Posted on March 9th 2019, 7:30 pm
Over the past fifteen years, I’ve gone from blogging all the time about all things to blogging once in a while when I’m sad or maybe a new years goals post. This is not either of those. I want to share some things that I’ve learned about myself recently that have been really world changing for me.
As many of you may know, I deal with anxiety and depression. I’ve been coping with both in healthy and unhealthy ways. Lately it’s been healthy by having a therapist I see regularly and by meditating daily. In fact, at the time of this posting, I’ve meditated 261 days in a row. I’m proud of myself for being diligent and committed to it. It’s really helped me, even on days that I have a hard time focusing on the meditation. The amount of positive impact this has had on my life has been measurable. My patience is higher. My ability to handle stress has improved, and I seem to be able to maintain my composure regardless of what’s thrown at me. I intend this practice to continue with me the rest of my life and can’t recommend it to others enough.
I’ve struggled a lot with being happy and liking myself. A couple of the phrases I’ve heard many people say is “Being happy is a choice” and “You have to love yourself before you can truly love someone else”. Neither of these really, truly made sense to me. I got the concept simply by reading it, but I never really fully understood it until I experienced it, myself.
So, to jump back, my 2018 goal of dating happened. I had it in my head that I’m getting older, that my youth is fading, and that I needed to meet people now or I’d never find someone. I didn’t want to be alone. I wanted to find “my person”, aka someone to complete me. I really put myself out there. I was on three or four different dating apps. I went on so many first dates that I lost track of how many I really went on. I met some really great people and some not as great people. I got attached to some, got hurt, and I hurt a few in the process. It...was a lot. Dating is hard.
Then I met someone towards the end of last year and entered into a whirlwind of a relationship that initially seemed like exactly what I wanted. I had someone to throw myself at and get it all back. It felt wonderful...until I started to notice a feeling that I couldn’t explain. People were congratulating me on my new relationship, and I was like “Wait...why am I not smiling?” I struggled to understand why after having something I had wanted for so long, I felt like maybe I made a mistake. Maybe this was too much. Maybe this was what I wanted, but it wasn’t what I actually need.
After several weeks of feeling this way, I started to realize that I wasn’t happy. I was overwhelmed. I was feeling suffocated by the relationship, and I didn’t know how to fix it. Then...I stopped and took a step back. I looked back over the last number of years and realized something about myself and my life. I...genuinely love my life as a single person.
I know this seems like a weird thing to say, but I hadn’t really acknowledged or realized it before. I looked at everything I’ve done, all the places I’ve lived, all the friends I’ve made, and all the things I’m involved in. I looked at my job and my family. I looked at the things I choose to do for fun and for leisure. I looked at all of that and went...damn...I love all of that. I love that I’m a very independent person. I love that I have so many vibrant friendships and that I’ve cultivated a full, enriched, and fulfilling life with people surrounding me that make life worth living.
Most importantly, I learned that I am amazing just the way I am. I’ve thought over the years that I was incomplete without someone in my life. Now I know that I need no one to complete me. I am complete as I am. I can now truly say without a doubt that I love myself. Achievement unlocked!
After realizing all of that, I knew why I was feeling the way I was. This relationship was not what I needed. It’s only what I thought I wanted. I was wrong. So I did what I had to do in order to be happy and honest. I broke up with her. She’s a lovely person and we remain friends. I have to thank her, too, because she helped me learn some of the most powerful things about myself that I’ve ever learned.
The important learnings don’t end there, though. I’ve also learned a bit about my sexuality, or, more specifically, my asexuality. I’ve realized that I’m further into the asexual, or ace, spectrum than I thought I was. I’m not just demisexual, I’m more in the graysexual area. For those not in the know on those terms, demisexual means that you’re not sexually interested in someone until you get to know them as a person more. Graysexual is more like...you’re just lower on the sexual needs spectrum. I’m not 100% asexual. More like 80% asexual. Sex is just not that important to me or much of a driver, and when I’m with someone with a much higher drive or need than me, it gives me anxiety. Turns out when it comes to dating, it’s actually pretty important to have someone that is closer to where you are on sexual need, otherwise it’s a challenge to navigate.
I’ve now been spending time in ace online spaces, and it’s really been helpful. There are a few great Facebook pages that I’ve been looking at. It’s been eye opening for me because all this time I genuinely thought something was wrong with me. I’ve talked to my doctors about libido as if it needed to be fixed. Turns out that nope, it’s just how I am. Not only have I accepted this, but I feel less alone in how I feel. The internet isn’t such a bad place sometimes.
So my world has shifted. My view of what I want in a relationship is different now. Whatever that relationship is, it has to fit well within the life I’ve built for myself. It needs to move slowly, have very little pressures around physical needs, and have a lot of room for independence. At the moment, I’m happy as I am, though. I’m not looking for anything and don’t know if / when I will again.
And yet another thing I’ve finally come to accept and love about myself: my appearance. In the past, I’ve dismissed compliments and even was extremely self-deprecating towards my own looks. My body dysmorphia has also been a complicating factor, but my ex girlfriend and all of you have helped me see myself and acknowledge the truth. I am a confident, beautiful, smart, and attractive woman. This has been one of the hardest things for me to accept about myself, and I’m proud of myself for finally getting there. Thank you all for helping me see it in myself.
Lastly, and certainly not least, I’ve realized that you, my friends and family, are the most important and wonderful part of my life. I am never lonely because I have you all to reach out to, to spend time with, and to enjoy your company. I am honored to call all of you my friends and to have you in my life. Let’s catch up and spend more time with each other. You all make life worth living, and I genuinely can’t thank you enough.
This writing is a memory worth encoding into my history. This point in my life is one of the most powerful self learning periods I’ve ever had, and I intend to use this as an artifact to look back on when I inevitably fall of this path down the road. I need to remember this moment. If you see me sad, remind me. Send me here. I will thank you for it.
Until next time, I love you all! <3