Be vulnerable they said…

Spread Love! by Vinoth Chandar

After having fallen in love with Brene Brown’s famous TED talk and read a couple of her books, I’ve started to get to know the theme of vulnerability better, both on a more academic level, by reading anything on the topic, and on a personal level, by testing my ability to allow myself to be vulnerable.
It turns out a lot of great things happen when you allow yourself to be seen the way you are, great experiences seem to be waiting for you once you start your vulnerability journey. And, since that’s the way I function, I even got to fantasize about how invulnerable my new vulnerability-exploring-self was starting to be.
That’s exactly when life, real life, called me back to order.

I’m single right now, I’ve been single for almost two years now. I can actually say that I’ve been single for all my life, if I exclude a brief pause a couple of years ago.
And let me put it straight: it sucks.
I’m not one who can’t live without a boyfriend (I would have died decades ago if I were), I’m not one who can’t appreciate her freedom and independence either, but it comes a moment when all that freedom and all that independence are ready to be shared with someone else. It comes a moment in which, while having a rough day at work, you wish you could think “Oh, who cares, I’m going home tonight and there I’ll find the guy I love and who loves me back”. It comes a moment in which, after having said rough day, you wish you’ll hear him whispering his good night before you go to bed. It comes a moment in which you feel a bit lost among all the things you have to manage, think and worry about and you wish you could know you have someone beside you helping you out of that maze, or that at least someone who can support you, or that at least someone who can understand you.
But then you realize you haven’t got that special someone for you, you realize that you’re not that special one for anybody else.
And it sucks.
Most of all, you realize that you went through therapy collecting amazing results, you’ve been growing up a lot on a personal and spiritual level, you’ve been learning a lot on the person your are, the person you want to be and what’s needed to become that person. You realize that your practice of vulnerability, self-compassion and self-love, despite being pretty new and requiring still a lot of work, have been producing great results in your life. But no, nothing has changed in that department. You’re still the girl you were at the high school, almost 20 years ago, the one who secretly thought she was going to be alone forever and deemed herself so worthless of love (and attraction) that she was pretty sure she deserved that future of loneliness.
Well, I’ve changed a lot since then, I’m way more attractive today (I have to admit it despite myself), I’m way more open in the way I relate to the people around myself, I’m a little more confident about the fact that there are some possible reasons why a guy could fall for me. But still, there are moments in which that girl comes back and it hits me in the stomach.
It happened few weeks ago, when I realized that the guy I have been fancying about in the last months is very probably just being nice to me, the way he is with everybody else. When I realized that his interest in me is just the kind of interest you may have for a friend, not even a real close one.
It happened again few hours ago, when I realized another friend of mine has probably started a new relationship with a new girl.
It happens every time I feel alone, turn myself and realize I am alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got my family, they love me and I love them. But I’m talking about some good smooching on the sofa too here.
So every single time that little old voice gets back haunting me: “You are alone, again. Everybody around is able to start a new relationship, to find their companion for life, or just for a period. You’re not able to do that, not even for a single day. You don’t even know where to start from. Nobody really likes you, nobody is really interested in you in that way. You’ll be alone forever, you’ll get old alone, you’ll die alone. The joys of a love relationship are not available for you. Creating a family, having children, you better forget about that. And you know what? You probably even deserve that.”
Well, for being a little old voice, it talks a lot. And it doesn’t sound nice at all.

I’ve been practising being vulnerable, I’ve let myself be myself and be seen, I’ve showed this guy that I’ve got some interest in him, but still the result doesn’t change. He doesn’t like me, at least he doesn’t like me to the point of asking me out, for example.
I know he’s not the last man on earth, the point is that my history of often being desired by someone I didn’t like and, even more often, of falling for someone who wasn’t interested doesn’t help me at all. I can see a clear trend and that’s the trend that leads me to being an old, bitter and sad spinster, scolding the children living downstairs because they’re being too noisy. (oh God, please forbid).

The point is that being the old me, I got nobody to love, being the new me, I still ain’t got nobody (thanks Louis, you just lifted my mood a bit).
And right now, I’m a mix of disappointed, tired, bored, angry and tearful.
I’m able to do anything I’m asked to. And that goes from resolving complex equations to translating from Latin, from organizing literary contests to winning literary contests (and by the way, I didn’t win those I organized), from being selected among the most talented employees of my company for 3 years in a row to being able of winning my fear of public speaking, from solving logic exercises quicker than average to being a pretty good baker. But that crazy little thing called love (yes, I’m in the mood for music quotes today), well, that just drives me nuts. I have no idea how it works, I have no idea how I could ever make it work for me.
What I know, and I’m being very vulnerable right now admitting it, is that I wish that miracle of falling in love with someone and realizing he’s in love with me too could happen in my life. What I know is that I wish that someone would take care of me the way I’d take care of him. What I know is that I want to be looked as if I were the most beautiful girl in the world, by the boy I consider the most beautiful one in the planet. What I know is that in those nights where I can’t sleep, I wish I had someone by my side to turn to and lean my head on his shoulder.
But I guess I have to work with what I have right now. And right now I have a pout on my lips and two disconsolate eyes, I have what I have learned about the importance of respecting and loving myself. So I’ll try and do my best loving myself, feeling my feelings and making space for some kindness towards my own person.
Most of all, I have the wish and the resolution of working on (and beat the crap out of) the thought that keeps telling me “You’re alone now and always will”.
Wish me good luck.

 


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