Play it cool
Me internally: “Okay I’m ready. I think. I know I can do this. I’m going to just walk up to her and ask her ‘what the fuck is up? You wanna go for a run sometime?’
Inner voice: ‘WHAT THE FUCK IS UP? Nick , this isn’t a Saturday night black comedy film where your love interest is oblivious to every stupid thing you say except for the beats driving the plot of the story! No, approach her casually, but not that fucking casually!’
Me internally: ‘Okay, maybe something like ‘hey, this is probably a little strange, but are you seeing anyone at the moment?’
Inner voice: ‘Yeah real good, just put yourself out there like a cruise ship in a pond and let her know your intentions straight up. Also, you know you’ve used that line before right? Or at least something similar in your mumbling 100mile an hour babble that seems to be your default when out of your comfort zone. Well she’s walking this way right fucking now man, you either ask her or you let it slip and die wondering…’
Me: ‘Hey (insert beautiful girls name), this is going to seem a little odd me asking you this but if I don’t do it now I have no idea how or when I’m going to ask you…So, ummm, are you seeing anyone at the moment?’
Her: ‘Noooo (in a taken aback manner)’
Me: ‘Oh right, cool, okay, ummm, so, Would you wanna go for a run sometime or maybe a hit of tennis, perhaps a coffee?’
Inner voice: ‘Fucking hell man could you be less sure of yourself right now?! You needed to make a definite decision on the meet up?! Now she’s going to think your this older guy that still doesn’t have his shit together enough to even make a decision!’
Her: ‘Ummmmm that’s really sweet! Can I have a think about it and get back to you?’
Me: ‘Oh yeah for sure! I’m in no hurry, you let me know whenever!’
Her: (She smiles and then walks off to wherever she was headed)
Me Internally: ‘Okay, I did it! I asked the question and now I am ready to get absolutely obliterated with inevitable heartbreak once again.’
Inner voice: ‘Hmmm you know what Nick? I give you a hard time and all, but now that the moment has passed. I’m proud of you. You’ve stuck your neck out again. I’ll let you have this day, enjoy it.’
Meanwhile ‘true faith’ by New Order is playing in my head at high volume while that air of optimism and euphoria are potent in my soul.
Lesson learned: You don’t know if you don’t ask.
Love in itself
For some of us I imagine love is something that came by one day like the breeze picks up, instantly but in an subtle manner. You weren’t looking for it, you knew one day it would probably arrive, but before you knew it, it surrounded you and your significant other.
From there you almost certainly did the travel thing, made the proposal, had the marriage, bought the home, created the first born and so on. Well, not necessarily in that particular order obviously. We all do the cycle of love and growth in different ways.
Some of us are fortunate enough to find love in our high school years or very early afterwards. When I see those few high school sweethearts around it fills me with contrasting emotions all in one big cluster. Joy, envy, hope and sadness are the four that come immediately to mind. Joy in the way they always have this obvious connection whether they are talking to each other or not. Envy at the way they hold each others hands in the same ‘new love’ way I’d imagine they did all those years ago. Hope that one day it too will finally fall into place for me even if I have to wait it out a little longer than expected. Sadness that perhaps I will not have it ever fall into place.
When you are fortunate enough to find reciprocal, unconditional and boundless love, you are among the few fulfilling souls that walk amongst us. Sure there are many other obstacles in this life that may poison your mind and cause troubles. But with your significant others soul constantly connected to yours, all those obstacles will surely be overcome, with love and support.
Lesson learned: If you find it you probably won’t need to find anything else in this life.
If you can’t be yourself…
I’ve always had intentions of finding love. But as I’ve grown I have found that I was not ready for it at the times I potentially had it there waiting for me. Then there have been plenty of times where I was ‘so ready’ (I’d convince myself) that I was ready to give myself completely and start the next stage of my life. Each and every one of those times fell through, and some of them fell through like a black hole.
Compilations of months in my past where I’d had a spring, autumn, summer and finally a winter love. And yes, in that order, I can even date the years, but I might leave at least something to remain a mystery in this ambitious journal for all to see.
I specifically remember the times of year with these relationships that had there highs where every single song at the time was playing for me and those joyful moments. Just as well when the time came and for whatever reasons, the world we shared would start inexplicably crumbling around us and every one of those songs was like poison to my soul. TURN IT OFF! I’d have to give artists a boycott for a painfully long period of time until my heart started functioning at a healthy independent level again. As opposed to this ridiculous dependent lifestyle I’d let seep into my existence which I knew was just not the real me!
