I think I am making an executive decision. However far I get in learning Japanese characters in the next 11 weeks is a bonus but I don’t feel like putting myself under the pressure of setting any particular goals. With Spanish and Irish already it’s a lot even if it is a different kind of memorization. What could help me feel even better about the next few weeks than starting to learn Japanese characters? Maybe using that time to get my German back up to speed so I can keep up with it finally and so when Germans ask me to say something in German I am no longer at a total loss! That is something I can make a LOT of progress with in very little time and I am unlikely to confuse German with either Spanish or Irish so it feels good.
I have my intro German book which has a whole lot of activities and exercises that I find unnecessary and over the top, at least at the beginning, but it also has dialogues and readings in every chapter, and vocabulary lists. If I just read the dialogues and make flashcards for the vocabulary lists of each chapter I can easily get through a chapter a week, even two or more, one a day if I didn’y have so many other things I wanted to do… and then I will have all that vocabulary and grammar in me again, and when I travel through Europe I will have some access to languages from the far western Islands and the Iberian penninsula in addition to much of central Europe! Suddenly the way to get back into German is easy: it *is* reviewing my old textbook after all. I just have to skip all the parts that aren’t helpful. If I read the dialogues and put vocabulary into flashcards and remind myself of grammar points I am well on my way.
I got interested in watching videos about options again last night. I have learned a lot but there is no telling how much I still don’t know and how much I should know to feel confident in what I am trading. In some ways it is like roulette though perhaps easier to manage the odds if you know what you’re doing (and easier to lose it all if you don’t!): you can use all sorts of strategies to stack the odds in your favour, and I have a kind of intuitive sense of how certain strategies work and… if someone says do this, I think critically about it, and understand for myself ehy I think it would work or not work.
It is a matter of whether my particular approach will be an overall winning strategy. How much do I really need to know to stack the odds in my favour and what information am I forgetting or missing that could inadvertently lead to a loss? Maybe I am at a point of knowing so much that I know there is so much kore to know and I have a hard time making sure ai keep everything that is important in mind. I am again considering investing in education in this area but I am at a place where, on the one hand, I do not know if I will ever have the confidence or skill to consistently trade for profit, so why go through the training? And yet, there is so much I do not know, that I want to know, whether I make a profit or not.
This week my activities will probably start shifting. I am hoping to do more writing and start my re-entry into music. It was good to do an intensive intro to Irish for the first week. Now I will probably do languages in bits and pieces, maybe not taking all day as I have been, but I guess I wanted to hit the ground running. I slept for a little while, not so good, got up and took a bath. I cried in the bathtub thinking about how much I wish I could start all over again and somehow make my mother happy. I want to somehow start my life over, live without any regrets, like this is a new day and all of my past is behind me and I habe no obligation even to be the person I was five minutes ago but it is so hard! I want to love and I want my caring to be a contribution; I want someone to know how much I care and validate the goodness in me, but I am afraid it just never, ever is enough, and I feel kind of invisible. How do I be of service and who can I be of service to? These are such hard questions for me.
I keep thinking about all the times in my life when I was just way over my head which has been like all of it. It is probably important to find some way to make some sense of the past and some peace with it but I am so tired of overthinking everything and I don’t want to be that person anymore! I wish I could write letters to someone who cares who is in some way on a similar wavelength, or that I could make podcast journals in Spanish for someone who might care about me to hear. I feel set apart, like I am not in any way expressing myself with others, not tsking risks to he liked or disliked, valued or misunderstood, and in a way, I kind of don’t know how.
I want to be honest about as much as I can as far as my life goes and I would love to find someone who cares to listen deeply to understand me and how I am who I am. For years there was so much I had to say but I had no idea how to say it in any way at all. I did not know what I needed and I had no idea in the world anymore who I could trust to see me, really see and appreciate me, because I didn’t know who I was anymore, either. I am sure there are always ways of getting a little closer to the heart of what you’re wanting to say, and that’s one of the beauties of music. The truth is that it feels like I suffered a developmental block around the time I was 21. I had a girlfriend and morphed my whole worldview around her and around the idea of us being together forever. Then, just as suddenly as it started, it was over, but that wasn’t the only thing that was over: at the same time, my school life, the life of being able to make friends feom class and having teachers and professors believe in me and nurture my potential, was over. I felt such extreme guilt about losing my love that I didn’t know how to connect with people from my old life, didn’t know how to tell them who I was… and so I lost my girlfriend but I also lost my connection to everything in my past that gave me a foundation.
