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It's a strange world but there must be a way


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Hi IAG and thank you for your cyber love vibes.

 

I am ok...quite up and down. I have some meaningful moments of talking to a homeless guy the other day, I had a spare muffin and asked if he wanted it and had a chat with him, Ricardo was his name. And reaching out to a group of strangers and arranging for 7 of us to meet today for a cultural celebration.

 

Things with R have becme increasingly difficult and it looks like we will be taking a break. Feeling pretty awfull about that. Familiar feelings of breakup and loss that I never wanted to experience again.

 

My therapy sessions have continued being challenging. But this time I am sticking it out. Because my need to transcend is bigger than my fear.

 

I didn't thank you for your post before because I didn't fully register or believe it then, I was in a bad place. But thank you, it means a lot to me.

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Good to hear from you. Sorry to hear about things with R. I am glad you are hanging in there though, even with things being up and down, and are basically ok.

 

I hope you have fun today at the cultural celebration.

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I realise that nothing is more important to me at this point than my course. Everything I do is geared around becomig more and more equipped to practice. I am looking at all my limiting beliefs, maladaptive patterns of thinking and acting, my perception of the world and others, my disposition to life and life's challenges and above all my fear of romantic relationships. I realise that I both fear and need men. I fluctuate between fearing them and disrespecting them, when they are powerful I associate that with abuse, either of a person, the planet, less priviledged individuals. When they are too gentle I fear I will not be protected. So..I am looking into that and finding the middle ground.

 

I haven't seen R in 15 days. I am very conflicted about that. On one hand I have been on top of my life, sorting out my room, booking sessios with a Life Coach to help me start an online business/service, I have been eating better and overall not been as stressed. It's fantastic having time to do everything. On another note I have felt somewhat lost. I don't want to lose him, he is a wonderful person. He is very unique and he gets me..he gets the contradictions. Not many do. Or maybe they will with time..maybe it's about my own patience.

 

The sun has been shining and how beautiful that is. We wrote poems about spring at work and I put up my colleague's poem on the wall because it was so beautiful and fresh, like spring itself! I forget sometimes just how many disabilities he has, he is so quirky. He can't do a lot of things and that is frustrating sometimes but he is genuinely quirky and accepts the weirdness, it's cool.

 

There IS a fighter in me. Once something comes into my awareness I want to tackle it. Losing weight is a big challenge for me. It's very difficult. I bought some scales. I am eating better. Not diet food, just better. Alcohol is an issue. Especially now the days are longer and sunnier. I exercised 2-3 times one week and then back to nothing. Ugh. So difficult. How can I keep that motivation going? This is the biggest I have been in the last 15 years. So depressing to write. I need to lose 25lbs. F F S !

 

So what lies ahead..? I feel that I am taking my life in my own hands. When I spoke to the life coach I told her I have blocks around words like success, ambition, dynamism. And how I want to challenge that because I would be so friggin proud of myself to be having a business or to be making some better money. I am too used to low income. At this moment I am studying so I can't have lots of cash anyway but ya now..maybe something better, maybe a little extra. But the aim is to think bigger. Bigger and wider than where I am accustomed to think in terms of career. I told her..when I am a 10, I am walking down the street wearing a pencil skirt, holding a nice bag, flicking my hair and exuding an aura of confidence. She asked me to put all negative thoughts aside and tell her what do I wanna do? And I said 'I wanna go out there and smash it!'

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She asked me to put all negative thoughts aside and tell her what do I wanna do? And I said 'I wanna go out there and smash it!'

 

And you are going to...you are already are starting it now. I'm so glad to see that fighting spirit flickering bright again.

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Thank you guys.

 

My course felt strange today..after a session with a classmate I felt raw and exposed. He said how he admired my honesty and how he is both envious and resentful of my caring and warm disposition. He said he wished he cared that much about things. I reassured him there's plenty of times where I don't give a sh*t and that I am not only this altruistic lovely woman. It's extraordinary how someone perceives us. My caring nature will actually be a problem in helping work because it will propel me to rescue people which is a no-go. I on the other hand felt envious of his skills and reflections and questioned my competency in relation to his.

