Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Searching...

The truth about my relationship: I am trying to find a sign!!!
Signs—there are signs all around us.  Signs tell us what to do, what not to do, how to act, where to go, when to go, and how to go.  Signs take the shape of octagons telling us to stop. Lights tell us to go, and flashing hands telling us to be cautious.

What I’m learning is that there are also signs in relationships—signs telling us to stop, go, and to be cautious.  And right now I feel like there is a bright, glaring green light telling us to proceed; go to the next level of our relationship. 

But we are unable to see the green light because we’ve been blinded by many years of flashing hands.  These flashing hands blink "on" and "off" in a rhythm that forces us to slow down.  As soon as we think we have the green light and can speed back up, the flashing hands come and make us cautious again, slowing us down.  So are almost stricken immobile for fear of moving when we aren’t supposed to.  It’s like we are afraid to cross the street to the other side for fear of getting caught in the middle and not being able to make it to the other side in time.  The flashing hands always push us back to our starting point. 

But this time is different—it has to be!  The signs are more obvious than ever; the only ones standing in our way is ourselves.  We are holding ourselves back from going to the next level.  We are holding ourselves back for fear of making a mistake.  We are holding ourselves back for fear of ridicule, criticism, and disagreement.

We are holding ourselves back because of others and how it will make us look.

But, at some point, we will have to take a risk.  We will have to cross the street and proceed to the next step in our relationship. 

We need signs, but we also need to trust the signs once we receive them. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hands-Off Helping

Sometimes I feel like a mom rather than a girlfriend.
Image by Yoshi Aka
I have a strong desire to help you, a strong desire to do things for you.  I want to solve the problem, find the solution, answer the question.  I want to do all the thinking so you don’t have to. 

But I can’t.  I can’t do that.  I am able to do that, but I shouldn’t.  I need to enable you to resolve your own dilemmas, not enable you to not have to face them. 

I want to help but I can’t.  I can’t be your mom.  You don’t want me to be, and I don’t want me to be.  But sometimes I find myself playing the “mom” role because I don’t trust you to do it yourself.  I know you have good intentions, but sometimes your intentions don’t translate to reality.  I just want to be there to ensure the translation is correct.

But I can’t do that anymore.  For the good of our relationship, I need to start being more hands off.  I need to start taking a back seat and letting you steer the car.  That’s the only way I’m going to start having confidence in you and you are going to have confidence in yourself. 

So I will stop “helping” (if that’s what we should even consider it).  I will stop treating you like a child.  I will stop holding your hand.  I will just stop. 

I have a strong desire to help you, but I have an even stronger desire for you to help yourself.  You are a very smart, competent man.  I need to start allowing you to be…

Which begs the question, why do I feel the need to play the “mom” role?  Do I like playing that role in relationships? Do I get some type of satisfaction by playing that role—Maybe in some weird way, I like to feel needed and in control?

Either way, I can’t put that on you.  I need to find someone else to place my maternal instincts on, because I don’t think any man likes to be told what to do for long…

Friday, September 23, 2011

Finding the Right Balance of Togetherness

A little "me" time is good for the soul.
My boyfriend makes me happygenuinely. I enjoy his company and have a great time when I’m around him. I’m a better version of myself when I’m around him.

But, what I’m also realizing is that I enjoy my own company too. I like being alone at times and I value my “me” time. 

So yesterday when he left to go back to his home, I was filled with different emotions. I was sad to see him go; sad to not have my partner in crime; sad to not have him in the bed next to me. But I was also relieved. I was relieved that I would be able to spend my evenings the way I wanted to, and I didn’t have to think about anyone else or cater to anyone else. I could just do me.

By being in a long-distance relationship, we’ve been naturally able to balance the together time versus the “me” time. In fact, we’ve probably had way too much “me” time than what’s necessary.  However, if we were ever to live in the same city, it will be important for us to continue to invest in the things we like to do by ourselves.  We don’t have to be up under each other every single night; we can spend some evenings alone. 

I actually think carving in time to be by ourselves would be good for the relationship. It will allow us time to miss each other and to appreciate each other.

