Just Get Over It Already

Move on, count your losses, count your blessings, better to have loved (liked) and lost than never to have loved (liked) at all, get over it, there’s plenty of fish in the sea, blah blah blah whatever else I’m tired of trying to tell myself.

Since this blog is about my life and how I’m trying to figure things out – I’m just going to share my biggest current personal point of frustration regardless of how ridiculous it is. 

I’ve already written about my most recent relationship blunder and it’s been three months since then and we only actually “dated” (if it was even up to that?) for maybe a month but I’m still bummed about it.  And this is abnormal for me – I’m a “well, it wasn’t meant to be so it isn’t anymore!” kind of person and with the above background information, this breakup should be a breeze for me to get over, right?  Not so much apparently. 

I’ve thought about it and one explanation for my inability to move on could be that the chance to really truly find out if it wasn’t meant to be wasn’t even given room to breathe.  Yes, I ended it, but I did so preemptively and I tried explain this but the person had already “moved on” by the time I came to that realization.

It takes me a LONG time to open up to a partner – it even takes me a bit to feel at ease around them – I’m a tough nut to crack.  If you’re so inclined to enjoy astrology, I’m a cancer and though I’m trying to soften my hard shell just try to imagine a crab without its shell – that’s a very unnerving site!  I’m still stuck on the “but what if?” because it wasn’t explored fully.  My shell was thick and tough thanks to the relationship before this one (cheating, lying, yelling, emotional manipulation, all around bad news bears).  What could have been if my walls weren’t so solidly up?  Sure it could’ve ended just the same,  but it would be with reason. 

 And that’s the other big component that’s missing from this breakup – the lack of clarity in my closure.  Moved on?  Ok, but why?  There’s got to be a reason, right?  I post on Facebook too much, I’m pushy, I hate the TV news, the  physical attraction just wasn’t there, the spark was more like a fizzle, I’m too in my own head half the time then writing blogs the other half. . .  I need something identifiable that I can stick next to the expiration date of the relationship and say “Yeah, that makes sense.”  The vague nebulous of potential reasons has got my heart shoving its foot in the door whispering that there’s still a chance.  No, heart!  There is NOT a chance!  But without enough information that the brain can process then relay to the heart that damn heart will just not let it go. 

I never would have thought that at 32 I’d be writing about relationship woes on a damn blog.  This seemingly disproportionate heartache makes me feel borderline pathetic but I think this is just me being human.  I have to admit that I’m not indestructible for once and I’m not used to that.  I suppose I could consider it a lesson in humility.  It’s all so cliche though.  

It’ll be easier one day.  Even without closure.  I just need to remind myself that it’s ok to not be ok, regardless of how ridiculous it seems to indulge that. 

Perspective: Entitlement vs Gratitude

Here’s how I’m seeing things currently: 

My apartment does not have central AC in Florida, I don’t get paid what I deserve, I was just told by my landlady that she’s selling my place, I have to take medications every day to be at a base level of happy, I go to bed alone, I’m stuck working an 8-5 and trying to figure out a side hustle for the foreseeable future because: bills, I have a car payment now after an accident totaled the car I nearly paid off and loved, I miss my dad, and my level of physical fitness is sad. 

Those are the things I think. 
Here’s what I am constantly encouraging myself to replace those thoughts with: 

I have an apartment that I can afford in a place that I like and enough income to buy fans, I enjoy the work that I do and the people I work with – plus I just spoke up about my rate so I’ve said my belief to the person who matters and we’ll see what happens, there are always housing options – they may not be perfect but they might just be even better, I don’t have to take medications to stay alive – I have learned coping mechanisms and have a support system – it would just be a decrease in quality of life, my bed is empty because I’m waiting for my perfect partner in crime and am done settling (let me tell you it took an embarrassing amount of time to learn that) – plus I have my new kitty Ellie who likes to sleep at my feet, I can see there’s a way out of the corporate grind and I am working my way toward it – in the meantime I don’t HATE my job like most people do, I survived two car accidents in the span of a month – suck it up, I have a mom and a brother that I love and I have so so many good memories of my dad, and DAMMIT JESSIE – you have no right to complain if you choose cupcakes over bike rides – quit making excuses! 
So that’s my little internal monologue of practicing gratitude rather than negative entitlement. 

