Taryn digs deep

*WARNING: It’s about to get all Dr. Phil up in here.

I’ll be blunt, working through your feelings is annoying, tedious, frustrating, necessary, healing, and all of that stupid stuff. I get that it’s crucial because it helps you grow and mature as a person. But dangit, it’s hard.

Admittedly, I love/d being numb. It allows me to float through life and not feel. Avoiding things/feelings means that I don’t have to try or put any emotional “skin” in the game. To that end, my subconscious has been dealing with me in that even when I try to “go numb” it has this precarious way of forcing me to confront with what’s going on with me.

I’ll give you an example. My dad puts out daily devotionals of which I edit. I also help edit and format them into books. I don’t mind doing it, especially since what he has to offer is quite beneficial for readers. Today, as I was going through his latest manuscript, I couldn’t help but notice how he phrased the dedication section. Normally he lists my siblings and me chronologically. This time, he grouped it by kid and spouse. While this seems innocuous on its own, the salt in the wound stems from my Dad’s bias towards marriage and family.

I just finished a stint in Vegas visiting my family. It was a great time as I love seeing my family. My brother recently got re-married to a wonderful woman whom I also share a birthday with. I could not be happier for him, especially since she is a great person and her family is pretty awesome too. This new edition to my family has gotten my father to reignite his “marriage and family line” diatribe.

I will wholeheartedly vouch that in terms of parents, I hit the jackpot. I couldn’t ask for more supportive and loving parents. That said, my dad loves his family. So much so that every conversation usually has some lowkey marriage, partnership, and children slant. Seriously, the man does not shut up about the sanctity of marriage and child-rearing. Now, I don’t have a problem with either of the two. But, as of right now, I don’t want either. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t know if I will ever want them.

So back to the dedication and my reaction to it. Thanks to my recent sobriety stint and leveling up in self-awareness, I realized why it bothered me. While my dad has always told me he loves me and he’s proud of my accomplishments, it’s no secret as to what he values the most– marriage and grandchildren. I’m 0 for 2 with no signs of changing the score anytime soon.

Even though I’m happy with my choices and am stoked about where I am headed, the Ego in me feels incredibly inadequate and pissed. So much so that I’ve been unconsciously avoiding my dad’s calls.

I mean, I’m kicking butt and taking names. I’m in a position where I can focus on my art, my craft. I have my autonomy and I know how to use it. Why isn’t that enough? Why does it feel like the only goals worth bragging about are getting married and popping out children? It wasn’t until I saw the dedication page that I figured out this was bugging me.

This isn’t my dad’s fault, it’s mine for internalizing this feedback. Admittedly I am quite guilty of putting people’s opinions above my own. I can’t change people’s perspectives or views. I can, however, change how I react to them. I’m learning how to accept my choices and be proud of them. I can’t live my life for others. While part of me wants to go back to living with my head in the sand, I can’t help but admit that I feel better chipping away stuff in my head.

So, that’s it for this post. It’s weird being this transparent, especially to myself, but I suppose I won’t get to where I need to go if I don’t dig deep. On a side note, I will be posting my first podcast episode this week. I didn’t realize how much time I’d need to learn GarageBand. That and I’m being a “precious perfectionist” about the quality. Anyway, stay tuned for an announcement this week!

It’s Not You it’s… Oh Wait, it’s You

The relationships in my life are incredibly important to me. Whether they’re romantic, familial, or of the friend variety, I respect and love the people that I share my life with. With that being said what happens when that relationship seems to be wrecked beyond repair? A friendship for example; after a gnarly argument, how do you get back to the place before words were said and feelings were hurt? Is there a point of no return and all hope is lost? These are questions that I’ve been wracking my brain with for the better part of 2 months.

I pride myself for not being able to hold a grudge (or so I thought). Typically, if I get into a tiff with anyone whether I’m right or wrong, the storm doesn’t last long at all. I just don’t see the need to hold onto such animosity for a long period of time. I just don’t have it in me. I understand that arguments/misunderstanding are apart of life and they will always happen. More often than not, bonds are usually strengthened after a fight in my experience.

I tend to adopt boxing rules when engaging in an argument. My requirements when dealing with conflict is that both parties A: fight fair,  B: No blows below the belt or kidney (metaphorically speaking of course), and C: after all is said and done everything is left in the ring. Now, in my 23 years on this earth, these methods have worked well for me, so much so whenever I am faced with an argument, I’m not even phased with it because it’s only a temporary thing. One thing I’ve learned, is not everyone plays by the same set of rules.

I’m always about fairness; quid pro quo if you will. I don’t put much stock in astrology, however as a Libra, I do believe they were spot on when it comes to my need for things to be even. When I argue, I typically stick to facts and how they made me feel. I also  am a generous apologizer if I am the transgressor, and I expect my “opponents” to give me the same curtesy  Unfortunately, in this world not everything is fair. “Fair? Fare is what you pay to ride the bus. That’s the only fair I know.” If you’ve watched the first season of Weeds then you’ve heard that line. As much as I hate to admit it, there is a whole lot of truth to that statement. But I’m getting off topic.

For the first time ever, I am having an extremely difficult time letting go of an argument. First, the fight definitely was not fair. Second, low blows were dealt that I’m still recovering from. Third, obviously not everything was left in the ring by both parties involved. This one definitely did not fit neatly into my box of “how to argue fairly”. After “smoothing things over, I find myself questioning the integrity of the friendship.

I am not someone who freely shares feelings with people. My thoughts are my own and for the most part are tightly kept in my crazy little brain. So it really stings to have a friend that knows you well, use your thoughts/feelings against you. It’s quite cruel actually; and during my latest argument, that is exactly what my friend did. I was definitely taken aback by the hostility of what occurred, it was like an argument that you would have with an enemy, not a good friend. Even now, I still feel the sharpness of her words and it still hits hard. Granted, I could have taken pot shots too, but it’s just not in my nature. I sure as hell thought about it though. I have forgiven my friend and I am not longer upset with our initial problem, however that argument did open up a new can of worms now I’m at a crossroad.

My dilemma is this: now knowing what I know, how do I go back to business as usual? I have no desire to share things with that friend anymore; not after seeing her carelessness of my feelings. Maybe with more time, this will blow over. Our friendship seems more like a mirror that has been broken into tiny minuscule little pieces that have been glued back together. It’s whole again, but it’s definitely not in the same form that it once was.

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