If I just play anything from Radiohead on a cool autumn night. If I’m tuning into Tool on a hot summers afternoon. If I play Paul Dempsey during the beautiful spring at any time of day. If I can endure the delightful sounds of Morrissey during my winter evenings…I’m forever a slave to memories of times passed with some of my favourite artists, but especially when played in specific times of the year. Do any of you live with that? It’s not great, I wish I could wipe the slate clean and listen to these artists without that heavy heart once more.
It’s a funny thing to be so sure of yourself for such a long time. To know (within reason) so many of your traits and belief systems but then allow yourself to fall apart in the way of not being your true self, at the mercy of ‘falling in love’. I know that this isn’t everybody. I also know now that if you are in love with someone the same amount as they are with you, you wouldn’t alter anything about your personality. Because altering your personality is to be fearful. To be fearful of someone else not accepting who you really are. And if you can’t be who you really are at any given moment, what’s the point of living?
It has taken me all these years to finally get to a point where I go ‘man, don’t give yourself to someone who can’t even begin to give 1% of themselves to you. As Mark Manson would say ‘it’s either a fuck yes, or it’s a fuck no!’ Don’t give yourself to someone who never really seemed warm to you from the beginning.
Lesson learned: Never lose your independence at the expense of another.
Kindness that’s too kind?
For a while, in recent times more so, I thought that my kindness in relationships was the thing driving them away. I’m pretty certain I’m a pleasant fella to be around when I’m happy, which I was in these courtship times. I thought, maybe I’m too much of a pussy and give these ladies too much kindness! I mean, every time I’m cut out of their equation they seem to find a guy almost instantly and shack up with them. I suppose being a stepping stone is a compliment…? Am I the final teaching for all these women before they learn the valuable lesson of ‘not him, him.’ Probably not, but it is uncanny, and insufferable at times.
It took me a bloody long time to realise that a few women in my past have been hurt by me because I’d not been fair to them. Not been fair in the way that I didn’t love myself so I couldn’t give them love. During those relationships I honestly thought there was something horribly wrong with me because they were lovely women but I’d fallen out of love with them and chosen to linger on, in turn wasting both our time in the processes. I didn’t know in those periods I was slowly but surely hating myself more every single day because I wasn’t working on myself, on my life, in any way. I was just existing and loathing any time that I wasn’t getting for myself (which when I did…I wasted).
But we’ve gone over all this before, I worked through the muck and found some good ol’ self love. Amazing what a little discipline and adherence to productive things can do to ones life!
Lesson learned: Always be kind! Always practice self love.
Love thyself first
As mentioned above the secret to at least setting yourself up for the possibility of love is (anticipating drum roll) loving yourself. And no you don’t have to think you’re the greatest human being alive and that you can never set a foot wrong etc. Just to be able to look in the mirror and think, ‘well you aren’t a Brad Pitt looking mother fucker, but you sure as hell aren’t the elephant man, so, chin up’. You may be grateful for the fact that you own your own home. You may be grateful that you have a job and haven’t been fired from it. You might enjoy your own company because you know what, you ain’t ever going to get away from yourself!
I found a few simple (and yes cheesy in the beginning) mantra’s that helped me to start shifting my mindset a while ago now. I’d go for long walks and tell myself ‘I’m a good person’ for while. Then once I could genuinely let myself believe that, I moved onto ‘I appreciate myself’. This wasn’t too hard. But finally I moved onto ‘I love myself’. This took a very long time to finally convince myself that I was worthy of my own self love.
It might seem cheesy, it might feel forced. But until you try it and REALLY stick with it and REALLY mean it…You won’t know what you’ve been missing out on all this time. I’ll give you a hint…It’s you! You’ve been missing out on your beautiful self.
Lesson learned: Refer to last lesson learned.
All of these insurmountable tasks That lay before me All of the firsts And the definite lasts That lay in store for me There was a time When all on my mind was love Now I find That most of the time Love's not enough In itself Depeche Mode
The thing you are most afraid to write.
Write that.Nayyirah Waheed
See you next week. I hope I helped you. If only that little mini microscopic slight minor amount. I hope this helps.
Self awareness is progression