panic.

I’m at what feels about five seconds away from having a panic attack.

Social media is literally becoming the bane of my existence and I don’t know how to stop it. It seems like everyone on the planet earth is doing something with someone else right now.

And I’ve been home the entire weekend by myself, trying to find ways to keep myself occupied.

It feels like being home is no longer a positive experience. For me, it has become a punishment. It is a constant reminder of how I have no friends nearby. Or the few friends I do have, have their own busy lives full of other social activities.

I’ve tried. I really have. Honestly, I am a shy extrovert. How does that even happen? I really don’t understand how people feel about me until they make the first move. Once I realize someone likes me and wants to spend time with me, then I’ll show my true colors.

Right now I’m dying for anyone to want to spend time with me. I have all of this space in my condo and nobody comes to visit or hang out.

My cats perk up when anyone comes over, even if it’s my aunt dropping off a piece of furniture. They show on the outside what I am feeling on the inside.

Then, when she leaves, I’m screaming please don’t go. I walk to the mailbox just to have a reason to get out of the house. I don’t see a single person on the way.

I just want someone to talk to. Is there something wrong with that? I want someone to hang out with me. To have lemonade with on my patio. I want a reason to buy a grill, because I have friends who come over for dinners. I want to go for a walk with someone besides my boyfriend or my mom, for a change.

So yeah, I’m about to have a panic attack, because I walk in that door and I feel completely stifled and alone. And I know it’s only going to build up as the lack of a social life becomes more more evident over this event-free summer.

I know it’s only me who can save myself but I don’t feel much like a savior right now. I feel like I’m that social outcast that I was in middle school. I feel like I felt during the first few weeks of college, when I didn’t have a single friend. I feel how I felt after I graduated college and my then-boyfriend went to Europe and I realized I didn’t have a single other person in my life that lived nearby.

I met someone at a graduation party recently and we had the same complaint:

I just want someone to go to target with

Honestly, that’s all I want in my life at this point. Or even someone who invites me to do something, because at this point I am sick of sitting and watching tv and I am sick of hearing my own thoughts.

***

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insecurity.

Lately, I have been feeling insecure. My boyfriend was in Europe for the past few weeks, and I was left to my own devices back here in the states. Also, I am too broke to pay for a vacation anyways…

That being said, I know I have been in the need of some local friends ever since I moved back to Massachusetts in summer 2016. In grad school I was too busy to really notice, even though the clique at my school really put me through the anxiety/awkwardness ringer. Post-grad school I had my then-boyfriend and people at Nordstrom Rack, where I still continued to work part time, alongside my full-time job. I was busy. I knew I didn’t really have any close friends in my vicinity, but I was working two jobs and spending tons of time in my card, and it didn’t really matter as much.

Then my boyfriend broke up with me. I was really alone. I had nobody to come over and drink an entire bottle of wine with me in misery. I had friends I could vent to via text message. I moved in with my parents like a month later, and basically had to pretend that everything was okay.

In reality, nothing was okay. I was devastated by the break up. However, I was still too sad to notice my lack of friends, and I was still working 2 jobs while being so incredibly sad.

As my sadness continued to chip away at me, I met my current boyfriend. That was a distraction as I was still working two jobs and barely had time to go on dates with him, let alone cultivate new friendships.

Last summer I was working one part-time job and it was the first time in ages that I had too much free time and didn’t know what to do with myself. It was awful, but somehow I pulled through.

This summer is when it is really starting to hit me, I am completely alone. I am a homeowner for the first time in my life, something I never even dreamed could be possible. I have two adorable kitties that follow me around the house. I just finished my first year at my first-ever teaching job. I have enough money to get by, but I definitely need to force myself to say goodbye to the extras.

We’ve been on vacation a little over a week and I don’t remember the last time I felt such social anxiety. When I talk to my coworkers at work, I am terrified that they are thinking “I can’t wait until this girl stops talking”. I am thinking that my co-teacher invited all these other people to her house-warming party and not me, are we not close like I thought we were? My one friend that I had from school has gone MIA and I am wondering constantly if I did something wrong, or are we still even friends? I felt awful on the last day of school when all of my coworkers got to leave early and I was still slaving away, cleaning my room, and nobody even said goodbye or offered to help me finish before they left. I was practically in tears.