 

After college the sun was shining and I waited around for a friend/classmate for almost 1 hr, didn't know it was gonna be that long and thought it's ok to be in the sun..time went by and then it was 1 hr. She had been upset and missed class but came in to hand in an essay, I thought it'd be good to wait for her. But she came out, we exchanged 2-3 cuddles and she left. I felt like I shouldn't have waited, I should have let her be. I hadn't realised that a friend had driven her there, I thought she was alone.

 

Yet one of the reasons I waited was that I was myself lost and somewhat lonely..I finished class at 5 and the sun was beaming. Normally I would either go for a drink with them or meet R. So I waited..because I didn't know what to do with myself, I was confused..and time went by. I meandered through the city aimlessly for 20 min..I went to get some cosmetics and went home. I felt lonely on the bus too.

 

30 min ago I hung up the phone with R and we decided to meet next Tuesday to exchange each other's clothes. It was a sad phonecall full of tears. We are both confused at the present situation. No hatred. But I think our individual needs...have become a burden on the other person.

 

I plan to wash my face and have a shower and head to bed.

 

On the plus side I wore my Batman T shirt.

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Aww sweetie, hugs to you. Break ups suck. There's no getting around that. Who can blame you for feeling raw and sad for a while?- no one. You're human and it's really obvious you care for R a lot. But you will get through this.

 

That's adorable about the Batman T shirt. lol. I have one with Mr. Roger's on it that says "there is only one you" that I wear when I feel some days when I feel not my greatest. I don't know, it makes me smile. Pretty sure it was meant to be ironic-hipster, but I prefer to take it in the genuine sense. And when people read it they go "oh my god, Mr. Rogers!! I loved him when I was kid!".

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I googled Mr Rogers and he sounds like a great figure, promoting people's compassion and kindness I can imagine the T-shirt looking pretty cool and sweet. I love my Batman top and superhero tops in general, I have a spiderman and superman one too.

 

I have been doing well with eating better and less. It hasn't been a massive drag for 2 reasons. Losing weight is urgent so I feel I have no other choice and b) I am not meeting up with R for dinner or cooking for us and that helps me stick to my plan. Alcohol is an issue though, once a week I will have 4 drinks. And it's not wine or a white spirit which would be better, it's guiness or ale. The other downside is that I have been smoking a bit. Ugh. I replace one thing with another, how annoying.

 

Last wknd when I was doing my assignment I was thinking, 'don't buy biscuits, don't buy tobacco' but I ended up buying tobacco. And had about 3 a day this week and about 8 when I am doing assignmnets or been out. I looked up a local service to help me stop. I don't actually feel addicted, it's an emotional thing for me and associations in my mind of smoking when writing assignments for example. I have gone and can go without for ages. If I was to get help I doubt I need patches but perhaps a tool to manage the associations.

 

I am definitely a bit anxious about meeting R next Tuesday . Everything feels so strange around it. He is such a great guy..I feel like I love him, so why can't I make it work? I have wondered if I am demanding and how much and I just don't know..some of the issues are pretty basic and I understand many people would struggle with them. But if I love him and the good things are great, why can't I overcome them? And the whole issue about children..it's hard to accept the big possibility it won't happen. It's hard. Even though I am not even sure I want any.

 

Speaking to the young entrepreneur yesterday made me think of creativity. I haven't done any music in ages. It's mainly college work that consumes me. Music is definitely just a hobby now and it somewhat confuses me that this thing I wanted to do full time and wholeheartedly in my life is now a hobby. I am happy with my current path. But it still makes me reflect how things change. I'd love to get back to the group music class on Mondays but I just have to be realistic. I can do it if I am single.

 

So..another weekend, another assignment. The hardest and longest and most self involved. Really want to do a good job of it.

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I saw R yesterday and we swapped clothes. It was such a sad evening. I cried a lot, pretty much for 4 hours. Today I wondered how I'd make it to work but I did. I only cried a couple of times for 5 min max. Sighing all day. An underlined sadness. I cried when I saw the black customer and remembered being at his family wedding party and listening to the african music and how his family liked me. I really wanted them to. I loved his cultural heritage, I wish I could have visited his dad's country one day with him.

 

Obviously I don't feel single. I just feel loss and sadness for now. Truth is though..my relationships keep getting better and better, more transparent and more loving. That is one positive I can see. I allow someone to see me for all I am. And that builds honest communication. I hope I get over things easier this time.

