I’ve only heard this song twice (listening to it as I write this). I can never say that I’m promoting the Biebs (even though we share the same name, I can’t completely hate on a Justin…), however, this Lil’ ditty made me think of some things.
Personally, I am learning every day how much I am hampered by the societal ideology of men being strong and unemotional. There are so many times where I feel like I have to react to things stoically or more accurately, suck things up. No one wants to hear a man bitching about how he’s currently feeling (ironically, people don’t seem to want to hear a woman do the same thing, go figure). It’s not in vogue to give in to such feelings either. Men are supposed to process things immediately and correctly. If you do anything less than that, you are incapable or you have been maladjusted.
This mentality, in addition to being the eldest child, has given me the special ability to laser focus on myself with such a sharp edge. Behavior had to be exemplary because I had a younger sibling or well contained so that I was not disrupting things. All this produces, is a cyclical tendency to stuff things down until they cannot be contained, followed by an explosion of emotion. Usually, I was able to hold on to these emotions until I was behind closed doors or until everyone else had gone to bed and I was free to feel the feels and process them.
My default behavior, when not feeling particularly ecstatic about things, is to jump into seclusion and lick my wounds until I feel as if I am ready to get back into the swing of things.
As of November, I have lost my car. As of January, I have lost my job. What does this mean constructively? This means that I spend a lot of my time these days, sitting in my room. I am less than optionally active and more than optionally secluded while the rest of the world does their thing. Now, thankfully, I have had the foresight to start a certification program through City College of San Francisco. Thanks to this, my days are not completely empty, but even studying and doing homework gets sad after a little while. Additionally, I am in a long distance relationship. Along with that comes all the normal concerns and issues that one might expect when a significant other is not in the picture traditionally.
What does one do about this? How is self-love accomplished? Well, the first thing is actually talking about my issues. Which is super difficult for me, because I am still hard wired to believe that people work out their own issues. While some of my friends can attest to my bitching, it’s not as bad as it really could be because I don’t want to burden people with a bunch of noise. Everyone has problems, who cares? The truth that I have to remember is that everyone has a need to be heard. I love helping people so much, but it’s so hard to give myself the grace to let people help me. It’s so difficult for me to believe that there are viable options for me to open up to and get my thoughts out. One way is this blog! A lot of people wonder why I can write some of the stuff I write here. It’s largely because I need some way to process and this is a judge free (to my face) way to get that done.
So. How can I love myself and get out of this funk that I’m in? I’m going to start by realizing that I’m not a robot. I have feelings, I need to express and explore those feelings. I have the right to do both of those things and pursue happiness. I also have friends. Friends are not mythical beings that I can swoop in and be there for, at any time, they are real people. They are real options for me to spend time with, to speak with, and to trust with my feelings as I process them. Friends are resources for the advice that I cannot give to myself, or refuse to acknowledge for myself. I’m also checking out some therapy options. Talking to someone and building trust is a challenge that I have to accept to push myself forward.
If you are my friend and you’re reading this, encourage me to chat with you. Open yourself up for conversation. The more that I do that, the more I’ll hear things that I need to hear that are not part of the lies/silliness that my head produces (in unfortunately mass quantities). If I’m doing a bad job of reaching out (I’m admittedly horrible at this recently), holla @ your boy. I should definitely get out of the house more often.
It’s time. I should go and love myself. Thanks, Justin B. (Never imagined getting any inspiration from HIM. Perhaps I should start crying right now…)