STRUGGLE BUS DRIVER: JORDAN
Relief in Validation
Welcome back reader! I hope that life has been treating you kindly. As far as things go for me I cannot complain, however, I do have something weighing on my thoughts and that is why I am here today.
Have you ever experienced a moment in your life where you tell a person something and they don't believe you? How did it make you feel? Did you let them kill your speculation or have you circled back to the thought time and time again? Why do we accept this type of rejection even at times when we wholeheartedly disagree with it?
One of these such moments in my life has been related to my health. For several years now, I have been using Fitbit devices to encourage my fitness by tracking my activity. Aside from encouraging physical activities, my Fitbit's have a lot of features which contribute to a whole scale approach to my health. One of the features that I really appreciate is that it tracks my heart rate.
As it turns out, the feature that I find most intriguing has caused some anxiety about whether or not I'm actually healthy. What my Fitbit has been recording is that my heart rate is continuously low. Whereas a normal resting heart rate for an adult falls in between 60-100 beats per minute, according to my Fitbit, my resting heart rate fluctuates between the high 40's to low 50's in beats per minute. As if that weren't concerning enough, through this tracking system, it's consistently recorded my heart rate to get as low as 35 beats per minute while sleeping. Of course, being the slight hypochondriac that I am, I Googled whether these figures are normal. Turns out, unless you're some type of super athlete and crazy healthy, these numbers could indicate a variety of conditions.
Despite considering myself a fairly athletic person, I am definitely not on some Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt type level where it would make sense for my body to produce these results. I brought this to the attention of my primary care doctor, and she is the first person to tell me, "Oh you're young, healthy, and active. It really isn't something I think you should be concerned with." Well, there it is folks, my first encounter of invalidation in regards to my heart. I felt slightly uneasy moving forward, but what am I going to do about it? A licensed physician with vastly more developed knowledge about these issues told me not to be worried.
I continue living life and I don't keel over dead so maybe my doctor was right? Maybe I'm just overthinking it or my Fitbit isn't tracking my heart correctly? Then I start to
notice other odd trends related to my heart rate and my body. For example, when I would engage in some type of cardio exercise, my heart rate wold increase to 180-190 beats per minute. Not only that, but everyone experiences lulls in day where you feel tired and struggle to focus right? Well I was no stranger to these, but I would notice that when feeling like this my heart rate would drop into the 50's. This is significant because when I felt awake and alert my heart rate would be in the 60's or 70's. Could my low heart rate be causing me to feel fatigued?
I went to see a different doctor and brought this new evidence to light and was provided with the same response. "Well I mean you're very active, young, and healthy. It isn't something I would be worried about." Disregarded for the second time, I again let it go. Now two doctors have told me not to worry despite my better judgement. I know I should trust them, but I also know my body and WebMD can be pretty convincing. Guess, I just need to live life.
While in college I had a job as a server/bartender. Anyone who has worked in that industry knows that some days are unforgiving, busy as hell, and just downright a bitch to deal with. I was having one of these such days when I started to feel a pain in my chest. I nonchalantly mentioned it to some of my coworkers and they become more concerned by it than I was. I was fairly certain it wasn't a big deal because I'd sometimes get small pains here and there when exercising, but it was relentless and eventually I had a really difficult time focusing on my job. Eventually I told my manager, but stated that I was still able to work. He switched me with another server so that I could get it checked out. Regardless I didn't get off the clock until around 8:00 or 9:00 at night. I had texted my parents while at work telling them about my situation and my mom offered to drive up to the town I worked in to go with me to the hospital. So I went home to my apartment to wait for her to arrive.
