September Surrender: Day 22
What I’m Letting Go: Awkward but Human
Back when I was speaking to a therapist, she made a poignant observation that for some reason never occurred to me when I was explaining how sensitive and weird I was feeling about things. “Well, you’re human,” she told me. It was so simple, and yet I had to mull it over. Of course I’m human. Just like everyone else. Well, maybe not everyone, there’s a few scaly alien jerks living among us, but I digress. I am human. I’m flawed. I’m emotional. I’m everything all at once. I just don’t use my humanity as an excuse to be a jerk. But it does explain this wash of feelings I have each and every single day. And yet I still expect perfection out of myself instead of acknowledging I might fumble the ball once in a while.
I felt awkward a lot as a kid. I liked being loud and goofy for those who liked it, but somewhere in the back of my head I knew I was just being a weirdo. One time at some kind of school event, I practically tackled my best friend onto a table, hugged her and air kissed her. One of the girls in the grade above me looked at me with disdain and said, “You’re gay.” I was in third grade and only kind of knew what that meant. I thought I was just showing my friend I loved her. I actually had to ask my mom if I was gay for loving my friend because I just didn’t understand. But I remember never wanting to come off that weird in front of anyone ever again. It was really the first time I felt like my actions and intentions were seen as strange to others, and it feels like I’ve been striving for perfection ever since.
Only I don’t know what “perfection” even means anymore. Who defines what is perfect? Am I so self-conscious that I can’t let life’s awkward moments factor in anymore? It’s not like that one time in third grade was the last time I felt like an oddball out. There was that time I accidentally opened the shower curtain on an old woman at our local pool. Or the time I tried showing off my sleep sweatshirt at Girl Scout camp but forgot to put my pajama bottoms on and was just trotting around pantsless. It’s all a part of life. I have to stop thinking it’s not. They’re all character-building moments. Cringe is only temporary after all.
What I’ve Discovered: Unbothered At Last
I had my headphones in today in the elevator bank. I was listening to some Kanye west and doing a bit of a shuffle along with it. I noticed my co-worker approaching me from behind because I saw his reflection in the glass double doors in front of me. Of course, I didn’t hear anything he said to me, but I turned around and popped out an earbud, just in case he did say something. “What?” I asked. “Oh no, I was just asking if you’re doing the weekend shuffle,” he said, “Sorry if I embarrassed you.” We got into the elevator and I told him, no, I’m not embarrassed at all. In fact, these days, it takes a lot to get me embarrassed. I know this is odd to say coming off of what I just wrote above, but truly my threshold for these self-conscious feelings seems to be getting higher and higher as I get older.
Over the weekend, my dad was outside with the 1-800-GOT-JUNK guys. He stood outside the garage with them and relayed the story of what was going on with our family. I only stood by the door, not joining in the conversation. If this were me a few years ago, I would have felt awkward not being part of the chat. And though I was just idling by, I felt like it was just what was happening in that moment. He was talking, I was standing. And so what? What embarrassment could possibly be attached to such a scenario? It’s like when I was singing a song in the elevator at work and the doors opened to a crowd full of people. I just kept right on singing. Because I chose to continue in my moment than alter anything for others.
This is not to say I have no filter. I do. But I’m working on finding moments where I’m actually in them to find what’s real. What others think of me is not my concern. At this point, nothing anyone can say about me isn’t something I’ve already thought about myself. Let it rip. Watch how unbothered I truly can be.
What I Hope to Find: Just One Magic Moment
I’ve always enjoyed the moments leading up to intimacy rather than the actual act of doing it. I just never really enjoyed it all that much. Sometimes I feel like something is wrong with me. I’m not frigid by any means. I just like doing other stuff better. But I kept trying for years to feel something. I’ve since stopped trying and with the way I feel, I may never try again. But if I’m going to have a baby the old-fashioned way, I’ve got to get over this hump and strive for a real successful connection.
There’s been far too many fumbles over the course of my love life. I get far too into my own head to make anything happen during the actual moment, and it ends up not being enjoyable. There are just too many awkward things that happen, like one guy who bit my stomach so hard he left a bruise, or another guy having no navigational skills down below and me being too shy to tell him to crane up about forty-five degrees. It feels like it takes a lot to satisfy me, and I get jealous of thinking how seemingly easy it is for everyone else to just let go and have fun.
Or maybe it’s not easy for them either. Maybe it’s absolutely none of my business. Maybe my goal here is to find the one and only who can help bring it out of me. I just want it once. That’s all I need. One and done. After that, I won’t care if I never get it ever again. Because with the way I’ve been feeling lately, as long as the one results in knocking me up, I can die a happy albeit s*xless woman. It matters not to me. I only need the one.
It may seem pathetic to some that a thirty-seven-year-old woman could go this long with this kind of thirst, but if you think I care what others think at this point in this entry, I’m not sure what to tell you. Hopefully the next time I find someone who sets my soul alight, I won’t fumble the ball this time. Unless he wants me to, of course.