For a really long time, my life has been way off balance. It’s been off balance for so long, in fact, that off balance feels natural and normal. Off balance is a comfort.
Lately, I’ve been trying to find more balance. It actually all started with finally being a mature individual with a budget.
I’ve kept a clean apartment, so it’s not a mad dash to pick things up when someone is coming over. Also, it’s just nice to come home to a clean apartment. I never really knew this would make such a difference, but it’s incredible how awesome it is to get into a bed that’s made. Walking into a closet full of clean clothes on, all on hangers, is also really nice.
I’ve been trying to eat better, though so far I haven’t made many changes. Which is why I’ve decided to go vegan again on September 1st. This time I’m going to try it for two months, instead of one. Since I’ve been so successful at forming new cleaning habits (so far), I’m hoping that this will help me establish some new eating habits.
If someone could get me to the gym, that would be great. I miss rock climbing, but I’ve decided to find something more martial arts/self-defense related for now. I loved Jiu Jitsu when I took it last summer. It’s expensive, but probably worth it. This time, though, I’d like to start with something that’s straight up self-defense. I can’t wait to get back to the climbing wall, though. I just need to get myself in a bit better shape. Feeling strong, physically, is very important right now. And I don’t feel strong.
Relationships, as always, have been the hardest for me. Finding a balance in relationships with friends and family is more difficult than I thought. Adding other people into the mix just complicates things. I usually have a lot trouble with family, much to my mother’s dismay. I can’t seem to explain to her the WHY, though. A couple of week’s ago, we had lunch, because I wanted to talk to her about the trouble I’ve been having with this whole “selling myself as a writer” thing. During lunch, I got the requisite lecture about how “distant” I am with family and about how she wishes my sister and I were closer. “Because, at the end of the day, family is all you have.”
I hate that statement. It’s just not even true. Plus, I love my sister and I would absolutely be there for her if she needed me (which…she just doesn’t). I just don’t really feel the need to talk to her everyday (not to mention she never bothers to return phone calls or emails, which makes me less inclined to even bother). We don’t have very much in common, and honestly, it’s just easier and less stressful if we don’t talk a lot. And my conservative Christian grandparents? Yeah, I just…can’t. My Nana is probably the most self-absorbed person on the planet; my Pops, while sweet, comes with a side of Nana. Also, we don’t agree on anything, so it’s hard to make conversation. Which just means that for the entirety of the interaction, I feel uncomfortable and on-edge.
My dad’s parents are easier, but they live in Tennessee. The older I get, though, the harder it is to sit around and take the lectures about conservative politics and the evil homosexual agenda. I’m expected to respect them and their beliefs (and to hold my tongue), while they hold no respect for me or mine, simply because they’re older. It’s a concept I find difficult, to say the least. So rather than put myself in the position of being uncomfortable, I just avoid the situation as much as possible.
Friends should be easier, because you get to choose your friends. That hasn’t really been the case for me lately, though. Let’s just say, this is a work in progress.
As for more intimate or romantic relationships, this is where I struggle the most. As a person with a very strong sense of self, I know I have to make some compromises, if I’m ever going to let myself get close to someone again. But I don’t want to lose myself or put myself on the back-burner, either. I do that too easily, mostly because I know that I’m strong and I’m tough and I will be okay. The truth is, though, I won’t be okay if I lose myself to be with someone else. My problem is striking a balance between knowing when to hold my ground and when it’s okay to compromise. It can’t be my way or the highway, but it can’t be “whatever you need,” either.
At the end of my last long(ish) relationship, I came up with a list of ways I had felt in that relationship that I will never feel in a relationship again. These are, as they say, the deal-breakers. The things are the list on broad enough in concept that they can be applied to any relationship, with any other human.
Rather than make a list of the qualities I want to find in a partner (as in that atrocious Hallmark movie I watched last night), I think this is a healthy thing to do at the end of a relationship. Particularly one that ended poorly. This is simply a list of warning signs. If I feel this way because of someone else’s actions or words again, I will hopefully be much more likely to walk away.