Recently I got called selfish by a former friend. This is the second time in 5 years that a former friend has called me that. You know when they say if you see a pattern in your relationships with people then you are most likely the root cause of the problem. So if I am the root cause of this selfishness, you may be surprised to learn that recently I’ve come to the realization that being called selfish is not something I have an issue with.
The word selfish is such a bad word in our vernacular, but the more I go through life the more I question its meaning. Of course I don’t mean selfishness as in a way of hurting people or pushing people down to get to the top. We should all try to help humanity as a whole. For me when it comes to your personal relationships with people, the word selfishness can take on a whole different meaning. The older I get the more I realize that the strongest, longest, most pure relationship I’ve ever had is not with my parents or friends or siblings, but it’s the relationship that I’ve had with myself. In the “Sex and the City” movie there’s a profound moment when Samantha is talking to Smith Jerrod and says “I love you, but I love me more.” I’ve been so conditioned that when I heard that I thought she was making the wrong decision putting herself first, but the older I get the more I realize theres power in pinpointing what you want and need and not settling until you get it.
Learning more about attachment theories and my attachment style has made me really look back at my life and past relationships (and they don’t have to be romantic) and reevaluate what exactly happened and where it went off the rails and it made me analyze something that I always knew was there. At the core of a lot of my issues in relationships it comes down to the fact that I am a people pleaser. But I don’t stop with being just a people please, I want everyone to like me and I am ok with playing a certain role in order to be liked. I am a Leo Moon and a Libra rising so I never know if I was just predestined to be like this, or if it stems from my childhood trauma. Honestly I think it’s a combination of both. In my friendships I’ve noticed that I am happy being the “best friend” you know the one that is selfless and is cool and will always listen to your problems and be there for you not demanding or expecting much in return. Well the older I get the more I think (and excuse my language) F THAT! Why should I be the best friend? Why can’t I be the leading role in my own life? Why can’t I have my wants and needs met? Why does compromise always mean we do what the other person wants?
I think being what people want me to be comes from the fear of being abandoned and from the fear that if I express my wants and needs and boundaries from the beginning the other person might not accept them and leave. However the inevitable always happens, I get fed up of meeting other peoples needs and having mine constantly ignored and then I blow up which for me manifests in a way of ignoring people and literally going through life like they don’t exist. My fear of being abandoned and not liked becomes reality because in the end after my dramatic show of discontent they leave anyway and I can’t say I blame them. However, it doesn’t have to be like that! Recently I’ve been practicing expressing my wants, needs, and boundaries, in my relationships and the possibility is always there that they might not accept that and leave. However, the older I get the more I realize I’d rather have that than invest my time and effort into a relationship that I am not happy with for it to end anyway. Let me be selfish from the beginning and tell you what I want and need and take my chances that the person will not meet them and know that in the end I honored myself and put myself in the starring role.
Recently I started talking to this guy and something that really bugs me about that relationship is that he doesn’t text me and check in with me during the week. The old me would’ve begrudgingly accepted that until my heated anger grew and grew and I would’ve just stoped talking to him. However, I let him know how that makes me feel when he doesn’t take 20 seconds out of his day to shoot me a text and check in with me. Well guess what happened? Nothing! He was receptive to what I had to say, but his behavior didn’t change at all! And honestly I am ok with that. Theres nothing wrong with him, but there’s also nothing wrong with me either. We just have very different wants, needs, and boundaries that will never be compatible and at the end I have to do what’s best for me.
Life will have its ups and downs and just because the first ten tries don’t go my way doesn’t mean I will abandon the practice. In my opinion, texting somebody during the week to check up on them and how they are doing isn’t too much effort, however, for some people that is and I have to be ok with that and just accept my losses but not abandon the practice of honoring myself and letting people know what I want and need. Because it didn’t work out with him doesn’t mean that I am lost forever or I am defective or asking for too much. Honestly I felt apprehension at first at the thought of being so raw and vulnerable, but after I told him my boundaries and what I need and want I felt so mature for my age to be able to express that. There’s truly power in vulnerability and I really felt that!
At the end of the day, you have to be your own best friend. You have to be the one that lives with your choices. I am no longer ok with putting my wants, needs, and boundaries on the back burner to placate other people just so I can be liked. I don’t blame the two people who have called me selfish because to them I did a complete 180 from the person that they met and I apologized to both of them for hurting their feelings in my approach to the situation. I am sorry for acting so dramatic in my self-discovery journey and for any hurt or confusion that I may have caused them in what was essentially me ghosting them. It was not the right choice and completely immature especially for a 30-year old. However, at the end of the day I am not sorry for being selfish. The only thing that I am sorry for is not expressing my so-called selfishness from the beginning.
