Wow!!!! It’s incredible! I am officially half way through this year!!!
-Insert happy dance here-
-Insert happy dance here-
My therapist asked me the other day “why is the half way mark so important to you?” I had never really considered that before and could not come up with an answer immediately. Like with most things to which I don’t have an answer, the question nagged at me until I could come up with one. When I was living overseas, I remember celebrating the half way mark as well. It is significant. Recently, I discovered the answer…
The halfway point of anything marks the moment in time where the amount of time remaining is equal to the amount of time passed (thanks for the obvious explanation!). This means that you have already experienced the amount of time that you still have left. You have done it before. This, in my mind, is reassuring. When I began this year, it seemed incredibly daunting and I have celebrated the little milestones. 5 months was exciting because it meant that I broke my record for the amount of time spent without having sex (and every day after was yet another achievement), but I didn’t have any perspective on how long a year really was. Now I do. I have gone 6 months (now longer) without having sex, I only have to do that same amount again. There is perspective. There is point-of-reference. There is the confidence that it is possible because it has been possible before. There is strength in that knowledge. The world didn’t come to an end. I wasn’t ostracized by the entire male population. I wasn’t any less desirable or attractive. Life went on as it always does. And now, every day that I continue in this endeavour, it becomes easier and easier because the time is lessening and the amount of experience is growing. I have reached the summit of the mountain and now can enjoy the leisurely journey back down (even if the desire to have sex is still increasing).
So much has been going on in my mind recently that I barely know where to start.
The amount of time that I spend obsessing about boys has diminished to almost insignificant levels. Girl Brain seems to be sufficiently under control that it no longer impacts my life. Self-esteem is at an all-time high. Things are good. I’m finding that I am able to really appreciate this time in my life more and more.
I have been missing being in a relationship over the past couple weeks. This could be due to my busy work schedule. I’ve been on a huge contract that has required the management of some delicate inter-personal relationships, which always adds extra time and work to the job, but it has all been worth it and we are in the home stretch of the project. YAY!!! During the thick of this project, it would have been nice to have someone to come home to at the end of the day. When I’m busiest is when I feel the most alone (probably because I also don’t get to see many of my loved ones during these times, so there is no one around to keep me grounded). At one point I was thinking about how nice it was to wake up next to partner and have someone to hold – as it was with The Ex. This shook me a little because since The Rose, I haven’t really thought about him and I assumed I had come to terms with those emotions. This got me thinking about Kryptonite (who I have been in contact with pretty regularly recently) and maybe I was fooling myself that we were only friends as well and maybe those emotions were still kicking around. Well, those wonderful people who live in my head took control and sat me down to look at pictures of all the happy times I spent with The Ex and even Kryptonite to see if that is where the longing was stemming from. It wasn’t. I looked at those fond memories with loving nostalgia, but nothing more. There was no yearning to return to times gone by.
The thoughts of waking next to The Ex were simply a thought of something I would like to experience again with the right partner. It also made me realized that when this year is out, I will be in a position where I’m ready to have a real relationship with a man again, which is exciting. I don’t feel the neediness anymore. I don’t need a partner to feel worthwhile (I would like one who can make me dinner when I’m really busy, but it’s not necessary – the guy at Subway works just as well).
I’m just getting back into the swing of therapy, so it has been pretty light for the past two weeks. In my last session, I did come to some significant realizations. I discovered that I have been standing in the way of my own success. I worry that other people might not like me if I’m successful or I may lose friends. This is something that many women face. They play down their own abilities and aspirations in support of others. This week I decided that my success has no impact on anyone else. I have also been employing this in social situations where I often feel awkward or uncomfortable. I spend so much time worrying about what other people will think of me, that I don’t focus on what I think of myself. Whenever I find that I’m obsessing about what other people think, I ask myself, how much time do you think they are spending thinking about what you think of them? And that usually makes the obsessing stop. It’s very liberating.
The next few weeks promise to slow down a bit, which is great. Things have felt a little haphazard in my life recently, but I’m starting to feel in my skin again, which is a nice feeling.
I spent some time re-reading all my posts until this point and was fascinated to see the development I have undergone so clearly documented. It was amazing. Even my posts off the top were obsessed with the boys in my life and attention that I was getting from males. Though that strain is still present in my posts, many of the more recent ones focus on what I’m learning about myself from these encounters and the choices I am making rather than being made upon me.
In Week 8, I talked about my fear of exposing my flaws, especially when it came to dating. As I go through the process, I’m realizing more and more that my flaws are just as big a part of me as my qualities. And even though they are numerous and varied, they are not so great as to make me less of a person because of them. I’m still wonderful at the end of the day and no matter what, the flaws will show at some point. As well, the person I’m in a relationship with will have flaws of his own (and usually, those are the things that endear someone to me more). Flaws make us beautiful. The more time I spend with myself, the more I recognize that there is nothing about me that is unlovable.
The other thing that struck me was in my post from Month 3, when I discussed the need for human connection and my anger at the universe – especially about the permanence of the past. This is something that has been creeping through my life a lot lately. It is a cruel trick that we become so knowledgeable as we grow older but can’t apply that knowledge to the past (when we most sorely need it). The saying “hindsight is 20/20” really applies. Oh to be able to go back knowing what I know now. I guess this is where humanity’s fascination with time travel stems from. Learning to accept the past for what it is and move forward is proving to be the greatest challenge of this year. I’ve spent so much of my life ignoring, denying or running from the past, that to stop and face it now… well, it’s difficult. (Hey! “Difficult” – isn’t that the theme of this year?! For those who grew up with PeeWee’s Playhouse, I’m reminded of the “Word of the Day” when the entire room would erupt with mayhem whenever someone said the word. That’s what’s happening in my brain as I type “difficult”.)
I think the most important development so far is the transition of feeling like a scared little girl into a confident woman. I’m still not all the way there (but I’m also only at the half way point). I talk about “the people in my head” a lot, but to this point my brain was pretty much ruled by the two little girls that live up there. Recently, the little girls stumbled upon “The Woman”. She was beaten and bound and still has yet to talk, but she is growing stronger by the day. This is the part that no longer feels like I’m playing at being an adult (a perception that I’m still removed from the life I’m leading) and actually becoming one (being present in the moment). She is the part of me that is still in the most need of healing.
Looking back over these past 6 months has been very rewarding. When you are in the thick of it, it is often hard to realize the progress you are making. I knew that I had made progress and overcome a number of issues, but until I sat down and read from start to now the feelings and emotions I had experienced and how they have changed, it didn’t sink in how far I had come. My skepticism for the purpose of this journey is gone. This has truly been the best decision I have made for myself in quite some time (though my confidence that I’m going to make it through to the finish still wanes). I have had no other choice but to make myself a priority through this experiment which has resulted in finding what is best for me. It is an incredible journey. Much like my anger with the permanence of the past, my fear of the future still haunts me. I looked forward with nervous anticipation to see what these next 6 months will bring.