My friend A has a sense of adventure that I admire as much as I fear.
She galivants around the world — by herself — hitch hiking and talking to strangers who quickly become stories in her never-ending journal of interesting conversations that seriously, no one else has. She is truly a curly-headed wonder woman who takes risks and creates a bucket list of things she actually ends up doing.
I consider her one of my strong-willed and fiercely independent companions — someone who praises me for having the balls to walk away from something wrong for me and then telling me an obscure fact about elephants a beat later. She’s not traditional but she does believe in traditions of great families, like the crazy one she comes from, and though she doesn’t care for those vulnerable pieces that make her beautifully gushy and maternal in all the right ways, I love it about her.
But she’s afraid of feelings. Actually, she says she’s not good at them.
And I’d have to agree. She has emotions — overpowering, vivid, passionate ones — that when she articulates them can sensationally take your breath away. But it’s a rarity when she lets it all out, when she makes herself tender enough to shed a layer of her sturdy walls — the ones meant to protect her and everyone she knows. Her emotions can overwhelm her in a way that she can’t process in the second the moment happens. And then the moment turns into a memory and then she has enough time to feel the feelings without avoiding them, and then that memory becomes a new fascinating, gripping tale she tells you.
The truth is, I wish I was like A. I wish I could think before I speak. I wish I was brave to tackle uncharted territory and I wish I was bad at feelings.
Because frankly, I’m almost too good at them.
Which is why Dr. Heart made it to this blog. Or why I developed faith in him before getting to honestly know him. In this case, I let the heart lead the head and the head found reasons to steer the heart away.
I hearted too soon.
As I often do, but this time, I went with my gut and the lessons I learned a little too hard from Mr. P and I got away from a negative nelly before he got the best of me. I also learned an important lesson about my own heart after prematurely naming someone a love doctor before truly getting to know his heart and seeing if it actually matched and beat along with mine.
I didn’t let feelings really develop before calling them emotions. They were, in all actuality, just thoughts. And while those are quite powerful demons when they want to be, when heart strings and brain waves work together, something wonderful happens. When they don’t, nothing really can ever work.
Those feelings, whatever they may be, they must be given time to foster.
Regardless if you’re good or bad at feelings, it you’re afraid of them or crave them, if you express them way too often or not at all — you have to have them.
And through relationships and anything else that’s tied closely to those pesky little butterflies that direct so many of our decisions, you have to feel your way to figure out which direction is best.
You have to try to fail, you have to cry to swell, you have to hope to cope, and you have to think you know, only to find out that you, well, don’t.
I’m not sure what’s next for me and whatever mister I muster the courage to welcome into my life, my bed, my never, ever giving up soul — but if anything, I’m not worried. I can feel my way through and figure it all out with those feelings.
Just like I always have, just like A has, even if we verbalize them differently. Even if being bad or good at feelings doesn’t really mean anything — the most important thing about those annoying, constant and sometimes fascinating flutters, is that after every disappointment or struggle or relationship that never actually became such a thing after all… You still have them. You still let yourself feel them.
You let them figure it all out. After all, good or bad, they do know best.
The thing is, I’m probably too free with feelings too. I let my heart rule my head, but I kind of think if I changed that I wouldn’t be who I was. I would be scared, bitter, resentful, and not me. I don’t know if it’s braver or not, but being you, and expressing those feelings….to me it is brave. And it is who I am. And who you should be if that is who you are.
Linds, a very sweet post. So the young doctor-to-be, wasn’t Mr. Right. Virtual hug !
Your adventurous friend hides from feelings developing on her adventures. She figures she’s safe, no lie can stay long enough to force her into mistakes. You and I are two peas in a pod, perhaps more likely cut from a similar mold, thinking so many of the opposite sex may be our forever partner.
My friend too young at work admitted she’s into being a rescue queen. Really nice guys for her present no challenge. She wants a slightly broken or not yet right guy, who will change for her. Seems one has to have a socially unacceptable addiction to break. So nice guys can only be her platonic friends. . I suppose ones who see her as broken, hope she will heal, and see she has a Mr. Right there all along. In her case, something of a stable. Or her stable of former loves who she gave the last ultimatum, except to check in and see if a romp in the hay might hook them back to her to try to change them again.
I think in Carol Lieberman’s “Bad Girls”, she may be part Committment-Phobe with the bad boys, and Sexual Withholder with the nice guys. She a has a few issues, or so she says. She’ll always tell a guy in the first 10 minutes talking to him, who she figures wants to bed her, in case he has long term plans, he knows she’s a problem child. And I suppose she is then in Ultimate Damsel In Distress mode, herself needing rescue by the Nice Guy. A Changeling.
You are doing it right, best I can tell. Optimistic. Not yet jaded and thinking every man lies, as the Changeling has said.
In Los Angeles, I don’t know about New York, there is now a website called Meetups, where anyone can start a group with a purpose to get together, and other similar minded people can join, and get notifications for the “meet up”. There are singles meetups, speed dating meetups, volleyball meetups, meditation meetups, exercise meetups, running meetups, hiking meetups, outdoor adventure meetups. Foodie meetups, empowered women meetups, travel meetups, and hundreds more, many similar but too far to participate, so similar ones exist many miles apart. Ways to find future friends in a big city with similar interests. Get to know people slowly but regularly, without official “dates”. And occasionally ask for a phone number. Over 4,000 meetups within about 25 miles of my zip code.
I’m having fun playing volleyball through meetups. No dates, but a lot of fun, becoming a regular in a couple groups. No older women of interest, yet. Mostly everyone is under 30, but not all. A place to be social in a big group, between games. Something I missed the rest of my life. I get greeted by name now by more than a few. I’m not the best, but I try and I improve, so I am appreciated, and will help others work on their technique, being a friend. I’m a once and future athlete, so I feel I belong. I discovered yesterday one overweight girl teaches swimming. And her tiny best friend can’t swim ! But the little one is great at volleyball, the big girl has trouble being quick, but tries. Some pretty girls show up, see how they get treated, see who flirts, see who just plays volleyball, see who hits on them. And make new girl friends, or bring ones along. Most are very good volleyball players, some pretend they are not to see how guys react.
Its given me some social structure, plans I don’t break.
OkCupid is another free dating site. It has some fixed questions in the person’s profile, plus thousands of optional questions that give further form to one’s personality, let others see quirks that may endear or repulse. Gives a match %, a friend %, and enemy %. And I see about 75% are photos of the same women from at least two other dating sites.
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