“I am not my search”

Project Description:

I am just looking for a connection, I keep telling myself. Are you sure that’s all?, my subconscious keeps asking. I have always found it extremely difficult to get into relationships. I meet people, and I go out with them a few times and then go, nope. Half of my brain thinks it’s because I just haven’t met the right person yet. That’s the kind, rational side. The critical, naggy side thinks it’s because there’s something wrong with me. It gives me all kinda of scenarios: maybe I don’t love myself enough and it’s my subconscious’ way of telling me I’m not ready. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to fill a void and when I realize that person won’t do that for me, I lose interest. Maybe I’m so afraid of committing that I don’t even know it. So many rude thoughts try to bring me down and make me feel lonely.

But I remain positive. Even through the long string of hopefuls, I try not to get too much into the trap of- oh maybe this one’s the one. My imagination races forward in time, creating unnecessary scenarios and making it hard for me to treat them normally. I feel like I am always looking. Does everyone not in a relationship feel this way? I can’t un-program my search feature. It is always on, and it uses up too much energy. It has haunted me since the second I became interested in boys. I remember standing outside of school in 8th grade, waiting for my mom and the wind was wrapping my clothes around me like a caress. I kept imagining what it would feel like to have a boyfriend, wanting so badly to feel that someone cared about me that way. It would be 8 more years before I knew what that felt like. 8 more years of agony, wondering, longing, pining, crying, and hating. Then the relationship I broke my fast with at age 21 wasn’t even that feeling I’d craved at age 13. Well, it was for the first few months. Then the next 7 months, I struggled, trying to get my man to pay attention, feeling more lonely than when I was single. When we broke up, I felt the weight of his neglected childhood lift off my shoulders. That was the first big lesson. I had learned a lot, and what I didn’t see until after the relationship had ended was how miserable I was, and how much earlier I should have gotten out. I floundered around until I found the one thing that has made me love myself in life-changing ways. Yoga.

Yoga helps. It helps me silence the negative self-talk. It helps me truly love who I am, with all of my faults. Acceptance is key… when I accept myself exactly as I am, I am saying that I am enough. I am whole, and I complete myself. I don’t need outside affirmation. Yoga is a practice though, and when you stop practicing something for a while, you stop being good at it. Sometimes I don’t spend enough time in an attitude of gratitude and the loneliness monster rears its ugly head.

In college, I used to be proud to be a self-diagnosed committaphobe. I would wrinkle my nose to babies and gag at the sight of weddings. Maybe I really didn’t like them, but maybe I was lying to myself so hard that I tricked myself into disgust.
The difference now is awareness. I have become highly aware of my desires, attractions, and dating habits. I have also begun to take responsibility for the consequences my decisions have left me with.

I also used to be the kind of person that said “Why does this happen to me?”, “Men always disappoint.” and “No one wants to hang out with me.” Taking responsibility for my emotions has turned “why me” into “Stuff happens. I’ll get through this.” It’s turned “men disappoint” into “Why do I choose the ones that don’t care about me?” and “no one wants to hang” into “My friends have busy schedules too- if I notified them before the day of, they would probably love to plan something with me.”

Taking a look at my choices and emotions under a microscope has put me in a much better and happier place with myself. I still have so much to understand and work through but the more I journal about it (without just dwelling and complaining, which is easy to do while journaling), the more clarity I have, and the better and closer to my heart my choices become. The struggle is real, but then again, so is my yoga practice. So are my family and friends. And I am real. I am here, I am present, I am love. I am not my search.