Happy new year everyone! (Why do we always capitalize it? Shouldn't it really only be a proper noun if we're wishing people a happy New Year's Day, not good wishes for the next year? Anyways.)
I had a great night. I've started a new tradition for midnight on the 31st. I'm going to positively assert myself and get rid of any romantic relationships that aren't doing me any good. Potentially romantic relationships that aren't going anywhere. And setting boundaries for people who seem to have none. Out with the old, in with the new!!
It's a new year and it's a great time to set goals for oneself. My therapist and I have been talking a lot about making positive choices and being appropriately assertive, because I have a tendency to hold back and bite my tongue so I can mull over interactions and insure that i don't say anything I don't mean. (I know this sounds pretty contrary to the tone of my blog, but while I am outrageous and honest in real life I generally try much harder to no be offensive than I do while writing on here.) I think it's pretty important to not go crazy with this idea- you can't just start yelling at people who cut you in line at the grocery store or receptionists who put you on hold for personal phone calls- but I also think that it's healthy to make your feelings, and their magnitude, known.
If you disagree, I invite you to think of it in terms of energy. My therapist says that emotions are energy and by keeping in anxiety and negative feelings you are just wasting energy on them. At first, I did not agree. My dad always warns me to restrain myself during social conflict and to never "burn bridges". For a very long time I did just that. The most striking example of this in my life is the collection of interactions between myself and a guy after we ended what was, for both of us, our longest and most serious relationship to that point. He broke up with me in a manner that I found unfair (and a bit stalkerish) and couldn't give a reason that satisfied either of us (I know now we aren't compatible, but at the time, I don't feel like either of us really believed that). I was so angry and hurt, because we had been planning a future together for a long time, and I felt that all of the sudden when it was finally time to move toward that future, he was ditching me (and yes, this was the summer during which three of my friends got married).
I was so angry and hurt that I didn't know what to do with my emotions. But I purposely was not in the least bit mean to him. I tried so very hard to be nice, and cordial, and even when I insisted that we talk because I needed closure I restrained myself and didn't say what I really wanted to, the things that had hurt me the most. I did not want to burn that bridge; he was friends with my friends, we had been friends before we dated, etc etc etc.
So how did it turn out? We haven't spoken in person in over a year. I never get invited to the parties that all of our mutual friends who were more his friends then mine throw. I try to send an email once a year to ensure things won't be awkward when we do run into each other, but it doesn't seem to facilitate anything very much.
I've often wondered if it would have been any different if I really had said all those things I had wanted to. Had been mean to him and released some of my anger and sadness. Could it have turned out any worse? I doubt it. And maybe somehow getting things out in the open would have been a relief for both of us and made things better in the long run? I don't know but letting out some of that energy I kept inside as anger with a few sentences may not have made a huge difference between us in the long run but could have eased my personal pain a great deal, not only by letting go of it but also allowing me to feel that I had chosen to reject him also, and was at least partially in charge of my own fate (which is a whooooooole 'nother important issue!)
Which brings us to my new year's resolution!
Starting this year, on December 31st, I am going to slough off any emotionally parasitic, mentally damaging, or time-consumingly wasteful relationships with men. Can only find the time to call me back on YOUR time (ie three days after you said you would)? Discarded. Telling me you can be a supportive, platonic friend and then making jokes about jacking off to my picture? Expelled from my life. Constantly justifying your shortfalls by citing traumatic past/present events but unwilling to acknowledge that I hurt too? Dumped into the trash heap (not even worth recycling!) Anyone else want to step up for a try? Blaming your dedication and hours on the job for your lack of commitment? Come on now. I'm a fucking GRAD STUDENT. You cannot be busier than I am, and I'm making time for YOU. Shed from my realm of caring.
It's like spring cleaning, only in January. I told one guy that my resolution is to not put up with people who are rude and disrespect me, so it was nice knowing him. Another I told that he cannot treat me in ways that he knows are going to upset me anymore, even if he thinks that expressing his sexual desires is healthy for him. (He can keep expressing them to undergrads, but not to ME.)
And I don're regret either of those one bit. If you have some old, moldy, emotionally dysfunctional guys (or girls! for all you males out there) then get rid of 'em. I'm sure that the amount of energy you've spent on them up to now is quite enough.
V3 wishing all a happy and healthy start