Saturday, November 20, 2010

Yes, I Am Tall Enough To Get On This Ride

This blog must begin with a very open and public acknowledgment of Jeremy and his ability to restrain from taking action when under the influence of emotions. Had he not exercised this trait, you all would've gotten one hell of a show after my last blog. 

Of course I thought he would find my last piece of writing… interesting. I thought there was a chance that it might even be a little bothersome given the newness of our breakup. What I didn't think he would do was craft the most hurtful, degrading and insulting response in the form of a blog comment that, thankfully, he decided at the last minute not to post. He also decided not to email it to me, which was his follow up reaction. Instead, after being tormented by my words and the implications of what I was attempting to convey, he decided to take some time to sleep on things and take action in the morning. 

I am very thankful that he did this. Because although he has since read me the email, he did it from a different place emotionally. It still hurt. I was still angry. However, before I could completely fly off the handle, hang up the phone, cry for three hours and make the commitment never to speak to him again, he explained himself. 

I love Jeremy for so many reasons. One of the biggest being his fearlessness to look at himself and ask questions about what's going on inside his head and heart that makes him do something. This is how I approach pretty much everything. I, too, often respond emotionally at first, but the time it takes me to go into reflection mode and take responsible action continues to become less and less. 

Something I have learned and taken to heart in the past few years is how to look at my emotional responses as an educational tool. If something someone says makes me angry, I find it very important to look at why it was so upsetting. I find that the things that people say that affect us the most are the things that we, either consciously or subconsciously. have issues with ourselves. For example, if someone told me that they thought I was a bad driver, it wouldn't really bother me because I know it's not true. (Besides, I like the term "aggressive" when it comes to my driving. And I don't speed… I simply "drive with intention.") Seriously, I am a good driver, very aware and confident in my abilities behind the wheel. So, this kind of insult wouldn't really "land" with me. 

However, if someone were to call me fat and/or awkward, I'd be ready to draw blood. An insult like this would affect me greatly because I have deep rooted insecurities that I'm never thin enough and that I must have been home sick on the day that they taught feminine grace in school. It lands because I either believe it to be true or it's an issue that has been problematic in the past and I'm still working on getting over it. 

I explained this to Jeremy one time and he took it very seriously. So seriously in fact, that he didn't send the email he wrote. Instead, he slept on it and tried to figure out what it was about my blog that bothered him so much. 

I know, I know… you are all dying to read his comment. Well, I don't really want to relive it at the moment. I'm sure it will make it in the book form of these blogs so you'll just have to wait until then. 

I'm happy to paraphrase, however… he insulted the perfect day I described, making me feel as if I was an idiot to be so delighted about finding beauty in the every day occurrences that truly make me happy. He went on to defend himself about how hard he has worked his whole life and how broke he has been up until just recently. He implied that he has earned the right to do whatever he wants to do now while I have become spoiled without work in the last two months and have lost sight on reality. He suggested that my happiness now comes in the form of searching for the next schmuck to pony up the money to keep me a kept woman. He told me that I should track down the book that my mom gave me and reread the highlighted portions about narcissism. When he finished reading the email to me, I felt as if I had basically been called a trite, gold-digging super bimbo with nothing to contribute to anyone or anything. 

And this was just the paraphrased version. 

Now, not everything about this landed with me. I know my true intentions behind that last blog and what I was hoping to get out of it. I was concerned with how some people might take it but as my friend Dan commented, why am I so worried about what other people think of me and what I want out of life? It is MY life, after all and at the end of the day, the only person I have to answer to is me. 

My heart does not belong to a trite, gold-digging super bimbo. This I know for sure. What bothered me the most about Jeremy's email is how much he misunderstood me. If there is one thing I could always count on, it was that Jeremy "got" me. We have always connected so strongly when it comes to communication. It is what has bonded us together from the very first time we emailed each other. So to realize that he completely misinterpreted my revelation about the importance of embracing the "nothingness" that creates a sense of peace and happiness was hard for me. To think that he thought I was just trying to find my next meal ticket was devastating. For just a minute, I was convinced we were having our last conversation. 

And then, as he has done time and time again, Jeremy amazed me. 

He told me that my blog had reminded him of times in his life that he wasn't proud of. It made him reflect on the past when he was looking for a free ride without willing to give back in return. He told me that after taking some time to think, he saw that I wasn't at all coming from the same place he had been all those years ago. However, having to relive some of the horrible decisions he made and the people he had hurt had put him in a place of anger and frustration, which is exactly where his words to me came from. 

In addition, he told me that something else had come up for him as he read the description of my perfect relationship. He was angry at himself for not being able to provide me with what I wanted. He told me he was being so hard on himself about losing me, saying that he had messed up yet another relationship. He said that he knew he had taken a lot of his anger out on me when he wrote that email. 

The beautiful part about someone taking responsibility for their actions is how quickly it makes me look at myself and take responsibility for mine. I suddenly realized that I wasn't at all surprised by Jeremy's reactions. In fact, I have since discovered that I wanted to upset him. I wanted him to be angry with me. I brought up what I wanted in a relationship with the hope that he might rethink his role in my life. I went back and reread my description of the perfect relationship and saw that all I was really doing was describing the kind of partnership Jeremy and I had talked about since day one. 

I was mad at myself that I had become so attached to how things needed to look that I didn't see I had already attracted what I have been asking for. All this time I wanted to be chased without realizing that sometimes, it's me that needs to do the chasing. 

We spent the entire afternoon discussing these things. By the end of the day, we decided that it would be in both of our best interests to give our relationship another try, but not worry so much about defining it. I think both of us see the value in taking things on a day by day basis and know that as long as we keep our communication on the level in which we are accustomed, the Universe will, in due time, show us the roles we are to play in each other's lives. 

I learned something very important about myself this week. When it comes to certain things, I tend to take a very inflexible approach. As I mentioned, I get a very clear picture of how I think something should look and I let it take over. I start to see a situation in a very logical, black and white way. If it doesn't go how I think it should be going, I'm quick to give up, thinking that if it doesn't match that picture in my head, it must not be right. 

Well, life is not black and white and love is not logical. The Universe doesn't see things in either of those terms - it simply responds to what we ask for. Instead of being grateful for what the Universe gives me in response to my requests, I keep hoping that a gift receipt was included in case I change my mind. As I am reminded time and again, that's not exactly how it works. 

I love this new opportunity that I have with Jeremy. I feel very positive about how we are approaching things this time around and am thankful that we made the decisions we did to get to this point. I'm excited for what is in store for both of us and I must say, it's been pretty nice to simply relax in his presence and allow our collective energies to enjoy themselves. 

We can't be afraid to stop learning and evolving. For me, putting too much stock into how something should look doesn't work. What's more important is to keep my eye on the prize and in the meantime, enjoy the ride. Because a double loop on a rollercoaster might look intimidating, but it sure is a blast. And more often than not, I get right back in line. 

Thank you, Jeremy. Your honesty and willingness to get vulnerable with me is what snaps me out of my head and into my heart. 

And I have a feeling that happiness might just be found in the gray area.


  1. "I felt as if I had basically been called a trite, gold-digging super bimbo with nothing to contribute to anyone or anything."

    Not the Tina I have known for 10+ years, not even close!!!!!!!! xoxoxo

  2. One of the things that contiunally amazes me about Tina is her constant drive for self-improvement, and her willingness to be open in that drive with the people close to her.

    Tina, you are simply the best listener I have ever met and I love you for that reason and so many more. You inspire people through your writing to go on a similar quest, and you do it with a grace and a style that is unmatched.

    I love you. That is all.