February 23, 2011

Should We WANT To Lose Ourselves?

We all know the sayings: Lose yourself in the moment. Lose yourself in your work. Lose yourself to find yourself again. But should we want to lose ourselves in the first place? Lately, I’ve been wondering what good can come from losing oneself. I hate that moment in a relationship when you suddenly realize that you’re not happy being alone anymore, or, at the very least, have come to expect that someone else will be around to entertain you. And when that’s not the case, then that thought becomes an obsession, and it’s like you’re suddenly a half of a Siamese twin severed, who feels like they’ve lost their identity, or what was special about them. In many way, identity theft may be kinder than the moment in which you find yourself realizing you’re losing yourself, or, at least, losing the things that used to make up your life or define you as an individual or Single Person.

The existential crisis started around 56 hours ago (and counting). Thursday morning, I was woken up by a text from TGIS, and we continued correspondence from afar until about 5 o’clock that night, after which, I haven’t heard from him since. (Granted, I haven’t been trying very hard, but that’s because A.) I’m under the severe impression it’s just better not to nag, and B.) I’ve always thought it gives you a better symptom of your relationship to see when he finally gets back around to you.) One day was fine. But when I woke up this morning, I felt odd, disoriented. And that’s when I realized it was because I’m so used to waking up beside someone. Noon came, and I found myself still in bed, because no requests for brunch out had been made. By this evening, I was in full-out obsession mode about not only the state of my affair, but also, about what the FUCK I was supposed to do with myself and all this free time that had suddenly (and unwelcomely) been found on my hands. So while I may not be neuros-ing about it all over him, I found an outlet for it elsewhere: With my girl friends. Obviously. Because some things never change, even if your established weekend routine suddenly does.

I’m in my twenties. I’m so close to having my Bachelor’s Degree in hand I can almost feel it; I paid for the insanely expensive and insanely luxurious Ralph Lauren sheets on my bed myself; I’m paying down my credit card; and I’m giving a presentation at a national writer’s convention in Boston in March. My life is pretty fabulous, and yet, all it takes is two day’s worth of silence, and I find myself acting like I’m 16 again, trying to occupy myself by making a list of things to do with items like “Wash dishes,” “Moisturize entire body,” “Watch a ‘thinking’ documentary to try to get my mind off of ‘thinking’ about the fact it is a weekend and I don’t believe it without another person here: Sexual Intelligence; Wild China; Food, Inc.; or Prehistoric Predators, Season 1,” “Find some way to make a palatable drink with Skyy vodka, the dregs of orange juice, whipped cream that’s lost it’s whip, and anything else in the fridge, all while really just wanting a nice glass (or bottle) of wine,” and “Try not to ‘wine’ anymore.” It made me wonder: Do our lives really still revolve around boys?

Once upon a time back in sophomore year of college, my mother thought my friend Madison was secretly my lesbian lover. I can see why she might have thought that— we spend an uncomfortable amount of time talking to each other. Mostly, I think, it’s because we usually have equal levels of confusion in our lives, and think about things similarly. So it was Madison I turned to when asking, “Why do I always panic like this if I don’t hear back from a guy for like, I’m not shitting you, two days? I mean, it’s TWO DAYS. My sane self knows this. However, my relationship self is going mental. What I want to know is, why do I FREAK out?”

And then Madison said something very true, yet not very heartening at all: “Because you haven’t had good luck with similar situations in the past.”

Touché, my dear, and good fucking lord, there is no hope— I’m done for.
I am not the only one who seems to be wondering about the ramifications of losing yourself for someone else. Madison has her own issues, too. “The problem is that I’ve always known that [I was letting him use me like a doormat]. I just kind of let it happen. And that’s not me at all. And that’s why I’m ashamed.”

And that’s when I hit my epiphany in our conversation: “Secretly, I think we’re all ashamed at things we do in relationships or non-relationships with other people. Look at me— I’ve forgotton how to be ok with being suddenly alone. I think there’s something about wanting to be with another person that makes us crazy and makes us forget and sacrifice parts of ourselves because we want something else SO MUCH.”

