Clothed and Afraid

I’ve been in an unpleasant mood for quite sometime. I must admit, my move here has not been the seamless transition I was hoping for. I feel lonely most days. I miss my friends and my family back home. As I have mentioned previously, I have never lived alone and the longer I do it… the more I hate it. I am an ambivert. Not too loud, but just loud enough.

As someone who identifies as an ambivert, I mean that I am both an introvert and an extrovert. I like the balance of being alone and being with others. When I am given too much of one or the other I break down. Prime example was my trip to Paris last summer. Everything I did was in a group for two weeks STRAIGHT… and the last day I burst into tears in front of the whole class. It was mortifying. (Friendly reminder: I was 26). My body was literally rejecting socialization. I missed the very last class we had together because I felt like I was going to throw up. On the flip side, when I am alone for too long I turn on myself. I say things like “I am going to die alone” and fully believe it. I become this shell of a human who doesn’t know how to function.

The hard part now is that I don’t know how to find that balance here. Or rather, I do know how, but I am finding it hard to get there. Currently, my life is my work. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job. It is everything I could ask for, but it was the only thing I had asked for. It is strange because in New York I didn’t panic. I felt at home the second I saw the skyline. I had instant friends and places to go and people to see. It felt like I had been living there for my whole life. I haven’t felt that here and I shouldn’t expect too. This is not New York. This is a new chapter in my life and I know I am still adjusting and I can guarantee a year from now I will be writing a post reflecting on this one and how different it feels. Because that is life. One moment you are down and the next moment you are up. Without those ups and downs you are on the most boring roller coaster I have ever heard of.

However, I am ready for the up. I am ready to stop wallowing in self-pity and figure out how to find my balance. I am not sure where to start… okay that is not true at all. I know where to start, it’s just that part of me doesn’t want to. I have to put myself out there and that sounds scary. It is much easier to hate your life while you watch 10 hours of television than to go introduce yourself to a complete stranger and hope they like you. It is vulnerable and I will be the first to admit that I am scared of rejection. So much so I have remained single for most of my life.

I like when people ask the question “what is the worst that could happen?” in regards to rejection. The funny answer: “I could die!” The real answer is that they could not like me which doesn’t sound that terrible, but if someone doesn’t like me it resurfaces all those insecurities that I work so hard to ignore. It makes me want to hide under the blankets and never return to the outside world. I know better than anyone that this is ridiculous. Not everyone is going to like you. That is just a fact of the world. Except, I want me to like me and when they don’t like me it makes me question if I like me. Ya see? Why ya gotta go and make things so complicated? (Never enough Avril Lavigne references.) Then to make it even worse, if someone here doesn’t like me this likely means their friends won’t like which then equals out to like half the island not liking me. Small town probs.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that I am a scardy cat and I need to not be. I need to be more confident. This is the feedback I have always received from any supervisor I have ever had. You would think I would’ve gotten the hint by now. I need to keep telling myself I love me every day. I actually do this. Every morning I wake up and say, “Sarah, I love you and you deserve happiness.” Some days I believe it and some days I don’t, but that doesn’t matter. The more I put myself out there the stronger I will be for it. That is part of the reason I started blogging in the first place. As long as I write something every Sunday, I know that I am going to be okay. It is a place that makes me feel safe in a world that can really scare the crap out of me.

In the same realm as last weeks post, I don’t have magic words to feel better. I am just trying to sit with this. I am trying to remind myself that I am living in a whole new world and it takes time to adjust to a new culture and a new life. My frenemy, time, seems to always be there, patting me on my back. Always letting me know that the longer I sit in fear the less time I have out in the world.

I would like to end this post with three things I am going to do this week to demonstrate that I am working on gaining more confidence and fighting the fear:

  1. Meet someone new in the community and talk to them for at least 10 minutes (and not about the weather!).
  2. Ask someone new to hang out with me next weekend.
  3. Go to a yoga class.

I will report back on these next week.

