Why I Want to Stay Single

2014 will undoubtably go down as one of the toughest years of my life–of which will become subjects to write about later on. But the apex of everything that was horrible about this year is that my seven and a half year relationship ended.

He was my first real boyfriend, we were both seniors in high school when we started talking–this was all long distance, he was in New York City and I was in Nebraska.  Over the years, we spoke every day becoming each others’ best friends, becoming so comfortable with each other that when we finally did meet, three years after first speaking, being together was the most natural thing on earth.

For reasons that will become obvious later, we broke up.  And now that I’m going off into the world all lonesome, here are the reasons why I’m going to face the challenges of my life alone for now.

I am used up.

I literally do not have any more love to give anyone right now.  I barely have enough to give myself.  I spent seven and a half years trying to move heaven and earth to accommodate him and our relationship.  I have loved enough for two people, loved enough for when my effort was all that was keeping things going.  It wouldn’t be fair to put someone in the position I was in, forcing someone else to push me along in love.

I am at my absoslute lowest.

I have been tamed and stunted by life.  Since 2010 I’ve been tossed around quite a bit and 2014 was the worst of it.  The way I feel right now must be pretty similar to how Samson felt after his hair was cut and he was captured.  Or like a forest after a wildfire has razed it.  How could anyone love me when I’m at this point, so far away from who I used to be and who I could become?

I want to have the time and space to grow into the person I want to become.

I have been with someone, with the same person, since I was seventeen years old.  I have never had the opportunity to grow alone, uninfluenced.  I want to meet myself and I don’t want someone else telling me how I should feel about myself or who I should be.  I need to recover and I can’t do that in a relationship; it’s inevitable that the person I’m with would influence me. I want to come back at full strength and even improved.  I want to explore the depths of myself that I suppress because of another person’s acceptance or not or rules of society.

I need to find someone who can handle me.

I am an unbridled force of nature.  I am chaos, creation, destruction, freedom, control, power, ambition, sex, and violence.  I am what carried my ancestors into battle–I am fearless, daring, and brave.  I am hellfire and passion.  I am absolutely bursting at the seams to be unleashed and reach my potential.

It’s going to be a long year but I know I have within me what it takes to get out of this and come out better for it.

White privilege or confidence and ambition?

I know this subject is sore for a lot of people and seems to be getting only more sore a topic.  It has caused me, someone who usually pauses and thinks about something objectively before responding or forming an opinion, to have knee jerk reactions and emotions get involved.  All sides of the conversation are guilty of defensiveness and I want to be able to have a candid and open discussion about something I encountered yesterday that I’m struggling with.  No name calling, no assumptions, nothing.  Any ignorance I may display is not intentional and I would gladly be educated if done in a respectful manner.  Trigger warning over.  It makes me so sad that I would even have to put a trigger warning instead of just being able to be open and discuss thoughtfully.  Man things have really degraded in society…

Anyway…

Yesterday I was speaking with a coworker who is an older African American lady and we were talking about how she recently graduated with her bachelor’s.  The conversation kept going and I expressed how excited I was to go back to school and I was looking forward to the challenge of law school and trying to do some good in this world.  She then brought up that she has a daughter working on her undergraduate in Criminal Justice at a community college and she will transfer to a four year university soon.  She plans to go to law school once she graduates as well.  She continued talking about how her daughter has really set herself up well for law school; she currently works as a security guard while going to school, her aunt is a Constable here in Texas and has offered her an internship, her uncle is a Yale law school graduate with his own firm in Dallas.  So I naturally asked, where is she looking at for law school.  She goes on to mention some very small, 2 or 3 tier schools and starts laughing when she says her daughter dreams of Howard or Harvard for law school but knows there’s no way she could ever get in and is just trying to get into one school in a 2 or 3 tier school.

I remained polite and the conversation moved on from there but I was troubled by her daughter’s lack of confidence in herself in her choices of law school.  Her daughter has a decent GPA.  Yes, she is at a community college, but she has really started taking her studies seriously and her GPA has gone up drastically and she will transfer to a four year school soon and will, undoubtedly, do just as well as she has been.  She seems like a very determined, hard working young woman; she both works and goes to school–this is no easy feat.  She has done everything right to set herself up for a law career and has already started studying for the LSATS.  From this description of her, I see absolutely no reason why she couldn’t get into a tier 1 school.

