I don’t always say the right thing or follow the right formula.
Most of my 25 years of life, in the beginnings of my relationships with friends and lovers, I’ve taken what I have and laid it out on the table from the get go. A lot of what I have to show isn’t the prettiest, the corners of past situations or experiences often stained or torn at the edges, and the present definitely a bit cluttered. But I’ll punctuate it with my own hand crafted sense of humor when the goings get too serious.. unless this new person happens to share a lack of inhibitions about opening their heart, in which case we both tumble along.
Though I’ve gathered a slightly more conservative touch to this approach in the last few years, I realize again with a different angle that I’m just not good at small talk. I earnestly want to connect, be authentic, and be myself around others. I will admit that that I still have a long way to go towards authenticity, as sometimes verbal processing lends itself to a selfishness I don’t know how to avoid. But I’ve found that instead of pouring a drink to hang out and relate to others, I pour out myself, and I’ve done this my whole life.
If you are a friend, a lover, or a family member of mine, than you have gotten used to this awkward embrace of mine. Like the thoughts I have that I feel the need to clarify through questions-feeling energy and wondering where it comes from. Analyzing where assumptions come in. I read body language, tone of voice, and other little signs that all make me curious about the person I am interacting with. I am curious, analytic, and compassionate- so I tend to end up worrying at times. I used to think that this was a bad combination of things, given to me through anxiety and trauma. But now I recognize that they are me.
Of course, the way I interact with people often leads me to emotional one night stands. Many a time have I shared a deep conversation with someone, the kind of conversation that gets your gut feeling funny and your head feeling light- the vortex of their desire to connect a great energy draw. They offer to me that they don’t normally connect with people this deeply; that they’re not usually so honest or open about what they are going through.
And then, they are gone.
I used to mourn and feed negativity into these situations. After something so intimate, its easy to cultivate a sense of loss. But through reflection and growth, I now see them more as beautiful, unique gifts of time- moments and experiences I share with others that temporarily embrace the world I want there to be: one where we can speak from our hearts, share our pain, and hold space for each other.. a place of listening and empathy.
Honestly, a lot of my self-perpetuated anxiety has subsided by embracing my awkwardness, and I do believe that my willingness to share and hold space has helped bring a bit of the light into the world that I feel it needs. Being so open, it is quite a challenge though. It comes with depression at times, and exhaustion. That’s why its so important for me to hold onto my gratitude about experiences and to allow myself to remove attachment to them.
..Easier said than done.
But no matter what I experience, I still embrace my awkwardness, my openness, and my passion to hold space. My life has been so full because of it.