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Thanks for popping in Ms Darcy. I am actually ok overall. It has been hard in the last 2 mornings, sad yes but nothing unbearable. I think the fact it is an amicable breakup plays a part in how it's dealt with. I also seem to have reached some deeper self acceptance and the sheer knowledge that I tried and so did he. So I am not left with resentment or anger or unresolved stuff. Obviously life is fluid and things might change in time or on certain days. But so far..I'm managing ok.

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Yesterday I met up with my friend and 2 of her friends. It was nice enough. I felt a distance though. Like I am losing perception of reality. People say things that I have moved so far away from like, general flippant statements such as 'people are horrible' 'I just fall into jobs'..statements that don't show much personal awareness or responsibility. And all those sentences hat start with 'I am not a racist but..'.

 

They were saying how uncomfortable they'd be if they had to wait at the pub alone..I was so surprised. I go into the pub and order a drink and wait and maybe chat to people too. What makes people so apprehensive of others? I don't get it. We are all human sharing the same difficulties and themes in growth.

 

My training is good on one hand but on another I feel out of touch with reality. Is this what people really think of themselves and others? It's like living in a lie. I try to remember the time I was like this too so I can connect to it and empathise more. But I am so heavily into my course that I have forgotten. So much that lies at the edge of our awareness, if that. So much that is not aknowledged due to own defence mechanisms.

 

I am definitely bored of my assignmnets because I can't be at B much and I really like it there. Every weekend we are writing assignments, I am feeling a bit resentful about it.

 

It was quite illuminating having a coffee with those 2 girls yesterday. I forget not everyone is on some liberating personal development path. I really wouldn't want to be in their place.

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I would say remember these are two individuals and you are an individual. Consider that their views and how they express them might be even more liberating and personally developing than what you are attempting, it's just that it is not consistent with your view of "liberating" or "personal development" or -consider that they were just having an off night as I am sure you do where you might not come accross as being open minded or intellectually curious, etc.

 

It's also wonderful for personal development to be humble, not to let yourself go there with "oh I am so beyond living a lie" (not saying you are -just sounds like you're tempted to make those assumptions) - and if you continue to be openminded about how others choose to express themselves in different contexts you might also benefit by learning something -always good to improve on being a good listener without the tape going on in your head "yeah right, everyone who says "I am not a racist but..... is a racist"".

 

I have to practice this every single day with my 6 year old -and sure you might say that it's easier with a child -you forgive so much because they're so new at practicing compassion, open-mindedness, empathy - but the telling yourself to be humble as you listen, to give space to the other person to express themselves and learn for themselves, to remind yourself that you don't have all the answers despite all the learning you've done or are doing, etc. is the same.

You can create distance with your friends by too much focus on your learning and personal development (or the generalizations about how most people must think these days, as compared to you) or you can choose to be connected by accepting them and through humility. Obviously you also have the choice not to hang out with them anymore if you feel you don't have a lot in common!

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I see your point. The thing is..those girls are depressed. And down about themselves and life. They are not happy in their views. The trouble with written word is that I cannot convey to you or any reader my interaction and the comments throughout the 2 hours. That is why this is a journal, so I can recall those moments that stood out to me.

 

I actively practice empathy and some years ago I would have been much more judgmental. Some years back for example I would never liaise with people that did any sort of drugs, even marijouana. Now I can accept it a bit more and accept that some people use it and still have normal lives. I still don't want them as friends but at least I can be more understanding. Some years back I would also cast a blanket of generalisation towards people that didn't seem to be unique. Now I know that people are unique in their own way and sometimes that takes time to express.

 

Genuine empathy is very difficult but it's my goal. So it hurts you preaching me that I should be more understanding..because I already try so hard. One of those girls btw also has a problem with foreigners..and I am a foreigner here in the Uk, that is pretty hard to digest. Just like on the bus the other day, this skinhead with tatoos and piercings and very aggressive attitude started swearing about the traffic and about too many foreigners moving here. I was so scared, the guy looked like a criminal, I was afraid to talk or make a call because he'd then hear my accent. During the whole incident and fear I am experiencing I am trying to find the empathy in me and see what might be going on for him, how his fear of 'other' manifests in this aggression, how is best to handle it if he did speak to me. (I thought I'd pretend I am deaf)

 

I know for a fact that my empathy and acceptance towards others is increasing in relation to my own levels of self love. Nevertheless there are people I do not want to be close to because we have a different concept of life and people and to me that wouldn't be a good foundation for a connection. When someone is suspicious and not self aware then I don't really want to hang out with them because we are coming from different angles regarding life.

