Being the only single girl in my immediate friend group, I couldn’t help but feel like a failure sometimes. Unlike my friends, I haven’t yet managed to lock down a guy (or girl) that is will commit to me. I’d mentally line myself up against them asking “what are the qualities they have that I don’t enabling them to find love?” For months after my last relationship, I’d do this. I’d sit at home alone on a Friday night, envisioning then cuddled up on the couch with their significant others. I third, fifth, even seventh wheeled along on outings, continue to internalizing these feelings of inadequacy. I started to project these feelings onto them, fictionalizing their internal dialogues. “Oh well Phoebe HAD a boyfriend, but turns out he wasn’t all that into her…”. I couldn’t turn off these thoughts. Instead of being able to embrace a very sacred time in my life, I felt like an un-finished puzzle. I started to think without a relationship, I couldn’t possibly be whole.
It’s only recently I’ve realized how wrong I am in thinking that way. A relationship should never be a means to complete yourself. I’d need to find those missing puzzle pieces on my own before I could ever be in a healthy relationship. This is when I flipped my way of thinking. I’ve spent the past few weeks realizing how great I really have it. Being single doesn’t mean I’m lonely and unfulfilled. If anything, it’s the complete opposite. I’ve realized what I need to feel complete isn’t external, it’s a process that starts within. I’m taking more time to do the things that I want to do. I’m going to Yoga classes, writing more, traveling, going to movies, and surrounding myself with beautiful places – even if those are right down the street. I never have to do anything I don’t want to do, and have essentially zero obligations to anyone. It’s fucking amazing. I admit, I’ve got a lot of work to be done before I can fully commit to another person. And to be honest, I’m in no rush. I’m busy learning to love myself.
I can line them up, almost like a paper doll chain, all the boys I’ve fawned over ever since I was 15. J, B, A, Z, N, R, S. All of them, in my own perception of things, left me broken. No, this isn’t a list of my ex-boyfriends, or even a list of boys I dated. In fact, I never exchanged more than a few words with J. Myspace messaged him a few times, but that’s about the extent of our love affair. These are the ones that really set up camp in my mind. Some for a few months, some spanning years. So much of my thoughts that swirled around them was a fictional narrative. I crafted a fairytale, turning these mediocre men into my Prince Charming. One after the other. There have been plenty of other guys in my life that don’t make that list – one of them being an ex-boyfriend of almost two years. I can’t really rationalize how and why they divide into the two silos – the boys who broke me and the boys who frankly didn’t really phase me. Honestly, there’s probably more men in the latter. A whole other category for the boys I broke.
As I enter the next phase of my dating life, I’m really trying to inspect how I allowed these seven guys to have such a profound affect on me. Sure, I can say now that getting over B when I was a senior in high school was easy breezy, but I know for a fact flipping through old journals that at the time it felt as if my entire world was crashing down around me. I had invested so much into this fairytale, that the realization these guys weren’t what I crafted felt astronomical. If I were to line them all up against what I believe I’m looking for in a partner, none of them pass the test. Nor did I ever think or feel like they were “the one”, but it hurt nonetheless. Sometimes I think there’s no direct line between the heart and the brain. So many signals get crossed, as if it’s a switch board that’s constantly blowing a fuse. I can tell myself “Phoebe, you KNEW this guy wasn’t right for you, why can’t you just accept it and move on?” but it’s lost in transition.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the thoughts that keep me up at night.
Feeling inspired on this feels-like-Sunday Labor Day Monday. I spent it binge watching Ozark on my couch, which as you can imagine turned my mood a bit dark and twisty. As I was scrolling through Facebook I stumbled upon something that brought to light a hardship someone in my life has been going through the past couple months. At the risk of being too vague, I’ll just say this someone was a big part of my life at a point and no longer is. When someone departs your life, you’re left filling in the gaps of the “whys and hows” using your imagination. I don’t know about you, but my imagination is a self-depricating sadist. (Never know if I’m using that word correctly and likely am not). In simpler terms, I often come to conclusions that paint myself in the worst possible light. Everything must comes back to something I did wrong, or a fault of mine that led to the outcome. Rightsizing this mental fallacy is something I’m working on, which is why I find it important to inspect and document specific cases of it, like this.
