Has 2020 Changed How We View Relationships?

Yeah, has 2020 changed how we view relationships, whether romantic or platonic or any form of one.

If there’s one thing that I’ve thought about a lot this year, it’s been how human connection evolves during the changes this year has brought to our lives. It has challenged us in many ways, the level of intensity varying depending where you live and how drastic the changes have been to your everyday life.

It has broken so many connections and relationships, some that had been doing the work of dying out for some time, some that just died before they even started properly, some changed and broke in a ugly way due to how we operate in a crisis that just keeps on going.

The thing with crisis is that it shows our true nature, one way or another. We won’t be able to hide our true selves for too long before it all seeps out and we’re left with the truth and reality. Some are pure empathy and love, some are pure selfish ways of thinking ourselves first and blaming others for all that’s happening around us. We all end up going through these all in one way or another too, so no need to be all high and mighty either. None of us had the tools to be prepared for a worldwide pandemic.

In the end I think this all brings out the “ends” of our personality to the front, no hiding. When pushed to a corner, something is bound to happen. This has slowed us down, shown sides to our humanity that has been hidden due to the pace of living we’ve all been able to do before we were stopped.

Originally I had this idea of a piece about love and how romantic relationships have possible changed this year, as it’s been a topic I’ve spoken about with couple of friends and also thought about myself. But then all of that other stuff wanted to be written first.

Possibly because my track record with romantic love is not something I can boast too much about, not sure if I even would need to do that. Does anyone actually care in the end? We also tend to hide some parts of our past when it comes to love, it feels easier than to really tell how we feel about it all.

As we all know, love is absolutely terrifying.

There’s these certain “rules” in our society when it comes to love, or it feels like that these days. Like, don’t answer straight back to a text, you might seem too interested or eager. Act like you don’t care that much, because god forbid they would know you are interested or care about them. Ghost them when you loose your interest, yeah that one is a must. Overthink every text message like it’s a secret code to a space shuttle. Never say what you really truly feel in your heart.

BUT then at the same time we’re expected to be as open and honest as possible. So what the hell are we supposed to do?

I read that these days dating is harder because we’ve become so comfortable with being on our own. So it’s extra hard for us to let someone in to our lives, because we’ve build lives that are ours and exactly what we want them to be.

Makes sense in a way, or at least I see myself in that a bit. I would find it hard to welcome someone in my life right at this moment in a full blown relationship kind of way. There’s few reasons for that.

I’ve been on my own or single, however you want to call it for the past 5 years(shit it’s out there now) and for few of the first for a good reason. I had gotten out of a abusive and very hurtful relationship and knew that if I don’t fix my wounds from that, I would carry all that hate, anger, sadness, hurt to the next one and that person does not deserve something that has nothing to do with them. I wanted to heal, feel comfortable as possible in my own skin and just with myself. The thing is, I’ve never found it hard to be on my own, so this part wasn’t the worst scenario that I could think of.

Secondly, I had messed up my finances in my early twenties and one of the biggest things for me was to sort that mess. I wanted to figure how and what to do to fix my debt and hopefully be able to move on with my life. And not feel trapped and weighed down by the shame that all can bring. Because let me tell you, that is exactly what it does. But let’s leave that for another post.

Also, I had noticed that when it came to love, I felt that my own relationship with the idea of a romantic relationship might be a bit confused.

I remember in my late teens/early twenties I used sex as a way to “know” if someone liked me, and I know I’m not the only one with this. I know it’s partly because of an incident in my younger teens, where I was assaulted and nearly raped. That messes up your relationship with being physically close with someone you like. I’m very truly lucky that my first sexual experience was with someone who really liked me and who I liked, we were each others first true loves and the whole experience was a awkward and beautiful, just as it’s supposed to be. And we explored those early experiences together, that build a healthier base to that earlier experience. But when you’re young and trying to figure out yourself and all of that, physicality can kind of be a tool through it all, not always a healthy way but it’s part of it all.

It’s funny how these days my views of it all has changed quite a bit, I know myself better and because of that and all my past relationships I’ve learned what feels good for myself. I might be highly physical in all my human connections while still being very introverted, but also reserve certain parts of my physicality to only some.