I have all of this extra free time between when I teach summer school and then when I go tutor in the evening. I am not quite sure what to do with it. It honestly feeds my insecurity. I also haven’t been able to go to my favorite yoga classes since the new client I picked up wanted the TWO nights I religiously went to yoga for the previous 3 months and the times conflict.

The rest of the yoga classes are either on the weekend, or conflict with my evening tutoring schedule.

I miss having my friends nearby like I did before. We could randomly meet for dinner or go to the beach on the weekends. Friends’ lake houses were easy to get to and provided many amazing times.

This insecurity is eating away at me a little bit this summer. I am trying so hard to motivate myself into just enjoying my own company, but for an extrovert like me, that is very difficult when your only social time is with a boyfriend.

Extroverts need human contact. They are insecure about things, just like the next person. And just like everyone else, they need to know that someone is out there that cares about them.

***

job.

Earlier this year, I had the brilliant idea that I should get paid to write. So I started looking for online writing jobs that pay. I applied to work a second (well, third now) job at an online writing company about 4 or 5 months ago. About a month ago, they finally said they wanted to hire me. I had contacted them multiple times asking if they had gotten my application but nobody responded.

Now that it is finally summer and I’m working shorter days with summer school, I finally might have the time to go on their website and pick up a few assignments. It seems pretty simple right? Go on the website and choose which assignments you’d like to write about.

Wrong. It is full of a bunch of things I have never heard about. In the real estate section, they want you to write an article about the benefits of tin roofs. In the craftsmanship section, they want you to write about welding. And in the fashion section, the one that I figured could be my fallback, they want you to write about “revenge clothing”.

I don’t even know what revenge clothing is!

Needless to say, unless some more interesting opportunities come up, I don’t think I’ll be spending much time this summer getting paid to write. Unless someone wants to pay me to write this blog? I will write more often, I swear!

That being said, I am trying to force myself to do more of the following this summer, while I finally have a second to catch my breath:

– write more (obviously)
– go to yoga class (surprisingly, my extra job tutoring kind of gets in the way of actually being able to go to the classes I like, so we will see how long that one lasts)
– learn about tarot cards
– paint
– re-learn how to play the piano
– spend time outside
– play with the kitties more
– enjoy life and stop stressing so DAMN much
– read
– think about starting (or even start) a book club in my area

I also have plans to read a few more books and do everything in my power to stop spending so much time fantasizing about shopping and buying clothes. I’ve also told myself I am going to ban myself from spending so much time on social media or googling random things and learning all about them. I’d be better off becoming an expert on something by reading a book about it, not using wikipedia to fill in the gaps that I can’t find from other internet sources.

What has been helping me with life lately:
– forcing myself to try and be in bed around 9 (I can never go to bed this early but it’s a good habit to try and force myself to physically get into my bed)
– meal prepping (I am terrible at forcing myself to do this, but whenever I do do it, I have so much less stress and anxiety)
– books on CD in my car. SERIOUSLY. I cannot stress how much these have saved me when I am alone in my car. I have listened to some great books so far: Hidden Figures, both of Jenny Lawson’s books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and now I just started Choose Wonder Over Worry by Amber Rae.

I’m doing my best to make this a productive and creative summer. I still struggle with anxiety and obsession and mostly I’ve just been feeling bored and really lonely lately, with having no friends in my new town or anything. I am hoping that I get myself out of my funk this summer and actually take advantage of my extra time, but we’ll see. I’m a work in progress, as usual.

***

relationships.

There are some people who are just innately good at relationships.

I am not one of those people.

I am one of the women who fall under the “women who always pick the wrong men” category. Sometimes, I wonder if it would be easier if I were just a lesbian, but then I have a sweet love session with a guy and I know that’s never going to happen.

The point is, I have been burned. So burned. I’ve been burned by people I thought I could trust with my heart and soul. My trash of an ex boyfriend decided that he wanted to move to Russia, keep me waiting for him here, and then found his “Russian bride”. One guy took my virginity, even though it was absolutely terrifying, then decided that he wasn’t actually that into me.

One guy led me on for a year, wished me a happy anniversary, and then broke up with me four days later. One guy broke up with me because he wanted to become a tattoo artist. One guy broke up with me because I got anxiety when he couldn’t afford to come over to my house and I offered to pay for his gas. One guy pushed me and then stopped talking to me anyways, no closure whatsoever.

