I had my heart broken today. And I'm sure you're thinking, Natalie, you wear your heart on your sleeve, you get your heart broken a lot, what's the big deal? Well, I can say, I know, you're right. But I want to cry UNCLE! Enough with the rejection already. I have had more than my fill of being rejected and rejecting others (because trust me, that takes it's own kind of toll on a person).
Let me start back a few months ago. My homecoming has been a mixed bag. I could have wept with joy every time I got to see a friend or realized how easy it was to hang out with the network of "gal pals" I still have here in Portland - and no doubt, I still feel incredibly blessed to have their support and to be able to support them through life. But the job I came into is not for me, or well it's making me realize that the angst I was feeling in my last job was more than just burn out or situational. So after lots of frustration and anger about being at work in something that didn't fit - I finally came to my knees with God. Begging for an answer. For a change. For something. I think that came in two ways. One in finding a career counselor who instantly recognized I was in the wrong spot and is helping me identify the whys and the whats would be better by starting from scratch and digging into how I want to feel and what causes those feelings - then pulling from her experience to point out careers based on them. And the second was probably an anxiety attack before work that triggered me reaching out to a psychologist for help.
I have since learned that I not only have anxiety (probably not the shock of the century) and depression. Both of those I realize are loaded words and probably thrown around too often in our society. But hearing the doctor say them was like a weight was lifted. The puzzle pieces started to fit together. Ah, could this be why I can sleep 8 hours or more every night and still feel exhausted every morning? Or is this why I could live in Europe and feel so utterly alone and sad in a space I always wanted to be? I think yes. The doctor made me feel good, in that she said I'd been coping fairly well, and that this trigger at work just brought it up. But that I should start to pay attention to myself more - notice when I'm anxious or depressed, what was happening, and to take steps to work through it (deep breathes, meditation, prayer for the anxiety and turning the depressed periods into something creative - as a lot of artists are most creative and focused when they are in their blue moods).
If you're as smart as I think you are, then yes, I can feel the depression lurking at the edges of my psyche. Of course, as I stated above I know the trigger. And I had an outpouring of love and encouragement today. As I'm trying to process this all in my head, I would say I'm doing better than normal (hear me out!).
1) I do not think my being rejected has anything to do with the way I look. I have come to appreciate who I am and what I look like. I do think I'm pretty and while I know I could lose some weight for a person of my height, I think all those art museums worked - I truly see the beauty in the curves of the woman's body and I can see those reflected in myself. And I am happy.
2) I do not think I was rejected because I was not smart. A lot of what I'm learning about myself, about how I process and my behaviors are, that I am smart and creative and I like the big picture. I know a wide variety of things and am by no means dumb.
3) I know that I 'dodged a bullet'. I logically get that, and I think even parts of my heart do as well, as I felt a weight release, I am finally able to 100% move on - though that doesn't mean I won't be processing the 'whats' and the 'whys' of what happened.
What is different about this rejection is trying to understand what I missed. Where did I go wrong. Why did I trust and open myself to this person. Is my ability to read people that off??? And why didn't I heed the advice of countless dating books or my past therapist. If a guy doesn't make an effort, he's just not that into you. I know that society has changed and the rules could arguably be thrown out the door. But I know that I am guilty of overthinking everything, when I think generally it's either F yes or F no for guys.
What I will do next about all this - I don't really know. I've been told if you want a relationship, you should treat it like looking for a job. And then I look back and go, haven't I already tried that? I've also been told, to let it go and it will come when you aren't looking. I have yet to have been able to fool my overactive brain into not looking or worrying about it. Even when I think I am not, BAM! I actually was.
All this to say, that tonight, after a rough day, I am putting my energy into something productive. I am piecing together IKEA furniture and pulling out my craft skills as I'm painting some of those pieces! Ack! At least I can look back on today, and feel my house is a little more put together, right?