life in color

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Over the past year I’ve developed the ability to be really in tune with my emotions and know exactly why I react the way that I do, but have yet to be able to stop. I guess that’s because I’m human. *Sigh.* As I’ve alluded to in previous posts, I beat myself up about this kind of stuff because I strive for perfection and I expect A LOT out of myself, I care about everything I do, being so self-aware is exhausting. Which, as long as I can keep it positive and remember that I have a lot of great qualities to counter-balance my flaws, I’m still reaching for the level-headed, thinks-before-I-speak, calm stars.

I’ve started to wonder lately where to draw the the line at working towards my best self and thinking deeply on some things I’ve been through, including analyzing every second I can remember of my life and events that stand out in memory to determine if I did that right thing. My boyfriend likes to say a line that he finds comforting and I find infuriating – “it could be worse.” Oh that phrase can really make my blood boil because it doesn’t matter if it could be worse, I’m clearly not okay with the situation I’ve found myself in and would like to as detached from it as possible. Like, bye Felicia. And sometimes I just want to vent about it which is a problem with having your best friend be your boyfriend, he wants to solve things and realizing your problem could be worse is helpful in rationalizing and finding solutions, not so much in having a pity party.

Who would we be if the negative things that happened to us in the past didn’t actually happen?

Part of who my past has made me has lead me to put up walls to avoid future hurt, unfortunately the way I build them up has never proven to be useful. What I need to do is build a strong foundation for myself to stand on to avoid letting people in that I shouldn’t and taking the careful steps with those I should. I’m getting tired of feeling so damaged as a whole and letting that creep into my thoughts on a regular basis.

Getting back to my question, I 100% believe I’m a better person from things that have happened to me in my past. So why do I have such a hard time letting go of the negative qualities that were cultivated in the very same soil my strengths flourished?

All of this has been on my mind lately for a handful of reasons. I’ve talked a lot in past posts about the changes I’ve had to force myself into accepting post-graduation and my resistance to them. Lately things have turned around a little bit and a lot of it is my attitude. I’ve started to appreciate the fact that I am living rent free in a nice home where I have my own space to do me as well as have the opportunity to grow closer to my family, including a stepmom and two stepbrothers.

My boyfriend also selflessly moved to Virginia to take a less than optimal job in order to be within 45 minutes of me. I’ve been dreaming of this day since I found out he was moving back home to NJ within the first few months of us dating in 2010. I honestly never stopped hoping he’d come back because it’s hard to not want a person you never stop loving to be nearby. We had talked about moving in together immediately to save money and to make up for all the lost time of long distance and being broken up. But as the days went by I realized I wanted to date my boyfriend without the pressure of living together. He was totally cool with that which really made me fall even more in love. I’ve been a challenge though. I’m not used to being doted on and given affection so often because I’ve never been in a genuinely functional relationship with someone I lived close enough to for any sense of normalcy. Being loved scares me because I don’t want to get left and I have presented quite a fight with my deep emotional trauma related mood swings. Each day we’re together it gets a little easier for me and we’re doing better than ever before – and we’ve never been “bad” so it’s pretty incredible.

At work I’m learning more and more every day how to be an adultier adult than the one Virginia Tech spit out May 2014 (not a knock at my alma mater at all!) and to not take personally what a few people think, say and feel towards me. My demeanor is of course a lot more professional but it’s been interesting learning where to draw the line between coworker and friend (I seriously need to read the book on boundaries that is within eyesight of me right now!) I am putting an active effort into not taking home what happens at work and to not let anything that’s going on in my life from here on out cause me to fall into such a pit of despair that it takes me years to climb out. Trying to stay level-headed, here.

This week seemed like a fitting time for a post like this because I am thankful for the life I live including the bad that has happened and that will always continue to arise, but sometimes I forget that and feel extremely ungrateful, overwhelmed and alone. I’m not. I do not have to be defined by my past in a negative way, and should try and remember that others are probably paying a lot less attention to everything I do and say than I imagine and there is no need to be so self-conscious all the time. I decided to change my reflection pictures from black and white to color from here on out because while what’s done may be done, it’s a part of who I am today and a colorful life sounds a heck of a lot better than one of black and white.