This time, it’s personal (#NameThatMovie)!
Today I realized that I still have some work to do, but I’m learning a lot about myself. And, as a result, this is THE LAST POST I will write on the Friend Boy saga because I’m going to take my own advice. One of my Twitter followers said that she read my blog because I wrote something that really resonated with her, and I write it a lot: I cannot change other people, or their behavior; I can only change my reactions to what they do. So today, dear friends, I’m listening to myself and I’m changing myself. On November 14, 2005, I had a relationship breakthrough; I know the date because I put it in a Word document that I have saved on my computer. Fortunately, it weathered the untimely demise of my iBook so that I can look at it when I feel myself doing something stupid. My breakthrough went a little something like this:
I am going to be myself regardless of what other people think, or what other people want me to be.
When I am true to myself, I am happy.
Exactly who I am and exactly who I want to be is absolutely fine, and people will like me for who I am.
No matter what happens, and no matter what other people think of me, I will always know how lovable and deserving of love I am.
I will not hide behind narratives that I have created for myself to keep me from getting close to people.
I do not need to hide behind a mask of who I think I should be or how I think I’m supposed to act.
It is worth the work and the discomfort to get rid of my “racket” and be free to experience real feelings.
Now that I have this realization, my perspective, my relationships, my happiness will be forever changed – for the better.
That sounds all healthy and shit, huh? Now it’s time to add another statement to my list of relationship health reminders, just so I can look at it again and again:
I will not spend time and energy on people that do not appreciate me for who I am.
It’s hard to be self-aware and check yourself when you’re about to go down an unhealthy path, but I’m going to do it in public this time, so I’ll be shamed into treating myself correctly.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I wrote what I believed was a really great post on how I’d been feeling now that my mother has been dead for nearly half my life. It was really difficult, and really cathartic, but I wrote it because when something is on my mind – and on my heart – I have to commit it to words. Also, many of you have lost loved ones and I’d like to think that in some way I’m helping other people with my blog topics. Or I’m making you laugh, which is helpful to me all the time. I don’t write for recognition, or sympathy, or empathy, but its nice when I get it. Judging by Twitter retweets, and comments here, on Facebook, and in person, I struck a nerve with a lot of people and I’m grateful for your reaction. I was most…surprised is the best word, I guess, that people who have never met me could be so caring about my feelings. Whether you honestly meant it or not, you said it, and I’m deeply touched.
My family and friends also reached out to me, knowing that Mother’s Day is usually hard for me, and gave the kind words that they always do. Conspicuously absent from any kind of comment was Friend Boy, who I know follows me on Twitter AND Facebook, but may not read the blog. For you eternal optimists and hopeless romantics out there, I know he saw my updates because he was on the grid. The best (and worst) thing about social media is that you can tell where people are, what they do, and when they do it. Sure, I might have been guilty of a little cyber-stalking, but who hasn’t? Friend Boy has been all over the internets, talking about whatever to whomever. Not a peep to me. No “saw your blog”, or “I know you were upset yesterday, how’s it going?” Only a Twitter request to do something for him. Humph! So basically, people who don’t know me from a can of paint went out of their way to comment on my blog, send it to other people, give me feedback, send me e-mail, cry while reading my words. But someone who actually knows me could not be bothered. Very telling, indeed. And I’m interested in a relationship with this person? Somebody check me back into the hospital because I clearly need to have my head examined…again!
You may be asking yourselves why I’ve devoted so much brain power to someone who ignores me and what’s going on in my life. Or wondering what difference it makes whether Friend Boy reads my stuff or says “hey dog, good work.” Because, ladies and gentlemen, I am The Queen of One-Sided Relationships. I date emotionally withholding men. I get all wrapped up in self-absorbed dudes and then try to change them into the caring mates that I want. I make excuses for why they don’t pay attention to me and I hang on far longer than is good for my psyche. I ignore signs that I should cut bait and hope that, when they’re finished whatever other thing they’re doing, they’ll be more into me. Know what? They probably won’t be more into me. Not because I’m doing something wrong, but because everything ain’t for everybody we’re not for each other. And my “racket,” for all of you Landmark Education folks in the audience, is that I’m somehow undeserving of male attention and will be alone forever, therefore choosing emotionally unavailable objects makes my worthlessness a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve blogged about this before, and when I put it in writing again, it makes NO SENSE to me. But it doesn’t have to make sense for it to be true.
I’m not mad at Friend Boy, or the Parade of Assholes that I’ve actually dated in the past. I’m angry with myself for being insane. You know, repeating the same pattern over and over, hoping for different results? People only do what they can get away with, and if they can get away with ignoring me most of the time and still get sex/dinner/attention/free web design services they’ll go ahead as planned. If, however, I stop myself from committing the energy to giving these men what they want and shift the focus to what I want and need, the universe will send me someone who appreciates me and the wishy-washy guys will just float away. I’m exaggerating the ease with which I’ll be able to change my thought and behavior patterns, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.
My mom used to say “the way you start off is the way you’ll end up” and “a leopard doesn’t change its spots.” Basically, if someone is kinda self-involved when you first meet them, they’re pretty much always going to be that way no matter what you do. So I’m writing off my interest in Friend Boy as destined to end up with me doing all the giving and none of the taking, and I’m nipping this “crush” or whatever you wanna call it in the bud. In the interest of filling my blog with aphorisms, I know that “the heart wants what it wants” and I can’t really turn off my feelings. I can, however, question why I even had them in the first place. Somewhere back in time, Friend Boy did show a passing interest in me. If you want to know the truth, he talked to me first, but that can only get him so far. The fact that this mishegas has turned into what I’ll call My First Mistake of the Decade is nobody’s fault. It will, however, be my fault if I sink emotional capital into this man when my investment doesn’t look like it will pay dividends. (I put my MBA to good use with that metaphor!)
So if you see me on Twitter talking about Friend Boy, will you please put me on blast? Remind me of this blog post, tell me you agree with me, or that I’m full of shit for not practicing what I preach. If public humiliation works for weight loss, then why not for the loss of my foolish ways? However, when you throw this post back in my face, don’t throw it that hard: you might break my ego.