Secret Life of 30

Vulnerability

Sometimes I feel like an idiot.

I’ve never opened up to anyone before now and, to be frank, I don’t like the way vulnerable feels.  That said, I know I am in charge of that.

When I was trying to save my marriage, I took a quiz regarding the 5 Love Languages as directed by our counselor.  I took it and was told that my Love Language was “Words of Affirmation” which essentially means I need to be spoken to.  I need words to affirm how I feel or that I am doing the right thing or that I am liked.

I just took it again with the thought that maybe my Love Language has changed given that I am no longer married and I am no longer under the thumb of someone else’s expectations or needs.

Love Language

Welp, as I expected, it’s changed.

So, Quality of Time: In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.

And as I already knew, Words of Affirmation: Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.

I can’t say disagree with these.  Anyway, I thought it was interesting to say the least.

As I said, I am feeling particularly vulnerable of late, but I think that’s due to an unrequited expression of emotions.  I’m sort of in this vacuum of space that I’ve never been in before.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time, but I hadn’t figured out how to put it in words.  I am still not entirely sure.

Let’s make no mistake, I am happy.  My life is significantly better than it’s been since I was very young.  I am able to manage my stress in a way healthier manner, I spend more quality time with my kids, my work life has improved and tbh, I just like myself a whole lot more.

I am more myself than I have ever been.  I think that’s why it’s important to be vulnerable now.  I don’t think I am otherwise going to be capable of the kind of love a partner deserves.  It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and watch a relationship from afar and sort of map it out and modify it as needed, but it’s entirely different (and healthier, and more meaningful, and literally real) to live in the moment.  To exist emotionally in a moment.

For a very long time I was convinced that I would not be able to love anyone other than my children and even then I worried that my profound love for them was existent because they are, in essence, extensions of myself.  I hope that’s not true.

In writing this I literally thought, “Pft, quality of time, that’s bogus”, but I just scrolled up and re-read the explanation and you know, quality of conversations is incredibly important to me.  I love to talk about the most mundane of things to the most irrelevant of things.  That’s pretty important to me.  I haven’t had many people in my life who I have been able to talk with consistently.  I’ve never had ANYone in my life who cared, much less who knew about the facets of who I am.  Generally one or two facets will do and I am not required to show any others.

In the past, I spent a lot of time watching people.  Trying to figure people out.  I’d like to think I’ve gotten rather good at it, but that aspect of who I am has left me incredibly incapable of believing who anyone puts out there for the world to see.  Does that even make sense?  It makes sense in my brain.

I was driving this morning and couldn’t put my finger on what I wanted to listen to.  No book felt right, no podcast either, not even anything on Spotify.  That’s when I knew today was going to be weird.

I am actively working on being more vulnerable.  I am allowing my walls to come down and even if things don’t work out the way I hope they will, I think I will be okay.  I guess in a way, those words of affirmation need to come from myself to myself and that quality of time can be spent with myself and on a piece of paper.

I am enough.  Even when I am afraid I might not be.

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