By the time I actually got to the hospital it was close to 11;00 PM and I just wanted to go to sleep. I'm not sure if you've ever gone to the ER, but if you ever go with a complaint of chest pain they have to hook you up to an EKG machine. An EKG tracks the electrical pulses of your heart by placing electrodes all over your body. I'm not sure how long you're supposed to be connected to one of these things, but I was left in the room with my mom for at least 45 minutes with the machine beeping every few seconds. Come to find after the staff come backs that the beeping was due to my heart rate being under 40 beats per minute. The nurses come in and ask if having a low heart rate and blood pressure is normal for me. I tell them that I've always measured low, but wasn't sure if that was normal. They stated that it wasn't normal, but if I always measured low then it probably wasn't anything to worry about. Despite having physical evidence of my abnormality,
I again get brushed off, but this time with an admittance that it isn't quite normal and that more testing should be administered. With the oddity that is my heart rate I get sent to receive a Holter monitor. This type of monitor is like the EKG in the sense that it records the rhythms of the heart through electrodes attached to the skin, but is meant to be worn for 2-3 days. I wear this odd contraption, unable to properly shower and wear certain clothing without it being noticeable and record all of my activities and turn the results in. I have hope at this point that something might be explained, but alas, nothing comes of it. Results don't display anything irregular and I again am sent into the abyss of normality in life without answers.
Days, weeks, months, and years go by before I consider going to the doctor again. During this time I have several conversations about this with people in my every day life all of which seem to find it odd, unnatural, and uncomfortably make a joke about whether or not I'm dying. Although I elect not to go to a doctor, I still find myself experiencing new and old symptoms. The familiarity of chest pain here and there, continue feeling fatigued at moments my heart rate is low become somewhat common in my routine while an awareness of a lightheaded or dizzy sensation when standing up occur from time to time.
Despite the constant urging from friends to get this checked out, I continue to push back against it because why would I put myself through all of that just to again be told that nothing is wrong with me? So what finally convinced me to go back to the doctor? Well reader I wish I could tell you it was because of some reborn faith in our medical system, but sadly that is not the case. A close friend of mine had a friend of hers unexpectedly pass away recently. She was 26 years-old and her death seemed to come out of nowhere and shocked everyone around her. Speaking to that friend recently I found out that the cause of her death was a heart condition she knew about, but didn't know the severity of how it could affect her. A 26 year-old...heart condition...unexpected death. I immediately thought of my family. I don't want them to have to go through something like that and I have too much I want to experience in life for me to die before I'm 30. So I did it. I went back to the doctor. I had extremely low expectations, but I didn't want to be the next tragic unexpected loss you heard about on the news.
Now this visit had a different tone to it from the beginning. The staff were super understanding, listened to all that I had to say, and didn't let my athletic appearance or young age impact their overall decision for how to handle my situation. They agreed that my heart rate was at a level that was uncommon for anyone outside of highly dedicated/competitive marathon runners. They made me feel at ease with my anxieties and gave me an action plan for moving forward. Despite still not having an official cause or diagnosis I was finally being heard. I was finally being validated. That was more important to me at the end of this visit than anything else. I finally found someone who believed me and was going to work with me to figure this thing out.
Seeing as this just happened within the past few days I don't have any results back, but I can tell you what the plan is. Yesterday morning I got some blood drawn to send off to the lab to see if my heart issues are an endocrine issue. I should be getting those results within the next couple of days. Not only that, I will be setting up an appointment with a cardiologist within the next two weeks. I know it isn't much to go off of, but after all the years of uncertainty it finally feels good to have a plan at all.
Reader, I don't know if you've ever had an opportunity like this where after years of being disregarded and brushed off, to finally having that moment of validation and belief is incredibly liberating. Unfortunately it took the death of another person to get me to this point, but I'm finally working towards a solution. I might finally have answers!
I wanted to write this post as an encouragement for you to do the same, especially when it comes to your health. You are the expert of your own body. You know what feels right and what feels wrong. I'm not encouraging actual hypochondria here and saying go to all the doctors in the world until they diagnose you with something, but go until you find that person that is willing to listen and do everything in their power to work with you. I hope that you can all have that type of validation in your life whether it be with health or any aspect of your life.
Thanks again for making it through another one reader. I'll try to keep you updated with the results. Hope you have a wonderful start to your week and remember to make someone smile today, :)
Goodness reader, I don't know if I will ever get this timing thing down for when I create posts. I know I should probably set a day aside in my schedule where I do it, but I just kind of wanted this to be more of an organic thing that I can use when I'm feeling motivated. In my defense, I do think that I warned you that I would not be consistent so if that's what you're expecting then you're going to be severely disappointed. My apologies in advance. :)
I'm going to be honest with you on this post, not all of you are going to like it. However, like I've said before, I'm not here to push my beliefs on you and I'm not here to sway your opinion in any certain way. What I am here for, is to vent about my life and the things I need to get off my chest.
What you can do is either read it and take it in or guess what!? There's this red button on the top right corner of your screen that if you click on it, you can make all of this go away. It's amazing because the choice is yours! You don't have to put yourself through this if you don't want to. So if you disagree with something I say or a topic I decide to cover, exercise your right to leave this page. Don't be an asshole and continue reading just to piss yourself off and leave a nasty comment. My invitation to you is to feel free to leave whenever. My feelings won't be hurt.
That being said, for a very long time, I've been struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Ever since the first time I moved I've sometimes allowed this emptiness in my chest to consume me and basically incapacitate me outside of my required responsibilities. At times I've felt so alone that I just lay in bed, cry, and eat my feelings. Each time I've moved I've dealt with this a little better and readjusted to my new environment quicker, however, there is still that space in my heart that I just can't seem to fill.
Not only have I been dealing with this emotional seclusion, but for some time now, I've also been struggling with my spirituality. I've been questioning the existence of God and my beliefs in him since I can remember. To give you a little background, my family was highly dedicated to going to church as a child. When I was very little we would all go and sometimes it would be made really special because afterwards we got treated to a McDonald's breakfast. I went to Sunday school every Sunday, and when I was in 7th grade, I started my journey to getting confirmed.
Prior to the confirmation ceremony, my Pastor gave us an assignment to write a speech about our relationship with God. Now, at this point,, I had started to question my beliefs. I'd had a grandparent pass away from cancer, I had experienced 9/11, I had a lot of doubts passing through my head. Despite my hesitations, the topic I selected for my speech was on how being confirmed isn't an ending to your relationship with God, it's a beginning.
My pastor loved it so much he asked if I would read it out loud to the congregation on the day of our confirmation. Although I have a tendency to get emotional when public speaking, I agreed because honestly I was kind of arrogant about the fact that out of all the speeches, mine was selected to be shared so that meant it was the best right? (I shudder at my own appalling ego here reader, I'm not proud to admit that, but it happened).
Confirmation Sunday comes around. I share my speech (sounding like I was going to burst into tears at any moment according to my family) and lo and behold I am an adult in the church. Here's where the real irony of my speech lies...I went to church the next Sunday only to never attempt going to church again until college. Yep, that's right. The girl that spoke in front of EVERYONE at their own confirmation about having an everlasting relationship with God quit having one after SEVEN DAYS. Again, not necessarily a proud moment in my life, but these are facts folks.
So, I went on to live life occasionally teasing my relationship with the Big Man here and there. I had another grandparent pass away, had a classmate and his mom get killed by a drunk driver, and went through the perils of everyday life with this building guilt for my own hypocrisy.
I had rejected religion for so long, but soon enough I was ready to try again. My freshman or sophomore year of college, one of my friends and I discovered that we were the same denomination. We both discussed how long it had been since being in church and that we were willing to give it another shot. She selected a church specific to our denomination and one Sunday we planned to go. Let me tell you reader, this is one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life!
This church had a very small congregation. My friend and I were the ONLY two college aged people in attendance. The pastor called us out in the middle of the service for being new to the church and how they don't know us, but excited to have new visitors. The gentleman sitting in front of us said something to the effect of "Oh, but we'll get to know you." And to top this all off, the thing that made me feel the worst about that day, was the fact the the message in the sermon was preaching everything I hated and distrusted about religion. Needless to say, this was not the place to rekindle my relationship with God.
I tried again a few years later. Still in college, this time with a different friend at a nondenominational church. This church was my first experience with the modernized services that have become commonplace in our society. There was a live band that plays while you sing words displayed on these large TVs, and then there is the regular messages and sermon. This was a much more relaxed and anonymous environment, but something still didn't feel right. I found myself still holding back from the message and all the commitment in the room and thus my church experience in college expired.
After college, I still kept my distance from the church, but I continued to indulge in prayer from time to time. I don't know when I started this habit, but for the past few years, whenever I see a cross or memorial set up on the side of the road, I send up a little prayer for the soul of that individual and healing for their family/loved ones. Being as non-committal to God and Jesus as I have been, this even surprised me when I became conscious of the fact that I was doing it. I remember laughing at myself once thinking how amusing it was that I didn't fully believe in God and yet I was asking for him to bless the soul of someone I don't know and never would.