Put my best foot forward and I’m bound to get SOMEWHERE. 

Right?

Also, here’s my kitty, Ellie, she makes me smile. Even when she interrupts my reading. And my one AC unit, it makes me happy too. 

Why I choose gratitude

This is only my second mobile post so forgive the brevity. I have a point I want to make though! 

A sorority sister,  who I haven’t spoken to in 10-ish years, messaged me on Facebook last night and it just floored me. 

“Hey Jessie! I know we haven’t talked in a while but i like to keep up with my old friends any way I can! I always see your posts about personal empowerment and empowering others! I just want you to know how much I’ve admired that about you since we met so long ago! I know (again from your posts) you’ve had some tough times–I think we’ve all been through the ringer in many ways–but I just adore your positive attitude! You’ve always been a role-model to me in that way! Keep kickin ass girl! Miss you, friend! 

LICO ūüíú

P.s. Love the Harry Potter post!”

First, I still love Harry Potter as much as I did in high school. 

Second, those “tough times” are WHY I choose gratitude nearly every day (no one is perfect and I definitely let negativity get the best of me sometimes). Knowing the depths of depression and not wanting to be ALIVE gives you a lot of perspective when you recover (it’s still a process and a fight to maintain that recovery). My dad’s death 5 years ago put a lot of shit into perspective too – in the least enjoyable way. 

My point is, try to ACTIVELY CHOOSE GRATITUDE.  Every day.  It’s tough, I know.  Trust me though, it can become a habit (brain rewiring – science!) and it is one of the best things you can do for your health. 

The Flaw Finder

Learning While Adventuring

When I said that my trip was “eye-opening” in my previous post, I was referring to a few experiences, this one in particular.  Let me explain.

Things that I know about myself:  I can be pushy/bossy/stubborn/whatever you want to call it.  I can also be overly helpful when mayyyyybe someone didn’t even want to be helped.  These are character flaws that I have been distantly aware of.

After the corporate training in Baltimore was done for the day (two Fridays ago now), I went out to a local pub, on the suggestion of a friend, and sat at the bar. My plan was to just sit there and eat some food, drink some beer, and maybe, just maybe meet some friendly locals.  Shortly after arriving I met the “friendly local” sitting next to me, a bartender from another place off for the night, who seemed to be friends with the bartenders of this bar.  The two working bartenders, the “friendly local” off-duty bartender, and myself kept jumping into each other’s conversations so I scooted  to the seat next to the friendly local eventually and we ended up talking about his current relationship.

This is a thing I do.  I talk to people about their intimate details because that’s real, I hate small talk.  I ask questions and I love listening.  I love getting to know a person for more than their superficial representations.  Maybe I should be a therapist after all. . .

At first my new friend was just showing me photos and talking about how he and his “lady friend” had plans that night that she backed out of. Me being curious about things that are none of my business (stranger’s relationships), I asked more about how they met and what they like to do in the city.  After some more talking it turns out that the “lady friend” is actually married.  WHAT?  But. . . (it gets better) she got married while he was dating her and he only found out through (getting better. . . .) Facebook.  UMMMM. . . . WHAT?

This sounds like insanity, right? And maybe you’re thinking “C’mon Jessie, he’s just trying to play on your sympathy to try to get with you.” but I assure you that is not what happened here.

He goes on explaining to me the timeline of how all of the insanity went down (which apparently was over 2 years) and 5 minutes in I stop him so I can pull out my travel journal, rip a clean page out, and document this whole mess.  For the next 30 minutes I took notes, in chronological order, on paper, so that he could see – written down – just how ridiculous this all sounded.  “Unsolicited Advice Jessie” was in go mode and he didn’t seem to mind, in fact he’d point out where I could write in other shitty things that happened.

After that unsolicited advice exercise he ended up taking me around to a few other local bars where he knew the people and I met new friends. I took a lyft back to my hotel and he walked home – NO SHENANIGANS.  (ok, but even if there was shenanigans that would be totally fine because I’m my own person and you over there can just calm down)  It was a really fun night out in a strange city thanks to what I’m writing up as, an alright guy.

