This was meant to be a funny post. But I’m sitting at my computer typing. And you know s*** gets serious when Georgia writes a blog post on her computer and not her phone.
I was talking with a dear friend yesterday about the subject of vulnerability. My friend is social, outgoing, affectionate and I especially admire her for her ability to dive into life head first with curiosity and an open heart. We were talking about relationships, and she was curious about my current approach to them.
Well, *Georgia clasps hands together* … let me tell you a little about what this dorky schizophrenic has thought about the world of relationships (and vulnerability) in her 28 years on this planet.
Basically, I’ve never been in one. I struggled with things like reading social cues and taking initiative before I got ill – and after I got ill, the focus was mainly on recovery, not finding a partner. This has given me pleeeeeeenty of time to think about the subject.
As I’ve written about before, I’ve had crushes. I’ve been on dates. I’ve been rejected (ouch). I’ve rejected others (double ouch). I’ve been confused, curious, interested, quiet, pensive, hurt, sensitive and, at times, felt like I wasn’t good enough.
I’ve been on dating apps, tried them out, deactivated them again. As I told my friend yesterday, sometimes I’m invested – other times I’m not. It really all depends on what time of the day you find me in. But, basically, I’m super-happy with my life and don’t ‘need’ a partner to fill any gaps.
This is not to say it wouldn’t be nice. But nice is different from necessary.
Hollywood rom-coms would make you believe that being in a relationship is the ultimate ‘thing’; my friend described how society seems to believe that being single is an ‘undesirable’ state to be in.
But it’s not.
Being single is the epitome of freedom. You can pretty much do whatever you want, whenever you want, and you don’t have to take someone else’s feelings or opinions into consideration. Of course, we all have commitments, we all have people we care about and a willingness to help others; I’m not saying that one should be completely indifferent to other people. I’m just saying that, on the one hand, there’s something gloriously peaceful and uncomplicated about just being in a relationship with yourself.
On the other hand, relationships ARE (can be!) wonderful. Even having never been in one, I can see how being in a loving, healthy relationship is a precious gift. And yes, I’ve wanted it for myself, too.
But not at all costs.
Especially after my illness, I’ve had to be super-focused on myself – and my recovery. Schizophrenia has taken years of my life away – years that most young people spend socialising, flirting, studying and working … you get my drift. So, in many ways, I have an ‘excuse’ as to why it’s ‘never worked out’ for me.
On the subject of vulnerability, however …
When I was a child, I cried a lot. I was sensitive. I had no problem showing what I was feeling, even if it was ‘negative’. I’m still sensitive, but in a less ‘raw’ way. As we grow up, we mature and find other ways to cope with – and, sometimes, hide – our feelings.
I have often pondered what the best thing to do is; wear your heart on your sleeve and risk getting rejected, teased or hurt? Keep your cool and risk losing someone you were too afraid to express yourself honestly towards?
I’ve always picked the latter.
What about you?