Back in May, I lit a match to my life. Things weren’t working out; I wasn’t happy. Change, though terrifying to consider and actually follow through with, seemed not only necessary but vital for my emotional and mental survival. As a result, I’ve been called everything from a pussy to a motherfucker to courageous for taking charge of my life and—as my cousin would say—hitting the reset button.
Am I running? Am I moving forward? Who the fuck knows? Not me, not yet. Probably not any time soon, either.
You see, I’ve been traveling. Ohio. New Jersey. New York City. Florida. Nashville. Delaware next, followed by Seattle. Then most likely back to New York, maybe even Denver. And then? I’m not sure. San Diego, perhaps? Maybe I am running. Maybe I’m afraid of sitting still. If I sit still for too long, I think I’ll go crazy.
As cliché as it may sound, I’m trying to find myself. I feel lost, have felt lost for a while, and need to discover where I belong and where home truly is. In short, I’m doing that eat, pray, love thing. Unfortunately, I’ve only gotten the “eat” part down. I’ve also referred to this period as my “Not-Yet-Midlife Crisis Book Tour,” even though I don’t currently have a book to promote. The only thing I’m trying to promote right now is self-awareness.
I thought I could be a nomad, live out of a suitcase, discover things about myself that I’ve yet to learn. See friends and new places, pursue unknown experiences.
What I’ve learned is that I like structure and roots and routine. I like consistency. I want consistency with someone. With a soul mate. I want to be married and boring and write books and have a partner-in-crime to go on adventures with, even if that adventure is something as mundane as a trip to the local grocery store.
I’ve also learned that I really like therapy. Specifically, I like paying someone to tell me what’s wrong with me. What a brilliant concept, right? Additionally, I’ve discovered that I enjoy journaling, meditating, and boxing. Who knows? I may just surprise all of you one day and turn out butch. Yeah, it’s very doubtful.
Over the past few months, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned, though, is how essential self-reflection is to grow and work on yourself. Further, self-reflection is imperative if you want to improve or better yourself. And I do. I always do.
It was through self-reflection and a vulnerable conversation with my best friend that I came to the understanding of how jaded and judgmental I’ve been lately.
Let’s be clear about something: jade and judge ain’t a good look on anybody! I can admit when I’m wrong, though. . . And it seems that I’ve been oh, so wrong.
I’ve always considered myself to be very open-minded. Still do. Except, I’m not so sure someone can be open-minded and judgmental. In all honestly, I think I’ve become judgmental towards people who have different viewpoints than me, especially regarding porn, Only Fans, social media, and open relationships.
Now, I can blame past encounters—failed relationships—on this judgment that has eaten me like a ravenous cancer. It’s true, too. I believe that the pain and suffering I’ve endured in my love life has shaped my perspective on certain things. However, that doesn’t make any of it right. Effie, we all got pain. That doesn’t give anyone a free pass to look down on how others are choosing to live their lives and do what they want to do with their bodies.
This is a hard fucking pill for me to swallow, but just because I disagree with something, doesn’t make it wrong. Why can’t I master this lesson? Because of my past? Because of what I’ve experienced in my love life. Again, I’m not making excuses, but trying to learn.
Trying to be more self-aware.
It’s through this journey of self-awareness and assistance of valuable tools (therapy, good friends, vulnerable conversations, travel, and a little boxing) that I’m learning my anger or disgust or resentment has been pointed at the wrong target. My issue isn’t with Only Fans, excessive porn (especially amateur porn on Twitter made by local people you can access on any given day), social media addicts, and open relationships.
Well, that isn’t my real issue. I’m beginning to recognize that my real issue is not wanting a partner who has to constantly be plugged into that kind of content. I don’t mesh well with someone who wants to have that type of life.
What a revelation!
Am I threatened by this sex-craved, attention-seeking community? Do I think it’s harder to find a partner in today’s world? And, God willing, once I find a partner, am I fearful that I’ll lose him to the dark side of Only Fans, Twitter, social media, porn, etc.?
Yes, yes, and yes!
However, I know now that I need to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and only worry about me, my wants and goals. And only when I’m truly happy with myself and know who I am and what I want and expect, can I genuinely find the same with someone else.
I need to stop judging, stop criticizing, stop misdirecting my anger and frustration, and simply surround myself with like-minded people. Find a partner who has the same values as me, the same expectations, the same goals for the future. After all, we get to choose who we surround ourselves with, don’t we? That’s one of the beauties about growing up, getting older.
Still, I can’t help but wonder . . . Would it be easier to find a partner without the chaos of social media, myriad hookup apps, and immediate access to porn? It doesn’t matter; these things aren’t going anywhere. I might as well stop wasting my time and energy on things I can’t change or control. The only thing I can change and control is myself.
I fear I’ve painted myself as this crazy, obsessive, pessimistic, prude. Maybe it’s time to relax and just have fun again. Not take the whole thing so seriously.
This is my apology for being such a judgmental cu—bitch. My approach to so many things has been wrong lately. To each their own. I may not have to agree with what someone else does—or even like or understand it—but I should still be open-minded enough to respect that person and respect that different people have different lives, different motives, different wants, different needs, different opportunities . . . just differences.
And that’s perfectly okay. It’s not always about me. In fact, it has nothing to do with me.
We’ll just call this blog article the “prayer” portion of my journey.
So, I’ve now eaten (a few times), prayed, and eventually—with time, patience, and more self-awareness—will get the “love” part down.