I was concerned by my recent retreating, but I’m finding it’s because I am reevaluating the friendships and interactions I have as well as the life I want to lead.
I never identified as the role of caretaker, but it’s becoming apparent to me that in my relationships I often ask, “What do they need? How would they feel?” over “What do I need? How do I feel?” These questions have led me to become close with those who don’t have boundaries. I want to find more people who have boundaries and respect mine. I want to feel happy and like I have the space to take care of my own needs.
Working-out, quitting cigarettes, partying less, saying no more, retreating to my studies, it’s all been a way of giving myself that space. I am not afraid to be alone anymore because I enjoy being alone. I now trust my ability to reach out if I do need to socialize as well as trust my ability to take care of myself if I can’t find someone to interact with. Giving myself space to be alone has really given me the trust confidence that I needed for myself, the trust and confidence that I’m not sure my parents every really instilled in me by micromanaging and being hyper-controlling and hyper-perfectionistic.
So, yes, I am retreating, but it’s to sort things out and revaluate. I’ll come out of my shell slowly when I am ready. It takes a butterfly longer than a day to emerge from its cocoon.
People seem to be really offended when I say no to hanging out or going out and doing things (probably because I say no often). And what I wish everyone understood was it’s nothing against them. I’m an introvert and an artist. Socializing involves using up energy and creating involves using up energy. I like to save my energy to create; and when I’m not creating, I’d prefer being hauled up in my room relaxing and recharging foe the creative process. In fact, me giving you the time of day just to say no, I cannot go out or even spend thirty minutes with you is a big deal and means I care quite a bit.
I worry I isolate myself too much, but I make my best work this way.
“While we get a great deal of training in our education systems in thinking of all kinds, we have almost no exposure to the cultivation of intimacy with that other innate capacity of ours that we call awareness. Awareness is virtually transparent to us. We tend to be unaware of our awareness. We so easily take it for granted. It rarely occurs to us that it is possible to systematically explore and redefine our relationship to awareness itself, or that it can be inhabited”
Mindfulness: Diverse Perspectives on Its Meaning, Origins and Applications
I’ve always wondered what the ingredients were for the perfect year. Does it rely on your new year? Because if that’s the case I’m screwed and in for another horrible year. Or is it about not thinking about life in quantifiable values and just moving moment by moment? Or maybe it’s doing some strange ritual on January1st the involves jumping up and down with piglets while drinking green mush and chanting hymns whilst throwing salt over your shoulder? That would be more direct and almost too easy.
Coming out of a bumpy 2013, I want nothing more than for 2014 to be the best it can be. I’m holding my breath, but what I really need to realize is I am the one who can make my year alright. I’m the one in charge. It’s hard to believe that after I endured so much unjustified actions and trauma in which I lost control over my life, body, and self. When unfair and uncontrollable events directly affect you, it’s difficult to realize you have control over that which happens to you in life. So how can you regain control? By how you respond. Some things given to you really will just be unfair, and it’s okay to take a moment and be upset with that, but it’s how you respond after that, which really counts, which really makes a difference. Like Bjork sang so simply but honestly, “I can decide what I give, but it’s not up to me what I get given.”
“If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves… Thereʼs so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.”
Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance