Nothing Will Go Away Until It Teaches Us What We Need To Know

Running away from my problems used to be my favorite coping mechanism.

I can still fall prey to this old bad habit; I’ll hope people who bother me will disappear, or I will leave situations when I’m uncomfortable.  However, every time I do this the same people pop back up, and the same situations manifest in a different way… over and over again.

It’s a fact.

I could write about endless examples, but there’s one I have in mind which was so bitterly uncomfortable that I’m still surprised I got through it.  When I had a difficult roommate, I obviously thought the solution was to move.  To run away.  Despite receiving the silent treatment for weeks, I didn’t leave- and get this:

I was kind.

I still said “excuse me” when we would pass each other in the hallway, and I still tried to be considerate despite her obvious distaste for me.  Although I really had no idea what I had done wrong, I didn’t cower or run away- but I did later learn she had been secretly drinking.

It wasn’t even me that was the problem.

Old Kristin would have run away to avoid the feelings of rejection, discomfort, and anger- but New Kristin dealt with the situation, stuck to her guns, and now has a much better living situation because she stuck with it.

Completing things you started can be difficult- especially for someone like me who hates to be uncomfortable.  If you were to ask me in an interview today if I am a “team player,” I would probably stop lying and tell them I work best independently.  The truth is, I’m not a team player- I’m one of those kids who got frustrated in school and did the entire project themselves.  As a control freak and type-A person, I kept trying to do everything myself, over and over again, and do it MY way.

But those bad roommates will keep coming along, and so will team assignments.  It’s up to you to choose how to handle them today.

Maybe I do work best independently, and I look forward to the day I don’t have roommates anymore.  Nevertheless, as long as I remain teachable and willing to put down my ego and learn to live life differently than I used to, I’ll be just fine.

Sober Vegetarian Cat Person

Dating is a funny thing.

Dating is awkward as it is, but it’s even more awkward when you’re sober.  I used to drown my discomfort in a glass of wine, telling stories my date couldn’t follow, but since moving to Boston in 2016, I’ve barely dated at all.

Well, compared to when I lived in New York City, that is.

Sure, I’ve met people in various ways- traveling back from NYC on the Megabus, substitute teaching, through recovery circles, and on an app here and there.  Each interaction lasted for a very short while, most likely because I detected their bullshit and realized I was something much different than what they created in their mind.

Next.

This morning I noticed that The Fix quoted me in their recent article, “Are You Ready To Date Sober?”  Ironically, I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately.

My default answer the past year or so has been “I’m not interested in dating anyone at all.”  That’s actually not true, though.  I would be interested in dating someone- but only if they were interested in a sober vegetarian cat person.

I’m done with pretending I am someone I am not.

I’m also done with changing for someone, switching my views, or doing things I’m uncomfortable with doing- and I’m certainly not going to pick up a drink just to make you feel more comfortable.

Part of recovery is learning to love and accept yourself for who you are- loving yourself for what your heart says, not the world around you.  Despite being someone who prefers to stay in on a Friday night, sautéing up vegetables while drinking a seltzer, I’m confident there’s a lid to every pot…

and mine will be here when I’m ready.

On the Cusp- Who I Was, Who I Am

June 5th, 2014 (four years ago today!)- the day of my blonde chop.

This morning I looked at my horoscope- the Sagittarius one– as I’ve always felt much more like an archer than the goat.  Although I’m born on the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn, sometimes I wonder, “how could anyone consider me grounded!?”

One may say my head is often in the clouds and I have a relentless need for freedom, change, and adventure, but most wouldn’t consider me calm or cautious, like a Capricorn.  That said, I turned to my “Sag ‘scope” of the day:

“A sense of dissatisfaction that has been dogging you for quite some time now will at last begin to fade. You will instinctively know that you have found your niche in life and can follow your calling to achieve your dreams. You will be able to understand what changes must be implemented to make your health as well as your work much better.”

Spot-on.

This brings me to a common theme (or struggle): identity.

Although my haircut is the same as it was four years ago, I’ve spent a lot of these four years questioning who I am.

Have I been who I wanted to be? Or have I been listening too closely to what others have said?

I’ve lived a few different places, dated different people, worked different jobs; but none of things things have made up who I am.  Wherever you go, there you are– no matter what is stripped from you, whatever title you have, or whoever is by your side.  You always have YOU.

So, what do they have to say about Sagittarius, anyway?

Strengths: Generous, idealistic, great sense of humor

Weaknesses: Promises more than can deliver, very impatient, will say anything no matter how undiplomatic

Sagittarius likes: Freedom, travel, philosophy, being outdoors

Sagittarius dislikes: Clingy people, being constrained, off-the-wall theories, details

“Curious and energetic, Sagittarius is one of the biggest travelers among all zodiac signs. Their open mind and philosophical view motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life.”

Fitting.

“Freedom is their greatest treasure, because only then they can freely travel and explore different cultures and philosophies. Because of their honesty, Sagittarius-born are often impatient and tactless when they need to say or do something, so it’s important to learn to express themselves in a tolerant and socially acceptable way.”

Although I can 100% identify with the Sagittarius theme, it makes me wonder, “am I stuck in the clouds?  Do I need to be brought back down to earth?

So, I looked back at the blog posts from the past few days, and came to this conclusion:

My theme for June: grounding. 🙏🏻

What does that mean?  Well, it means quite a bit.  For me, the first things that come to mind would be to get out in nature, turn off the phone, meditate, read, relax, and most of all: sit still!  I often think my way into problems, or over-think the world around me. This has not only caused me anxiety, but has held me back from being my true self.

Once you re-center and become one with yourself, feeling comfortable in your own skin, you are limitless- no matter what your sign.

Although I’ll never back down from my adventure-seeking, curious nature, maybe I can stand to embody a little bit of my sea goat, after all. ✨

June 5, 2018- a little older, a little wiser, and maybe (just maybe), a little more grounded.