What to do when you are made to feel like you’re just one option in a sea of options?
Unfortunetly for humans in the 21st century this is a feeling we all know too well. For me this is something that cuts particularly deep. Is it my Leo moon that takes rejection so personally? Is it my childhood trauma of being bullied that gets reignited every time somebody makes me feel like I’m worthless? I’ll never know why I take it so personally, but dealing with rejection and being made to feel like I’m just one choice of many is something that I have never been good at dealing with. Its hard because as a human being you want to feel like you are special, but when you get treated the opposite of that it becomes increasingly difficult to not believe what your subconscious thoughts and past trauma want you to believe.
Recently, I met a guy on the online apps before I made the move to Miami and I thought I had found somebody special that would treat me like I was special too. He seemed very interested in me and unlike other guys where it was like I was conducting a one sided interview, he would ask about my life and it seemed like he was genuinely interested in getting to know me as a person. I was attracted to him and thought I finally found someone that I wanted to invest my time in (I have 4 planets in Capricorn so that’s the reason I treat everything like it’s a corporation). Fast forward to me moving to Miami and we’re still talking, but its not like before and the conversations are hollow. He asks to meet up with me and we make tentative plans, but of course nothing is finalized the day before and he never ends up following through with making plans or meeting up. Of course, I did what every immature 30 year old would do and I don’t respond to his texts and ghosted him for a month.
More than anything in life I hate that “what if” questions so after a month fo not talking I reached out to him and to my surprise he responded back and we started talking again still with hollow conversations consisting with not much more than asking about each others day and week. Once again he asks me to hang out and once again he cancels the day of. Honestly I wasn’t even that hurt because I was expecting it and after giving him another chance and seeing him react the same way is a surefire way to make sure you don’t live with the “what ifs.”
What I’ve learned through my experience is that the best way to deal with rejection is to get rejected a lot. Going to Miami has been good for that because I feel like I’ve never allowed myself to get rejected so much in my life as I have in the last few weeks. The hardest thing about rejection for me is not taking it seriously and personally and believing that there is something wrong with me that makes people reject me so much. Recently I’ve been learning more about attachment theory and the different attachments styles. There’s tests you can do online that tell you what attachment style you may have and I have to say the attachment style that is dominant in me does explain the pattern I see in my life and in my relationships (and its not always romantic either).
With this new knowledge of attachment styles and what my patterns and thoughts are, I’ve been trying to turn this experience into a blessing because being rejected by other people has helped me be nicer and more loving to myself. Every time I am rejected by somebody else I take it as a way to tell the little girl in me that she is beautiful and sweet and deserving of all the love in the world and there is absolutely nothing wrong with her.
I love having this blog as a way to monitor my self growth. Reading the previous blog about my roommate and seeing what a different place I am in right now is exciting because I know that in just a few months I will be in a totally new situation and a new place and it’s fun to see the trajectory of how far I’ve come.
If you meet me in person, you might not think this about me, but I tend to romanticize situations a lot. Blame it on the fairy tales we’re told as young girls. Blame it on the romantic comedies we binge as young woman. Or just blame it on my vivid imagination, but I’m always filled with this hope that every situation I encounter especially the big ones will change my life and set me on a completely new path in life. I don’t know why, but ever since I was a young child I have always been obsessed with the concept of serendipity. Even that word is so beautiful, just say it serendipity.
So with this ever present optimism, hidden behind a very pessimistic exterior, I moved states and decided to try something new for a few months. I thought about whether I should name the city or not but since it is big enough of a place, I will say that I moved to Miami. My lease expired in NYC at the end of August and I am on a leave from my job until January, so I figured it would be the perfect time to try something new and improve my surfing skills, a recent passion I discovered while on a recent trip to Hawaii (pre-Covid of course.)
In my mind the move would bring new opportunities to make friends, master surfing to the point that I become a professional, to potentially find love. However, the reality has been kicking my butt ten times over. Firstly, housing has been a royal pain to find. What I have experienced is people wasting my time and naming one price and when you go and look at the apartment they straight up ask “how much more can you pay?” which has happened to me. Or after you meet and look at the place they start naming demands which were not discussed before. In short, its been nothing but a waste of time. So I’ve been hopping around Airbnbs every single month and you would think that would exciting but packing and unpacking your life every single month is actually kind of a hassle (shocking I know).
Also the current Airbnb Im staying at portrayed itself as something completely different than what it actually is. I was thinking it would be somebody’s house, but it’s a converted hotel/hostel and my “studio” apartment is actually a hotel room. Also this area is filled with people who aren’t taking this virus seriously at all and my days are filled with listening to people run around yell, cry, cough, fist fight all without masks on of course.
