About a year ago, I thought I met the guy of my dreams, AWLOB. When we first messaged each other, I remember feeling like, wow, this guy is different than anyone I’ve ever met. I remember feeling relieved in December, when he said he needed space to sort things out with his boyfriend, so I could get distance from my own desire, then giddy in January when he told me he broke up with his boyfriend and had feelings for me. Then when he said he could not commit to a one hour phone call without telling me why and just wanted to be friends in the future, I felt it all: anger at him, sadness that it did not work out, disgust at myself for caring in the first place, and confusion about why this went down how it did.
But no emotion lasts forever. About a month ago, I stopped looking him up online and reading our old emails. Before, I thought so much about what made his feelings shift and if he still liked me. Now, I do not care about how he feels or what he thinks, because I know my self-worth, and my self-worth does not include caring about a random boy who cannot commit to basic communication. At times I catch myself thinking, ugh, AWLOB is a great writer and I’ll probably run across his first book on Goodreads in a few years and that will suck. But I remind myself that he made me feel how I felt, the good and the bad, and no external accomplishment or product (e.g., a book) can erase the truth of my emotions.
I guess I share this update for anyone going through a shitty time. I have a fair amount of privilege and also have gone through a lot of hardship: living with my abusive mom for 18 years, past experiences of anorexia and PTSD, the turmoil of thinking that I may have met the guy of my dreams and realizing the truth about him. I feel emotions intensely, so when shit happens sometimes I feel like my whole world is imploding and all of my control has collapsed.
Through present moment awareness and aligning with my values, I know though that I will be okay. I will be more than okay, really. This weekend I strolled down the streets of Atlanta listening to “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” by Ariana Grande after having a conversation that affirmed my strong sense of self. During this stroll I felt the best about my life and my relationships than I had in a long time. I wrote this blog post on my flight back from Atlanta, and the evening of my return to D.C. I have plans to play tennis with my super fun and kind tennis friends. When I take a step back and then sit in the present moment, my life feels like a dream: I have red hair and wear tons of floral shirts, I have the privilege of providing therapy and I read a ton of great books, and I will fly to Seattle to visit one of my best friends, Bri, in January. I feel joyous, fulfilled, and in awe of my perseverance.
Positive emotions also fade with time, though. So I’m committing to staying engaged with the present, enjoying every moment of connection to others and to myself, because who knows how things will change. I rest assured knowing that whatever force tries to conquer me, I will survive. Even if it takes time, I will rise.
How do you cope with negative and positive emotions? What experiences or emotions felt like they may last forever when they did not? Other reactions to this post? Hope you all are well and until next time!