I haven’t been writing a lot lately. I have been keeping notes of things that I want to write about when I think of them, but I really haven’t had the chance – or the energy – to write.
I thought I had been busy living my life, I guess that was part of it. Really, I think I was just “busy” scraping by, trying to keep my head above water at work, trying not to let G’s cooking and love of fine wine destroy my ability to enjoy the contents of my closet, trying to meet expectations (both my own and others).
It’s been 5 months since G and I got back together- 5 months tomorrow I think. And whilst my work life has been hell, my love life has been nothing short of blissful. We only dated briefly last year (have I even covered this at all yet? I don’t remember….) but we broke up after a few weeks. Correction: I broke it off after a few weeks, because I thought we were on different pages, I thought he was rushing me.
We stayed friends and would have dinner once in a while, and I found myself enjoying his company immensely. Then in January we had a talk and he suggested we try again. He said “We can be whatever we want to be”, and so we did. I opened up a bit, let myself enjoy having a smart, caring guy to spend my time with. But this weekend past we hit a snag. He was no longer feeling “it”. So while I am interstate this week, we are taking a “break”, no contact. I have no idea what conversation awaits me when I get off the plane on Friday, but I have not had even so much as a “dog update” (he’s dog-sitting for me), nothing. Just silence.
I’m not sure where I went wrong, a couple of months ago he convinced me to let him book a holiday for us to New York in January, we’ve booked sporting events on the other side of the country in a couple of months time, making plans….
In any case, I figured it must be me. Men seem to be so “gung-ho” at the start, when I am more cautious. And just like the last guy (aka “the New Guy“) -who I admit, I have barely mentioned here…partly because he broke my heart and I didn’t want to be whining about yet another failed relationship, and partly because I wanted to try and take my blog in a different direction (who was I kidding?)- when I finally allow myself to believe that they really like me enough to make these long[er] term plans, I suddenly find them turning on their heels and running for the hills as fast as their legs can carry them.
So, again, I figure, it must be me. There must be something about me that irritates people, or something about my character that once known, renders me unlovable.
Sure, I know I’m not perfect, I can get snippy sometimes, I can be quite emotional on occasion. It’s been a tough few months for me career-wise, I have generally been feeling like a bit of a failure, and I confess I have been bringing it home after hours. So yes, I have been a bit sad, and insecure at times – but when I’m not talking about work I believe, I’ve just been my usual self. I can’t point at any one thing that I’ve done, or said that could cause such a sudden, drastic turnaround.
Now, I know there are no guarantees in life or love. No one has a crystal ball, but surely, when someone is making plans with you for next January, you can expect that if something about your behaviour was bothering them, they would be willing to talk about it and work it through- not just immediately opt for the “break” (which is inevitably followed by a “break UP”), without warning. I didn’t even know there was an issue until Saturday, and quite frankly, I STILL don’t know what the issue is because all I got was “I’m not sure why [I’ve suddenly gone off you]…”
So naturally, it must be a character flaw that I just haven’t cottoned onto yet.
And so it was, in my misery, after one very fitful flight, and two sleepless nights, in a city that is not my own, without even a dog to cuddle for consolation, I started…. Googling.
*mental head slap*
I know, I know….terrible idea, the WORST but I did it anyway- I figured it was better than giving in and calling him, or txting him or even worse: emailing him (my emails are much like my blog posts, long winded, excessively wordy and meandering – only, with less editing).
He asked for no contact, for once in my life, I’m going to respect that and stick to it.
Lying there on the hotel bed in my work clothes that I did not have the energy to get out of, I scrolled through websites on my phone. Through tear-blurred vision, I stumbled across a little website known as “Marc and Angel Hack Life“, and more specifically, onto a post entitled “10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon“.
It was a good reminder of….well…10 painfully obvious truths everyone forgets too soon!
But -the bit that caught my attention was #8 – “It’s not other people’s job to love you; it’s yours.”
[Cue: ugly crying]
“Yep, heard that before” I thought to myself with a liberal dose of dejection “I guess I truly am unlovable then!”
Oh! the self pity - I was all but drowning in it!
And then I saw it.
The link to the self-help book.
I closed my eyes, and cringed (not that one would have been able to distinguish this from the abovementioned crying) as I clicked on the link, which took me to an Amazon.com page, which ended with me accepting the very reasonable Kindle price of $3.99 to purchase this by Kamal Ravikant (disturbingly, the picture on the cover involved a silhouette of a man holding a gun to his head…but at that point in time it seemed appropriate…..come to think of it, I guess that’s the whole idea).
Once I started reading I knew instantly that I was going to like this book.
First of all, it’s only 68 pages. Concise. So, I was going to get my answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, quickly. (Yes, I live in a society of immediate gratification, and I embrace it. Don’t judge)
Secondly, on the first page of the Foreward he references TED. (I love TED)
What followed was mind-blowingly simple, yet seemingly, simply impossible. A real, useable guide to learning to love oneself.
Not pages and pages and hundreds of pages of airy, fairy, touchy, feely gibberish and complicated exercises, that in themselves are so impossible to master that most people give up before they even really attempt them with any dedication. Example: I have never been good at “converting” or “rewording” negative thoughts into positive ones. I cant even think of a simple example of that right now, that’s how bad I am at it. And if I cant do the conversion that quickly before my mind moves onto the next
negative thought thing, then its useless. Even after practicing for a few weeks one time, it just didn’t come naturally to me. Maybe it will become easier if I can manage to master being be a little kinder to myself.
Likewise: meditation. I cant tell you how many people have tried to explain to me how to meditate, and I just couldn’t.
But the practice that Kamal explained, was so simple and so obvious, that I couldn’t help but try it.
It’s only been 2 days since I downloaded the book, and work has been insane – but its been so easy to do, and at times just focussing on that one thought, repeating the same notion to myself over and over again whenever I feel my thoughts drifting to something that generates fear and sadness, has helped to keep my emotions in check.
AND I’ve actually been more productive at work than I have in weeks.
This is not a book review, and I’m not miraculousy “cured”. I am still very upset and frustrated about G and the situation we find ourselves in, but I also feel accomplished because I have been able to really focus on doing what needed doing, and I haven’t been obsessing over him, or “the talk” that awaits me when I get home (well, not as much as I would normally).
It appears, that Kamal’s 3 point method, is a winner.
The key to the method is the Mind Loop, creating a positive “groove” with a positive thought. Its easy but at the same time, difficult. Difficult because it feels so natural to slip into negative thought patterns.
Why is that? Why did I become that way in the first place? Why is it so much easier to grab and hold onto the criticisms, rather than embrace the compliments?
So, my Gratitude today goes to Kamal, and Marc and Angel for leading me to his book
….and maybe even G for getting me to the point that made me Google…oh…. that’s a rabbit hole I do not have time for this evening, who knows where that little path will end- my birth??!