Monday, April 06, 2015

I Want to Throw Up

We spend our childhoods being shaped by things beyond our control. As adults, those factors drive decisions, feelings, outcomes. For the most part, we are totally unaware of this imprint. You do what you do because you don't know any differently.

Then a close friends pulls you aside and offers advice. Your sister who knows you better than you'll ever know yourself accuses you of acting like your mom. Your therapist winces when you tell her about something that never seemed that bad in the moment.

Self-awareness is a double-edge sword. It provides comfort when you realize you aren't the crazy one but merely a victim of the insanity that once swirled around you. It paralyzes you as you over-analyze every present-day action in an attempt to avoid old habits that repeatedly steered you down an unwanted path.

"So?" a friend asked the day after I toured a delightful townhouse in the complex I'd come to stalk.

"My offer was accepted," I replied.

"That's amazing!  I'm so happy for you!"

"I want to throw up."

"So?" Leslie asked after my fourth date with an architect.

"He brought me flowers and told me I'm beautiful."

"Yes! I love it!"

"I want to throw up."

I spent my entire life trying to be three steps ahead. It was a strategy to survival. If I could anticipate my mother's wrath, I could prepare. I could hunker down, clench my jaw, and weather the storm. The challenge is that all of that maneuvering instilled in me a false sense of control. After all, no one is ever truly in control.

The architect texted this afternoon to say he'd spent the entire day thinking about me. That cooking dinner together at his house last night, he couldn't get over how amazing I looked. That he wanted nothing more than to skip the meal and kiss me over and over.

My instinct was to rebuke his compliments, beat them back with self-deprecating humor. So desperately I wanted to dismiss his emotions as disingenuous. Then I reminded myself that this is everything I've ever wanted.  I need to live in the moment. And I need to trust what he says is the truth, because we all know my own version of the truth is unbelievably flawed.

Change is good. Getting what you want is good. Now comes the hard part. Now I need to dig deep to believe it, embrace it, and find absolute joy in it.

Oh my God, I want to throw up.

7 comments:

Dom said...

Dude. Girl Time. You can have the entire hour. WHAT IS ALL THIS NEW NEWS? Woman. I know where you live!

BostonPobble said...

Here from "More Blitherings" and wow, I could have written this. From the illusion of control to wanting to throw up. It's nice to know others are out there.

I'm at the edge of having every dream I ever had come true and I am both more excited than words can express and terrified. Thanks for writing. I'm glad I stopped by.

Zoya, Patrick, Nora and Stuart said...

So great to read your post. Love your candidness…I completely identify with being along for the ride at times!

Daniel Perera said...

Stumbled upon your blog this afternoon and I must say I really felt I could relate to a lot of this, especially your strategy of survival, the metaphorical sword that is self-awareness and your instinct to rebuke compliments... Great blog. I want to follow but wasn't able to find a link.

Would love it if you could check out my blog and let me know what you think as well by the way! It's faithstatic.blogspot.com

Keep writing!

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Arthur Wang said...

Candidly written. Good.

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Life - an Epitome ! said...

Although your life must have gone way further from this feeling of throwing up which you had back in 2015.. but I can so relate to it write now.. Thank you for this one!