Learning to Use it

In the interest of moving forward, I went out for Indian food with the woman from OKCupid, the one that works with deaf children. We chatted easily about music and work and all the stuff you do when you first meet someone. It was a pleasure to talk with someone who absolutely didn’t know me from Adam, except for the few things she’d read about me online. I didn’t feel a spark, but I rarely do on a first date. Attraction comes over time rather than being immediate. We didn’t make plans to get together again, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen later. I am just proud of myself for being willing to get out of my comfort zone and being willing to entertain the idea of continuing to branch out. I don’t think I realized how long it’s been since Dana and I broke up until I had to say it out loud. It was a moment where I really felt stuck in my own life, but it has not come at an enormous cost. I have needed it. I have needed time “not to surrender my loneliness so quickly,” in the words of Hafiz. You can rarely analyze by partying.

I’m walking a little taller today, if exhausted. As I mentioned yesterday, I am not feeling 100%, and I stayed up way too late for my taste… because of course, when I got home I had to think all the way through what had just happened. When do I not? She was kind, funny, easy on the eyes [;)].. everything I would’ve hoped for and more, but at the same time, the last few years have taken an enormous emotional toll on me and I waffle on whether I’m ready to be happy, let myself have that enormous dopamine rush of “new relationship,” and I don’t mean with her. I mean with anyone. Am I capable of letting go of the ways I’ve truly fucked up relationships in the past? Am I capable of healthy reactions? Am I capable of being the person I want to be instead of the person I’ve been?

Until I have those answers, all I can say is a solid “maybe.” Cognitive dissonance is not one of those things I avoid. I will see both sides of an issue until Jesus comes (look busy) if I have to. I am so conflicted over where I’ve been and where I’m going. The one thing I’m not conflicted about is knowing that I need to be more careful with other people’s hearts when they give them to me.

I’ve been way too tied up in ego, possibly for the first time in my life, as I have struggled with the balance between self-preservation and just being seen as a selfish dickhead for having too much. But in those moments, I live in Argo’s words of “looking inside yourself isn’t for sissies.”

No. No, it isn’t. It’s backbreaking emotional work every day. Those words make me walk taller as well, because I know that even though it’s hard, it’s worth it… and there is very little anyone can do to keep me from it. And perhaps that is why I am so ambivalent about letting someone new into my life as well, because what am I losing in that transaction? Mostly the ability to manage all of my own time. Meeting someone new in a romantic sense is not a goal at this point, because I am still wandering through the desert in isolation to try and come out on the other side with clarity about who I am and espousing the values to which I aspire and often fall short.

There will never be a time in which I am perfect; the hard truth is that no one has that luxury. But at the same time, I am willing to do more to be more later on. Leading by self-improvement is the lot in life of the INFJ- introspection is at the top of the food chain. But if I observe without actually changing anything about my mood and behavior, I am missing the point entirely.

Rock bottom was this realization… that I noticed, but couldn’t rise above the rage I was handing out. I think I’ve mellowed over time, unless someone comes along and knows just what buttons to push to get me to regress. I don’t want to lapse anymore. I want my eyes to be set firmly on the future and the possibility it holds, rather than being held hostage by all the feelings I couldn’t express and therefore, raged instead. It was a lot of protection mode, a barbed wire fence as not to let anyone get past my defense mechanisms, firmly in place over years and years of hiding pain… not unlike a wounded animal who walks in the world claws first.

The truth is that I have a large heart. I am only now learning to use it.


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