Clearly I have picked some winners in my life. Why am I talking about all of this? I don’t really know, other than the fact that I thought if someone out there is reading this and I can warn them when bad things could potentially happen, than maybe that would be helpful. Maybe, I am just feeling a little lost lately and need to ramble about random shit. Who knows.

Here are some red flags that I learned along the way and what you can learn from them, too:

1. If the person you are currently dating decides they are moving to another country for a year, either force them to take you with them, or end it. They will most likely cheat on you or cause you to feel pain beyond anything you thought was even remotely possible.

2. If they are going to some random boring country like Russia, where you have no interest in going, and they refuse to go to someplace cool like Japan, and still go to Russia or the other place without you, end it.

3. If a guy does not care about your orgasm at all, then he is trash and doesn’t deserve to be a man in the first place. GET OUT OF IT.

(There are several men who I’ve dated who fall into this category. The guy who took my virginity did not give a crap about getting me turned on so it wouldn’t hurt. Then, he was pissed I didn’t want to do it anymore and dumped my ass anyway. The guy who went to Russia was an extremely selfish lover, which should have been a huge concern but I was 22 at the time, naive, innocent, and I thought we were in love and going to get married someday. And my most recent ex, the one who broke up with me in 2017, when my life was already falling apart in every other aspect, he did not care about if I had a great time or anything besides himself for that matter. Side note: to be fair I didn’t realize how selfish he was being until he broke up with me and said that he had been selfish)

4. If a guy puts his hands on you in any way, shape, or form, then he is total trash and deserves to have his manhood revoked immediately.

5. If a man calls you fat or anything derogatory that doesn’t feel good, that is a bad sign.

(Even if he says you’re getting fat because you’re in a happy relationship)

6. A guy should buy you flowers. PERIOD. If you like flowers and he likes you, then he should come through. If you ask him for flowers and he still does not deliver and it makes you feel like crap, speak up and make him step off.

7. Saying you want to become a tattoo artist is not a good reason to break up with someone. (Sorry, I had to say it).

8. If a guy decides that going to a music festival in Montreal is more important than being there with you at your grandmother’s funeral, he is an asshole.

9. If a guy gets pissed off when you offer to give him gas money or pick him up, then he is being a baby. You should walk away. (I should have walked away).

10. If you feel ignored for any reason at all, and you speak up about it, and he still does not deliver, then that’s a problem.

11. If a guy sits you down and says that “he is trying to get there but doesn’t know if he can” give him the pass way before you get your stupid, naive heart broken.

12. If the guy makes you mad and/or disrespects you in any way and you stand up for yourself and he can’t handle it, you deserve better than that. Tell him to go away.

13. If he has any unresolved childhood issues or intimacy issues or acts weird about sex, it’s not your responsibility to fix any of it. It’s HIS responsibility and he needs to take care of it. He needs to get the help on his own. If he needs to see a therapist, he should already be seeing said therapist before he gets involved with YOU.

14. If your boyfriend is so afraid of your parents that he won’t come into the house, then that’s probably not a good sign either.

15. Your significant other should want to spend as much time with you as then can. If you feel like they aren’t spending enough time with you, then there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s okay that you feel that way and it’s okay to speak up. What’s not okay is if you do speak up and they ignore what you say.

(This rule is basically that they should not ignore anything you say ever!)

16. You don’t owe anyone a blow job. Ever. If anything about it makes you uncomfortable, then you don’t have to give in. You don’t have to do anything sexual that you don’t want to do, for that matter.

17. If your significant other calls someone who has a different political opinion than him “retarded” then he is trash and should be left immediately.

18. If a guy who already has a girlfriend propositions you for sex than he is total trash and is not worth spending another second around.

19. A guy should want to come with you family events. Watching a big game of football is not an excuse to miss anything. God invented tivo or other streaming services for a reason, people. Missing one football game should not even be an issue, hands down. Making you literally RUN to the restaurant and RUN home after 30 minutes should not be a thing even IF it is his birthday. If someone takes you out to dinner on your birthday there should at least be thank you sex or something.

