‘Love and other jokes.’ was one of the very first pieces I shared with the interwebs a year ago during a time in which I was very hurt, emotionally vulnerable and existing in a very cynical frame of mind. So much so, that after looking over my list of helpful tips/hints for anyone wanting to enter into a relationship (whatever that means) with me, some editing needed to take place.
Life is, after all, all about growth and if you can’t be honest with yourself about what makes you happy and just how much can change in a year, you’re surely signing yourself up to weep quietly with regret, over and over again.
My last post was funny – or at least I thought so and it certainly wasn’t supposed to be taken as literally as it has been. There are things that still ring true. I’m still not into physically/spiritually/emotionally absent or unavailable humans or those who happen to just be super fucking beige pieces of stale white bread.
I’m still turned on by watching someone win me toys from claw machines and I still send screenshots to my best friend of every argument. Yes, I’m still very busy and important and will need any potential match to be able to entertain themselves and not need my constant attention or affection. Oh, just as an FYI my crazy Pinterest hasn’t been deleted and I’m still insatiable as fuck.
All of that being said, I’m a year older, wiser and stronger. I’ve had a few changes of heart and learned a lot about my boundaries, my dreams and my ability to recognise my needs. I’ m also fine tuning how to appropriately discuss those with another person too, I’m a work in progress.
No, it isn’t all about me but show me a healthy relationship or friendship that has ever truly flourished without unconditional self-love and understanding of each other’s boundaries and I might just eat my words.
So, after 12 months of hiding behind my funny and exhausting avenues by which to torture myself and those I love, I’ve narrowed it down to the big ones, the important shit, the stuff that is super hard to write but oh so raw; the real tips for loving me.
- I am confident and comfortable in my body. I couldn’t care less how that makes you feel or whether you are able to connect with a woman who doesn’t subscribe to a particular set of beauty standards. I will cover myself in glitter, I will have pink hair, I will love my stretch marks, I will not be anything other than proud of my belly, thick thighs and tits for days. I am more, I am the epitome of extra, I am me – totally.
- You’ll need to be patient with me. I’m only just learning to accept and ask for help. I’m just starting to figure out what I want to do with my life. I am not subtle or shy but my bark is often worse than my bite. I’m sometimes triggered, always opinionated and my stubbornness is relentless, none of which fill me with shame – anymore. I’m growing, evolving, adapting and not always going to get it right but my faults are as beautiful as the people who choose to see flowers where others see weeds.
- Honesty is the best policy. I’m struggled this year with timing, when to open up, when to say the things that need to be said, when to take ownership of the way I have made other people feel. For these things and so many others I am disappointed in myself Honesty cannot be a one way street, I can’t expect people to know when the rules have changed or when I’ve changed if I don’t find a way to express it. It’s not about offering every thought up as a palate cleanser between conversations and more about recognising the vulnerability and strength in remaining real and raw, even when it’s hard.
- I’m in love with love. I know I’m not the only one who finds more validation in feeling wanted, desired or needed than I’d like to admit. It hasn’t always been obvious to me but the reality of loving love so hard is no longer healthy to ignore. I’m officially committing to slowing it down, trying to remain true to myself and not allowing myself to create unnecessary drama or heartache by laying down foundations before I start to build anything with anyone. Not only is it unsafe to do it that way, it’s also unfair. Please don’t rush me, I easily fall into old habits and traps and I’m trying so hard not to.
- Communication is key but remembering when to be quiet is imperative. Anyone can talk in circles given the motivation, anyone can bare it all to an understanding ear but there is something beautiful to be found in the quiet. Something sweet in taking the time to listen to others and to yourself. Being heard is one of the most liberating and soul changing moments we can experience as humans but how will we ever know if we can’t stand to sit in the silence?
Other than the non negotiable needs like being respected, remaining open to receiving and existing in your vulnerability with a loving and patient heart and the ability to understand that change happens frequently and often without warning, that’s really it.
I’m taking this as a sign that I’ve evolved emotionally, unafraid of the unknown and content in my ability to consider the importance of removing superficial, materialistic and insignificant goal posts when it comes to dating, love and beyond. Wish me luck.