One of my bad habits is reading shitty articles on the internet. I also read a lot of good articles on the internet, but the shitty ones somehow end up working themselves in. My worse habit is that I get caught up in the words that these shitty articles spew and let them fuel anxiety.
Luckily I am getting better at recognizing stupid shit; or at least shit that doesn't really apply to me. The most recent manifestation of this was an article about how important it is to implement 'the chase' when dating because...I don't even remember, but you know, probably some really hard evidence about how all men are the same and all of them love this 'chase' and also about how people value things they have to work for.
I don't debate that people value things they have to work for, but I knew that this idea of women having to set up some kind of chase or not act how they really feel to get men to be interested didn't sit well with me. Then it hit me pretty fast why I think this can be true and false at the same time.
Yes, it's satisfactory to get things that we work for. But this pervasive idea that women need to implement things into a relationship to create obstacles and challenges forgets that there are women out there who are difficult and challenging on their own, without any effort put forth other than just being themselves.
Obviously, I am one of those women. I'm a challenging person to be involved with, whether it be friendship, romance, working, living, or however else we're involved with other humans. It's hard for me to say exactly why I know that I pose such a difficulty for so many people, because I'm just me and I think that although being me is hard re: the many thoughts that I have and how boredom turns into anxiety so I have to have a lot of activities, it's just my life. But I know that I'm intense, and I expect a lot of the people in my life, and I let them know that without really trying. It comes from the things I say, the stories I tell, the way that I describe my life. It's evident in my writing, in my conversations, in my quick responses to stimuli. I'm neurotic and anxious, I have strong reactions to things both positive and negative. This isn't to be negative on myself, I also show strong and obvious affection for people, I engage deeply in my relationships with people and with art, I care deeply about art and discussing it. But all these things are still intense, and for most people who don't live at the pace that I do, it's a lot to handle and a lot to be around.
I find myself trying to make things easier for the people around me so often – because I know that I'm a lot to handle, I try to consistently do things to make it easier and less intimidating. My friends, my family, my coworkers, and yes, with the people I date.
This is the big societal no-no. If he isn't working for you he'll drop you! You can't make it too easy for him! Etc etc. Love, the internet.
But it's already hard. I'm already challenging. It's already enough work just to keep up with me. If I don't meet people half way, there's plenty of likelihood that they would just give up – not because it's not challenging enough, but because it's too much.
I know what the textbook response to what I just said is – there's some guy out there who is just going to fall in love with every part of you immediately and do everything right away and it'll be perfect! Love, the internet.
Meh. I don't believe that – or maybe that's true, but I don't want that. The energy I have is already intense, and if there's some guy out there who would be obsessed with me right away and come on really strong, I would probably hate him. I seek people in life who have a laid back energy compared to my intensity, and laid back people aren't going to do the pushy things.
I was talking to my best f about this on the phone, and she's the one who came up with the horse analogy. At least the beginning of it. I'm so thankful to have a best friend who is not only willing to make up absurd analogies about my version of 'problems,' but is also not only willing but also able to cater them to my obscure interests. It's truly amazing. There are easier courses and easier horses, and there definitely needs to be a challenge somewhere, but she said that I am a challenging horse. I liked this because challenging horses were the ones I liked best back when I was a person who rode horses.
Except then as is typical in our conversations, we both got confused about what exactly we were trying to say. And then moved on to another topic. When I said the theory that I'm positing here, that since I'm already a difficult horse it's okay for me to make the jumps you know, shorter, she said that wasn't exactly what she had in mind, but she hasn't told me yet so too bad my theory wins because it's my life and my blog.
At the end of the day (a phrase that my besty hates) I think this is just going to be the way that I live my life regardless of what anyone, friend or internet or professional, has to say about it. I've realized as an adult that there are things that I know I'm going to do regardless of how much advice I get to the contrary, and most of them relate to the fact that I'm a generous and forgiving person who likes to give others the benefit of the doubt and live by the way of grace as posited in the movie The Tree of Life -
(and the bible, I guess, but let's go with the movie)
It's basically like grace accepts things and loves things and accepts when it's slighted or what not. Versus nature which is forceful and tries to lord things over people and shit.
How this relates makes total sense in my brain. I don't want to falsely create an obstacle course when I'm already a lot of a person. If that in the long run made someone think that I'm not enough of a challenge to be happy with, that would be fucking absurd. Even aside from me being intense, building relationships with other people is already hard enough. Even in friendship! Even with coworkers! Where are these people who have such an easy time building relationships that they need to make it harder so other people can 'value' them, by which I mean who are these horrible people that don't value that other people are putting themselves up for the potential slaughter that intimacy requires and need them to create false games? Can't we just value the fact that companionship is even possible in this horrible but wonderful place called the world?