Because that’s exactly what’s happening now—I miss him. When he first left, I was relieved; but that relief quickly turned into loneliness. I was lonely because I didn’t have someone to eat dinner with. I didn’t have someone to laugh at TV shows with. I didn’t have someone to cuddle in the bed with...besides my teddy bear.

So, if I had it my way, my boyfriend would live in the same city as me, but we would have two nights a week that we would be “off duty.” Meaning, he would do his thing and I would do mine. 

So I that’s the plan!...but first I got to get him to move to my city…because right now, all this alone time is killing me!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Crazy in Love?

The truth in my relationship is that I am crazy.  I am clearly the crazy, highly-emotional one in the relationship!

I try to act like I’m sane, like I don’t do and say irrational things; but the truth of the matter is, I do!  I could be fine one minute and as soon as my boyfriend says something to “set me off,” I’m not fine anymore.  In fact, I’m the opposite of fine.  I get irritated, angry, annoyed, and frustrated.  My eyes involuntarily begin to roll, my heart beat begins to quicken and my mind starts to race.  It races to see how quickly it can come up with a reason why whatever he is saying or doing is stupid, crazy, pointless, or insensitive.  The mind races toward a finish line of being “right,” but once I get there, I realized I haven’t really won anything. 

So then once I’ve realized that this “competition” (that I was in by myself) was pointless and dissatisfying, I immediately begin the race toward undoing what I’ve just said so things can be pleasant again.  There is no point in being “right” when everyone else is left.  There should be comfort in “right,” confidence in “right,” faith in “right.”  But when my boyfriend and I are in a disagreement and I’m “right,” I don’t always feel comfortable.  I’m usually uncomfortable because the right and wrong that we were debating was minor and I end up looking crazy because I debate it as if it were major. 

This crazy person (me) ends up being in this crazy cycle of ups and downs because I’m constantly trying to enhance the mellow and suppress the “extra.” 

I need to either let the mellow ride or let the extra do its thing.  But this constant cycle is getting tiring for my boyfriend and me. 

So I’m going to try the former—I going to try to mellow out a bit….

We will see how long that lasts…

Monday, September 12, 2011

Perfect Imperfections

Now that I'm seeing clearly, I appreciate his imperfections.
Uncovering the truth in my relationship has not taken out all the kinks in the relationship. My boyfriend and I are finally unafraid to love ,but that doesn’t mean we magically have a perfect, harmonious relationship. 

I wish that were the case. I wish that because we are both all the way in it, the annoyances, anger, anxiousness would be all the way out of it. I was hoping the unadulterated love would force out the undeniable “issues” in our relationship.   

“Issues” like our constant disagreement about music and trying to figure out what we can both listen to. And like his strong lack of organizational skills, which conveniently allows him to forget to do a lot of things we’ve discussed. Other “issues” include my inability to get a restful sleep if I haven’t talked to him at night and his inability to answer the phone once he is already asleep. 

“Issues” like these won’t break up a relationship, but will be just enough to get under your skin (some more than others).

I was hoping that my newly found love for him would wipe away the fact that he doesn’t LOVE Janet Jackson like I do. Or that this new passion would erase the fact that he has the organizational skills of a pre-schooler. Or this new adoration would be enough to give me many nights of restful sleep—with or without having talked to him.

What I realized was that my “hope” was hopeless…and insane. There’s no amount of love in this world that could erase all of our imperfections. In fact, it’s the imperfections that make it interesting. The imperfections add layers and those layers add depth and that depth gives you appreciation for that person. It’s in the imperfections that I learn to appreciate my boyfriend. 

So, my boyfriend and I have uncovered our “truth” in the relationship, but we are still uncovering the truth in ourselves. Each day brings a new truth, a new fact, and a new quality that we need to learn about each other and I’m grateful that we have the time together to do that. 