 

Flaw-Finding

In my venture to figure out what I bring to a relationship and what I want from my next partnership, I’ve been trying to uncover potential flaws of mine that I’m not readily aware of.  My theory behind “uncovering” these quirks is so that I can have an idea of where trouble may arise in a relationship that I can help control on my own part.  And I’m not necessarily talking about FLAWS, because that’s a strong word, maybe just habits that could be taken the wrong way in a relationship?

The day after completing the “why am I with this person?” exercise with my new Baltimore friend (read: complete stranger who knows nothing about me and my plethora of quirks) I realized I had done it again.  I just up and gave my opinion then proceeded to point out how it was right, to an ABSOLUTE STRANGER!  I am aware that my “unsolicited advice” and in turn, my bossiness can come across as rude, domineering, being on a “high horse”,  or simply annoying.  I know, I fully understand.  Where I’m convinced I’m being helpful, others may find me annoyingly bothersome (or, if I find the right person, endearingly misguided??).

 

What to do with your Findings

I’m currently single and still attached to the idea that I have the perfect partner in crime out there (perfect FOR ME! not actually PERFECT) so while I’ve been on the path to figuring myself out, I’ve been looking at what I find from the perspective of how it would work in a potential partnership as well.

In previous relationships I have been woefully ignorant of my own shortcomings and I have dated rather nice people who were either too nice to call me out, tolerated my sh*t, or were stifled by my bossiness and thus never brought these flaws to my attention.  OR, I was just running around with my fingers stuffed in my ears pretending I was perfect despite the shouts from the crowd stating the opposite.  Who knows?

My point is that once these potentially irksome habits come to light in my daily living, I take note of them.  Having a bipolar brain has made it difficult to really take stock of who I am, what I have to offer, where I can improve, and where my best qualities are.  It’s like there’s a constant static around what I truly want to get at.  From the ages of 13 to 29 I lived most of my life in the reactionary mode.  I was constantly reacting to situations rather than actively creating my own situations (or learning to view life differently).  Being successfully medicated for the last 3+ years has given me the space between my thoughts and my actions to step back and observe more, react less.  It’s fantastic.  I’m taking this new ability and using it to better myself, for myself, my friends, and whatever new relationships lay ahead.

I’m finding my potential flaws, assessing them, and figuring out where they fit into my best version of myself – one experience at a time. 

Biggest Lessons in Traveling Solo

Lesson One –¬†Solo is not for me

This may sound like a cop out but the biggest lesson I learned during my travels is that I prefer not to travel solo.

**Let me preface this by saying that I’ve fluctuated between the independent and codependent behaviors since I was a kid. ¬†It changes, I’m not entirely sure why, so I’ll go from venturing out into new groups/hobbies/activities on my own for a few months, then the pendulum swings back the other way and I refuse to go anywhere or do anything unless I know a friend will be there to hang out with the whole time (or an SO if I’ve got one at the time). ¬†Sometimes I’m fine on my own, other times I could use a security blanket. ¬†I hate admitting that security blanket bit, but that’s the truth.**

While on my adventure,¬†I found that I appreciated the sites, the food, and the people well enough, but there was this deeper sense of wanting to share it with someone. You know when you’re with your best friend, or your significant other, and you naturally make inside jokes out of everything? I could feel that missing while I was exploring. ¬†I would find things that I thought were funny or whenever I learned something entirely new and it was oddly clear that I didn’t have someone to turn around and share that with.

This is where I contemplated if my codependent behaviors were getting the best of me but after much internal arguing, I decided no.  I went on this trip solo, I enjoyed it solo, and I would take advantage of any other opportunity like this that came up Рeven without a friend or SO with me.  Although my preferences are to travel WITH, I will certainly jump at the chance to adventure even WITHOUT.

Side note, that movie Love Actually completely ruined me in terms of romantic expectations because damn-it-all if I don’t get a little sad every time I arrive at an airport ungreeted. ¬†Curse you, adorably flawed British romantic Christmas movie.

 

Lesson Two –¬†Make it Happen

The biggest lesson I learned once I returned and had time to process everything, is that you should never wait for things to happen, you need to MAKE them happen.