Then it made me think about myself in relation to this.  I went to an academically rigorous, yet small school in the Midwest that no one has heard of.  I had a decently high GPA of 3.68 and pushed myself in extracurriculars and even worked as well, though I was fortunate enough to have had enough in scholarships I didn’t need to worry about student loans and my parents were able to support me.  Unlike this young lady, I wasn’t planning on law school from my undergraduate (lack of confidence and naivete pushed me into dreams of a more academic career) and didn’t properly prepare myself like she has.  I didn’t take on internships…I worked during the summer so I could pay for next years’ expenses and I lived in the middle of nowhere.  I didn’t want to burden my parents with having to support me financially while I trotted around the globe (my dad was paralyzed in an accident in the middle of my schooling and times got rough for us).  Then I moved to Austin and I just started working.  Besides from a major in Government/International Affairs, minors in History (with an emphasis on human right’s in Latin America) and Philosophy, I have no experience with law.  I have no connections.  Nothing that will set me apart.  But that does not stop me from believing that I will only get into a tier 1 law school.  It has never occurred to me that I may fail.  I just have this faith that everything will work out right.

What is my reason for this confidence?  Is it a belief in myself that is unshakeable?  That I know what I’m capable of if given the right opportunity?  Or is this an example of white privilege?  My heart doesn’t want to believe this other theory.  I know I’m intelligent.  I know my skills.  But that comfort I have…that I know everything will work out…does this come from the advantage of privilege?  It makes me feel unworthy of any opportunity that may come my way.  As if I stole it from someone more deserving.  As if my hard work was nothing, that I was already given a head start and extra help along the way that negates my effort.

I’ve been wrestling with it ever since I had that conversation yesterday.  And I honestly don’t understand it.  I haven’t brought this up with my black, though not African American, boyfriend.  I know he would say that it is confidence in myself.  Blacks from other countries don’t seem to have strains of the same thoughts as their counterparts who have been born and raised in the United States, descending from a line of people who came here enslaved (this is an anecdotal experience based on the many interactions I have had with black, non-African Americans).  I have no one to ask about this and I want to sort out these thoughts and have an open discussion.  I doubt I will get that since I have chosen to remain anonymous on here and have a very minimal following (mostly spam people).  But please.  If you are reading this and have something thoughtful to add to this.  Please do.  I would love to speak with you and appreciate your respectful, thoughtful responses.

It’s Been a While

It’s been a while since I’ve written last.  March has been a difficult month.  Plus, now that my boyfriend is only working one job–I don’t have time to write.  I decided to keep my blog a secret from him and all of my friends and family so I could have a private place (in public on the internet of course–oh the paradox of my generation) to sound out my thoughts and feelings without worrying about their thoughts, judgments, etc.

This past month I went through blood test after blood test, ultrasounds, and an embarrassing 24 hour urine collection only to find out that there is nothing wrong with me.  Of course my insulin levels are elevated but my A1C is normal.  My medical problems are because I’m overweight.  I was afraid that would be the answer because it means it’s all my fault and that all my efforts don’t work and I will most likely stay like this forever and never get better because I am an ambitious person and my life is going to be busy for the rest of my life and I doubt I’ll have the time and energy that it would require to get myself down to a healthy weight.

Uffda**!

Growing up my parents were always working.  I had to cook for myself and my sister and all I could cook were things from a box, like pasta and other pre-made meals.  Me and my sister got pretty chunky under my watch.  She managed to get mono one year, dropped all her weight, and has been able to keep it off since.  Me on the other hand, I have been dedicated to eating a healthy diet and exercising as frequently as I can.  For example, I gave up eating red meat and pork and I truthfully stuck to it from when I was 13 to when I moved to Texas last year at 23.  Also, for the past 5 years I have maintained a daily calorie consumption around 1,500. I have only managed to gain more weight. Frustration doesn’t even begin to describe it.

