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Am I enough?

Does anyone care that I am a nerd now?  That I went from happy hours to book readings, margaritas to tea.  That I went from late nights,  to being excited to go to bed early so that I can get up and write.  What happened to me? I used to be fun.  I used to have so much curiosity about what was happening outside of my house.  There had to be something exciting that was going on that I was going to miss out on.   I am not even sure what I was trying to find.  When I was young and single it was just to be social and look for a potential romance. When I got married it was to go on date nights with my husband and show him that ‘I still had it’, and if we were fighting to show him what he was missing out on.   In all of this going out I was searching for something outside my house, outside of my current life, and outside of myself.  The excitement and fulfillment was always just around the corner.   In hopes of attracting that excitement, I would try to be a better more beautiful version of myself by buying new clothes, trying new hair styles and spending hours getting ready.  The feeling of being on the verge of something amazing happening is a great feeling.  When I look back,  I don’t  really remember how these amazing evenings ended up. But if I were to guess, usually in too much drinking, a lot of senseless circular conversations and sometimes a fight.  I never did find anything amazing on these nights out.  When I look back amazing things happened to me when I least expected it.  For instance, the night I met my husband.  It was late at night and my best friend had helped me move all day and we were hungry, tired and in search of a strong drink to knock us out so we could sleep.  So we went into the nearest bar and sat down. My future husband was in the seat next to me.    I wasn’t searching for anything that night, in fact  all I was thinking about was myself.  I was thinking that  I had to get up the next morning and unpack my boxes, and organize my new apartment.  I had thrown on some old jeans and a blazer because it was the only thing that wasn’t packed away.   I wasn’t trying to be fun or interesting, I was just  being me.  I think we talked about my move and how tired I was.  We just started a casual conversation, and after that night we never left each other’s side. But where did that me go that just focussed on herself?  The last few years I have been on a journey to get back in touch with her.  At the beginning of this journey I  started by looking for answers outside of myself.  I planned trips, worked out a lot,  I went out  with friends more often, and reconciled with some family members I hadn’t seen in years.   The conversations at this time mostly centered around drama. It was about why wasn’t someone acting how I wanted them to act, and can you believe that another person was so rude to me.  It made for decent conversation, but got me nowhere as far as learning about myself.  It actually made  me feel more empty.  The simple reason was, I wasn’t being myself.  And I wasn’t being myself because I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was hoping that someone could tell me.  I was searching for someone to validate me, define me and fill the void I was feeling. I was agitated and unsettled because in all my searching I wasn’t coming up with answers or feeling any better.  So, I decided it was my marriage that wasn’t working.  If my husband could be more exciting and more interested in me then my life would be better, and I would be more fulfilled.   We went through a few years of drinking too much, arguing a lot, marriage counseling and talking in circles.  I still felt empty.  So, I decided to stop drinking so I could clear my head and try to figure out what was going on with me.  When I first stopped drinking,  life seemed extremely boring and my main topic of conversation was the fact that I wasn’t drinking anymore.  I would come home from work and was lost without having that glass of wine.  I didn’t know what to do with myself.  So, I started taking baths and drinking seltzer waters.  I did this for a couple months.  I was beyond calm, almost catatonic.  My husband was confused about my sudden change in demeanor, and so was I.  But,  I wanted to pursue those new very small and quiet feelings that were arising in me.  These feelings weren’t as strong and as loud as the emotions I had when I was drinking and going out, they were subtle and  hard to understand.  I started doing yoga instead of killing myself at the gym.  I tried deep breathing exercises  to try and get  in touch with my feelings.  I started to go to book readings and just sit and listen with an opened mind.  And then I started to listen more in my day to day life.  I made a conscious effort to stop passing judgement and just listen.  And then I did the same with myself, I just starting listening to myself.  I was drawn to quiet evenings of reading and drinking tea.   I was drawn to people that were telling their truth and taking a chance in life.  I started writing in my journal more often, and I realized that I had something to say.  I have always had something to say, but didn’t think anyone would care.  But I realized that I am the person who needs to care.   I didn’t need to numb my mind and feelings with alcohol, or spend all my energy getting ready to go outside my house in search of fulfillment.  If I didn’t want to spend the time to get to know myself, why was I mad at others that didn’t want to spend the time to get to know me?    One day, one hour , one moment at a time I moved towards  uncovering those things that I had always held dear to my heart but I had never pursued.  The small changes I made slowly started adding up and turning me in a different direction.  I started feeling happier because I could see my ideas becoming reality.  Sometimes, I can hear my old internal critic predicting failure and berating me for not doing all of this earlier in life.  But I just keep moving forward anyway.   I have let go of trying to have others fulfill me, and my relationships have improved.  Since I have been focussing on myself my husband has a renewed attraction and appreciation for me, just like the night he met me when I wasn’t trying to impress him.  Then and now, I am just doing me, and it is enough.

 

2 thoughts on “Am I enough?”

  1. Very wonderfully written, all emotions I struggle with as well. Looking for that quiet self underneath all the fake relationships, working out all the time, trying to find hobbies or outlets that let me shine. How did you let go of your friends that werent really your friends? That is what I struggle with now. So many acqaintances (sp) but not a whole lot of real people that I can share with who I truly am! Having a husband that doesn’t get what I am going through–with menopause, not wanting to go out alot, not wanting to deal with people that arent’ authentic (all my neighbors!!). Anyway, I think finding my real self is the most important thing I need to do in my “golden years”. It looks like you have with your talent of writing and art. You are blessed!

    1. Thank you! You are such an amazing person with the talent to make others feel good, and you listen and care about others. All your work you do with the cancer patients is absolutely amazing, and you may see that as just who you are, but that is an amazing skill to help people that really need encouragement. You are selfless with your time with friends, and anyone who is your friend is blessed. For me, when I set my boundaries to protect my time and emotions, the fake friends just kind of fell away naturally, and my good friends became more interested. So, I think you don’t have to worry about getting rid of fake friends, when they aren’t getting their needs met they will go elsewhere and solve the problem for you. Men don’t really get what we go through, and plus I think they are wrapped up in their “male menopause” that no one really talks about, but their hormones change too. You are an amazing person and I love you so much!!

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