Now on to the friendship and matters of the heart..and oh boy do I have a lot to say. As with the housing situation, it seems like people here don’t really value other peoples time. The usual routine of matching with guys on Bumble or Hinge, reaching out to them, and them not responding has obviously happened here but that’s not even the worst part. The thing that drives me crazy is I’ve encountered so many guys who will reach out to you to do something for the day of. Now it may not be the intention, but to me that comes across as I’ve waited until the last minuted to see if any better plans would come along and since they didn’t “Hey what are you up to btw..” It just seems so disrespectful and rude to me. The girls I’ve encountered on the “bff” portion of the dating apps have also been the same way. And it’s left me wondering am I the crazy one expecting too much in this situation? Maybe it’s the New Yorker in me, but do people really not make plans at least 24 hours in advance anymore?
And finally on to surfing. I came here to master the sport and be the next Kelly Slater (I joke), but my third day here I tripped while walking down a sidewalk (completely sober mind you) and skinned my knees. So now I can’t do anything or put pressure on that area until that is healed and its proving to be a longer process than what I remembered as child. Also who knew that waves are such a rarity in Miami and its not everyday that you even have enough of a wave to surf and this surprised me because the actual Kelly Slater is from Florida..what the heck!
So I am left with the question what do you do when everything seems to be going wrong? Like I’ve mentioned earlier I am full of gratitude and I know how lucky I am in life and that my problems pale in comparison to most people. But what do you do when you think you’ve taken all you can and life comes along and gives you a kick in the crotch? I’ve been trying to keep a positive mindset and tell myself that after all these tribulations I’m going to be so happy when things start going my way, but sometimes that’s hard to focus on. I’ve been doing a “gratitude list” every single day to remind myself how much I have to be thankful for. For example this opportunity to just pick up and start my life somewhere new for a few month is not a luxury thats afforded to many people. Also the fact that no matter how bad the housing is, I know that I will always have a roof over my head and a warm bed to cozy up in every single night and thats truly more than most people have all over the world. But what do I do about the smaller stuff? The little disappointments that happen every single day?
So please dear reader give me suggestions of what I can do to not focus on how much life hasn’t been working out the last few months. And also I want to say this is just my perception and my experience. You could come to Miami and experience something totally different and fall in love with the city from day one, so please don’t judge a place based on what I am saying here or what I said may not be a big deal to you at all.
I believe there is a great power in speaking your truth no matter how shocking or embarrassing it might be. I never let myself feel or look vulnerable. I prefer to be strong and always the one to listen to everyone else’s problems while people seldom asks me how I’m doing and truly care.
Maybe that is why I got a blog because I know I can put my thoughts out there and it feels like I am sharing them with the world and finally allowing myself to be vulnerable whilst also knowing that they will not reach that many people and my secret is still safe with me.
Maybe I will continue to speaks my truths a little at a time, but today I want to share one of the most embarrassing facts about me. I am a thirty year old woman and in my adult life I have never had a boyfriend. I don’t want to make it seem like I am so unwanted and abandoned by the world, I have had people show interest but it is never anybody who I am attracted to or feel a connection with.
I have tried to put myself out there and try dating apps or meet people at the bar and the people who I am interested in don’t really seem interested in me at the slightest. I deleted my dating profile yesterday because I felt like a hamster in a wheel repeating the same routine over and over and over. I would show interest in someone and they would either not reciprocate or start a half-assed conversation that would eventually leave me on read.
I’ve tried going to bars with my girlfriends and putting myself out there and being social, but doing that makes me feel like I am a piece of furniture or decor because men always flock to whatever friend I’m with not realizing or care that I am there. I don’t think I’m ugly, but maybe we see ourselves a lot better than what we really are. I think I’m interesting because of my travels, but maybe I just don’t realize just how boring I truly am.
I have had interest in one man who reciprocated my feelings at least for a couple of days and that is why I still can’t let his memory go 7 years later. I tried to convince myself its an unrequited love when in reality it was only the excitement that somebody I liked actually saw me. My friends tried to convince me to reach out to him, but I know if I ever did that and said “Hey this is (insert my name here)” he would text back and say “Who?!” I deleted his pictures that I had and his phone number because my presence is inconsequential to him and I don’t need to text him to know that.
Sometimes I think about settling and being with one of the people who like me who I don’t have a connection or attraction to, but then I realize I would rather be on my own. I have to be real with myself, some people just aren’t meant to find love and maybe I am one of those people and maybe that is ok.