I have been working hard to consume less calories, eat more vegetables, less carbs.  I don’t binge and, honestly, for a fat girl, I’m never hungry.  I don’t overeat.  It’s just not an issue for me.  I take the bus, walk a half mile to work, a mile from work to a bus.  I work out 3-4 times faithfully per week.  Not mindless treadmill running or ellipticals but cardio that gets my heart going wild and strength training.  I try to get 8 hours of sleep a night but it’s not the easiest when I have so many obligations and goals.  I have 75 pounds to lose and I’ve been working very hard for a month and have lost no weight at all.  But there’s nothing wrong with me.  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

But on the life front, I’ve been managing my free time better, now.  Instead of watching TV, I have personal training twice a week, work out independently once or twice a week and go to the library to study for the LSATs two to three times a week.  I’ve applied to volunteer for a program that will have me helping refugees become self-sufficient.  I will teach English, help them find jobs, help them learn how to use a computer, and also help them feel better living so far from home.  I really hope they will call me back and have me volunteer.  It’s something I wanted to do since I moved to Austin, but it’s only recently that I’ve managed to get out of this cavernous rut I’m in–now I’m only in a little one (baby steps, folks).  I’ve conned my sister into giving me her beautiful cello that she doesn’t play anymore (my shitty violin I played was sent to Costa Rica) and I will be trading in my alto saxophone and my sister’s french horn in order to purchase a tenor saxophone.  I’ve really missed music since leaving college and I’m hoping to spend more time with it.  Also, I’m hoping to start mediating with some regularity and also incorporate yoga into my life.  I fear that stress may be helping keep me overweight.  Hopefully adding meaningful activities will help with stress and make for an overall more happy existence.  Work–especially administrative work I have zero interest in and does not utilize my talents–and taking care of the house is not soul satisfying.

With the LSAT, I decided that I would wait until October to take it.  Working full time obviously prohibits me from dedicating more time to really studying.  I want to give myself the best chance I can for success and that means spending more time studying.  It will also give me the time to explore options and really know what I want before I dive in head first and make more mistakes like I am so prone to do–I love an adventure.  My boss has a friend who is a judge here in Austin and her husband is a professor of law at the University of Texas, Austin and I am going to speak with them and hopefully they’ll take me under their wings a little.  Law school is a big commitment.  I know it’s something I could make it through with flying colors–I’m too dedicated to do anything less–but it’s a life long commitment and I want to make sure I am ready and fully informed.

Slowly but surely, I’m going to get somewhere.  I’ve got a long ways to go but my feet are always moving.

 

**for non-Midwestern, Norwegian types–“Uffda” is the Norwegian equivalent of OMG, it’s what you say when you feel overwhelmed, are surprised.  It’s also kind of a curse word.  I guess it’s quite similar to “Oi vei.”

Repurposing this Space

I’m going to enjoy anonymity with blogging.  I need a place to work through all the changes going on in my life.  These are events I’m sure all twenty-something-year-olds experience, but each person experiences their own unique series of challenges.  This year is going to be a pivotal year for me and I will enjoy a place to work on and express myself anonymously.  I’m not looking for comments or followers, but it would be amazing to have meaningful and intellectual exchanges with people and I look forward to connections I can make here.

Be the change

I’m trying to become a more positive person. I’ve suffered from depression for quite some time now but it has gotten increasingly worse since I’ve moved out, moved to Austin, TX, and was diagnosed with quite a few unsavory health issues.  It has been a really rough transition and the year has taken a toll on me.  I want to explore what’s hurting me–what has hurt me–and find solutions instead of being in a rut.  More importantly, I want to reach out to others and be a source of positivity.  Needless to say, I’ve deleted Facebook (I think this has been one of the greatest decisions I have ever made).

Ambition

I’ve been out of school since May 2014 and during that time I’ve gained some life and work experience and have re-evaluated what I want out of life.  Rather, reality has altered my dreams a bit.  I came to Austin naive and unprepared.  I’ve had a series of dead-ends with school and have decided to go to law school.  I plan to take the LSATs in June and hope to be attending the University of Minnesota Law School and specialize in Civil Rights Law.  I want to take my passion for social justice and hopefully do more than be an impoverished, bleeding heart.  Also, I want to be more than a secretary and use my talents towards actually doing something.  The feeling of purposelessness I’ve experienced this past year has been soul-crushing and it’s time I do something about it.

Focus

I’m hoping to get back into writing.  It’s something I will hopefully be doing in my future and I’ve always enjoyed it.  I hope to be publishing poetry, thought pieces, and–for once–talking about what’s going on with me.  I need to become disciplined again.  I need to learn how to focus on myself and find some balance in this world.  I will work on losing weight and, my greatest challenge, learn how to relax.

To whoever reads this, thank you for coming along on my journey and, more importantly, I thank myself for doing something for myself for once.