20. Your intuition is important. Don’t ignore it. If something doesn’t feel right, nine times out of ten, it isn’t.

The above mentioned stories all actually did happen, unfortunately. For any of you haters out there who were wondering.

I don’t want anyone’s pity or anything. If there’s someone out there who’s experiencing a similar situation to any of this then my hope is that I can help them make an informed decision and avoid some of the impossible heartbreak that I’ve experienced over the years. Maybe one person can learn from my mistakes.

Random, out.

***

social media.

I’ve been thinking a lot about social media lately. Then, ironically, they were talking about it on the radio on my way to work this morning. I didn’t get to listen to much of the conversation because I had to go to work, but I kept thinking about it all day. Well, more like obsessing over it.

To sum up… The guy I am dating claims to be private and not really want to use his social media much. For a while, it almost seemed as he had blocked me. It made me feel very uncomfortable and things between us weren’t good. I kept not wanting to bring it up because it was an awkward situation, and I am really god awful at confrontations and tend to avoid them like the plague.

Finally after… like… months of being upset about it. I finally had it. I finally said something. He then proceeded to tell me how his Facebook was broken and he doesn’t really use it for anything except communicating with people overseas, blah blah blah. I told him to fix it. Eventually through that mess we were FINALLY Facebook friends. This was maybe 4ish months ago? He claimed not to know that it was a big deal to me. I couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t be Facebook friend with someone you’re dating.

Recently, he tells me he deleted his Facebook. He didn’t ASK me about it. He just told me “by the way, I deleted my Facebook. I was getting sick of all of the notifications”.

So here’s the thing. Am I wrong to be upset or hurt? People told me it was sketchy we weren’t Facebook friends from day one. Are there really people out there that are that private? I honestly don’t know. I don’t put my whole life on Facebook or other social media platforms, but I know lots of people who do.

And sometimes I just want to be someone’s WCW or something. Like be acknowledged on social media. But flat out he told me one girl he dated in the past got super angry at him because he wouldn’t put that they were in a relationship on social media. He tells me all of the time how he doesn’t like people knowing his business and that’s why he barely posts on social media.

Am I too reliant on social media? I want to be the center of someone’s world but this definitely doesn’t feel like I am whenever I obesess over it. Anxiety, you’re such a brat.

I feel like the problem could be solved by him reactivating his Facebook and just at least being my Facebook friend. Or every once in a while posting a picture about me or whatever we are doing together. It doesn’t have to be a picture OF me. But, is it wrong of me to assume that he can just use Facebook again, even though he doesn’t want to.

I am so outgoing and so used to people posting everything on Facebook that I am just at a loss here. He is definitely an introvert. Is the problem that we are just opposites or is there something sketchy going on? I need to be able to figure this out. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt… but it makes me weirded out.

In all this mess, it’s also possible that I am way too reliant on social media. I use it to fill a void way too much. I use it when I have down time instead of finding hobbies or things to better myself.

Is it possible for two people to be together if they are totally opposite?

Lord, give me the strength to figure out how to relationship. I can’t even adult though, so it’s unlikely.

Random, out.

***

exhaustion.

Things in my life are sort of falling into place this year.

I bought a condo, guys. It’s the most adult thing I’ve ever done in my life! And I also discovered that inspiring podcasts will almost completely make my road rage go away.

I also learned that being a first year teacher is extremely lonely. When you finally are free to hang out with people, it’s not like you have anyone to hang out with, since you are usually covered up to your ears in exams you have to grade. So you usually just end up settling for another night in on the couch with your cats.

Thank god for my cats. Now that I am (finally) living alone, for the first time in my life, I think I would go crazy if it weren’t for them. Usually, they both greet me at the door when I get home from work. My younger one doesn’t like it when I leave in the morning and often will try to follow me out the door. At least they make me laugh. Everyone should have a pet. They are therapy.

But what all the yoga classes, trying to go to bed early, foot baths, and kitten therapy can’t cure is this weird permanent exhaustion that I’ve been feeling lately. The time change was pretty recent, and that week when it happened, I was a total and complete mess. I feel as though I haven’t recovered from it yet.

Is it normal to feel totally exhausted when you get home from work and then just spend hours aimlessly scrolling through the internet or social media websites? Is it normal to be so forgetful that you remind yourself to do something and then you don’t do it until like a week later when you finally actually remember? Is it normal to feel like you are losing your mind a little bit at a time? Is it normal to hit snooze 500 times every morning?