Now that I’m back, unpacked, and getting over this sinus infection, I’ve had time to think about my solo adventure and what I can take from it to improve my existence. Before this, I had never gone anywhere, on an adventure, by myself so this was a challenge I set myself to. This trip to DC magically presented itself to me by way of convenient corporate training in nearby Baltimore so I took full advantage of the serendipitous circumstances. I had been to DC once before, by way of train, and only got to explore it for a day and a half. If you’re familiar with DC you know that a day and a half is not nearly enough time to see even a third of what the city has to offer. When I learned that I had to go to corporate training and it was a short train ride from DC, I started planning.

Originally I was going to stay at a friend’s place the whole time (an ex from college that I’ve kept in touch with) but closer to the date (after I had booked my flights) he said that his work asked him to attend some conference during the weekend. That was fine, I’d just fine an Airbnb for the weekend and crash at his place the rest of the days. NOPE! He ghosted just a few days prior to my flight out! Someone I’m friends with on facebook and text every once in a while, just completely ghosted. I had hope that he’d still touch base closer to my travel dates so I only got the Airbnb for the weekend.

I was screwed.  Long story short, I grabbed another Airbnb reservation and that ended up being what was essentially a bed in the basement of a frat house.  YEAH.  AWFUL.  And I was sick with this sinus infection.  It was miserable but I was determined to roll with the punches.

I did most of what I wanted to do on this trip, some things were left out because my sinuses got the best of me, or because the activities were meant for more people (I was supposed to be hanging out with my friend and his girlfriend for the weekend), but overall I think I accomplished what I set out to. ¬†I dined out ALL BY MYSELF. ¬†I went to amazing museums and sites ALL BY MYSELF. ¬†I tried to figure out public transit, but honestly, it got to the point where it was worth the $6-$20 lyft fare to not spend 45 minutes getting somewhere that typically takes 15-20 via car. ¬†But, I took lyfts ALL BY MYSELF. ¬†I caught more pokemon ALL BY MYSELF (I downloaded the app when I got my new phone and it’s fun, I really like renaming all my new little pets). ¬†I flew on planes ALL BY MYSELF (I’m not a fan of flying, though I used to be). ¬†Man, this list kind of makes me sound like an 8 year old.

Had I said to myself “You know, Jessie, you really should wait to take a trip when you can do it with someone else.” I wouldn’t have seen all of the super cool stuff that I did. ¬†I wouldn’t have had the conversations with strangers that I did. ¬†I wouldn’t have leapt so far outside of my comfort zone and learned that I landed safely.

 

Lesson Three – You do You

No matter what, you do what suits you best. ¬†I went into this adventure hoping to be more like an amazing friend of mine – she’s been traveling all across Germany, mostly on her own – and I realized that ultimately, I’m going to adventure only like myself. ¬†I can’t hold myself to the standards of experienced travelers, or adventurers who seem to have better fortune than me (you know, they don’t end up in frat house basements), or those travelers who also happen to be professional photographers. ¬†I can only be Jessie. ¬†Jessie the adventuring introvert.

Be true to yourself and what you want out of your own adventure.  If you want to go to a crazy exotic place and read a book against the beautiful background, do it.  If you want to go to London and party, do it.  If you want to go on cruises and show up wherever they take you, do it.  You own that adventuring.

Adventuring for the Introvert – My First Solo Trip

Whew! ¬†I made it! ¬†I am back in the swamp lands of Florida, just in time for tropical storm/tropical depression/hurricane Hermine, whatever she’s been upgraded-downgraded to now.

I won’t go into details in this post, I’m still exhausted, but I wanted to let y’all know that I survived my very first solo vacation!!! ¬†I was in Baltimore for corporate training for 2 days, which I then took advantage of by hopping on over to Washington, D.C. for 5 days to explore. ¬†I’ll be¬†writing more soon once I rest up some more – I’m recovering from a lovely sinus infection that I got whilst running around in foreign allergens for a week.

Anyway, a little teaser. . . it was fun, exhausting, eye-opening, intimidating, heart-warming, clarifying, educational, challenging, memorable, and both too long and too short at the same time.

Hooray!  I did it!  Bucket list item, CHECKED!

adventuring