Continuing on my journey, not until recently have I made an attempt at reestablishing my relationship with God. When I first moved I met a very kind individual at my gym who encouraged me to become friends with his wife. His wife, gracious as she is, invited me to go to a service one night specific to people our age. I agreed because I thought, "what's the worst that can come of this?" Also,, I had literally been alone every day for almost two weeks at this point so I needed to engage with people outside of myself.
Now if you thought my first college church experience was awkward, just wait, and keep in mind that when I recount this story, I literally know no one at this church and I have been rejecting God for about a decade at this point. I get there and find out the person I'm meeting is in the band for the service. She asks if it's okay if we sit in the front because I guess that's what she normally does and I want to make friends at this point so against my better judgement, I agree. The service starts much like the modern one back in Iowa, with the band playing music, but what I wasn't prepared for was the extreme dedication that these people put into their worship during song. The instant, a musical note came off that stage the people around me all went into their own kind of space, raising their hands, closing their eyes, rocking back and fourth, and with some of the most passionate singing I've ever seen in my life.
To say I was unprepared for this experience is a bit of an understatement. I literally stood there awkwardly rocking side to side, not singing, trying to become as small and unnoticeable as possible, holding my arms to my sides. This of course having the opposite effect of my desires and causing myself to stick out like a sore thumb. Holy Jesus, was I out of my element.
The singing finally ended and the service began. To be honest, I did like the message of those who spoke and appreciated the stories and incorporation of humor throughout. What I didn't necessarily enjoy were the subtle, but still obvious statements made in the message about not being embarrassed and to feel okay embracing your spiritual experience. As if anyone else in that church was not "embracing" their experience. I feel like you could have stated you needed a kidney in that room and five people would get up to volunteer. Yes, I may be an over-thinker, but it becomes pretty obvious that these statements were directed my way, especially when one of the people delivering the message asks to come pray with me.
I don't know if you've ever experienced someone asking to pray with or for you, but as if I weren't already uncomfortable enough and emotionally on edge, this was the worst thing that could have happened to me in that moment. Of course I felt obligated to say yes, I mean you're not going to deny some person offering to think of you positively, but I so badly wanted to say no. As this woman is praying for me, all I can concentrate on is my guilt about how I gave up my relationship so long ago. At this moment I know in my heart that I will never reach the level of dedication that I had witnessed that day. If anyone knows me, they can probably guess what happened at this point, but I broke down and started crying.
This situation could not have been more uncomfortable for me at this point, but thankfully, soon after they started up the music again. I was allowed time to compose myself enough to say goodbye to the friendly couple that had invited me before going to my car and sobbing for a solid 10 minutes.
Despite my rejection to God and religion, I had attempted several times to bring it back into my life, and every time, I felt like I had failed. I continuously was being deterred from ever having a relationship with God because of these distressing experiences. It felt like I was continually being the butt of a cruel joke and I started to consider that maybe a relationship with God just wasn't in the cards.
As time went on I started to get closer to this girl I had met in my orientation class at my new job. In my conversations with her, I knew she was religious and I opened up a little about my unease when it comes to the whole church thing. She validated my odd occurrences as not normal and I can't thank her enough for taking the approach that she did in offering a different church experience without having me feel forced obligated to say yes.
Fast forward a couple weeks and this friend invites me to take part in a book club with some girls that she knows. Now, I'm still fairly new to this area and my friend pool is severely limited at this point (not to mention I've been meaning to read more books), but of course I say yes to this opportunity. Her friend had already had a book in mind so I just go with it and resort to good ol' Amazon.
The book arrives, and at this point I'd completely forgotten what the title even was. I open it, read the cover, and just kind of pause for a second, because the title is Anonymous: Jesus's Hidden Years, and Yours..." Ah great. A Jesus book. While not completely enthused with the selection, I just shake my head and accept my fate. At this point, the worst it could do is add to my list of unfortunate religious experiences, but I do hope for the best. Little did I know, this book was exactly what I didn't know I needed.
