Friday, January 7, 2011

Growing Through

I'm entering into a unique time in my life. For the first time in my life I'm single. Solitary. Alone. No partners. No sweeties. No metamores. No polycules. By myself in my own apartment with no one else to clutter it up (or clean it up). With no one to coordinate my schedules with (and no one to automatically share awesome events with). It's different. In ways I can't describe. It's beautiful and wonderful. It's also dredging up emotional stuff I thought I was prepared for, but really wasn't. Which sucks.

I see this period as a time of training my emotional and mental 'muscles' to be stronger and more healthy. Like when decide to be healthier and you go to the gym and it kicks your ass and your muscles are sore and sometimes you have to drag yourself out of bed, grumbling and irritated to go to the gym early in the morning before work. That's what I'm doing to my emotional and mental self. To my character. I'm giving it a thorough work out. Sometimes it's awesome to see the progress I've made and sometimes I get tired, and sore, and everything hurts.  But I know it's worth it in the long term. 

Everyone starts thinking about personal goals and long term plans around January 1st. That's not my bag. Everyday is a new start to think about the future and work on things I think will contribute to my personal growth and development. However, it's been a bit since I sat down and MADE A LIST of the things I'm focusing on.  We all know how much I am in love with Lists.  So here goes my

Focus/Goal List.

I am going to be single (no primary partners/sweeties) for an undetermined amount of time. 

 I suspect it will be several months to a year, however. I don't want to specifically put down a time frame, as that seems arbitrary and unrealistic.  I like to be able to adhere to my word (something I need to work on).  But this is a crucial element of the next chapter of my life.  Simply being by myself, doing what I want to do, being who I am free of as much outside influence as possible. 

While I will probably develop strong/close friendships, or possibly engage in flirtatious interactions, I'm not going to engage in dating again until I feel that I've reached a milestone.  I've yet to determine quantifiable, measurable, articulate benchmarks that define that milestone, but that's on another list of things to figure out :)

I am not going to cut my hair until that period is over.

Besides obvious trimmings/minor shaping so it grows out well.  This seems like a weird goal/focus to have.  Symbolically though, this has a lot of meaning.  I've been cutting my hair frequently in the past few months, and every time I do it gets shorter and shorter.  The last time I was an impulse away (several times) from just shaving the whole damn thing off.  .  I wanted to shed myself of a lot of things in my life at that point and for me, what I do to my hair is a representation of my emotions at that time. 

Now, I want to grow, to endure whatever annoyances and hardships await me in order to gain a better understanding of life.  To become enlightened.  By denying myself the ability to cut my hair, I'm also gaining self-discipline.  I hate hair in that mid-stage length - HATE IT. It's annoying, it gets in your way, you can't do jack shit with it, and my hair doesn't grow very fast.  Right now is super short...which means the 'growing out' period will be quite a while - which will be a lengthy period of time that is frustrating and irritating. I see this, however, as a wonderful chance to 'workout' my tolerance/patience. 

I also have a strong desire recently to let my feminine side shine since being single.  All that energy I was putting into my multiple relationships now is pooling within me.  I've got time to expend on myself - lots of it.  An unexpected side effect of that has been a revitalization of my interest in fashion and looking pretty. I want long hair for the first time in my life.  I want to be able to braid it, to let it down, to have it cover me like a blanket, to look soft and pretty.

I am going to focus on taking care of myself.

Basic.  Simple.  But kinda all encompassing.  Really, this is my primary goal right now.  I have started to cut down on things that don't aid in that and want to continue on with that theme.  So the specifics would be:
  1. Reducing greatly the amount I drink and smoke, although I still smoke and occasionally drink, I was doing far more of that than was really healthy, so I want to keep it at a light to moderate level. 
  2. Getting up early so I can have time to do a morning take care of my body routine instead of doing it whenever I have time/erratically.  This would include things like making a healthier breakfast, listening to NPR, making my lunch for the day, doing the shower/ brush teeth/ wash face/ doing makeup/ doing yoga thing.  I was happy that I got up this morning with enough time to do all of the above in a relaxed pace and still enjoy some time to clean up around the house and do some simple chores.
  3. Eating healthy.  My tastes have already drastically changed since being single.  Suddenly chocolate which used to be the be all end all of amazing - doesn't really sound appealing.  No sweets really do.  I suddenly like sushi - after years of my partners taking me out to delicious (VERY GOOD) sushi places - I suddenly have gotten cravings for sushi, and have really enjoyed them.  I'm not very hungry very often, but when I am - I've been craving vegetables and meat.  The distinction I make in the quality of my food - my standards for "good" food has dramatically risen.  I've been eating more soup as well.  I'm not going to go OCD like I used to, but I've been more and more aware of what I'm putting into my body and how that effects my body.  I want to continue on with that.
Explore and utilize my crafty ability to make beautiful things for me, for my home, for my friends.

No real push for anything in particular.  Due to the increased amount of time I have available, and the expanded amount of energy I have at my disposal, I've been more crafty.  It's also helped me process and deal with some of the harder emotional responses I've been experiencing since being alone.  I've started a couple of collages, mostly finished a skirt that's been sitting on my "to do" list for six months, made a few sets of earrings, done a bit of leatherwork (and subsequently practiced my knotwork).  It's like meditation for me, fingers working over and over again, my mind able to relax and soothe itself.  Plus, it's SUPER fun.  And there are beautiful things that come out of it.  It gives me so much joy - this is something I don't want to let fall by the wayside again.


There is a particular areas of interest in my life I enjoy doing, but haven't had the opportunity or avenue in which to explore to it's fullest.  I'm currently working on expanding my social network to people who enjoy similar things, working to experience more in that area, and learn more about all the different aspects of it.  This will make me happy.

To sum it up - it's all about taking care of myself - physically, mentally, emotionally - and giving myself space and time and freedom to explore, relax, and wander.  I'm looking forward to the upcoming chapter of my life, even though I know it's going to be really challenging at points.  For all the reasons these quotes imply and many many many more....

Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. ~Author Unknown

Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is? ~Frank Scully

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. ~Seneca

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves. ~André Gide

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.  ~Ray Bradbury

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it could be good for you. I think it's very tempting to shape one's identity in relation to a partner, and that's not necessarily healthy. So being single for a while is a good opportunity to figure out which identity is the real one. It's also a good opportunity to try to create a set of good habits. :)