How do people stop hitting snooze? I want to do research on it but I am afraid I’ll get dragged into scrolling through 100 more websites and finally realize it’s like 1 am and I have totally wasted my entire afternoon/night on the internet. I want to know how to heal myself completely. I really do want to know how to stop hitting snooze and feeling so damn tired all of the time.

HALP.

That is all….

***

skin.

You should get better at being in your own skin, they say. You should be comfortable spending time alone. What if you despise the skin your in, can’t stand to be alone with yourself for another minute?

What if your skin is old and tired and in need of something new?

Your skin makes you uncomfortable because it’s the only thing, besides work, that you get to be around.

You spend time with other people, but its fleeting. When you’re around others, nine times out of ten you’d like to be alone. When you’re alone, you’re craving being with others, feeling so stuck, so desperate to escape.

There are deep scars on your skin. Wounds that may never heal. Time can’t even begin to heal them, even though that’s the only recommendation people can make when you wonder how on earth it’s ever going to get better.

Time heals squat. Time doesn’t have any sort of power other than it makes you forget some of the stuff that they did. You’ll never forget all of it. You never will forget trusting someone with your heart and soul and how they let you down. You’ll never forgive yourself completely for putting your trust into someone else. Let’s face it, sometimes the only person you can trust is yourself, and sometimes you can’t even trust yourself.

Sometimes your skin is all you have, and someone telling you to figure out a way to enjoy it is like stabbing you repeatedly in the heart, and then ripping off a piece of skin, one layer at a time.

No it’s not okay to be lonely, they tell you. It’s not okay to be depressed or anxious, they tell you. It’s not okay to crave travel when all you do is sit at home by yourself, they tell you. Learn how to enjoy your alone time.

I tell you that it’s okay to tell them to fuck off. It’s okay for you to stand up for yourself and tell them that you’re depressed, that you have anxiety, that you don’t know what the hell is wrong with you. You can tell them that the problem isn’t that you need to enjoy your own company. It’s okay to be lonely and desperate. It’s okay to feel completely and totally lost. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that it’s not okay to feel what you feel. To make you feel like there’s something wrong with you.

Don’t ever forget that you are you and that’s a wonderful thing. You are amazing just as you are. You will move mountains, when you are ready. You don’t have to answer to anyone. You don’t even have to feel comfortable in your own skin yet. You will someday.

***

inspiration.

When I was moving into my new condo, my mom brought by my yearbooks from elementary school. Now, I didn’t even remember that these existed let alone that we had kept them all these years. I guess that the hoarding gene paid off this time.

You’d think that something like that would make me happy; you’d be completely wrong. Instead, looking through those yearbooks made me incredibly sad. I saw people in the yearbooks that I don’t even remember, their existence completely erased from my memory. Then I saw people, people who were once friends, that I never kept in touch with when we moved away. And I wished that I had. My early childhood was before Facebook, before any social media made it so easy to connect with people. I was a naive ten-year-old, not realizing how sad it would make me feel as a 29-year-old adult that I had lost touch with so many people.

I wondered what happened to my 4th grade teacher. She was awesome. But the school where she once taught us is now closed. Did her and her new husband (well, new at the time) have any kids? Is she still a teacher? She’d be pretty close to retiring by now, I’d think. I wonder where my 2nd/3rd grade teacher ended up. She was definitely near her retirement age at the time. I think of how when my great aunts died their past students had come to their funerals. I wish I had the information to find these wonderful teachers I once had.

I try to find the boy that I once loved. Does he remember me? Do the girls that I went to sleepovers remember me?

Sometimes I feel like I barely remember my childhood, some of those memories are lost forever. In general, even as an adult, I feel like a lost soul.

I am a homeowner now. I finally crossed that huge milestone before I turned 30. I don’t have to wash the dishes right away if I don’t want to. I can grade my students’ exams from the comfort of my own couch, nobody in my way or turning on the news.

And yet, I don’t feel quite at peace like I had hoped.

I went to yoga class tonight, hoping it would help me relax. Instead, all I could think about whenever she said “be present” was that I was totally distracted. They tell you just to acknowledge it but I realized that I am distracted all of the time.