Suddenly I needed support and I was out of my element: I had no one to assure me anymore that certain things did not have to make me feel bad, and all sorts of things came to make me feel bad. Internet dating sites came to make me feel bad. When Crystal and I had just broken up and I was just processing that my life was not going to look like ai knew it would when we were together, and I had to process all tjhe unresolved pain that surfaces in the relationship, and the torturous guilt of loving someone so deeply and letting her go like that, I happened to mention to one of her friends, I think, who was supporting me in tje breakup, that I was feeling sick about it like I wanted to throw up. She made me feel like something was wrong with me for feeling physically sick about the status of a relationship and I took that and many things on that only contributed to my suffering. Something was wrong with me, I was defective, and it is not just that I felt sick that one day, but the years I soend dealing with myself, or trying to, after the breakup, were just as big or bigger than that initial nausea, and I came to feel like everything ai felt must be weing. I couldn’t get over it, so something was wrong with me, which meant there was no point trying to connect i lntimately about certain things: it would just be found out that something was ‘wrong’ with me, the last thing I wanted anyone to see. I think being told there was something wrong with me for wanting to throw up out of grief and guilt and heartbreak messed me up. I needed to process my emotions and find safe spaces where I could be validated but especially with comments like that I maybe felt like I had mo right to them even if I could find them. I needed someone to see I was struggling and to be concerned but no one was around anymore who might have read the warning signs and encouraged me to get back into the fold…
If we had broken up the first year of college, I might have had support to figure out what to do, and my life might have then found some direction with her in the past, but the last semester? I couldn’t and then I started having these emotional issues right at the time when everything else changed, namely, my no longer being in school, and I was so afraid and did not know how to readh out to anyone to figure out what I was supposed to do with life anymore. I trusted that life would flow fairly continuously, but I got separated from everything and I had mo idea anymore what I wanted from my life nevermind how to make it happen in such isolation. It did not occur to me that I was more alone than ever as a consequence of getting a really bad break where all the social structures that once supported me were no longer there… that my fears of inadequacy as far as making friends, my extreme guilt about the relationship that made me fear getting close like that to anyone else (while at the same time feeling like being in a relationship was part of my identity and I was lost without it) made everything way too complicated and I have no idea how I was supposed to figure anything out. Not only was I suddenly out of school and alone, strange things were happening that I couldn’t explain to anyone and I felt I would be surely pathologized if I tried to explain what was going on… I suddenly didn’t trust people to open up and be culnerable with them and I was learning that… I was learning so much, though so painful, about healthy and unhealthy ways of relating, and I was growing and developing and learning who I was… I guess I just took a sense of being supported for granted and when there was no one around to support me or see my potential anymore I didn’t know what life was anymore, and I feel like I just wasted away all these years.
I did not know how to get the validation back, that I had experienced as a constant in some ways throughout my life, and if that validation wasn’t coming from my family, it often came from teachers who saw so many good things in me and as someone who doesn’t know what life is and what the purpose of it all is still I feel like I let them down. Teachers sae my brilliance, my capability, let me get away with being totally distactable and clumsy and forgetful because I had more important things on my mind, but did I? Sure, there were a lot of kids who were annoyed to hell by my sense of humour, but if anyone remembers me, that is probably one of the things they remember most. Every parent teacher get to know you meeting at the beginning of the year was full of teachers raving about my sense of humour and it was really validating. What happened to my humour and optimism, when I lost Crystal, what happened to all those parts of me that I relied on to make the friends I did have… instead I became conscious of the way I was perceived: likely unpartnered — I never cared or felt like people were jusging me for not having a partner before but I came to feel that, in not having one, I was seen as not capable of it. I didn’t know what I wanted from friendship anymore, even … where would I find friends? What do you do when you have no supportive guides to lead you through the wilderness of pain and heartbreak? There had been people around me at school, I might have made connections and learned about myself, learned what kinds of communities I wanted to be a part of, but I had absolutely no idea except that I wanted to do something good and be with good people in a place that was beautiful to me. Where was I going to find anyone I could let the cat out of the bag to… to tell them I didn’t know what I was doing in my life and I did not know how to form social connections because my development was disrupted and I needed support for years, and though I met kind people along the way, I waited for someone to get me and show me the way and oh my gosh I feel like I ruined everything by being so much in my head. I don’t want to be that anymore, I just want to find someone to have a food time with and be myself and appreciate it. I want someone to think I am amazing and to want to soend time with me and to start to soak in the ways they really feel like I am amazing because the truth is if it didn’t hurt so much I wouldn’t feel like I even exist. I know I can contribute, I can feel that possibility, of someone really thinking I am amazing and being happy to spend time with me and maybe even neuroplasticity changing my brain so I no longer feel so defined by long lost love and loneliness.
