I wanted today to be the start of something new and uplifting. I would start a Coursera course and actually stick with that for the full 4 to 5 weeks that it runs. But the courses that are available are insufferably boring! And, well, they’re on entrepreneurship. I’m not sure whether the idea I have is worth pursuing, or another grandiose project I’m going to abandon in a week or less. I guess, just by thinking that, I’ve already abandoned it…

I would start exercising every day. I would start tracking with a new wellness tracking app that I found. Well I did track but it wasn’t as satisfying as the Burns Depression Checklist. I wanted to share the checklist on the site by the way – so anyone who’s interested can use it to benefit their own mental health – but my request for permission to republish it was denied due to risk of piracy. It’s copyrighted material and all that jazz.

I wanted to write a blog post – well I guess I’m doing that. I would actually clean the apartment – well, I cleared some stuff from around and on my desk. It’s an improvement I can build upon, I guess.

I don’t know! something new, something interesting, being social for a change, making some kind of progress of my life… but I just don’t feel any of it.

The things I’ve tried, I’ve run into brick walls. I called the dentist and found out that the referral for the periodontist was denied, so I waited five weeks for a referral for nothing! My only option is to lose the tooth the dentist wanted to save because “I’m so young” and she didn’t want to “feel guilty.” Well it’s time for me to lay on the guilt! I’m in a worse situation now than if it had been pulled a month ago.

I shouldn’t have agreed to trying to see the periodontist, I should’ve just said that that tooth needs to be pulled and it could be out of my mouth already! I still have to wait for the referral to see an oral surgeon; I don’t even know how long it’s going to take! I hate not having any control over my own health. This is ridiculous!

It was a nice day today but I didn’t get outside while it was still daylight because I was looking at Facebook. and then it got dark and cold and I just… I know that I should try to listen to upbeat music and exercise is something that might help me, but I just don’t feel it! I feel like my limbs are made of lead, like I don’t have the energy to move my body, like maybe I should just go to sleep. Maybe if I go to bed now, tomorrow will be better. But I can’t even go to bed because Fox is coming home soon! He’ll wake me and I kind of want to hang out with him, kind of don’t. I’m not sure whether it’s that “I need some space” or “oh no I’m isolating, raise the red flags!” Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

Actually, I think I know what it is. He’s kind of running my life. I support him in getting to and from work each day. My schedule revolves around him. When he left for work he “encouraged” me to clean the house – like it’s something I’m doing for him. I ran an errand for him yesterday. He let his government-issued ID expire, so now Mom keeps lecturing me about how important it is for him to get a new one. He’d rather have off from work on a day when we can hang out with friends than during normal business hours so he can take care of this. She asks me about it and then gives me a hard time when I repeat what he said.

It really shouldn’t be my problem but somehow it is. I’m going to tell Mom this is my thing to talk to him about, and if she wants to talk to him about it she’s welcome to, but she’s not allowed to talk to me about it anymore because I’m not the one who has to do something, he is. It’s past time for her to get her nose out of my marriage!

I was going to say that I feel like I need to slow down, figure out where I am, and decide what I want to do. Like stopping at a rest stop, relieving myself, refueling, and looking at a map. I can do those things, but more importantly I need to fire my navigator.

And, well, I think it’s time to tell the hitchhiker he needs to drive his own car. I can’t focus on the stuff I need to do – for both of us! – if I make it my job to help him be an adult. I certainly can’t do it because my mom is all but forcing me to. I can barely take care of myself, never mind taking care of both of them!

I know what new thing I’m going to start this month: practicing mindfulness. Even just a few minutes a day should help me center myself and focus on what’s important to me, Ziya. I can even do it right now!

Extrovert?

The wedding was everything I’d hoped it would be. Almost everyone came, it was a beautiful day, the food was excellent, the music was varied enough that everyone had something to connect with and enjoy, and all I heard were compliments.

Even the things that went wrong were fantastic: the thing that was forgotten was a pair of cufflinks, of which we had two extra. The injury was an annoying scratch on my finger that I forgot about and no one noticed. The moment when I froze was an opportunity to practice stand-up comedy, which was well-received. The wardrobe malfunction was a detachable cap sleeve that came undone in the middle of my and Fox’s first dance and stayed attached so we could continue dancing unimpeded. People said they liked the dress even more without it and its counterpart! We ran behind schedule and yet things ended up happening at the time I’d planned for them to. The lulls in music and activity were great opportunities for people to talk and connect with each other.