So today, my truth is that I need to praise the imperfections!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Love, Renewed

My boyfriend and I are riding the gravy train of love!  That’s right—we are extremely happy, and I’m loving it! I want to shout it in the streets so everyone can know, I’M IN LOVE! I feel like I’m Eddie Murphy in “Coming to America”!  “…To be loved, to be loved, O what a feeling; to be love!”
I am loved and I’m in love. That’s a pretty good feeling. And I don’t have this feeling very often, so I’m going to let it marinade…soak it all in. Soak in the warmth, the beauty, the majesty, the pure essence of love and what that means. 

This feeling is not to be taken for granted because it can leave as quickly as it has come. Love is strong, but it’s not invincible. It can be penetrated, damaged, bruised. It can fade and cause pain. I’ve felt that pain before and it’s not something I want to remember. So I want this new feeling of overwhelming love to overwhelm my soul, my heart, my spirit, my memory! 

Love can heal old wounds and it’s finally starting to do that for me. The love my boyfriend gives me is finally starting to break down the walls, melt the ice around my heart, undo the defensive mindset, divert the default attitude.  His love is directing me back to the old me, the innocent and na├»ve me; the “me” that had never been hurt, had never been wronged, and had never been deceived.   

His love is making me believe in true love, carefree love, honest love. I just found the truth in my relationship. The truth is we can’t be afraid to love. Throughout the five years that my boyfriend and I have been dating off and on, either he or I was holding back. So then the other couldn’t fully love because they weren’t feeling the full commitment from the other. 

We are finally on the same page. We are finally unafraid to love. 

That’s my truth! What’s yours?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Deciding to Follow My Dreams or My Heart

Art by Zoran Ozetsky
I’m sad.  I don’t know what to do.  I have the opportunity to follow a dream, a passion of mine but that would mean being separated from my boyfriend for as long as a year.

I don’t know what to do. 

My boyfriend shouldn’t come before my dreams and my goals, but I guess I didn’t think I would ever have to choose.  I always thought the direction my life was going in and the direction his life was going in would overlap…but that’s not necessarily the case. 

I’m going to have to make a choice.  And I don’t know what to do.

I want my life to have purpose.  I want to follow the path that God has carved out for me, but I want that path to include my boyfriend.  But maybe it doesn’t or maybe it shouldn’t.

Maybe it’s not about what I want, but about what He (God) wants.  Maybe I’m over thinking it and it will work itself out.  Maybe this is a test—a test to show that my purpose in life and what God wants for me comes before my boyfriend.

So although I’m currently sad, I know that the end goal is worth it.  If my boyfriend and I are meant to be together, then that will happen.  If we are supposed to be apart, then that’s what will need to happy.

I have to live my life for Christ, not for my boyfriend.  

So that’s what it is.  Let’s see where God leads me…

Friday, September 2, 2011

Frustration

Frustration arises as I talk to you. Blood boiling, pulse racing, fingers trembling—all from you. You make me so mad sometimes. And I can’t even help it. I don’t want to get mad. I don’t want to get annoyed. I don’t want to get frustrated.  But you have a special way of making me feel that way sometimes. It’s like in some way you know the exact trigger to pull to take me from 0 to 60.

Right now, I’m at 60. I’m at my max. Not outwardly fuming, but inwardly boiling hot. I’m hot because I can’t count on you to make a decision about anything.

One day you make a decision. You say one thing; you tell me it’s definitely happening. Then the next day (literally), you saying something completely different and don’t bridge the gap between how we got from one “definitive” thing to another. 

It’s frustrating because with all these broken promises, I begin to get offended because I take it personally. I take it personally when you decide not to come visit me at the last minute. I take it personally when you say you’re going to call but end up with your friends. I take it personally when you make a plan for your life and forget to consult with me. I take it personally…

It is personal. You may not mean for it to be but it is. I, a person, am being taken for granted. So I, a person, am offended. And when I’m offended or get my feelings hurt, I express that in anger or frustration because those emotions are a little less “weak;” a little less vulnerable.

So yes, I’m frustrated. I’m angry. I annoyed. I’m mad. But, really, I’m hurt. I’m hurt that you can’t make decisions when it comes to me. I’m hurt that you prioritize other things over me. And I’m hurt that you don’t do what you tell me you’re going to do.

Frustration arose as I talked to you…masking the hurt I felt as more promises were broken…