I was just browsing a book called How to Listen, Hear, and Validate, and I think that was one of the most essential things I needed more than anything after this developmental setback but I didn’t know how to get it. There were kind people of course, but I never got to spill the beans that really needed to be validated, and I became terrified that the stigma of depression and loneliness would, if I could not find someone to sink into getting to know, keep me at arm’s length from the aliveness of the world. I didn’t want a relationship so much as some might have thought I did, at least mot till I figured something out; what I wanted was to be natural and expressive and discover around others who I really am and how to live joyfully and solidly and resiliently as I am, to cuddle with someone by a campfire, perhaps, and share with someone who cares all the stories of my past that I wished might be validated in some way. Then I had all sorts of unhelpful beliefs, like I was bound to be seen through my depression and neediness, and the only sort of person who would listen to me with that depth was someone who wanted to date me anyway, and if they did I didn’t trust their reasons because who would want to date me? I became full of all sorts of really unhelpful beliefs and I could have made reams of lists of them. Now I realise I exhausted myself out with all this overthinking and I wonder if getting in my way like that can finally just end. If conditions had been a little different the whole course of my life would have been so much more solid and nobody would have been able to put the fear of my worst beliefs about myself into me. I could have stayed connected to things that mattered but when I didn’t finding my way into connection with what mattered again felt impossible.
I had these beliefs about my adequacy and worth and didn’t know who to relate to or have much practice relating. It is as though people sense your weaknesses and your limited beliefs about yourself and confirm them if you don’t have the solidity of your own worth and then it is even harder to teust yourself and you really just so need help starting all over and getting out if that spiral but how are you going to figure out how to do that? Right now, I wish I could let all of it go, and start over somehow, but I still don’t know how. I want to more than ever, though… to give someone a chance to change the way I see myself. I don’t want a relationship, I want someone to see me in ways that change the way I see myself and remind me how to avt most naturally as me. I want to serve a purpose in someone’s life. I want to form memories that we will cherish.
So I started being part of these communities after an even more devastating breakup than my first one, because unlike the first, it confused me and made no sense. It was teo breakups, really, and when the last one broke up with me, it was like the entire connection to my past ended for real. I was no longer somehow a person who could even clearly see myself as being in a relationship. It had once defined me in a way but now I just couldn’t see thst as something I was. I had been hurt too much, it just wasn’t worth even trying. The last person who could have understood what I was going through and why was gone and now I was all on my own, feeling for the first time totally unworthy of relationship, and wanting to push it aside if ever the chance came, to prove that I didn’t need what deep down I wanted most: love.
I had not been in ‘community’ since school and I became way too sensitive to even think of reliving my old school days where books got knocked out of my arms in the hallways. I don’t think I was auite prepared for what I was entering into: groups of people with already defined social structures that, as much as some of these communities might try, still have their own standards and unspoken rules of conduct that, if you break them, can get your name spread all over the place, or at least this was my fear. I said something critical about someone who was highly respected by someone who had been so nice as to give me a teddy bear that I actually see right now when I glance to my left. All of a sudden they had issues with me and I didn’t feel like they cared to be my friend anymore.
