, or call you back and then don’t. Say they will tell you a story because they can’t in the moment and then never do. People who say they want long term. Say they are ready to do the work. Say they are tired of people giving up and not working through stuff. People who say all of this and then show absolutely no effort. I’m tired of people promising good communication and then sorely lacking. I don’t get it. How difficult is it to say “I’m busy but I’m still interested”. Or “I’m not into it”. Or “I wanna be friends”? How hard is honesty? Consistency? Vulnerability?
When I look back at the last year and a half I see how much I 1) put myself out there (go me) and 2) didn’t give myself space for me. I was consistently either dating, talking to, or swiping for 18 consecutive months. EIGHTEEN MONTHS?!?! Holy. effin’. Shit. That’s crazy. I’ve said it before that I needed a break. I was ready to put myself out there and I did. I proved to myself that I could do it. But, I need to recenter, come back to me, and remember I am complete without anyone else.
Life is pretty damn great right now. I have a wonderful family. I have supportive friends. I have a fulfilling job. I do things that I enjoy. It’s magical and I am happy. Even though a relationship feels good and like and end all be all, it isn’t. There is time. I have more growing and healing to do. I have more searching and questioning to do. I have more living to do. So here it is. No more dating in 2021. Time to refresh. And after that, absolutely no more chasing. If they want it, they will show it. If they don’t, well, then they won’t. And that is that.
Things I have Remembered
I’m flipping’ awesome.
If they think I am too much, then it isn’t a good fit.
It is okay to compromise, it is not okay to change who you are/your values.
It’s a two way street. I can’t do all of the work. Can’t and won’t.
I deserve someone who responds.
No one is perfect. No one.
People will show up. People will stay. People, your people, will be there when it matters.
What is meant to will come. What is meant to will go. Be kind and let both happen with grace.
These things often say more about others than they do about you.
You don’t need validation. You don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t need to hide or apologize or shrink.
“Decide what to be and go be it”. –The Avett Brothers.
If you know me well, you know my creative outlet comes in many forms. And the varied formats come in waves for me. Sometimes it’s words, sometimes music, sometimes yarn or fabric, sometimes hand lettering, and so on. Right now I’ve been especially drawn to collage journaling and the thought of a poetry book. Im not sure how those will take shape over the next several months. But Im just letting it flow. And to me, the first step always comes with putting the idea out there into the universe.