Monday, November 12, 2012

Lesson learned already

"I believe God has a plan. Just wish He'd stop with all the false alarms." 
"They're considered lessons. God doesn't test us, but He does allow us to learn lessons. We keep making the same mistakes until the lesson has been learned."
I was talking with a friend about how I'm tired of meeting all the wrong guys, and while I trust that there is a plan for me that includes the right guy - I'd just like to get on with it already.

I thought about what my friend said, and I think she's right. There have been lessons that I needed to learn. But like I said to her...

I've got the lesson down about not staying with the wrong guy just to be in a relationship. I've absolutely mastered the guy who says he's interested, only to disappear. I'm a black-belt in guys who get into a relationship, only to drop me like a hot potato just when things seem to be going along nicely.

So what the heck is left?!

I have been over and over and over this in my head. It's probably irrational, but I have myself convinced that if I can figure out what the lesson is, I can learn it, and then true love will just fall out of the sky and land at my doorstep. Preferably on a good hair-day.

I know it probably won't happen exactly that way...but if there's a lesson to be learned, I'd still like to figure it out, if only for myself.

I've been talking about it a lot...but I think for me, communication is one of the biggest lessons. I'm just not good at it - at least not when it comes to a significant other. When I was married, the only time we "communicated" was when we fought. The rest of the time, we kind of just hummed through life as though everything was fine. That was probably largely my fault, because that's the way my family operates, and it's the way I was raised.

Since I've learned to associate communication with fighting, I'm constantly afraid that if I attempt to communicate with a guy, he'll perceive it as me picking a fight. Since I don't want to fight - I avoid communication.

Which isn't really working out so well for me.

I was absolutely horrible with Big. I improved a little with Trooper. I got incredibly good at it with Sparrow. I'd really like it if the universe could send me the guy who can help me pass that final exam. I think I'm ready. I finally realize that saying what's on my mind isn't the same as fighting - now I just need someone to help me practice.

Connected to all of this is a lesson in my own self-esteem. I need to remember that my feelings and desires and worries are just as important as the other person's. I learned to not feel that way from a previous relationship (Pre-X) that I never talk about, because it was quite painful. He was simply awful to me - abusive in every way. It's amazing how long we carry some things in life. I didn't even realize how big this guy's impact on me was until after X and I separated.

He convinced me that what I want in a relationship is far less important than what the other person wants. He also convinced me that if I don't give the other person everything he wants - I'm not good enough. He sealed the deal by making sure I always knew how fat, ugly, and stupid I am.

Great guy. Found him at the mall. Probably why I look for guys on the internet now. 

So how do I get over that? There are a million techniques, and I know them all. My self-esteem is a fight - but it's one that I'm winning. I think the big thing when it comes to relationships is not to let the other person affect how I see myself.

I am that girl who lets guys affect her self-esteem. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely have my own identity, and for the most part, I feel absolutely wonderful about myself.

But when I like someone, and he doesn't like me back - the wheels fall off. Before I know it, I'm right back in my 19-year-old self's shoes, sick to my stomach because I'm not good enough. Then I start trying to fix whatever I did wrong - making promises and changes, practically begging for another chance.

I notice it a lot when guys go AWOL. I get bummed, and down on myself. It's frustrating because I know better; I know not to expect more from someone than what he's promised, and I know that if someone disappears, it says more about him than it does me. Yet, I can easily get really bummed over one guy.

If that were any of my friends, I'd tell her to get her head on straight. That she's beautiful and smart, and if this guy was too stupid to see how lucky he was to have a chance with her, then he's not worth a second of worry. I'd be right, too.

So why can't I just take my own advice?

I get it. I know the right person will see me for the fabulous person I am. I also know the people who don't see it are obviously not right for me - and so their opinions don't even really matter. Knowing isn't the problem; I struggle with remembering in the moment.

Still, I know I'm getting the hang of this lesson. Know how? Any other time I feel rejected, the first thing I do is look for validation from another guy. I text a guy I already know; or more likely, I jump online and find someone new.

Not this time. This time, I'd already decided that if recovery was necessary, I would do it on my own. That I don't need anyone else to remind me how wonderful I am. I decided it's time to learn to remind myself.

So I may not have mastered this lesson yet - but I'm just about there.

Time to sweep off the doorstep and grab my hair dryer.

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