I became tired of beating around the bush. On the one hand I felt safety in these communities but I never knew what conditions that safety relied on and it felt so precarious and that scared me. I was limiting myself and not allowing myself to experience all the wonderful adventurous experiences full of love and caring and generosity that were waiting for me out there in the world. I sensed that a lot of people in what should have been community were full of pain and feelings of isolation and I probably projected a lot of my own feelings onto communities as a whole. I realize now community is something you can wrestle with but what is the point, if something is not right for you, it’s not right for you, and that’s that. Arguing with what is, that cannot be changed, is a sure way to wear yourself out. I had nowhere else to go to find people who might see what I was capable of, to help me find out what communities I maybe *did* belong in, or what sort of friends might belong with me, and I kind of stagnated, fearing the world outside of these spaces could be so scary, not realizing that the world inside such spaces could scare me just as much, and that with discernment, you can find safety and belonging and situations where the universe has your back in a big wide world. It really helps though if you start with someone who really believes in you and makes time for you…
I used these communities like training wheels, I guess, and I was just waiting for someone to help me see it was time to fly out in the world… but there were a billion unhelpful beliefs about everything getting in my way in every which way. I had to get out of caring so much about what a whole lot of people I didn’t even know might think about me just because I identified as part of the same community. Perceptions of people go around all over the place, and when they don’t even actually know who you really are, that can be scary. I feel more one-on-one or two-on-one social. These communities being my reintroduction to ‘integrating’ into society from a place of such isolation was in retrospect overwhelming.
I didn’t know how to explain who I was or wasn’t anymore. From the perspective of my participation in these communities, my identity was as someone without a foundation, who didn’t know themselves, who didn’t know who they were in relationship, or even alone, who maybe sometimes made a passing reference to wanting love but for the most part keeping any chance of a spark from happening.
I never got a chance to explain how I got separated from myself and ai had no idea how to get help with any of it. Life in my family got scarier than ever and I was way out of my capacity to have any idea how to survive nevermind live a life that felt fully alive. There were so many parts of me that never saw the light of day, nevermind getting to be validated, and I did meet people who validated me in ways that helped me remember who I am but I was not in a comtext where they could keep seeing me and could keep unfolding. I held onto so many stories that had never been validated, stories of love and heartbreak, stories of who I thought I was before that, who I thought I was after that, of my inadequacy and weakness, longing dor someone to sit with me long enough to comb through it all with me and get to the core of the matter. There came to be more and more things I felt I had to hide and less and less stability to help me decelop resiliency and in all the ways I should have developed rather than experiencing myself so often as alone, misunderstood, and without help. So much of all of that was just ideas in my head and I wish somehow I’d have realised that.
I want someone to see me, to affirm and see me, in ways that I see myself when I am seeing myself most generously and accurately. When someone is seeing you, really seeing something you know they are somehow glosing on the inside, it can feel really good. I stagnated,
I got developmentally stuck, as I lost my connection to anyone who could helpfully or consistently help me figure out what I was even doing in my life. My life before my first heartbreak was not full of emotional pain, on the surface, but my life afterwards was to such an extent that I really didn’t think I had anything to contribute to someone who might like me. Who would like someone who was sad at the time? Geo talked about being sad, when we were dating. She opened up to me about her feelings about life, her feelings of inadequacy, of not measuring up, of loneliness, and I was scared if her sadness, because I was sad, too, and I didn’t want our sadnesses to explode eaxh other or aomething… so I kept my distance, and when she broke up with me I think she thought I didn’t actually like her. I just had no way of processing the pain, and nobody to guide me in how to do that. I ran away from my own pain and from my own hopes for connection. I am tired of doing that…
There is a line in this book on validation: “if we don’t have fellow human beings to accompany us through life’s challenges, to acknowledge our presence and even enjoy it, to reflect back to us who we are and the effect of our actions—well, we can soon start to feel like we don’t really exist at all.” That is… exactly what I haven’t had… and what I have needed to such an extent I would wish, if I had friends who cared about me, they might help me come up with a plan to make sure I can always have that in my life. But of course, people who just spend a weekend with yiu on a retreat, maybe they are seeing you or validating you in the moment, but they do not know, when you leave these spaces where you are connected to stuff and where people relate to you like your presence has some kind if impact, how alone and invisible you become once again, and how hard it is, in this invisibility, to find out who you really are.
I am ready to let go of so much, to pray for a new beginning, a chance to make it okay, and I don’t know what it will take, but I am open to my life changing in ways I have resisted it changing for ever so long… and I do want a relationship, but it sometimes feels like an inscalable mountain, and I wish that love would rise up on its own, like the road may rise to meet us on our journeys. I just have to be in a place where conditions are right for cultivating such a connection, and as far as that goes, I am totally lost.