Reading the book has been an intriguing experience. I found myself appreciating the way the author set up the chapters and the overall message of the chapter to be based in the Bible, but exemplified through real life experiences. I found myself thinking, "Well this makes sense" so many times throughout the boo, however, the book alone didn't turn my skeptic heart around by itself. The discussions that the girls in this club had and the acceptance of my hesitation just kind of opened the gate of potential for me to really let God back into my life.
Now, I'm not saying I'm a full on believer. I very much still have my doubts and unwillingness to accept that I can let my life control be in the hands of someone that at times feels mythological. However, I do bring it up because one of the points from this book, is that when you feel alone, emotionally or physically, there is one person that is always on your side. There is one person that truly knows you the way you know yourself and is your biggest cheerleader even on the days you don't believe in yourself.
Reflecting on that message, I've felt a lot better about spending time without others people being involved. I have less anxiety over being alone and it's rejuvenated my spirit in a way that I feel more comfortable overall with my adjustment to this new chapter in my life. I've always believed and resented that timing is everything and I do think things happen for a reason. In my life at this point, I can definitely say being involved with this book club and reading this particular book have happened at the absolute right time.
Even if you aren't religious, I hope that you can take away a sliver of peace reading this post. Regardless of whether you believe that God is real, know that there is a person in your life who does care and a person who will be affected if anything should happen to you. Regardless of what you may think, there is someone who is rooting for you even on your darkest days. For we are never truly alone. Each day, there is someone out there thinking about you.
It's funny reader, I really didn't want to bring religion into this blog at all when I made it. I actually despise the people who force religion down others throats and try to convert every living soul on the planet to their beliefs, so don't expect a lot of posts like this from me. Again, this is just something I'm experiencing in my life and I needed an outlet. I respect whatever you choose to believe or not believe in so please also be respectful of my life and my journey.
Thank you again for making it through another one. Short stories are not in my nature so I really do appreciate if you made it this far. You da real MVP! ;) Hopefully sooner, but no guarantees about when I'll be back so until next time! Don't forget to make someone smile today. :) You might never know how badly they need it.
dude, it's called the friend zone
Guess who's back?
Tell a friend.
Guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back...
Let's be honest for a second. If your mind doesn't immediately think of the Eminem song after hearing, "Guess who's back?" are we really friends? Just kidding! Of course we can still be friends, but we will definitely have to schedule an intervention night dedicated to music education. ;)
Speaking of friends, let me pose a question to you guys. Do you think that a man and a woman can have a truly platonic relationship?
For those of you who might not know what that means, if you Google platonic, the definition that pops up is: "(of love or friendship) intimate and affectionate, but not sexual." Basically that means the relationship is based off of something more powerful or more important than the possibility of anything physical happening between two individuals.
I've heard arguments both supporting and against platonic relationships and whether or not they are real or work. I'm not going to dive into those arguments today and I'm not here to tell you which side to believe. By all means have your own opinion (just remember to please keep this page respectful). What I am going to do today, is to share my experience and thoughts on platonic friendships because that's what I created this platform for right? :)
I've been in Washington for around four months now and other than my family, no one has come to visit. My friends can vouch for me that I always encourage them and anyone who mentions how awesome they think my new life adventure seems to come and explore with me! My door will always be open. This is absolutely a true statement too! I would love for people to stay with me and show them the things I enjoy about this new chapter in my life. It would be no bother to me to accommodate them and to make the trip more convenient (and cheaper) by offering my apartment as a place to stay. However, all the times that I've moved and all the places I've lived, outside of family, I've only ever had two friends take me up on this offer.
Well reader, I'm excited to inform you that a third friends has officially booked a trip and I will be welcoming them within the next month. However, what you might not expect is that my friend is a male and over 10 years older than myself. Quite an odd pairing for friends, I do agree. I have thought at times that it is kind of weird, but I'm not one to discriminate on a friendship just because of odd circumstances. He and I have shared interests, inside jokes, and he has made an effort to stay in contact after my most recent move. Now I don't know about you, but if that doesn't constitute as a friend then I don't know what does.
In trying to stay updated with many of the friends in my life, I have mentioned this visit as something that will be occurring. The responses are almost all the same, "Oh that's cool. Is there something between you two?" or something related to the fact that we will undoubtedly sleep together. I'm not proud to admit that this is highly irritating for me because my friends know the type of person I am, so why would they immediately jump to this assumption? Why do I have to justify my friendship with him as just that, a friendship? Is it impossible to believe that a guy and a girl might enjoy a platonic weekend to catch up, hangout, and just enjoy each others company?
