Friday, February 24, 2012

If You'd Like to Leave a Message . . .

I've started doing a self-help course that is kind of embarrassing to talk about (mostly because admitting to buying a self-help book goes against my personal integrity). But, since this is the place I air my dirty laundry to complete strangers, I figure, why not blog about it? I guess, in the interest of maybe helping someone else in the same position, I should put it out there. And, this blog is often where I blarg my stream-of-consciousness shit, so why not?

So, I picked up a book called "Calling in 'The One'". It's silly, I know. Full of touchy-feely pseudo-science. I'm not really sure why I went ahead and bought it, but I guess the simplest answer is this: when it comes to seeking relationships, I know I'm doing something wrong. Lots of people seem to want to blame their solitude on others, and that's fine for them, but that's not how I work. If I'm in a spot I don't want to be in, I know whose fault that is, and whose responsibility it is to fix it. I know my dating life sucks because of the issues I have, not because everybody else in the world is a blind narcissistic idiot. Well, there are those out there. But that's for another blog post.

So, I picked up this book, which purports that in 45 days you will open yourself to attracting your soulmate. I am pausing for a minute to snort into my hand. It's not that I don't believe in soulmates; I utterly and completely do. But, I doubt a book can tell me how to find mine. However, I am going through each of the "practices" (I started this on Valentine's Day, so I'm on Day 11) with an eye towards perhaps exploring parts of my brain I haven't spent much time sweeping out, namely, the relationship center.

Here's what I've figured out about myself so far:
1. I may think I want a partner in life, but apparently I don't.

It was sort of disappointing and surprising to come to that conclusion, but I think that ultimately, it's true. Regardless of any surface desire to feel less lonely, the facts of the matter are that I simply haven't made any room in my life for a partner. My schedule doesn't allow for it. My apartment is not a conducive space for it. I mostly resist overt effort at following up on dates. And, at the top of any of my life lists are Career with a capital 'C', and love falls somewhere down near number 5 or 6. Before anyone loses their shit and yells at me that women can have career and love, relax. I know that. I know many, many women have wonderful, beautiful love in their lives and a fulfilling career too. Right now I feel like farting in their general direction. But, I know they exist and that I could one day be one of them. Just not anytime in the near future.

I think I've been puttering along assuming that love would just happen to me, and if this silly course has taught me anything, its that I have made that almost impossible. I have designed my life to remain alone, and I don't really seem interested in changing it. I can hear my friends now: "You can change things! Change your schedule! Change your furniture! Rearrange your life! Open your heart!" But, I don't think I can right now. Take my apartment as a symbol for the entire situation: the course suggests rearranging your space to make it welcoming and inviting for a partner, getting two nightstands, arranging furniture for the presence of a second person, buying dishes in sets of two, etc, thereby mentally encouraging the concept of having someone else present in your life. But, my apartment is cramped and full and aggressively me: my sewing and painting and writing and reading and hatting take up two-thirds of the space, with my bed squeezed into the leftover, and room for one nightstand only. It is a microcosm of my life, full of my singular interests and career pursuits, with no space left for another person. And, when I really think about bringing someone else into it (for sexy time, not just for a friendly visit), I mostly feel a sense of invasion. Not longing. I know this is an old issue I'm still dealing with, but my space is mine, and I am possessive about it after so long having no place I could could uniquely call my own.

And, my schedule is necessary for my sanity and well being: I get up at 5am to go to work, and get home after 4pm. I am in bed by 6pm, reading usually until 8, when it's lights out, asleep by 9. This is true all week, with the exception of Friday nights and Saturdays, the only time open for social things. If I were to start making a habit of going out during the week or staying up on phone calls at all hours with some beau, I would be an irritable zombie after a very short time, and start to resent the situation (and the person) that was making me that way. But, I also recognize how ridiculous it is to expect to have a magical relationship where this sort of schedule works for the other person.

I guess this course was worth the $10 I paid for the book, in that it showed me something I hadn't realized: I don't want to change my life right now to fit someone else in. I'm focused on my own issues and getting where I want to be, and I can't expect love to squeeze into the space I have left for it. In a way, it's a bit of a relief to let go of that pressure I put on myself, that constant mental voice saying, "You need to find someone!" I just don't have room for anyone right now.

I'll keep doing the course until the end, ostly because I hate leaving things unfinished. Maybe I'll have a few more revelations. But, I don't think any of them will involve my meeting "The One". If they're out there somewhere, I guess they're just going to have to find somebody else. I'm not ready.


Trinity said...

I completely hear what you are saying because I'm at the same place in my life. And it's ok. The best thing you can do is be aware and honest that you want to focus only on yourself right now. There's always time later to make room for a soul mate - and slowly but surely you will get there. But if you try to force things to satisfy society, you are bound to fail.

Jen Bristow said...

It's very important to be self aware enough to know what you need at any given time. It sounds to me that you would *eventually* like to have a special someone, but until them be happy with what you have. Things will change on their own when you are ready for them to. Don't rush it and enjoy being alone - but not lonely.