I used to feel guilty for not doing things I don’t want to do. Now, I still feel guilty, but I at least am starting to learn why.
My guy tonight (randomly, I might add) decided to start going back to jiu-jitsu. If you read in a previous post of mine, I used to love jiu-jitsu. We met because of a shared interest in jiu-jitsu. He expressed on New Year’s eve, that he was completely sold on me because of a competition I competed in during the first 2 months of us dating, where I choked a girl out (and won 1st place because of it). Apparently, it was all over for him when he saw this. He was convinced I was a grade-A badass.
I didn’t know that. And his confession of it made me feel kind of disappointed in myself for a brief moment because of the fact that I am currently in a decision on whether or not I even want to continue in jiu-jitsu at all anymore.
It sucks when you don’t want to do the things anymore that made other people fall in love with you.
He asked me this morning if I wanted to go with him. I actually took time to consider it, but determined that it wasn’t something I wanted to do tonight. There are so many areas in my life right now where I feel like I am having to start all over again where I had made significant progress before. I really didn’t want yet one more thing on my plate that made me feel like I am at bottom of the rung (plus, I am still trying to decide if I even like jiu-jitsu anymore). And while I am making slight progress in the other areas of my life (well, progress over the past few days – but it counts!), I just felt tired at the thought of having to add this one to the list, too.
And for a brief moment, I felt the guilt. Perhaps it’s not guilt, but rather a tinge of shame (I can’t quite tell the difference most of the time). All I know is I just didn’t feel excited to go at all, and determined this was a decision I that I could make quickly and not expend much more thought or energy towards.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a big believer that in order to progress we have to start over (and over) on many things. You have to be at the bottom to even begin your ascent to the “top.” You know the old adage, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Blah, Blah, Blah.
I get it, you have to start somewhere. But I am feeling this “starting over” in the side businesses I am focusing on. I am feeling this in my workouts. I am feeling this in my social life. And I am feeling this starting back to work today after a holiday – just like I feel it every Monday starting out the new work week.
Why does life feel like just a giant a series of first steps right now? C-mon Universe, throw a girl a bone here! Or at least disperse a little more enthusiasm and energy to help me along the way, right?
My guy asked me to go to jiu-jitsu tonight. And I said no. I had a brief moment of trying to explain to him why I didn’t want to go, and made myself tired in my explanations. And I realized, I don’t need to explain it. I just don’t want to go. Period. I don’t need to justify my decisions to you just because I think you’ll be disappointed in my choices. Those are my choices. I am the author of my life. And if these choices disappoint you? Well, sorry bruh. That sucks (mostly that you’d be disappointed by something so petty), but still not going to do it. I am acutely aware of the things I may regret later in life, and missing one class again tonight, isn’t one of them. (Sadly, this line of thinking is starting to play out in my work more and more these days too. Whoops – probs not the wisest approach if I would like a raise for my efforts later on…)
Now, I don’t advocate this line of thinking in everything. If he was expressing some behavior I was doing that was harmful or hurtful to him, I would consider it with the utmost care and compassion, since I know that would cause a deep sense of regret if I didn’t evaluate or change my actions (or non-actions) in an effort to deepen our emotional connection and development. But me going to jiu-jitsu just so I preserve some exhausting badassery image you might have of me, just isn’t one of those things.
It’s like I am working out my free will here. And yes, it feels gross and mean (working through your own shit doesn’t ever feel fun in the moment). Like, I have these thoughts – am I betraying something that once brought us together (jiu-jitsu)? Am I changing the game on him here – pulling a bait and switch? Which, God no. I am not. I never said I was always going to practice jiu-jitsu; I never made some arbitrary life-long commitment to it. I, of course, know if I wanted to be going to jiu-jitsu – I could be an even bigger badass than I was before. But I currently don’t care about going to jiu-jitsu like I once have. It doesn’t mean I won’t ever feel like that again – I don’t know if I will or not. But right now? No. It’s just not a priority.
So while it feels gross and mean, on one hand, on the other hand it feels really empowering. Because, It’s another place where I am having to really give myself permission to just be where I am at, even if it makes other people feel disappointed in me.
And that shit is hard, man. I don’t like not meeting other people’s expectations of me.
But that seems to precisely be the theme of the last year – Being okay to disappoint. Being where I am at, and maybe where I am at is disappointing to other people (my guy, my boss, my family…). And that’s okay.
Truth be told? I don’t want someone who wants me just because I am good in jiu-jitsu (or my job, or because I called or didn’t call). I don’t want someone to pressure me to stay where I was because they liked some superficial aspect of it. If I am honest, I want someone who sincerely encourages me to move in and out of experiences as I feel led, giving me the grace and support to do so. I want someone that respects that I go hard and heavy into something, and then may change and move entirely onto something else. I want someone that even celebrates that; someone that appreciates that, that is me. Even when it may be frustrating.
But, I know it’s how I am wired. I become a mini “master” of whatever I am interested in, and then drop it, and move along to the next thing. My mom refers to these experiences as my “juicer” – because I was all about juicing fruits and veggies for about 2 weeks, aaaaand then never used it again. And I am okay with this. Why do I feel like I have to make other people okay with this?
I am not saying my guy is necessarily this way. He is okay to go to class alone. He may have a bit of disappointment that I am not really into jiu-jitsu anymore, or maybe that it’s because I am not doing it with him. But he does at least let me forge my own course over and over again (even though I don’t think it’s something he necessarily appreciates about me – I feel like it may be more tolerated than celebrated). And he may not always recognize it as a process of forging my course… Shit, he probably [erroneously] chalks me up to being a bit of flake, but the thing is? That is okay. It’s my process. It’s my way of exploring the world and all this world has to offer. He doesn’t have to fully understand it. He just has to either learn to appreciate it (which might take some time), or cut ties to me because of it (if he loses too much respect for me, because of it). And I am okay with either path – because he’s a free agent too. He gets the choice to determine if he wants to be aligned to someone like me.
But most importantly? I am learning to be okay with it. I know I am making people feel disappointed, and yes that part feels so gross and yucky… But I appreciate that I am wired this way. I like living this way and finding excitement in the next thing. I am learning to be more comfortable in my own skin with this.
And Damn, it feels good being in my own skin.
Sometimes it’s just good to be a disappointment.