I’ve been seeing a therapist, something I’ve been wanting/needing to do for a long time, and while it’s still early days, I feel like some interesting things are surfacing. Now, I consider myself pretty self-aware, such that when I identify a behaviour I have that I don’t like, I first try to fix it myself. But sometimes the mere acknowledgement of the behaviour doesn’t provide a solution or ways to change it. That’s when I know it’s time to bring in the big guns, at the (thank God for you insurance-discounted) rate of $40/session. I won’t go into the reasons that I came to this decision, but it’s nothing severe or dangerous, more that there’s some things that I’d like to fix about myself that I’d love assistance with. Could use some advice. And herein ends my diatribe on why I’m going to therapy.
So far, it’s fascinating. While I’ve known that I behave one way or another when faced with a situation, I’m starting to understand or get clarity on what caused me to behave that way. Enlightenment and all that shit. So in addressing one trait of mine that I think to be somewhat exaggerated - my independent streak (and note that I use ‘exaggerated’ in this case to mean that I over-index in being super stubbornly independent, in both work and personal relationships) - I realized that my actions are inconsistent with my belief. Because, while I’m used to being hugely independent, it’s also really unfulfilling. Tiring. Exhausting.
At my friends’ Dave & Brit’s wedding this summer, they had a fantastic pastor, who said (and I wrote down in my iPhone), “Living life self-sufficiently is exhausting.” And it is. It really, truly is. And yet some part of me feels guilty for feeling this way, as if it’s some sort of weakness of self. That I should be stronger and embrace this independence, modern-day woman, hear me roar.
Just yesterday, I expressed - half in jest, but therein lies the truth - that I wish I had a boyfriend so I could have someone help me take this stupid 5’x8’ heavy-as-shit rug back to West Elm. I trudged that fucker out of the store; it would be nice to have help to get the thing back TO the store since it fell apart. It’s a dumb task, an annoying task, one that I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking a friend to help with. (Who wants to carry someone else’s rug three NYC blocks when they don’t have to? Exactly.) But a boyfriend, yep, he’d “have” to help, what with the amazing sex we’d be having nightly. You know, that and the fact that I never complained about his stinky socks. All part of the package. And then I immediately felt guilty, not because I think putting out begets some rug-hoisting-help (no pun intended, for real this time) but because I WANTED the help. That it wasn’t something I could do myself, and worse yet, that it wasn’t something I WANTED to do myself. “Just this once,” I thought, “it would be nice to have someone.”
So I’m working on it. I’m realizing that my first instinct is to go it alone, to do it myself, to not ask for help. And then am making myself do the exact opposite, even if it is to acknowledge - and now, very publicly - that it would be nice; nay, it would be FANTASTIC, to share life’s little nuances, both the awesome and the annoying, with someone else. I’d like not just a boyfriend, but a partner in crime. The give & the take are much easier if you have both parts; otherwise, you’re left with a whole lotta giving and very little taking.
In the meantime, if anyone wants to help me with an oversized rug…