I’ve never been big on one night stands because my mind just can’t handle the idea of having a connection and then just not having it when you wake up. And I’m fairly old school minded in general with good ol’ dash of romance thrown in. So try to be all slow paced and romantic and straight forward and you, when you are also impatient and always in a hurry because I guess I’m afraid of losing what I thought that I had. And did I mention overthinking, yeah that one, the dream as it’s also called!

So, I’ve been living it up on my own for the past 5 years with couple unlucky crushes thrown in there to keep me humble. I haven’t had sex in close to 3 years(well double shit), yeah thanks for asking I’m actually very used to it and it doesn’t bother me, it seems to bother others more if I say it. Not that I don’t miss sex or just the weight of a man on top of me. But there’s also this shame or guilt if I say it out loud, like we’re supposed to be trying someone new every week or what ever is the pace. Why is it so?

Why the fact that I feel that I don’t want to share my body with someone I’m not sure about is such a bad thing? For myself sharing myself and my body in a personal way means that I trust the person in way that I can share my insecurities and that special moment when you let your guards down and just enjoy yourself and your partner. That needs certain type of trust in my books. I don’t want to dim my passion for anyone.

So when will I get to the relationship part, maybe now. Though sex is a vital part of a relationship, to me at least.

I might have been single for too long for my own good, when it comes to how I think of the idea of a relationship. I might have seen too many romantic movies, definitely. But what I end up missing when I do, are the simplest things.

I miss waking up next to my person and then shifting close to be in their nook or spoon, I miss figuring out what to eat, I miss having inside jokes that make you look at each other in a certain way and smile in that one smile we all know, I miss being hugged from behind, I miss going for long Sunday walks to nowhere, I miss being held and hold someone tight who I love, I miss saying I love you in that different way that comes from saying it to your person, I miss arguing about something complete nonsense because we’re both a bit hangry, I miss being there for my person, to remind them that it all will be okay, to hold them when they feel it all, to be held when I feel it all, share laughs and cries, to be a person to other that is theirs. I miss sharing the mundane everyday life. Obviously I could write million more reasons.

This year I’ve felt ready finally, to have room in my life, to feel like I have it in me to try again. I have someone I’m interested in knowing more about, not a full blown crush but an interest. I’ve noticed that with the pandemic things move slower and I like it, even though my old ways of moving and knowing it all as fast as possible are trying to mess with my mind.

With my romantic mind, the idea of writing letters by hand and snail mailing them to each other, it’s just the thing.

I’m in a place for the first time where I truly want to get to know someone before anything else, to know who they are in a slow manner, maybe talking on the phone or facetiming. The idea of just talking and having honest and open conversations about everything just makes sense. Not having the opportunity to be physical with one another straight away, to ruin the pace and making things different before they need to be.

It would feel so “normal” to ask what someone thinks of me or if they are interested in knowing me this way too, but why the rush, is it needed?

I have absolutely no idea how I truly feel about this one or what they think of me, and I think that’s a good thing. If they even know or have figured out that I’m thinking these of them. Who knows! But there’s something about them that keeps me on my toes in that good kind of way. There’s this feeling of wanting to know more, but being able to go on with my days with no thought given to them too, which I like. This might be something to do with being a grown up, does it?

I guess the point of this suuuuper long piece is that this year has slowed down the pace of our lives, and I personally really like that. The relationships that I’ve held close and felt that are supposed to be in my life, have gotten closer and more open, some have broken off and left my life. All has been just the way they are supposed to be. There’s been a clearing of sorts. I’ve had difficult conversations with people I never thought could be as close to me as they are now, but there lies the beauty of difficult conversations, they tend to clear the direction of that relationship. If more of those conversations would be had, we would feel a lot better, that I know for sure. Some of those conversations have shown me the true colors of someone I never thought I would not have in my life like they used to be. Maybe I should just tell that person that hey I find you interesting as a person and would like to get to know you more, without it meaning that something has to come out of it. Or I just see how it evolves.

What I like is that I’m opening up to the possibility of someone being in my life again. And I think a real, good relationship while is forever a working progress should also feel fairly easy and natural. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my years on this planet, it is that communication truly is a key, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel at times.