If it were one of my girl friends coming to visit I wouldn't be dealing with this kind of scrutiny or feedback. The responses would be more catered to how we were going to spend our time or an update of how that person is doing in life. I wouldn't have to justify that we are in fact just friends and that while I do love them, no I do not wish to have sex with them. Why does the fact that my guest has a penis change everyone's perspective on what kind of visit it is going to be?
Through my life I've had many friends that are guys. Have they wanted to sleep with me? Honestly I don't know. but at the end of the day if it doesn't happen does it really matter? I don't know about you reader, but when I make a new guy friend I typically automatically put them in the friend zone. Not as a disrespect to them, but my mind doesn't work like that with the whole "you're a guy, I'm a girl, lets jump in bed" mindset that our society likes push on people.
Unless this person has the courage to tell me something about their intentions that differ from the conclusion that I've made in my mind, this person stays in the friend zone. And you know what? Guys in the friend zone tend to respect the hell out of the women they are friends with. There is a mutual respect from both parties that is not sexually based creating a truly beautiful friendship.
Also, when you hear that someone has been put in the friend zone you automatically think it's a negative situation right? Well contrary to popular belief, I have experienced it to be such a positive thing. I mean just think about it, if you are to truly have a sincere platonic relationship, those guys have put you in the friend zone too. They aren't going to try anything stupid with you because you have both established that standard level of respect coupled with a lack of expectations. Tell me how it can be a bad thing when you both know your friendship is truly based in just being that person's friend?
Reader I can 100% guarantee to you that this is the kind of relationship that I have with the friend that is coming to visit. I know this, he knows this. At the end of the day that's all that really matters, and yet I still felt obligated to justify it in this blog.
The next time you see two people of opposite sexes together who say they are just friends, don't think twice about it. Take them at their word. Unless someone is getting harmed out the exchange just let people live their lives and quit making assumptions. They absolutely make an ass out of you, but you have no right to make an ass out of me because of how you think I should or will be living my life.
Alright reader, I'll get off my soapbox now. As always thank you for making it through yet another glimpse into my mind. Hopefully I haven't frightened you off yet. As always, try to make someone smile today and let's gear up to kick this week's butt! :) Until next time!
You are your own worst Enemy
Well hello everyone! I feel like I've been gone for weeks, when really it's only been a few days. I guess I've been doing that thing, ya know where you go out and live life. ;D
I'm happy to report that since my last post, my mindset has taken a turn for the better. I have been holding true to my promise to initiate more and as a result my schedule has been filling up real fast. Having more things to do is great, and it reminded me of something that I already knew about myself, but had forgotten. When I'm busy, I'm happy.
Now I'm sure you're thinking, "Well Jordan, if that is something you know about yourself then what the heck are you doing!? Get out there!" Well trust me reader, I know! There are so many things I love to go out and do or want to try, but sometimes I just can't. There's this unfamiliar weight in my chest and something that just holds me back. Sometimes the motivation isn't there. Sometimes I feel like I'll be an intrusion on the lives of others. Sometimes I have every intention of doing something and even make plans, then the time comes and I physically cannot bring myself to get out of my bed let alone my apartment.
A question I often get from friends when speaking about this issue is, "Why are you feeling this way?" Honestly, I have no idea. Often times there just doesn't seem to be an answer, but how does one explain that to someone else? How do you make a person understand something you don't fully comprehend yourself?
This of course isn't to knock on my friends at all. I love and appreciate the fact that they are trying to be there for me. I can't thank them enough for the support I receive (especially the ones where it's long distance). However, occasionally you can't fully figure something out unless you've experienced it.
That being said, I really wanted to use this post as a reflection opportunity. This has been a good week for me. I've been really cheerful, happy, and I've been getting out there while hanging out with people. Moving forward the question becomes, what keeps me from being like that all the time? What is different about this week, these days, these emotions than when I struggle to do anything except sleep?
