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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#97: An Organized Thought Inbox [Not]

As I re-read earlier posts (something I rarely do), I’m disappointed in myself that I let others' opinions of the information I choose to share get to me. I purposefully share my mind’s inner-workings as a processing mechanism, to force myself to explain clearly and to hold myself publicly accountable. It’s worth giving myself credit that life is happening so quickly that the right decisions may be to capitalize on opportunities in the moment, even if I don’t have time to fully process. However, I can improve at making time to sort through subsequent thoughts and feelings before they stack on top of each other. My Hinge profile says that one of my simple pleasures is an organized inbox - Something I’ve been missing at work and in my head for some time now. The more that piles on, the more daunting it becomes to organize. We all start somewhere, so this is likely the first of several heavier posts.

The “others’ opinions” that I refer to above are, you guessed it: former boyfriends. I’ve had the same number of official relationships in 2024 as I have since high school (two). As much as I feel like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill (no, I’m not being dramatic), I promise it’s net positive. I’m revealing more Gen-Z traits than I care to admit, but it’s worth reiterating that I won’t be in any relationship unless I’m fully confident and continue to have serious hopes and intentions. It follows that I remove myself from any relationship as soon as I’m not fully invested. As a result of not wasting my time or anyone else’s, relationships can be short lived. I’m still human with emotions and feelings at the end of the day, but for the sake of long-term well-being, I’ve invested in the ability to practice indifference when necessary. I also owe it to myself to be able to be appropriately excited and invested in each moment. I’m not about to miss out on the excitement of the real thing when it finally happens out of fear of another heartbreak. Regardless of what anyone says otherwise, the true moments of excitement will come eventually.

Willingness and ability to provide words of affirmation have become somewhat of a non-negotiable in a romantic relationship. As life will have it, more than one former boyfriends’ lack of willingness to provide reassurance highlighted an insecurity that must be remedied in order to have healthy relationships. Even if a partner wanted to offer reassurance, I wouldn't allow myself to accept it beyond the moment of its delivery. I’d nitpick actions, or suddenly complain that we hadn’t spent enough time together. Subconsciously, I expected a guy to show me that I was enough. When he failed to do the impossible, I self-sabotaged. That’s not fair to me or any partner, by any means. Oddly enough, I’m relieved that I’ve identified this as a major issue in the past, because it’s in my power to correct it. Of course, it would’ve been nice to realize it sooner and save myself the tears, but I prefer the narrative that it’s better that I didn’t. I hope that the right person wants to offer that reassurance, and would’ve been patient with me to help me see that so that I can correct it. 

Why don’t I feel like I’m enough? I’m incredibly fortunate to have such amazing parents. They never failed to put food on the table, provide unconditional unconditional love and support, and everything in between. In fact, they did such a great job that for 20+ years, I couldn’t think of a single thing they could have done better. You can’t live up to perfection.

Although my parents are damn near perfect, there’s always room for improvement – Is this true, part of the problem, or something we’re supposed to tell ourselves? I hope to follow in my parents footsteps, with a few adjustments that I’ll keep to myself, out of respect. I can only dream that I have two children to carry on the same ;). For as much of a mess as I am at 25, I’m still in decent shape to get there. I instinctively wanted to write that “Nothing is perfect, but when I can do the same for my children as my parents did for me, life will be perfect.” This statement forces the realization that I’m waiting for life to be perfect. There’s absolutely no reason to wait for anything to allow yourself to fully enjoy life. Furthermore, I’m implying that my goal in life is to be perfect, which isn’t possible if there’s always room for improvement. I’m stuck in the infinite waiting game. James Carse' Infinite Games reference. If I don’t evolve this mindset, I’ll never be happy, or enough.

I think this is the exact emotional turmoil that I’m supposed to work through in my 20s. I’m wrestling with something new nearly every week, but the fact that there’s something new every week tells me how quickly I’m learning and evolving. I don’t expect this to always be true. One day, ‘when everything works out,’ I totally see myself looking back at these nights of my 20s with nostalgia and chuckling. I don’t yet know what I’ll find the funniest. Probably all of it. Returning from the tangent, I refuse to “wait” for anything or anyone. I genuinely love the life I have now, and will regret it if I don’t enjoy the ridiculousness (growth) as it happens. As I’m told at work, keep it simple. It’s time that I let go of any idea of not being enough, or even being too much. It’s creating more problems than it’s solving.

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