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Oh I didn't mean to be preachy (it's interesting because I read some of your statements to come accross that way). I must have read what you wrote all wrong! You seemed to be writing generalizations such as "Is this what people really think of themselves and others? It's like living in a lie." but you were just referring to these individuals. I agree with you that people suffering from depression might not be able to be self-aware in the way you're talking about and might come accross as negative, self-absorbed, of course!!

 

You misunderstand what I wrote. I don't think you need empathy just maybe a dose of humility that what you think of as liberating and personal development might not be that at all to others and that what you see as a lack of personal development based on certain statements or attitudes might actually be just as openminded as you are or even more - it's a matter of perspective, opinion, context, timing.

 

Without veering into politics I think about the current debate as to whether the people in Baltimore who chose to destroy and loot were justified in doing so or otherwise. Of course those who think they were might think that someone who didn't think so was not "self-aware" about expressions of anger and on the other side that someone who thought it was justified was not "self aware" about how to express anger in non-violent ways. For example.

 

People have off days and of course you do not need to hang out with people who you believe are not as self-aware as you, who bore you or who are no fun or whatever reason! I just think part of personal development is reminding yourself that achieving self-awareness doesn't have to result in feeling distance from others if you're willing to resist generalizations or assume that your path to self-awareness is the only way. Now I see you were just referring to these individuals so my comments do not apply. Sorry.

 

Certainly if someone is threatening you physically there is no need to focus on empathy -focus on self-defense and self-preservation and if you want to indulge in empathy once you are ok and safe by all means if it helps you in some way. Or maybe you decide you'll volunteer to help prevent that kind of hate/aggression from happening -whatever gets you feeling ok and grounded again -and if that means empathy or making a contribution of your time, whatever works. For all you know this guy was on drugs and that was all that was going on with him.

 

I think it's common sense not wanting to be around people who don't see life as you do.

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Thanks for popping in Ms Darcy. I am actually ok overall. It has been hard in the last 2 mornings, sad yes but nothing unbearable. I think the fact it is an amicable breakup plays a part in how it's dealt with. I also seem to have reached some deeper self acceptance and the sheer knowledge that I tried and so did he. So I am not left with resentment or anger or unresolved stuff. Obviously life is fluid and things might change in time or on certain days. But so far..I'm managing ok.

 

I am sorry for what you are going through right now. Ugh.

 

That bolder part is a beautiful thought and experience. Bravo.

 

Pain/pleasure are a part of life, acceptance allows us to find a sort of beauty in both.

 

Congratulations to you in your commitment to yourself and your journey. Hoping your friends still find commonality with you in other ways, and you with them.

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Oh I didn't mean to be preachy (it's interesting because I read some of your statements to come accross that way). I must have read what you wrote all wrong!

 

You didn't read it all wrong and I am preachy sometimes. I am a lot of other things too that cannot be translated through an online interaction. You don't need to apologise, you can't know everything about me, you're just commenting on what I wrote..

 

Becoming more self aware and accepting has mostly improved all my relationships and opened me up to more diversity in opinions, feelings and points of view. But yesterday I felt that it distanced me from others..I don't often feel that. I can't pinpoint what it was. But I felt stressed throughout the interaction. Perhaps it was a reminder that R understood me whereas they didn't ..? I felt a vast gap with those girls. Not being with R now also has exacerbated my body image issues. Anyway..it's difficult today.

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I am so sorry you're feeling this way. Sometimes I take for granted that I am close with someone or comfortable and then if I am not on a specific day or when we see each other again it comes as a shock and not a pleasant one!

 

It is good that you can identify the stress -some people feel they "should" like being social, etc and it's cool if you don't with certain people!

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  • 1 month later...