Oh reader, it was quite the humble pie I consumed by coming to the realization that the issue is me. I'm the only person that has the ability to hold me back. I'm the only individual who can allow my thoughts and emotions to consume me in such a way that I feel incapacitated. If I want something to change, I sure as heck can't wait for a knight in shinning armor to whisk me away. Only I have the power to turn my desires into a reality.
Now this isn't to say that I don't expect to never have bad days. It would be incredibly unrealistic to think all my days are going to be sunshine and rainbows. However, I do believe that I have the power to have a lot more days that are just dandy once I stop being my own worst enemy.
So what causes me to fight so hard against myself? How do I stop my brain from going into overdrive with every situation I find myself in? When will my insecurities stop controlling me? Why can't I just be the confident, self-assured, out going person that I know I can be all the time?
Reader, I would love to just dive into all of these questions right now, but we're going to have to take a rain check on this conversation. Yours truly is trying to stick with a health promise I made to myself and I've got to get up at 4:30 AM to go to the gym. In the meantime, know that I am upholding my end of our bargain and I am not disappointed by it. I hope you have a wonderful night, day, morning, whenever you read this and don't forget to make someone smile. :) To be continued...
FOMO or justified anxiety
Well hi there everyone. I did not anticipate being back so soon, but life has a funny way of working when you least expect it to. I have to say that I have become increasingly aware of my loneliness over the past few weeks and today it had reached a tipping point. I don't know if what I'm feeling is justified or if I'm just making up things in my head. I felt that it was necessary to type them out kind of as a therapeutic sorting of my thoughts. I guess you and I will both see if it helps.
If you have looked over this website at all you will have discovered that I have lead somewhat of a nomadic life for the past three years. This has made it quite difficult to find/maintain friendships along the way. I've been told that I'm an outgoing, likable person and while I do tend to get along with people easily, it has been difficult for me to make the "all-in" best-friend friendships.
These friendships are the type where you can just go to them for everything, hangout and feel comfortable just being in each others presence. The person acts as your sounding board and support system while also accepting you in all your weird glory. You can count on them to be there and you in return are equally supportive, loyal, and present in their lives.
Don't get me wrong I have had the fortune of having wonderful friendships in my lifetime. I appreciate all of them for the uniqueness that they bring to my life. I've just noticed that the more I move, the longer it takes for me to feel like I'm fully committed and all-in with the friends that I make. I have a difficult time allowing myself to be vulnerable with people and in return it has become difficult for me to create these deeper connections that I crave.
Upon my most recent move I have fortunately had several people who have reached out and planted the seed of potential for these relationships. However, I being the socially anxious and non-initiator that I am, have had difficulty fully accepting these people into my life. At the same time I feel like while I am being accepted by these people it is not without conditions.
Most of the friends I have created are friends that I work with. I see them Monday through Friday 8 AM-4 PM. Sure we share a passion for what we do and can find enjoyment in it, but this contributes to some of my anxiety when trying to find time to be actual friends with them outside of work. Some of the doubts and questions I find myself having include: "Did something I do at work irritate them today?" "Do they feel like they need a break from me because unfortunately I'm a coworker and my presence reminds them of work?" "They have significant others that they would like to spend time with and I don't want to insert myself into their couple time." It's giving me anxiety just to think about these issues as I write them out. So reader, am I simply just having a lot of anxiety over nothing and just need to take the initiative to suggest something or is there validation in the concerns that I have?
Although a lot of the time I can convince myself that I'm being absurd and just overthinking the situation, there are situations which seem to justify my fears. For example, this past Friday one of my work friends was having a particularly rough day. With respect to her I won't provide details, but needless to say I did what I thought was best for her. I told her I was there if she needed anything both in person and via text. I sent her a quote that I thought might be comforting to her situation, and we made "plans" to get together later in the week (I put in quotation marks because nothing was solidified and I find that in these types of situations these things rarely follow through).
She had told me that she needed to get away from life and that she had left with her boyfriend to go camping for the weekend. In my mind I was like yes, that is totally understandable, I would want an escape too. Unfortunately what I had assumed about the situation was that this escape meant that her and her boyfriend were going together, alone for the weekend.
Come this morning I find pictures on Facebook of not only her and her boyfriend, but several other couples that we are mutual friends with that went on this camping trip as well. Now I'm not one to insert myself into others plans, but I can't deny that I felt a little hurt and left out with this discovery. When did her escape from reality turn into a couples retreat? If she needed to be away from everything why did it turn into a group event? And why, since it turned into a group outing was I not included?