 

Sitting with it all

It’s another week, another eve, another day, another dollar. Wait, what? Sorry, sometimes I get on a roll and things just come out. You know, as we come to the end of 2017 I hear a lot of people cursing this shitty year, and I get it. People, do I get it.  However, with all the cursing going on, I have to say “pardon your language, my friends.” 2017 sucked, sure, but it also rocked.

I often tell my clients that the human mind is a peculiar thing. We can hold many feelings at the same time and we often believe we have to choose one over the other because that seems logical; however, we can sit with them all at the same time and in fact, we often do. I recognize this when I think about 2017.  Like how we have a scary president, but I have also seen more activism out of my (self-proclaimed) ‘non-political’ friends. Or how my dream died, and then I just created another.  When I think of 2017, I feel anger, joy, disgust, sadness, and fear. (Yes, I did just name the characters from Inside Out.) And I am sitting with all of those right now as I await 2018. (Which it already is in some places and that blows my mind.)

That reminds me! 2018 is just a number on a calendar. Tomorrow (or right now depending on where you are) the world won’t drastically change. We won’t wake up with racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, and every other ism magically wiped out. Our president will still be our president. I won’t be an internet sensation… yet. And I’ll probably still be watching Harry Potter. That is okay. If no one has told you that, I need you to repeat it with me “It is okay.” Melissa, I can’t hear you, SAY IT LOUDER “IT IS OKAY.” I felt like a drill sergeant there for a minute. Madame, yes madame.  Really though, it is okay. Change is slow and we live in a world where slow means we flip the people off who are slowing us down. We want the magic pill, the high speed internet. Ya can’t though. Sorry, not sorry. That’s actually not how we are meant to live. I’ve seen a lot of people re-sharing that image of the new years resolutions for 2017 and they just do a little of this… 2017 2018. I love that! I know people think it is just a funny meme, but I think it is realistic. Even if you don’t do one thing on your list, you made the list. That means you thought about yourself for even a second and that is important to recognize. If for the the next five years you have the same list, it doesn’t matter. Hell, I had the same list for about 10 years.

This past year though, I finally crushed it! I wanted to run three miles. Check. I wanted to get my masters degree. Check. I wanted to join the Peace Corps and even though I didn’t officially go, I still got in and I count that. Check. I wanted to travel. In 2017, I went to Canada, Florida, the Bahamas, Washington, North Dakota, Minnesota, Washington and a ton more I am forgetting to mention. Check. I moved out, got a job in my field, and can pay my own bills. Check. I realize that a lot of these I got with privilege and a credit card. I also realized that the list doesn’t matter. I could have put the most ridiculous things on that list and weather I accomplished them or not life would go on. The point of the list isn’t to write a cute check mark next to my goals. The point of the list is to remember that there are always things to work towards. That is why I do it every year. *Side note: I really like to point out that I hate the saying “new year, new me” because fuuuckkkk that. I’m still me. I am not going anywhere. The quicker I realized that, the easier my life became. Life is both long and short (try sitting with that) and the only person with you through it all, my dudettes & dudes & non-binary friends, is you.

With that being said, here is my 2018 resolutions list:

  • Stop saying sorry so much… unless it is followed by not sorry.
  • Jump out of a plane
  • Run a marathon
  • Climb a mountain
  • Go to a new country I’ve never been to
  • Read more
  • Reach out to people I’ve lost touch with
  • Make more friends
  • Become internet famous
  • But also disconnect more
  • Fall in love
  • Study for the LSAT
  • Have money in my savings account
  • Pay off my credit card
  • Become an expert at something
  • Slow down

Alright that’s enough resolutions for me. I guarantee a lot of these will end up on my 2019 list and I’m cool with that. Like I said, it is okay.  Be more gentle with myself. Check.

P.S.(A.) I hope you all ring in the New Year with much excitement and please for the love of Yeezy, be safe. Don’t drink and drive. I want you all to get a chance to make your lists.