Single

It's been about 6 weeks now since I am officially single. It feels longer in some ways. I have felt more lonely, in that I don't share my mind, body and soul with someone and I miss the cuddles, massages and holding hands. I try not to think about kisses and sex because I don't want to lose focus and make weak decisions. I miss R but not unbearably so. Maybe it's still early days. I know for a fact I don't want to date AT ALL. Despite missing some companionship I find that I am much more focused and relaxed when I am single. It saddens me that it's like this because I worry about my ability to have a relationship, can I, will I..?

 

I am on top of my life more. I am more focused on my goals, I have more time to pursue them, I see my friends more, I can work at last minute notice, I can be more spontaneous and go out with people, I am more open to social invitations and I sleep better on my own. On top of that I choose what I want to watch, when and how loud, I don't need to worry about shaving my legs and waxing my bikini or looking nice in bed or farting or eating the same food every day.

 

It is so much more relaxing being single. In some ways I feel like I savour life more. The compromise that comes with relationships often withers my free spirit.

 

I could casually go on OKC and just go on the odd date here and there and just have a drink and a chat but I DREAD the thought of actually meeting someone I like enough to want to see again. Because that would mean losing this stability I experience when I am single.

 

I dread those nights I haven't slept because someone else is in bed snoring and moving, the events I miss out on because I allocate time for the relationship, the new ventures that I don't pursue as intensely because I know I can meet the bf and have some fun with him, the career risks I procrastinate with because I don't have the same amount of time to center myself and decide my next steps. When I am in a relationships I feel an intense lack of time. It could be because of my jobs and studies and my desire to try new things and go to events and also to pubs. I want to do it all I guess..and considering I don't have a 9-5 and also need the weekends often to write essays, I suppose I struggle to add a relationship to the mix. Relationships take a lot of effort.

 

I feel less restrained when I am single. And I don't just mean that the other person restrains me. Sometimes I get down because I want to spend more time with the beloved but I can't because of life tasks. And that is a stressor for me, trying to fit everything in.

 

The only downside to being single is not having someone to go on holidays with. I look at all these deals to go to European city breaks but they are based on 2 people sharing. At some point I will save some money if possible to go to a city I have always wanted to go. Maybe I can ask people to put money towards it as my next xmas gift !

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  • 2 weeks later...

That performance last night. So amazing, so glad I went. It was visually stunning, it made me feel alive. This is what I am here for.

 

It is so easy to finish work and just go home. I genuinely don't understand people that mostly do that. I find I don't admire them as much. Yes, yes..I'm working on that..on acceptance. But it is often the same people that feel bored or don't find life exciting, or don't know how their relationship has lost all its magic.

 

A sense of wonder. I believe the secret of happiness lies there, in preserving a sense of wonder about life. And in gratitude, acceptance and curiocity. I am still working on the acceptance of others.

 

It would be so easy to go home. Get into bed and watch tv. Which I enjoy too. But then before I know it.. my mind will not have enough new information, not the kind that will keep me alert and inquisitive.

 

I wanted to attend events since I was a teenager and didn't have much company from back then. I decided then that if I waited from others to give me what I wanted I could be waiting a long time. So, I go to things on my own as much as I can.

 

It takes motivation to do it at 19:15 right after a 9hr shift at work. But when I am asked 'what did you do last night, what did you do on the weekend?' I feel happy to recall I did something stimulating

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I went to many cultural events when I worked outside the home and often worked far more than 9 hours and had to work more when I got home (and definitely check in - I rarely could ever leave work at work). I do know a number of people whose outside interests are far more interesting to them than their day jobs - whether they are artists, writers, do volunteer work, have intense hobbies -and sometimes their day job gives them the opportunity, financially, to explore these outside interests.

 

I also think for many people it depends on the day -some days our jobs are stimulating, others not , some days not so much.

 

I am with you with the sense of wonder. I spend many hours at a time with my 6-year old. Nothing equals, IMO, the sense of wonder of a young child and how, if you actively listen to a child's observations rather than filter it as "oh how cute" you get that same feeling of "being alive" as you did at that performance.

 

I attended a performance that had that effect on me last fall -performance art having to do with water conservation and I found, again, it's not only what's going on on stage but also observing the audience's varied reactions which is much easier to do when you attend alone, as I did. I sat next to people from the industry side and then near others who were not and those mixed perspectives really added something.

 

I agree with acceptance and agree with broadening perspectives. Also trying to focus on who you do admire and are inspired by rather than the opposite - much more invigorating that way IMHO.

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I do know a number of people whose outside interests are far more interesting to them than their day jobs

 

Isn't that difficult to sustain? Most people will be spending 8 hours a day at least in work and less time on their interest

 

Nothing equals, IMO, the sense of wonder of a young child and how, if you actively listen to a child's observations rather than filter it as "oh how cute" you get that same feeling of "being alive" as you did at that performance.

 

I agree with that. Obviously I don't have any children but I have nephews. I also find that being in touch with the child within (whether you have any or not) allows you to be open to life.

 

I attended a performance that had that effect on me last fall -performance art having to do with water conservation and I found, again, it's not only what's going on on stage but also observing the audience's varied reactions which is much easier to do when you attend alone, as I did. I sat next to people from the industry side and then near others who were not and those mixed perspectives really added something.

 

I see what you mean. And yes, the whole environment adds to the experience, people, lights, the space.

 

I went to another performance last night which was rather strange.

 

It looked like a student dance/theatre/music gig. On one hand I was turned off by the use of nudity as a shocking factor (please, something less obvious?) on another hand I felt that perhaps I had forgotten what it's like to be a student and put on these avant garde, clumsy gigs that you think are breaking boundaries. That make you feel so good about who you are. And I don't want to be the jaded, older person that has seen it all. It was probably a good thing I couldn't make sense of it. Maybe it was silly. Maybe it was liberating and I was holding back. Maybe they are some young people exploring their creativity. Which is beautiful.

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Most people I know who have very active outside interests work far longer than 8 hours a day - they just make it work. My ex boyfriend worked in an intense career -often late nights and weekends and he also did very substantive work for two theater companies (not front stage though), and was on the board of one of them, etc. I have another friend-similar career- who was also very active in an organization related to architecture in our city and a number of friends who pursue the arts in an intense way outside of their regular careers. I find that ambitious/passionate people don't let time restrictions get in the way. And some of them can live on less sleep!! Sure sometimes the interest takes a back seat or there of course are less hours devoted to the interest but the passion and involvement is there and obvious in how the person talks about it.

 

I agree about "the child within you" but I think that nothing equals spending long periods of time with a young child in order to get the perspective I was referring to. Obviously it's a huge positive to recognize that child like sense of wonder but I don't think it can be implemented in the way I am thinking about it.

 

I love your description of the show and I get what you're saying about the nudity! I don't think it makes you jaded or has anything to do with age - I know young people who are jaded (dated many men like that in my 20s and early 30s!) and older people who are filled with sense of wonder and the avant garde (seeing one of them in a few weeks -she is in her late 60s, getting married for the second time soon and is a writer and vicariously involved in theater and so alive. Having an opinion that something is over the top or gratuitous simply means you have certain tastes and it comes from a place of wisdom and insight about theater and performances, right?

 

If your nephews are not yet teenagers and you want to experience creativity I suggest if it's feasible take one of them out for the day on "adventures" (how I refer to it) - make sure they are almost totally free of charge, involve being outside and exploring (whether nature or city streets) and do as much listening as possible and let the child lead even if it means veering off the path literally or otherwise (i.e. not part of what your plan was). Museums work fine too in bad weather but I prefer outside to experience the most. Also fun if you can take him on a train, a ferry or walk accross a bridge.

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I wish I could do that with my nephews but I live abroad I get to see them 3 times a year and the sad part is they hardly know me and don't feel familiar to stay with me and play. If my mum or sister are there they want to go with them. If I am there they ask for them after 15 min. Everytime I go back I find it exhausting the amount of energy I need to put in to re- create the relationship, one is almost 6 and the other is 2.

 

To be honest I love children but I don't seem to get it right with my nephews, I don't know their lives, I live in a very different country culturally to them, I am afraid to touch them (I remember adults always kissing me, pulling my cheeks, even adults that I didn't want them to touch me and I don't wanna do that to them) I don't have that funny way with words (whereas adults find me very funny)..I dunno, I just don't know how to behave. And they pick up on it. It saddens me.

 

Everytime I go back I say I will do it better this time and it hurts me they always prefer someone else, and it's shocking to me because I am quite a free spirited person, I don't know what I do wrong. They tend to get more familiar with me the longer I stay. Then it's good. But when I come back 4 months later it's the same thing all over again.

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