I recently met up with a friend of mine who is pretty much my blonde, slightly taller, better adjusted twin. We share very similar views and attitudes about things, are happy with the success of our careers, are in a good financial place -could be better if we didn’t enjoy shopping so much (like soooooooooo much☺) and are both single and ready to not be anymore (but really…). We live in different cities, and it’s always refreshing when we get together because we can relate to each other so easily. As wonderful and supportive as all my friends are, it’s really comforting to have people that are in similar life stages and can empathize with your struggles. So, as per usual, we were talking nonstop and something she said really struck a chord with me. I think we were talking about wanting to lose weight, because we pretty much always talk about the smoking hot bods we want (coming at you summer 2015 baby) and she mentioned that she always operates in extremes.
Before I expand more on this idea of ‘living in extremes,’ I want to comment about the love/hate relationship I have with moments of self-realization. You know, those moments when someone says something or you read an article or just find yourself in a situation that suddenly sends an incredibly clear message to your brain about why you do certain things or think a certain way? In my opinion, self-awareness is an incredibly important component to creating your best life and the best version of yourself, since obviously if you aren’t aware of your behaviors or why you’re exhibiting them, you’ll never be able to make positive changes. On the flip side though, ignorance is one blissful beast! Once I have these moments of self-actualization, I become acutely aware of all the times I’m behaving or thinking thoughts that perpetuate whatever it is I’m trying to improve. As my own worst critic, I get so frustrated with myself for continuing to do the same…because after all, I KNOW better. Like once we know better, all of a sudden all our bad habits magically go away and we’re surrounded by rainbows and butterflies! So instead of beating myself up, I am going to work on being patient with myself – much like I would with a friend! Hopefully, this will change my feelings of self-actualization to 98% lovey dovey ones and 2% hate.
Back to the point – My friend helped me recognize that I tend to only operate in extremes. I am either on diet or binge eating, I am committed to an intense workout program or doing nothing at all, I refrain from shopping completely or I am treating myself to gifts on reg (because I work hard, I deserve it….right?!) There is no grey for me, no in-between, and no middle ground. The more I thought about this, the more I realized I have been like this my whole life. I only played sports that I excelled at and quit playing on teams when I was average. I have vivid memories of staying up until 3am in middle school because I couldn’t figure out how to solve a math problem and I refused to go to bed until all my homework was done. I ended up becoming a CPA, a career where solutions are black and white, there is a right and wrong way to do things, and the numbers always have to balance. Although this all or nothing concept makes for a great heart-wrenching love song (I will always be grateful to O-town for that lyrical gift), it translates to a lot of really unhealthy behaviors in the real world.
I have dated a decent amount of closeted douche canoes, and I have no desire to defend them or their actions, but realizing my inability to ‘live in the in-between’ helps me to see my part in why things didn’t work out with them. I’ve always said that I’m a great girlfriend, but I’m not good at the in-between. (You would think that consistently expressing this notion would have been my first indication that I need to cool it with the extremes…but like I said, ignorance is just so pretty!) The reason I don’t do so hot in the initial stages of dating (and maybe helped push those punks out of the closet so they could reveal their true douche canoe colors) is because of my discomfort with the grey. When I know where I stand with people, what they want, what they are looking for, how they feel – I know my role, I can take comfort in that and calm the eff down! (I’m sure my friends reading this part are laughing to themselves thinking of the countless conversations they have had with me when I freak out to them because I like someone and don’t know what the crap he is thinking). I take pride in the fact that my particular brand of crazy only comes out during this initial dating phase and I’m only ‘psycho’ to my friends, and not to the guy I’m interested in. I will vent to my friends, mayyyyybe even stalk them on the good book…maybe (as if a FaceBook post is a direct link to their soul and all my answers will be found), but I try hard not express these insecurities or the genuine discomfort I have with the dating game, to them. That being said, I’m sure I inadvertently do, or more likely say (I have a tendency to be a little too blunt at times – all part of my charm really☺) that pushes guys away. There is for sure no excuse for the Houdini maneuver that seems to be the ‘breakup’ method of choice by the fellahs these days, but I will take full responsibility for being too quick to want to know what I mean to them or what they are looking for, instead of enjoying the process of casually dating and getting to know them.
I have not been interested in anyone new since making this realization, but you better believe that when the next guy comes along, I will work hard on being present and enjoying the date (or multiple dates) for what they are. I will make a conscious effort not to prematurely push to be in a place of titles – where my neurotic brain is oh so comfortable. I will worry less about the future, stop obsessing over the past and work to ‘honor the space between no longer and not yet.’ After all, it’s the not knowing that creates the excitement of a new beginning. Being in a place of uncertainty just means that anything is possible – and really that’s kind of amazing. It will be challenging and I will for sure blunder, but I will do my best to embrace and maybe even enjoy, the in-between. Hopefully my friends will see less and less of my crazy and more of my bliss!
This post is a bit all over the place, (I’m still new to this whole blogging business, so kindly bear with me por favor) but as I work to maintain balance in my life and focus on leaving the land of extremes into the territory of in-between I would appreciate any and all suggestions from you lovely people!