Apologies, dear readers, for my month-ish-long leave of absence. Just as it was starting to get interesting. The next several weeks of posts are the most difficult ones to write because I haven’t felt as passionately about anyone as I did in college. Translating emotion and memory into written word is not the easiest task. Hopefully, you’ll be getting an update this week or the next. In the mean time, here is a tiny little rant.
I do not like it when people (specifically men) as a form of saying good bye use the phrase “go get.” As in, “go get some sleep” or “go get your work done.” Usually this happens after I’ve already informed the other person of my plans for the rest of the evening. It feels very awkward for me to be told to do the thing that I already said I was going to do. Then, I think “stop telling me what to do.” In being told “go get your work done,” even in an amicable way, I don’t want to do it anymore because they were telling me to do it. As if I had to obey their orders.
This is why it’s especially irksome when a man does it, because it comes across as patronizing and patriarchal. While I completely understand that it is not intended this way, it still bothers me. I’m an independent woman and I spend my time how and when I choose. Don’t be telling me what to do!
It makes me want to break out in a rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade”
Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter / life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter / Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my paraaaaaade!
A better way to phrase things is to say, “sleep well,” or “have fun with your work.” It’s better because it’s a well-wishing rather than a demand to complete an activity or task.
I’ve gained a lot in this journey I’ve undertaken to recount my various dating exploits. Mostly, it’s given me ample room and opportunity to reflect and notice patterns.
I had a difficult time over the holidays with family. Mostly difficult conversations with my dad. One thing he told me is that when it came to his marriage to my mom he always feel like he had to be a mouse, like he had to constantly hold his tongue and his opinions to himself lest he upset anyone. My mom has often said something similar to me, that she felt like she was walking on eggshells around him.
I discussed this with my lovely friend, Dorothy, about this. She is an only child and has always been close with her parents. And apparently, her mom was very close with her grandmother before she passed away. In comparing her descriptions of how she relates to her parents, it made me really ponder how much of our relationships to the people we love are learned behaviors. Dorothy’s mom learned to be close with her mom and so treated her daughter in the same way. Whereas, my parents were constantly living in anxiety as to whether or not they would say something that would start an argument or garner someone’s disapproval.
I learned to behave that way.
And that’s exactly how I behave with anyone I’m romantically interested in. I have no issues with being open and honest with my friends, but as soon as romantic feelings are put into the mix, I feel like I have to be a different person. I should agree with everything they say, like everything they like, be the person they want to see by their side.
All of this just adds to my constant discomfort and anxiety of simply being who I am. It’s so rare I find someone I feel that free and open with — when I barely feel free and open with myself. It’s entirely shocking and devastating to recognize how deeply insecure I actually am. I used to not think of myself that way, but it’s not something I can really ignore. I think it’s a huge problem that’s gotten in the way of my career, my friendships, and my (almost) relationships. Can I even say that I’m ready for a relationship? Or would being in one help me work through these issues? Or is that just the point? That carrying each other’s baggage lightens the burden we bear.
How do you break a learned behavior from your childhood?
Each moment, each realization, each reflection is step-by-step effort for me to understand what my place is in this world. Finding where I belong. Thank you for joining with me and supporting me.
Until the next story…