I recently found an entry I had made in a journal of mine from 2015. It is relevant to this post, here it is:When I was 24, my boyfriend met me and listened to me tell him about my life with utter love and admiration. I saw it written all over his face. Not since he first fell in love with his mother did he fall in love like he did with me. Time passes and the reality of disillusionment creeps up on you. No longer are you 24 with the world at your fingers, but you’re close to 30 and the excitement of what was once at your fingers has blown away like dust. Your hands now tap cement. The cement of responsibility and boredom. The ideas of whimsy are replaced with the reality of time, and time, well time is not on your side.This was written over two years ago, and I’m still processing the same thoughts. That paragraph was also written in the months after my dad had passed away, and was a time I was heavily contemplating life, death, time, and existence, more than usual. I still have a lot of the same thoughts. My thoughts related to the paragraph are about men and women who have passed that age of innocence, and of the subsequent behaviour and interactions as a result. I’ve thought a lot about my preferences for solitude and/or company. I was consistently confused watching my dad struggle between wanting to be surrounded by people, and simultaneously loathing the sight of another human. He would book trips to remote locations and then call me in a panic state lamenting over how much he hated his surroundings. I know it wasn’t the surroundings he hated as much as his own company. I understand a lot of people enjoy being with others, and just as many enjoy being alone. I have fluctuated in my own need for interactions. In the past I really struggled being with a partner in a relationship. Just as quickly as I became engulfed in the idea of having a consistent companion, I began to loathe the repetition involved in consistency. The initial infatuation feelings dissipated and I felt extremely agitated at the thought of spending anymore time with that person. This was an extremely unpleasant feeling for me, and I imagine more so for whomever was on the receiving end of my Jekyll and Hyde demeanour. I would start as a loving, excitable companion, always sailing away on a “future” tangent. And when my sailboat crashed, I would take the poor soul on that boat with me, drowning them and their innocence while I grabbed the life raft for myself.
Recently I have recognized a change from the destructive relationship pattern I created. I have recognized that I do not get as annoyed by men I date. I do not get as annoyed by someone’s company. I attribute this to a few different things. One is that for the past 7 months I have worked on a boat in tight quarters with other crew. Despite personality differences and culture clashes, you must show up each day with a smile and pleasing demeanour both for your own sanity and the sanity of those around you. You put your shit aside and get on with it. There is no time for bullshit. I still get agitated of course, but I have learned how to deal with agitation in that context. I walk away when I can. I take time and space when needed. I think logically about my frustrations, other perspectives, other feelings. All of which can be translated to relationships of all kinds.
Another way I think I’ve changed is that I have outlets for my frustrations and anger. This is a big one. For most of my teen and adult life I had extreme bouts of anger and frustration. I would get dizzy and have to lay down, scream, cry, punch something (like a pillow). And now, I don’t feel like this often. I am getting my own needs met prior to letting that anger boil up. I am exercising more regularly, trying to eat better, but above all of the standard shit people tell you to do, I’m doing whatever the fuck I want. I’m going out and drinking when I want. I’m taking trips when I want. I’m living a life I want to without having to explain it to anyone. If someone should happen to come into my life and complement the life I’ve created for myself, I plan to accept that. If not, I plan to enjoy my time, meeting new people, exploring myself and others. I plan to accept what enters my world, and what does not.