So here we are, a piece that was supposed to be easy and clear, ended up being a true testament of rusty writing fingers finding their way on the keyboard and telling a tale of someone who’s figuring out her life as she lives it all.

And yes, I think 2020 has changed our views on relationships, it has made us slow down, think and communicate in a way we were in a too much of a hurry before.

Love hard and never forget to tell your people what they mean to you!

PMA ❤

 

It’s Complicated, My Relationship With My Body

You remember when you had the option to choose “it’s complicated” as your relationship status on FB? Or maybe it’s still there, no idea. Yeah, that came to my mind tonight while I was walking and thinking things, like I usually do while moving. It made me think of my body, or more how my relationship with my body has always been a bit complicated.

It goes to my relationship with food too, but I feel that those two are basically the same, at least sometimes.

I was walking, fairly fast and thinking how this can be my best when it’s only four years since I ran my strongest Ultra Marathon. And how I build myself physically from close to zero to that in only couple of years. Four years feels such a tiny amount of time that it just doesn’t make any sense when I think about it.

Around that time I was also in the best shape in how I felt about my body in general. I was strong and still curvy in the right places to me. I was at least 20kg lighter than I am now with my little over 90kg. Which is the heaviest I’ve ever been. And I can tell that it’s a lot to carry.

You feel this amount of excess on you in too many ways. I’m also in that age that things like this really make a difference. I remember how one day few months ago I was walking the stairs to home after work, and I realised how out of breath I was. It scared me and made me feel super bummed out. I was just thinking how did this happen.

I was really active kid, and I loved to move my body all the way to my early adulthood and then it just stopped. I remember noticing that if I don’t move my body or do nothing, I gain weight really easy. But I was also battling one of the worst depressions at that time too. And when I get depressed, I eat. Those two go together way too well in me. And my poor body went up and down while I went through my depression.

That’s how it’s always been. My body has to try to hold on while my head is having it’s “moment”. It’s gone from healthy and active to overweight and sluggish so many times that it’s scary to really think back. And now I’m in that overweight and sluggish in a way I’ve never been and while I got tired of my overall nothingness, I got tired of feeling shitty about my body too. But it’s not any easier to be patient with your body than your mind, probably even harder as you really have to do the work yourself. I can ask for help but I still have to move my body myself and think what I eat.

And it’s funny how we view our self worth through how our body looks, and how we think others look at us. On my walk I remember how I viewed my self worth through how someone else wanted me, in a sexual way, when I was younger. It feels so crazy but it felt really normal back then, in my early twenties. Basically if someone wanted to have sex with you, then you were something. In my case, that kind of behavior lasted really short amount time, which I am extremely happy about. But it doesn’t change the fact that we all still in our adult years have moments when we think our worth through the idea of someone wanting us sexually.

Even as a 35 year old woman I have moments when I think if that someone thinks of me, or if that person misses me, or was I just a weird weak moment? I am fairly sure I’m not alone in those kinds of thoughts. And it’s such a weird combination because why does any of those matter when it comes to how I view my body. But the reality is that even though I’m in a fairly good place with myself, the way I view my body and self worth, I still want to feel wanted. Like any of us. But when you have a hard time getting your butt moving and feeling better about yourself, it’s hard to believe that I could be wanted in that way too.

So, yeah, it is complicated. The relationship between yourself and your body. It’s all part of the bigger picture of how you think of yourself. And as lately I’ve had to face my fears and thoughts of myself, this is coming up too. On top of the actual fact that all of my clothes are just too small for me. And my stubborn ass doesn’t want to or more like can’t afford to buy bigger just for the sake of it. I want to be able to look my naked body in the mirror and be proud of my capable and strong body, and not feel like I do now, a bit disappointed and sad. But it is tied together, the more I move my body and do things that make me feel better, I slowly see myself and the world in a clearer way. But it’s just such a slow process that the willingness to keep moving forward takes all I have in myself and I fail more than I care to admit. I still am the master of I’ll start tomorrow or next Monday. And I wish I would realise that I’ve done so many amazing things already that I should know that I can do this now too. But I guess I just have to show it all to myself once again. I already have a goal in mind, but I’ll keep that to myself for now.

For me right now, it’s baby steps, slow and steady. Trying my hardest to be gentle but firm with myself. Remind myself that I really can do and be better for my own sake. This is for myself, no one else. Even with all those thoughts, but they just make me a human with real and normal wants and wishes.

PMA ❤

It’s okay to feel just the way you feel

DSC04815.jpgThere’s this bubble in me that I feel I want to write out, but it feels stuck. Like I don’t find the words for it. I know what it is and why I want to write it but for some reason it feels hard as hell. It’s about saying how I really feel about things in a world where we are almost programmed to doubt ourselves in every possible turn.

Couple of weeks back I had an appointment with my therapist after almost a year. I felt that I needed a tune up time. I didn’t know if I was feeling messed up from the grief of loosing Grandpa still, or a crush that haunted me back then with no reason, or did my depression just try to creep back. Or was it a weird combination of all the good and bad that had happened in such a short amount of time.

Around the same time I said my final goodbyes to Grandpa, I started the best phase of my life so far. I found a place to work I truly feel I belong. And we all know how important it is to actually enjoy our work because it does take a majority of our days. But this is not about my work. But do find yourself one of those ones you absolutely love. Just do.

One big thing I wanted to start, or that’s what I thought, processing with my therapist was my own relationship with my romantic relationships. I’ve not been the luckiest or the best when it comes to those. I have done my mistakes and been the one done wrong to. It always goes both ways when there’s two in that kitchen.

It’s probably around 3 years since my last relationship, the one that left me in such a raw open wound state that I wanted to take the time to take care of myself, especially after realising how much it all had affected me. Now those years later I’m very slowly feeling like I could maybe let someone in a bit. I could be open to having someone in my life. Or so I thought…

Funny thing about talking about it all to your therapist who’s been in your life for few years is that she really knows your ins and outs. She able to challenge you and call out you on your own bullshit. I thought I know what was bothering me, and in the end that was the last on the list. Not the first time that has happened. My curse and a blessing has always been the fact that I know and want to know myself pretty darn well. I’ve never been afraid to go down and dirty with my feels. But with all of that I’ve always been super sensitive to the pressure that comes from outside, until the past year. My tolerance for pure shit has just ended. I will call you out if you treat me like shit, and will cut you out if you keep doing that to me. Simple as that. Obviously there’s always people in our lives who we aren’t able to just cut because they are in a way casualty through others, I know how bad that sounds but don’t know how to explain it in another way. You get my point.

So, I went to see her feeling all messed up, and came out with the clearest mind there can be. That messed up feeling had been mostly about the pressure of people who aren’t capable of taking me the way I am. Hi from the highly sensitive side of me… God there are times I wish I wouldn’t need to be like that, but then again how cool it is to be like this!

I thought that I am ready for something, which I’m truly not. The thing is that if I would be a guy no one would even think of saying things like “but your clock is ticking, I’m sure” or “I think you just need a man in your life”… There’s something really unnerving with the thought of a woman being completely happy with her life the way it is in this age. I’ve worked so damn hard to be where I am right now, that I am just enjoying it all without the need of something else. My priorities are weird as hell to most, but could I care less, not really. Motorcycle licence and that bike are pretty damn high on that list. Just sayin’.

And to be clear this all does not mean that I’m in some “I’m against men” phase, nope. I’m in that “I’m open if someone walks in my life” phase. But even if someone walks in it, that doesn’t mean that I have to jump to something straight away. I am willing to see with time if something comes, without the hurry to know it straight away.

I was reminded by how something super simple can feel the best, and how we don’t always need to do something. That I’m grateful. I love connections and breaking those age old barriers in me, that life has build around the true me I am. I yearn to feel a different kind of connection than just a lust or physical one. That’s just too easy. Anyone can do that, but talk to me and challenge me, that’s the stuff I need. And then show me what else you got.

I’m also in a phase in my life where I’m able to watch myself in the mirror and smile that smile you do when you have a crush on someone, but I just happen to have that on myself. I’ve worked so hard and never thought something like this could happen. But damn, I’ve never felt so comfortable with myself and my life. This shit is the best I know. Doubting my truth is pretty low these days, which feels amazing. Being me in and out, and finding who I am and being proud of that is something I’ve moved towards for so long. Now I’m reaping the benefits with the biggest smile on my face.

We are almost programmed to not be happy with what we have or who we are, that being unhappy is a normal state to many. I have no interest in that. I have been that enough in my life. Being content is not a bad thing to be. It doesn’t mean that you stop moving forward and wanting more, no, it means that you’re able to appreciate where you are after all you’ve been through. Let that push you and make you question what you want in a positive way.

I have no idea what will come in the next year, only that I will make that motorcycle dream come true, and those couple secret projects I have been cooking. And if in that year someone great walks in my life, I’m more than happy to see what that brings, or maybe they have already walked in. Let’s see.

PMA ❤

 

Scars That Don’t Want To Heal

471567_10150877147547726_1778206004_oWe’re always evolving, growing. But certain scars take a lot longer to heal than others. Some moments in our past have gone so deep in our soul that it’s almost impossible to be free from them completely. What to do to those scars that don’t want to heal.

There’s huge contradiction between old and new, scars and newly shed skin, having closure and letting go and missing closure and not finding your freedom.

While my past haunts me at times and reminds me of how broken and torn my soul still is, I’m still human and thankful of that exact thing. Moving on and past things that have been so traumatizing, is not easy and especially when you actually want to deal them and not just forget and move on. But there are days when it all feels a bit too much and you doubt your whole being, with thoughts that just don’t make any sense. Like why this is happening to me and did I do something so wrong that I’m paying for my own karma now? Why someone deserves happiness and I don’t? Why someone’s life is so filled with love and I’m here mending my soul?

All of these thoughts make me feel really confused as I have more love in my life these days than ever before. Why some little thing can throw you completely off your course? How you can feel so loved and so alone at the same time? But I think deep down we all yearn to be loved by that one special, even when we know that we’re not alone and are so very loved by our friends and family. And admitting to yourself that you are nowhere close to being ready for any relationship with that special kind of love, because you don’t want to have any old issues when you enter something new, is hard when you feel lonely.

We’re so used to judging others and how they live their lives these days that we forget how big of an impact we’re able to do to someones life with just a simple little joke or comment. Everything is so public that it seems that it’s all free for whatever comes to our minds. And when someone is actually private and keeps their business to themselves we get confused and judge even more.

But at the same time, those people who are honest and brave with who they are and what they are going through, are the biggest inspirations to me. They truly wear their heart on their sleeve, like I feel that I am doing. Maybe I’m opening the door for people to judge me, but I would not want to live my life any other way. This is who I am and I’ve been hiding myself majority of my life and have no interest in doing so anymore. That probably will piss some people off, which is okay to me too, but please keep your judgement and comments to yourself, because in the end of the day they only tell me how you feel about yourself not me.

It’s human to feel hurt and in pain, and it’s human to feel anger towards someone who’s done you wrong. But it’s also very damn human to be able to feel happy for those who have hurt you if they seem happy. To me that shows that I have grown so much and don’t need to keep that pain of hatred in me anymore, but I also don’t need to understand why they did what they did. I forgive but certain things are harder to forget, though at the same time those experiences made me who I am and without them I would not know what I truly deserve and what I definitely don’t. So my intention is to be thankful for all, no matter how damn hard it feels some days.

It’s terrifying how we can hurt each other and how deep scars we can leave behind. The more you talk to and with people there’s this sadness of people treating each other so poorly, puking their own pain and scars to those who love them the most. It all makes it so much harder to trust in love and good, even when you have it in your life through your friends and family, but the void someone has left in you can suffocate the good of others. When someone destroys your soul with their carelessness, it kills the joy in you and you yearn freedom from that weight so bad.

“Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move
Freedom, cut me loose!
Yeah, freedom! Freedom! Where are you?
Cause I need freedom too!
I break chains all by myself
Won’t let my freedom rot in hell
Hey! I’ma keep running
Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves”

Beyonce – Freedom 

No one knows what lies behind the smile that is on my face, no one has the right to judge my why’s, no one who doesn’t know what I’ve been through has the right to doubt my strength and my decisions.

I’m who I am because of my past, I’m proud of myself exactly because of that. I’ve worked so damn hard. I’ve loved even harder and gotten so gut wrenching broken that I wonder to myself how I’m still standing, but I am. Deep in me I know and believe that I deserve love and good in my life, even though how much there’s reasons to doubt that. I have the right to get mad and be honest and open, that is what makes me so damn strong! I smile so wide because of this all, my laughter comes from the deepest depths of my soul because I’ve been hurt so bad. I respect and appreciate my struggle and march in the rhythm of my own drum. And for damn sure, I will love as much I have until now, but I’m not interest in anyone’s half ass attempts of using my time. I deserve better than that!

LOVE. ALWAYS LOVE. PMA. ❤

Watch Out What You Wish For…

IMG_2432Yep, watch out for what you wish for… Or it might even come true!

Little over three years ago I would’ve never, ever, thought that what is my current reality would even be close to being my reality.

Back then I was so depressed that I just wanted to fall asleep and never wake up. I felt so alone, even with a relationship and few friends. I was not happy. I was overweight. I had issues with my health but didn’t know what to do to it all. I was so tired of feeling tired and done all the time. I was tired of not feeling like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

And then I went to my first run, changed my diet, and all started changing to a better. Running saved me, it kept me alive, it changed my whole being, life and future. Who I am now and who I was before the whole journey started, I can’t even believe the change.

My whole life I’ve wanted to have few great friends in my life, and now I do. Or let me clarify, I have few INSANELY AMAZING FRIENDS! Once I realised that less is more in all aspects of my life, things got so much better. I’ve wanted to find a job for the last couple of years where I could use my creativity and write and be me, and now I have a dream job at a dream company. I’ve wanted to feel like I have a meaning and a purpose, now through my writing and being who I really am I have exactly that, I am able to be there for others and help them and listen and just share what I’ve gone through and hope that my journey could help them with theirs.

I had one of the most amazing conversations and things happening to me in the past couple of weeks. First my best friend, who happens to live in Toronto, Canada, asked me to be her Best Lady at her wedding. Which is like the biggest honor I could ever wish for, she made me feel like the luckiest and most loved person in the whole wide world! The thing is that she and me, we didn’t even know each other little over two years ago. We found each other through a mutual friend, who had read a piece written by both of us about depression. We wrote to each other and found that we can be there for each other through our depression and share our journey. Now, she is my absolute soul friend. ❤ Can’t wait to share her day with her!!

I had one of the best conversations with my other bestie, who also happens to be my colleague at work. We finally got the chance to really talk, like you talk with your closest friends who you trust so much that you can say whatever. I’ve missed him and our talks so much and realised during that how blessed to max I am with the people I have in my life. I got few people that keep me grounded, are honest, love me through it all, and are always there for me whatever. True friends! IMG_2443

I also think that it’s crucial to tell those people that they mean that much to you and thank them for all that they’ve done for you. So do that! ❤ Also say that you’re sorry when you’ve been a dick! And forgive yourself too, so many times that you believe it!

I’ve always dreamed of love, and be loved and love love love. And now I’ve found the best love there is, I love myself! Finally! It’s not some all day everyday joyride, but it’s real and I really do love myself!

Without loving myself like I do now, I would never been able to do all that I’ve done. Run Ultras, write to my own site and few others and to an actual magazine! Have the job opportunity I have now. Have friends all over the world. Feel like I’m a proper citizen of the world. There’s so many amazing things that I’ve made happen for myself because I love myself. I also have more love in my life than ever now, maybe not the one, but the amount of love and how loved I am conquers all!

We all need to appreciate what we have, take a little step back and really see how insanely amazing our lives are. I might not have what you “should” at my age, but I have more than ever before.

Pretty much all the things I’ve hoped to have in my life, have come true. Talking about the law of attraction! So be careful what you wish for, they might really come true!

LOVE. TRUST. LOVE MORE. BELIEVE. DANCE. LAUGH. SAY THANK YOU. BE GRATEFUL. LOVE SOME MORE. PMA. ❤

By Narriyah Waheed

By Narriyah Waheed