There are some things I wish had gone differently, but they’re minor compared to all the things that were good. My guests had a wonderful time and thanked and congratulated me and told me I was beautiful. Our families came together as one and wished us well. We took a risk and started a new tradition that worked out beautifully. The cake was gorgeous. I succeeded in getting some of it on Fox’s face.

And best of all, I was able to be fully engaged in the celebration pretty much from the moment I woke up. I didn’t even need to use the restroom from the time I got into the dress until I was on my way back to the bridal suite to take it off! The dress was gorgeous and fit me perfectly (yay lace-up back!) and moved with me while I danced uninhibited. Mom kept track of time and gave me reminders so I could just enjoy interacting with guests. I was totally in the moment, expressing emotions as they came up (mostly joy), asserting myself, connecting with people, and feeling secure and confident and loved. So loved!

I thoroughly enjoyed being the center of attention. One of the highlights of the afternoon was when Mom was bugging reminding me to do introductions (of the bridal party) and a song came on that I wanted to dance to. I ran out in the middle of the dance floor and started dancing, completely improvised. I had so much fun! Everyone was watching me and people even clapped along with the music and it was so fantastic! No second guesses, no insecurity, no worries, no fear, no nerves, just confidence. I was performing. I was gorgeous and graceful and one with the music and so full of joy! People got amazing pictures that show off the dress and my radiance. I loved every moment of it.

I was exhausted after the wedding and my feet hurt so much I could barely walk upright. For about a quarter of a second, I considered collapsing on a couch in a private room that was part of the bridal suite and happened to be empty. But then I thought, “No, I need to be around people right now. If I’m alone I’ll crash too hard.” So I chilled with my and Fox’s friends who were sitting around the main room talking. We went back to the hotel and went in the Jacuzzi for a bit, which was excellent for my sore muscles and helped me calm down while still feeling happy. I felt motivated to interact with my family members as much as possible that evening and the next morning and was able to connect with them and that felt fantastic. I loved being surrounded by people I love who love me and were saying things that made me feel so wonderful! Like my uncle saying he wouldn’t have missed this for anything.

I really shouldn’t have been driving around on Monday because I was too tired, but I was happy to spend time with Banji and her family. Yesterday I was so exhausted I decided to Skype in for my session with Wakana. I told her all about the wedding and she was just beaming to see me so happy. She said she thinks I’m an extrovert and being around people is what gives me energy – not to say that I don’t need or can’t enjoy some alone time, just that being with others is what makes me feel the most alive.

I thought about my life and realized she really has a point. Just being surrounded by people isn’t enough, I need to feel like I’m connected with them – otherwise I might as well be alone. (Actually, it’s worse than being alone. It’s lonely.) But when I am able to interact with others and they respond to me and we feel a connection, that is how I feel like a person who exists in the world and matters and can be expressive and creative and free. That is when I feel the most joy.

Even when I’m enjoying my time alone, it seems I want to socialize. As a kid I would play pretend and make up imaginary characters to interact with. My thoughts have always taken the form of at least two people having a conversation. I spend inordinate amounts of time on Facebook and checking email or other social media. I socialize vicariously through the books I read, video media I watch, and how I play The Sims 3. My favorite video games are RPGs in which the player gets to run around talking to a variety of characters; even when I’m traveling or exploring a dungeon I like to have a companion with me. Blogging is a great opportunity for introspection, but I also use it to connect with other people. I thrive on readers’ feedback.

For so long I thought I was introverted; when I realized my experience and needs were different from introverted friends I thought it was just because I was less introverted than they are. But I think the reason why I predominantly preferred to be alone for much if not most of my life was because I felt insecure, out of control, and ostracized in most social situations – particularly large groups. That has nothing to do with introversion; it’s from having an inaccurate understanding of my place in the world as a result of trauma from birth through adolescence.

I still generally prefer smaller groups, or at least to only have to interact with a handful of people at a time. But the point is, I find it energizing.

As long as whomever I’m with isn’t actively draining me, I don’t need to be alone to recover my energy after socializing. Since the wedding, I haven’t wanted to be alone; I’ve actually made a lot of effort to avoid being alone. Today there might not be anyone else in the living room with me, but I’ve been hungrily eating ‘likes’ on Facebook. I keep reading people’s congratulations and staring at pictures from the wedding. I’m trying to regain that experience of being surrounded by almost a hundred people who had all come to celebrate me.