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As a kid I formed strong friendships. My mates were everything to me. We fought, played, talked and had the best of times. But adolescence came flooding in and with it a whole set of issues, not least girls.
I had a couple of crushes. None of which were realistic. I was the awkward kid with glasses. The geek. The girls I crushed on were beautiful. Even at 16 they were destined to be beautiful women; and indeed are.
I was shy in front of girls. I’d do silly things. I’d try too hard to be liked. None of it worked. I was just the clown. I had two things going for me, I could draw and I was into cool things, like football. Football was a cool thing to be in to as a teenager when I grew up.
But I had this awkwardness about me that held me back. Some days I’d just want to hide away and sit at my desk making arcade games on the Atari.
Every time I reached out to somebody whom I really liked I’d get knocked back. Every damned time. It took its toll.
By college I’d taken my glasses off and discovered beer. Things changed. I developed a little too much confidence and found myself meeting girls. I dated and hung out with girls much more.
At 21 I was engaged to be married. It lasted a year before falling apart. On reflection I was too young and far too immature.
By 24 I’d met the woman who would be my wife.
My point here is that my confidence was created artificially and my ‘active’ period (for want of a better phrase) was relatively short.
I’ve spent the vast majority of my adult life in a relationship. The same relationship. When marriage failed I was suddenly cast out into that same wilderness I found myself in as an awkward teenager. I was horribly unprepared.
In the four years since that happened I’ve formed some strong relationships with women. I’ve dated a few times. But I’m still stuck. I’ve recently been stuck in that awful scenario where I like somebody far more than they like me. At least in a romantic way.
This is an awful situation to be in. Friendship forms and blossoms but when that is stretched on the part of the other person, it becomes awkward.
I’ve tried so hard not to do this. I’ve tried really hard not to fall but I fell and fell and fell, so much so that the only possible outcome was to crash against the stone floor like a rag doll.
It’s nobody’s fault but my own and stems from being inadequately prepared.
My teenage years ought to have prepared me for this but I didn’t use them so well. I lived a shallow and hedonistic lifestyle forging brief relationships that meant little to either party.
So why include something like this in my Positivity Journal?
Well, it’s simple. It’s cathartic. It helps to pour out such emotions in order to move on.
To move forward I first need to recognise where I’ve been weak or where I’ve failed. I’m not a fan of suggesting failure. It seems too easy, too negative. But it’s a powerful emotion and one that can probably boost my desire to move on.
I recently dreamed a scenario whereby I had turned up at a party with the sole purpose of meeting and getting it together with somebody whom I desired a great deal. Only to find her in bed with another guy.
The impact on me when I woke was devastating. I asked a thousand questions of myself. Why should I feel like this? Where did I go wrong? Am I really such a failure?
That wonderful scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams embraces Matt Damon and repeatedly tells him ‘it’s not your fault’ came to mind. Damon’s character broke down for the first time in the movie. It was powerful and beautifully acted.
I reminded myself continuously as I showered that none of this is my fault. I’m a good person and good things will happen to good people. If there is a change to be made it is to not try so damned hard. Just be myself. Live a positive life and enjoy the things that matter most; my children, my creativity, my independence, spending time with friends. Don’t force anything. Just place yourself in the kind of environments where you can flourish and be happy and happiness will present itself.
Positive actions leading to positive outcomes, and all that. Karma, if you will.