I am distracted by what other people have, by what I want, by my past memories that won’t go away, by the hurt that is still inside of my soul. I am haunted by what could have been and the opportunities that I lost along the way. I am distracted by the fact that I am not writing more, that I am not taking advantage of all of this alone time to work on my goals and do more self care. I am distracted by the fact that I am mentally exhausted so much of the time, and I still don’t know why.

I am distracted by the fact that people who’ve hurt me are still in my brain, almost as if they are laughing at me, beckoning me with their ghostly fingers that they still have a hold of a part of my soul. This pain envelopes me, preventing me from enjoying my new-found freedom.

This week, it has been excruciatingly painful to get out of bed in the morning. It wasn’t like that a few weeks ago, it was finally getting better.

So as I am sitting on my yoga mat tonight I began to think. I guess distraction can be a good thing if it starts to lead to productivity. I began to think how something still feels missing, despite all that I already have and have accomplished.

I think what’s missing is inspiration. Maybe the point in my life I am at right now is a stepping stone, maybe I am where I am supposed to be. I have no idea. Maybe it’s this frigidly cold weather and I will slowly get better as the sun comes out more. Maybe I need to stop worrying about the future so much and just try to find something that inspires me to get out of my lazy habits, out of my own damn self.

The trick is to find this inspiration. I think it’s out there, smiling at me, ready to push my demons aside for me. I think when I am actually ready, inspiration will come along and make the possibilities of my journey seem more clear to me. I just need that inspiration to make up its mind and come along. I am ready for it, as ready as I’ll ever be.

Inspiration, come at me bro.

***

thanks.

I have a lot to thank you for. Because of you, I am in a much better place than I have ever been. Since you left, I have been able to move mountains. BIG ones.

Thanks to you, I have now owned my own condo for a month.

Thanks to you, I worked harder than I ever have, despite insurmountable anxiety, a devastated and completely broken heart, and not believing in myself, and I finally have my dream job.

Thanks to you, I didn’t get the apartment in Boston I wanted, because it was too close for comfort, and I moved into my parents’ basement for over a year.

Thanks to you, I found the energy to eventually save the $10,000 I needed for the down payment for my new home.

Thanks to you, I finally reconnected with yoga again.

Thanks to you, I left my dead-end job and started my career.

Thanks to you, I experienced months of barely being able to get out of bed and go to work, but I still went to work despite what you did.

Thanks to you, I applied to 7 jobs a day in the summer and refused to get stuck.

Thanks to you, I reconnected with high school friends I hadn’t seen in years.

Thanks to you, I finally had a real date to a wedding. (not you!)

Thanks to you, I realized I am stronger and more important than you could ever make me feel.

Thanks to you, I found podcasts and books that have actually changed my life.

Thanks to you, I’ve slowly started writing again.

Thanks to you, I got irreplaceable extra time with my family.

Thanks to you, I have a real man in my life. One who buys me dinner. One who treats me equally yet opens doors for me. One who tells me how beautiful I am, randomly. One who is immensely supportive of me and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. One who encouraged me to get my dream job and my own house. One who is better to me and more supportive of me than you ever were.

Thanks to you, I’m finally well on the road to recovery.

***

moody.

Lately, I’ve just been getting into these dark moods. Sometimes they last a few hours, sometimes they last all day. All I know is I feel like I’m really stuck. It feels impossible right now.

I feel lonely but then I don’t feel like being around people. I feel like I love my job but I hate my job. I feel like I’m always messing up.

I keep looking at apartments that I can’t even come close to affording and just pray that a miracle will happen and I will make just a little bit more money so I can afford to move out of my parents’ basement. I feel like a failure. I feel like what was the point of going to grad school and getting a teaching job, just like I wanted, because now I’m covered in graduate debt.

I wanted to move to Boston but I didn’t want to be stuck in my parents’ basement…. I wanted to be a teacher but I wanted to have enough money to support myself… If I get an apartment, with how expensive the rent is, I won’t be able to.

I literally have to choose between my freedom or having enough money for food, and it’s driving me nuts. Nobody should have to do this that works hard at a full-time job and has a masters degree.

Sometimes achieving your dreams is still painful… I guess this is the price I pay for going back to school.

It’s so frustrating.