Recently I was forced to face some of the parts of me that are very much still childlike. One being staying at home alone over night. I could have had a friend stay with me so I wasn't alone, but this friend was a boy (probably the preference if you're concerned about protection), and I believe that (even if they stay in separate rooms) a respectable and engaged young woman should not spend the night alone with another man. I got to sleep lightly, waking up at every sound... but I made it through. I doubt I'll ever be comfortable staying alone, but I can do it, and I know that my decision in that case was the adult one.
Other things I have been forced to face. My shortcomings in adulthood have been thrown in my face in certain instances. I didn't like it at the time, but I doubt anyone could like to be told how they aren't good at life. Luckily for me, the things that I fall short at were cushioned by being brought to my attention through the love of my life. No, I don't like hearing about where or how I suck, but if I had to hear it from anyone I'm glad it was Chris. So many people can say things simply out of meanness or to be hurtful, but this way I know that the things I should work on are genuine issues, and I also have a barometer. I'm in no way hesitant to ask him how I've been doing on my self work, and he isn't afraid to tell the truth. That kind of relationship, while sometimes is harsh, is hard to find... even in a therapist.
In case you're wondering how I'm not so awesome, I'll go ahead and give you some of the things I'm working on. I know we all like to see people struggle, so why not give the voyeuristic part of you something to smirk at. You can know what I might not be happy.
1) I pick fights, especially with the people I love. I like fighting. I feel like it's a cathartic release, and can be a very important part of a relationship. It creates a forum to express emotion honestly, even if not directly. That is to say that if you are upset or hurt about something and you fight about the dishes not getting done it can give you an opportunity to get out all the hurt you've been harboring. It's immature and inappropriate, but sometimes figuring out how to have a conversation about how you got hurt over something that couldn't be helped or had to be done, or finding a way to express your frustration with life becoming mundane... These things can be difficult. I am in no way saying that I'm suddenly against fighting, I just think that I need to work on when, where and what about. Some issues will inevitably end up in a fight, but I don't need to mask my pain about feeling second place by picking a pointless fight that will, most likely, get way out of hand. I'm going to have to try and be mature and quite frankly a little more respectful about things like that. Chris especially doesn't deserve to have me harp on him about nothingness when there is something I should come out and say.
2) When you take my age, education, career and life experience and combine it with an underlying insecurity and sometimes downright disliking of myself an interesting thing happens. I have a habit of projecting an air of thinking I'm super awesome (as I believe someone with my age, education, career and life experiences should be) and since it's so much work given my underlying insecurity I really throw myself into the act. This full commitment requires a little bit of focus, which can lead me to being slightly less considerate of the thoughts and feelings of the people around me. One of the very first things that Chris ever said to me, in the history of ever, was that I was a little brash. I try so hard to distract myself from insecurity and discomfort that it is sometimes becomes at the expense of others. The worst part? I don't even notice it on most occasions. It's almost funny because my day is filled with listening to other people, really really listening, watching their body language, and monitoring my body language and what I say very closely. It's my job. So when I think about how many people are surprised by what I do, and to hear that I'm rather good at it, it starts to make sense in a really messed up way. So I'm working on paying more attention in my personal life. Being more careful not to offend people even if I might feel like they aren't worth the attention.
3) With that last comment I think it's obvious what the next one is. I've had to make some apologies. I have said and done things without consideration to how it might make people feel. Most of the time it was pure negligence.. I didn't even consider it because I was wrapped up in keeping my facade of happiness up and I had that act to worry about. Some of them, however, I just didn't care about offending or didn't realize that they may have become offended because these people are the type to keep it to themselves or brush over it with a joke. Now anyone who really knows me knows that, with very few exceptions, the last thing I want to do is hurt people. If I say or do something that upsets another person and it's brought to my attention I'm quick to try and explain and apologize right there. I hardly ever mean to offend people. The only time I can think of that being something I might enjoy was when I was younger and a certain person and I used to sit around and judge people. Retrospectively, I think it demonstrates how horribly insecure she must have been as well.
4) I really have to work on trusting people. I have a long history of people disappointing and hurting me, and I have always been the kind of person that needs to have their trust earned, I don't give it away. About 7 months ago I had this super duper series of events with people really hurting me in ways that were new and unexpected, and it seemed to happen just one after another, over and over again. When that happened I stopped being nice and sweet. I don't think I've done very much at all just to be kind to other people since then. True altruism has left my life, and it's only because I can't trust in other people. Being kind to others without the expectation of anything in return has the ability to make you vulnerable. I was blindsided by people left and right. People being cruel, inconsiderate, harsh, mean, vindictive, malicious, and being just plain bad people. The only reason that I was susceptible to that was because I had an underlying faith in humanity. I trusted that people were good with no evidence to support it. Since then I haven't trusted anyone, I've just been waiting for people to disappoint or hurt me. It is a defense that I don't like, and I really need to work on it. It will still take time and effort for people to earn my trust but I have to let the option exist, and lately it hasn't.
That's 4 of the many things I'm working on. I've got more, but lets not give it all away just yet. :) Of course the darling love that pointed them out didn't get into as much detail as I have, but sometimes this blog gets to be introspective. Now I won't say that Chris (and the rest of the world) doesn't have their own things to work on, but quite frankly that isn't my business to share all over on the internet. Not only that, but everyone has to get to the point where they're ready to work on things in their own time. Part of growing up is realizing that you can't dictate the life development of other people. That's a lesson that some people never learn.
Every day we grow and learn. Our lives and personalities are fluid even if we don't realize it. We'd be boring as a race if we weren't. The trick is to notice how you're growing and changing, own it, and make it into something that you want.