Learning what this person had been going through in recent months changed my perspective. I was able to see outside forces at work in this person’s life outside of myself. I think the biggest part of growing up is simply realizing the world in fact does not revolve around us. All these conclusions I’d come to in my head had bullets shot through them when I took a step back and realized so much of the outcome really had nothing to do with me.
I apologize for yet another vague rambling post with one too many pronouns and not enough juicy details, however in the case TSP (can my blog pull off an acronym yet?) blows up overnight, I’d hate to expose ALL of my deepest thoughts at feelings. I guess my point here is we need to be able to take a step back and realize that everyone has shit going on. A back-handed comment or text gone unanswered from someone likely ISN’T the result of anything you did. Just like the unfortunate ending to my relationship with this person had little to do with me. There’s always much more at play.
Be mindful. Be easy on yourself. Forgive.
Live. Laugh. Love.
There’s not much comparable to the existential dread we all experience on Sunday nights. At no age are you safe from this phenomenon. I remember being in fifth grade watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition feeling the exact OPPOSITE of Ty Pennington as he exclaimed “Bus Driver, move that bus!” I can barely remember the sources of my anxiety at the time, perhaps who I’d sit next to on the bus in the morning. Something about it being SUNDAY night compounded that anxiety tenfold.
In my 20’s, I’ve spent the last few years blaming my “scaries” on drinking. I’d go out most Saturdays, therefore spend Sunday hungover, eating $40 of GrubHub, and analyzing everything I said and did the night before. I could write a novel on the “Shameover”.
Shameover (n): The post-drinking anxiety likely caused by a chemical imbalance that causes an individual to assume everyone they came in contact with the night prior now “is mad at them”. Typically causes feelings of complete embarrassment and shame. Continue reading “Sunday Scaries”
I have a story to tell. Before I tell that story, I’d like to get something off my chest. I’ve been a “blogger” for one week, and man shit is STRESSFUL. First of all, I’m filled with regret for the stupid domain name I just paid $40 for. Why didn’t I give it more thought? Fox Muse? It sounds like a fucking animal-watching blog. Whatever. Impulsivity has always been my biggest downfall. Secondly, how do I get people to read this? I’m curating all this content, now what? I’m really awful at this marketing aspect. I’m not ready to tie this to my real identity, so social media marketing is off the table. Oh well. As I mentioned in my first post, I’m doing this for “me” (insert cliche tone here). Now, onto the story.
Continue reading “I went on the worst date of my life, and now I spend everyday with him.”
Since I was in college, my mom was convinced I was destined to be a writer. I’m not entirely sure what sparked this. Looking back, has she ever read anything I wrote? Did she sneak a peak at my angsty high school journals (NOT diaries, they were JOURNALISTIC creations) and see some potential behind a melodramatic ramblings? She wasn’t the type of parent to help me with math homework every night and DEFINITELY didn’t read over my essays before turning them in. Maybe it was just that blind confidence each parent has in their child’s abounding potential.
All of that being said, when posing the question to myself “what are my hobbies?” recently, I drew a complete blank. The only thing I’ve consistently done my whole life, is write. I’ve never partaken in extra-curricular sports. I was forced to take swimming lessons, art classes, tennis lessons, and even a few soccer and basketball leagues, but nothing stuck. In high school I ran cross country and turned out being pretty good at it, but who wants to say their hobby is running? Who am I, Forrest Gump? I don’t even like running anyways. Why would anyone? I have to question the sanity of anyone voluntarily running marathons (and applaud, I guess.)
Continue reading “How’s this for a hobby?”