Pros and Cons

Life has been hectic since I came home. My stuff still feels like it’s everywhere (although that’s nothing new; I’ve been living in two, sometimes three, different places since I initially moved away for graduate school). I’ve got a job (yay!), so I’ve been busy wracking up those hours as I re-learn the line cook life. And then there’s random odds and ends to tuck in: paperwork for my upcoming move/job/apartment, thank you notes from graduation, brainstorming for all the ways to live/have fun on the cheap now that I no longer have loans coming in. I feel quite scatter-brained, but things are slowly falling into step.

The ubiquitous pro/con list in my title refers to, not only the tumultuous feels I’ve been having, but to many of my loved ones. As I touch base with all my baes, I’m finding posi- and neg- vibes all over the place. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of trouble in paradise brewing out there (when does hurricane season start again?). Several of my peeps are battling break ups, breakdowns in communication, or cracks in their pre-conceived plans for their futures. And that sucks. I’m lending all ears as needed, since they were all so kind to put up with my never-ending rants over these many moons. I wish I had solutions for them, but if there’s one thing I’ve realized as I listen, it’s that I’m still a long ways off from complete recovery.

One of my girlfriends shared an observation she’d had regarding post-breakup mentality on Sunday. “You know, you think you’re fine. You say to yourself, ‘Oh man, am I glad that’s over.’ But then? Six months later you look back and you have to laugh, because holy shit you were still nuts!” As much as I hate to admit it, I may still be in that hazy, liminal phase. I’m over a big hump, but the evidence continues to mount against me and my delusional belief that I’m a-okay. The string of dumb stuff I put myself through romantically is still affecting me.

Exhibit A: The last guy I dated, during our initial exclusivity talk, made a (poorly timed) joke about how I must “hold grudges” against my exes, since I no longer talk to any of them. I got a little defensive, like I do. Even thinking back on it now, though, I don’t agree with that assessment. I am sensitive, and I do take a long time to get over things. But, I also don’t find it necessary to expend emotional energy on people if they don’t deserve it, or if the amount expended will never match the amount received. And that is the situation with my exes. A couple of them put me through the ringer, and while I can now admit that I participated in some, if not much, of that manipulation, that still does not mean that I am obligated to give them any(more) of my emotional energy. I have a finite amount of that stuff. It’s really valuable, so I’d rather save it for other people, people with whom I don’t have such a tumultuous history. That doesn’t mean I would never, ever be friends with an ex; it’s just not something that has successfully manifested to date.

Exhibit B: I’ve still got quite the bruised ego. I joke with my friends that these days I’m like Stella, stuck in a pre-groove mode of existence. Where’s Taye Diggs when you need him??! But seriously, any attempt I’ve made to date has been meager, perhaps even slightly pathetic. I’m so painfully awkward around men I would have bravely chatted up before that it feels like I’ve regressed to a 20-year-old version of myself. And that is so irritating, not least because I’m looking pretty good these days, dammit! I’ve lost weight, I’m not drinking as much, I feel a little more down-to-earth and chill. My mom even complimented me, a woman who has not acknowledged my appearance in a positive light in a very long time! (Usually, I get the occasional disappointed glance at my increasing number of tattoos, or a look up-and-down at my outfit before… silence). I’m bummed that the past is still weighing down on my confidence. Plus, if we’re being honest here, I’m more sexually frustrated than I have been in a loooonnggg time. Argh. And yet, I can’t figure out the best way to approach this problem: with a laissez-faire, or cross-fit-esque attitude? Do I wash my hands of things I can’t control? Or do I, in actuality, have more control over this than I’m letting myself realize, and all I need to do is grab the bull by the proverbial horns?

I have yet to solve that equation, so instead I’m trying to push it out of my head, and instead focus on the opportunities within my reach. So back to the work-grind I go (I’m busting a double tonight). And back to those people who I would shower with my feels any and every day of the week…. I am your quintessential Roman, my dears. *kisses*

Current Jam: “In the meantime” Red City Radio

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