What Do I Do Now?
I woke up feeling a little lost. Yesterday was a big day...on many fronts. I am no longer counting the days of The Mansbatical. Freed from a goal and ideal, I find myself a woman without a topic...for the moment. I received several texts and a couple of calls from people thinking that the blog was over...no, just The Mansbatical. I will still write daily...regardless of whether I have anything to say. Sorry, not sorry.
Yesterday was a weird day. I felt liberated in some ways and incredibly sad in others. I had to let some things go and that is never easy for me. Mostly what I had to let go of was this idea that I am ever going to get what I want by settling for less than I want. I can see that my inability to be honest and not accommodate others desires in a codependent manner allows me to end up in some pretty dire situations.
I chose me yesterday. It was not easy. It didn’t feel good and I spent the entirety of my day wanting to make another choice. But what can you say to someone who is willing to give you everything but only in drips and drabs. What kind of relationship is that? It matters not whether it is a friendship or lover or familial...it matters only that I be willing to settle for anything less than I truly want. That is always and forever on me.
I found myself wondering all day why I do I settle?
What is that about?
The answer that kept coming up for me is that I do it so I can keep people in my life. If I don’t ask for much, do what others want a great deal of the time, they tend to stick around...
But I failed to see who was sticking around. For sure the quality of my relationships has gotten better than it was 25 years ago, or even 10 years ago. But I felt yesterday like I have been swimming in place for a long time and found myself tired.
I was at the beach all day with the kids and my friend and her kids. It was a gorgeous October summer day in Southern California. The waves were huge and the surf crashing. The water was warm and inviting. She and I swam out past the breakers and were just enjoying ourselves. Watching our children swim about and surf the less intimidating waves. We were into our conversation as we walked back to shore and didn’t see this giant wave come up behind us and literally crash on top of us. We both were up-ended and tossed about, completely losing our footing...and our swimsuits. As I scrambled to right myself, I realized that this is what I needed in my life, a great reordering. I needed to do some things drastically different than I have been doing them.
I am not even sure what that means (yet) but I think it has to start with me being able to say no to things that are almost good enough but fall short from being what I truly want and desire.
Going back to what I wrote about previously, I think that I have to put honest, unselfishness and consideration at the forefront of all my relationships and begin a spot check inventory of myself in each one of them. I feel like I need to re-evaluate my shit because I have this sneaky suspicion that much like I rose from the tide yesterday, I might just be standing on the beach with my lady parts hanging out...except in this situation, I am not standing there revealing what I had previously been hiding, I am hiding that which really needs to be shown.
I am a great accommodater. I can make what you want, what I want in seconds. I can push your agenda as my own. You won’t even know I am doing it because I am so adept at accommodation. But if I am honest, this has never, ever been what I wanted. That is something that, almost without regard for the relationship, I keep forever to myself.
Why would anyone do that?
Because if you never know what I truly want and need, then you cannot let me down. I cannot be forced to stand with the disappointment of needing something so incredibly desperately and be left standing alone empty handed.
But I can see now that this secret, this need to never really risk anything has been the exact thing that makes it so easy for so many people in my life to discount my needs, push them aside...because I rarely argue or make any statements to the contrary. I give you what you want and then allow you to do whatever you want, never telling you that what you did hurt, or felt shitty to me. Because you knowing that I have a need somehow resulted in being worse than not getting it met...
I imagine that the next few weeks are going to be hard. I am going to be disappointed a lot. People that I wish would choose me, won’t. Things that offer up great potential will have to be rejected because while they hold interest or seem like a good idea at the time, will leave me more empty handed than I ever have been before.
For those of you I hurt in my rejection of doing what you want me to do, I apologize in advance. I am not trying to hurt you, I am trying to stop hurting myself. And as you can see from my ridiculous attempt here to ask your permission to take care of myself, I have a lot of work to do.