Now don't get me wrong, I fully understand that sometimes things happen and maybe it turned into one of those situations where she was also talking to these other friends about what she was going through. Maybe they took a little more initiative than I did and were like, "Yeah, well I'm coming with you," or a "where are you going? We were planning on going camping and it would be fun to join you." Regardless of how things went down, do I have a right to feel slighted, left out, and forgotten?
To put this in a little perspective, since moving this friend is probably the closest I have come to being one of those 'ideal friendships'. However, I do feel myself holding back and not fully being able to commit myself to it in that way. I do this as a defense mechanism and don't allow myself to become fully invested as a way of protecting myself. At the same time I do care about her greatly and treat her the way I would treat any friend at any closeness level. While I feel that while she has accepted me and made an effort to be my friend, from my perspective it seems that I am still not quite on her priority list of people she would like to hangout with.
Getting back to the situation at hand, the most realistic explanation I can think of is that there really was no reason I wasn't invited because things just kind of happened. So why can't I stop thinking that I'm somehow related to the cause of my exclusion? Why is it so difficult for me to accept that these guys were all friends before I got here and it's perfectly normal for them to get together and hangout as a group (sans me).
The thing I think that gets me is that she said she needed an escape and I was willing to let her have one ,only to find out that she was 'escaping' with all of our other friends. Why did she need an escape from people if she was going to escape with people.
One of the things I've discovered about being an adult is that making friends as an adult, is probably the hardest thing to do. A little ironic considering having friends is one of the most important things we need to have a good quality of life, but it is difficult. Even if you don't have the anxiety and other issues that I have, it is extremely troublesome to find new friends as an adult. One can't just go to a sandbox, play with all the other kids there while sharing our fruit snacks and end up with a play date a week from now. There aren't things like school to spark the growth of these relationships. If there is one thing I've learned about adulthood is that any relationship you create as an adult is strictly dependent on you and what you put out there.
At this point in my life, I have a fair amount of people I consider friends. Several of whom I would consider close friends. What I don't have at the moment is a close friend within a 500 mile radius of where I'm currently residing. Situations like the ones I've discussed above and lack of taking the initiative to build those relationships has been a bit of a downfall for me each time I move somewhere new. I have been struggling with not having that type of friend lately and it is part of the reason why I've started this blog.
Despite now having an outlet for all of the emotions and thoughts that I've been dealing with, I guess at the end of the day, I need to realize that if I want these close relationships with the people, I'm the one who needs to put in that extra effort and get over my own insecurities. I need to not let my emotions get out of hand and control my decisions/reactions.Truly the one thing that I really need to do is go out and create these experiences for myself.
I'll make a deal with you readers, I will make a minimum of two efforts a week to try to incorporate people into my life and within the next month give an update on how things have progressed in my social life.
If you've made it this far you are a true trooper. Thank you and in return my challenge to you is to go make someone smile today. :) Until next time.
Is this how you do it?
First time blogger here. I'm not really sure how this works, but I'm just gonna start by explaining a little about why I thought a blog would be a good idea.
Have you ever just felt the urge to talk to someone, but had no one to talk to? My lifestyle has put me in an awkward situation where I have a lot of alone time so a sounding board for my thoughts and experiences isn't always there. I have moved to five different states in the past three years. While I make great friends, it is difficult to find someone who I can just talk to about the everyday life issues when the urge hits. I do call, text, snap, and message my friends almost daily. I really do put in an effort to keep open communication with the people I've made connections with. However, people have lives and I'm not the type of person to become a "burden" to others. My hope is that this blog will provide me the outlet that I've been craving.
I can't guarantee that I'll stick to a schedule with posting or be consistent with my posts, but I'm paying for this website so I might as well get the most out of it right? Should I make a goal? Maybe I'll try shooting for at least one post a week. That sounds manageable right?
Welcome to the random chronicles of my life. I hope if anything you find something on here that you can relate to or that brings a smile to your face. Thank you for taking the time to check this out. Let's see where this rides takes us. :)
A millennial with a need for an outlet. I write about whatever is inspiring me in the moment.