It’s all so terribly ironic, because as I was driving home on Wednesday night after bringing TGIS back to his hometown, I was smugly reminiscing on this relationship versus past relationships, thinking to myself how you can be the person you’re supposed to be and want to be when you’re with the right person. Give me 56 hours of silence, and I’m still the confused little mess I was a year ago, give or take a different man, situation, and a few relevant learning curves. Look how far I’ve gotten on the road map to finding myself.


So what about you? How have you learned not to lose yourself, or how to occupy yourself when you’d rather be doing something with someone else? Do you think that we’re more willing to sacrifice parts of our lives and our selves if the payback of having the love of someone else is an option?


- From SATCG

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August 22, 2011

I can pay my own light bill, baby.
Put my own gas in my own car.
I can buy my own shoe collection;
I’ve been blessed thus far.
I can kill the spider ‘bove my bed,
Although it’s hard because I’m scared.
I can even stain and polyeurothane,
But some things just don’t change.
I need you, yeah.
Sometimes so hard to say, oh.
I need you.
Some things remain.

- Jill Scott

Here’s to the strong, independent women out there who can handle their own business, yet are still looking for love.


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August 30, 2011

Did you ever see the way the clouds love a mountain? They circle all around it; sometimes you can’t even see the mountain for the clouds. But you know what? … The clouds never cover the head. His head pokes through, because the clouds let him; they don’t wrap him up. They let him keep his head high, free.

- Toni Morrison 


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December 30, 2011

I’ve always had a funny relationship with money inside of partnerships. One of my exes was significantly better off than I was at the time, and it was difficult explaining to him that while I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the experience of being taken out for shopping sprees and having everything paid for me, NOT paying for our drinks sometimes and having to trick the cashiers into taking my card and not his offended my sense of self, because while my parents spoiled me more rottenly than 2 month-old milk during my childhood, they also instilled a strong sense of independence and ownership in me. It’s true to some extent that all women are sincerely ga-ga over the guys who have the cash to flaunt and pull out all the stops with it— flowers, expensive dinners out, new clothes, handbags, car maintenance. It’s nice to be pampered. Don’t get me wrong— to a certain extent, I’ll take it all from you with no qualms and lots of flattery and sincere thanks. But I firmly, CONCRETELY believe that when I have the money, I can pay, and when you have the goods, you can. Here’s a good example of the sort of person I am in money matters and relationships: The Dude just got out of a stint in jail when he rocked up in the store one afternoon, laden down with a sleeping bag and a Nike gym bag filled with all his earthly possessions. He was, effectively, homeless. We’d went on one now infamous date before he was pinched that culminated in the state police chauffeuring him away. He had no money, no phone, no car, and no place to stay, having just been turned away from a friend’s house by his girlfriend who didn’t think that three was company. So, just like you would with a particularly winsome stray with a toothy grin, I took him home. I put him up. Fed him. Literally took him shopping and clothed him. Stuck with him while he found a job. Put gas in my car and let him take it. Woke up at 5 AM to cook him breakfast. Catched him and fetched him. Screened his calls. Became his answering service. Made sure he met new people and made nice friends. Vetted his new apartment and gave him his first two weeks’ rent. Got on a first-name basis with his mom. And lawyer. Overdrew my bank account twice for him. Laughed a lot. Got the butterflies often. Why? Because that’s what a good girl does to help someone she really cares about and believes in. Sometimes, it’s easier to say it with money than it is with actions. Sometimes, you’re blessed enough to be able to do both. I was able. So I did. I’m a Giver. So if I can give, let me. Don’t take that away from me. It’s a part of what makes me, me. XOXO

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April 30, 2012

I’m fantastic at being independent; I struggle with being alone.

New psychology revelation. Tonight’s going to be a “takes forever to fall asleep; laden with nightmares” night.


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July 4, 2012

Land Of The Free?

If today is about celebrating our freedom and independence as Americans, I’d like to exercise my right to take cut-cost birth control paid for by my comprehensive health insurance plan, get an abortion, have my hypothetical natural-born Hispanic lover not have to worry about carrying his passport with him at all times in Arizona, and let my gay son be able to marry whomever he loves. The end. I’m looking at you, GOP.


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October 14, 2012

January 27, 2014

Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as an escape.

- bell hooks


(Source: nuwater)

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June 24, 2014