Saturday, January 20, 2007

stages

I started this blog to chronicle my first real foray into dating after earning the label of "serial monogamist" at much too young an age. Now, with about 18 months of single time to my credit, I have lost track of where I'm at in all of this. For a long time I was aware of the stages you go through coming out of a long term relationship. From the grief, the disbelief, the looking for distractions, the rebounding, the self-doubt, the rehashing of every little thing to make sure that there wasn't something you could have done to make it better. Then the freedom starts to set in, but it's a slow process as you detach yourself from the dysfunction, from the patterns that you had fallen into and now see for what they were - protection mechanisms, scape goats. So you find yourself in the stage of unlearning such things, of looking at life and situations and relationships with a fresh eye, a new perspective. As I went through these stages I was always somewhat aware of where I was at - why I was doing what I was doing. I tried to give myself free reign to simply be, to explore things and to allow myself to think/feel/dream in ways I had stopped doing with a dysfunctional relationship at the helm of my life.

At this point I think I've made it through the stages associated with recovering from a break up. Trouble is, I don't really know where that leaves me. Does that mean I'm 100% ready for whatever comes my way? I know I have claimed (or at least alluded to) this in recent posts, but when the situation presents itself, how do I know I won't drag all the baggage I think I've stored away (or unpacked, if you will) out and onto the table with someone new? How to catch myself from making the same mistakes - and how do I know when I'm really ready, and perhaps more importantly, when the situation is right?

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16 Comments:

Blogger H said...

I don't have any answers. But I love your blog. You speak for a lot of us girls!

1/20/2007 2:46 PM  
Blogger Indiana James said...

It's not just the girls. :) I just figure this... We do what we feel is right at that exact point and time we find ourselves at in relation to someone else single or not.

It may not be exactly right and we may look back in horror, but we do the best with what we know right then and there. That's how we grow, it's an ongoing process and all the more enjoyable when you find someone at the same point.

1/20/2007 4:09 PM  
Blogger Peter DeWolf said...

I've been through something similar, yet have no real advice to give.

I think it is awesome that you are so aware and asking yourself these questions. That can only help in making sure that you are less likely to repeat the mistakes from the past.

1/20/2007 4:40 PM  
Blogger Airam said...

This is a tough one. I wish I had an answer for you but I'm still learning how to do this myself.

For me I've always had gut feelings about things not being quite right. My problem is admitting to it ... I always try to make things work as much as I can even if there is no point. My problem is being in denial.

1/20/2007 7:52 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

I guess there will always be that sense of vulnerability 'comes to love, no matter how much we think we've got it all figured out...

Love your blog, it validates my own experiences...

1/21/2007 3:06 AM  
Blogger Neil said...

I think if we all waited around until we didn't have any baggage, we would just stay home and watch TV for the rest of our lives.

1/21/2007 7:40 AM  
Blogger MontrealGurl said...

When you can unpack your baggage in front of someone else and instead of running away they hold your hand even tighter I think that's when the time is right.

1/21/2007 8:57 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

I agree with Montrealgurl.

And I'm the opposite of the serial monogamist (in a certain way). I'm usually single. But that's because I'd rather be alone than dealing with relationship bullshit.

As long as you are learning, you are doing the "right" thing. That being said, there is no right or wrong when it comes to relationships. There's no set path to take. It's a kind of a free for all.

And are there stages to singledom? I'm not sure. I think you just go through it, and you'll recognize whe you find a person you feel fits you.

1/21/2007 12:20 PM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

h - thanks girl! That means a lot coming from you!

James - you are right. Whether you're "ready" or in the right place yet - all you can do is go with what you know/feel (and not beat yourself up if it doesn't work out!). I think I'm getting better at this, but I think I'm still reacting to some feedback I got awhile ago that I jump in to quick sometimes...

Thanks Peter!

Maria - you are 100% right on the gut - and as to the other stuff, I think we've all been there!


Thanks Anne - and yes, as much as we'd like to - vulnerability is more or less unavoidable it turns out!

Neil - with shows like "The Office" - that wouldn't be so bad... Just kidding - you're right, we all have baggage, I just want to learn to cart mine with a bit more confidence. You know - like it's a Louis Vuitton trunk, not a beat-up duffel bag from costco. Nice to have you in my comment section, by the way :)

Montrealgurl - so, SO true. I think that very thing more or less inspired this post. I realize every once in awhile how I am afraid to address certain things and I have to remind myself that the right person isn't going to run screaming in the other direction. They are more likely to meet my 'unpacking of the baggage' with, "I have a sweater that will match that shirt perfectly." (Oh GOD I should stop with the analogies - this makes it sound as if the perfect man could be Carson from Queer Eye).

Eve - I love the sound of someone who "fits."

1/21/2007 4:16 PM  
Blogger b said...

believe in yourself.

you are THAT good :)

*hugs*

1/21/2007 5:54 PM  
Blogger Grad School said...

As with most things in life, I agree with Neil.

I don't think you should put pressure on yourself to get things "right" or be "perfect" in your next relationship because who in the hell knows what either of those things mean. The one thing I always tried to do was make decisions that would minimize regret. Kinda like that old saying, "I'd rather regret somethinh that I did then something that I didn't..."

1/22/2007 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you will bring the baggage with you. The baggage that you speak of is really just a group of experiences that have helped shape you into who you are today. Good, bad or ugly those experiences are now part of you. Will you make the same mistakes? Of course you may. We are all human and mistakes are what we are good at. How the mistakes are handled by you and your other will have a greater impact than the mistake itself. As far as knowing when it will be right and you are ready...my god woman, follow your heart and more importantly you need to listen to it. It will feel and be like a well played sypmphony. You won't be afraid to call him too much because everytime you call he is happy to hear your voice. You won't feel like your invading his personal space by stopping by because he wants you in his personal space. When you meet his friends he will glow (yes, straight men glow) when he introduces you. And you too will feel the same of him.

Random Guy

1/22/2007 2:28 PM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

b - you are seriously the sweetest - thanks!

GSR - I have already passed on the wisdom of that old saying, refreshed in my memory, to a friend confronting her own issues today - thanks for the reminder!

Random Guy - I can never tell if you are my biggest fan or my biggest critic (or perhaps both?). Either way - I think that last part is exactly what I'm looking for - and sometimes I give up hope that it's in the cards, which is a petty little fear, but part of my baggage none-the-less! Thank you for the reminder that it's ok to expect that.

1/22/2007 3:25 PM  
Blogger Polyacrylamind said...

The thing about life is that the best stuff happens when you are not trying.
Princess Laia says to General Tuck while being held captive on the Death Star someting like "the more you tighten your grip, the more star systems with fall through your fingers"
When i lost the girl of my dreams, i tried so hard to meet someone new...the ensuing "relationships" were a complete disaster.
I find that you have to hit rock bottom before you are able to appreciate what you have in front of you. Meditation is the ultimate metaphor of this...block everything out of your mind and then let things return slowly...extremely slowly...in fact see how long you can draw out the process of "coming back"

1/23/2007 9:06 AM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

Poly - good thoughts. I think I'm definitely in the "coming back" process - but there's probably still a fair amount of emtpying out I could still do...

Btw - I think you have one of the best blog titles I've ever seen!

1/23/2007 5:59 PM  
Blogger MontrealGurl said...

Megan - "I have a sweater that will match that shirt perfectly." Great great great analogy about choosing a potential mate. I've been having a lot more fun after learning pink actually CAN go with green.
Thanks for your posts, I love 'em.

1/25/2007 7:04 AM  

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