Deep breath in. Exhale out.
Deep breath in. Exhale out.
That has been my routine for the past seventy-four hours, a routine that is physically helping the weight that’s currently chained itself around my heart, to be lifted.
Sifting through a variety of emotions that range from confusion, attachment, heartache, and longing, I sit here in Alaska having just returned from a delightful weekend down south.
A weekend that was spent in the company of a friend, a male friend, the kind of friend who, since dropping me off at LAX, has clouded my judgement and muddled my emotions.
This friend of mine is someone I’m attracted to and whose company I genuinely enjoy. Flying down there, I armored myself with the intention of having a good time and not getting emotionally invested in someone who’s definitely not in the right place to date.
3500 miles of distance between us and one of us currently studying an esteemed degree (you guessed it- not me), our circumstances make anything more than friends (with benefits?) near impossible.
But there’s this charming chemical called oxytocin that got in the way of my plans. Coupled with the realization that I may like this guy a little bit more than I intended and you’ve got yourself one emotionally distressed young woman.
Having been through the bolts to the bathroom to weep in silence, the crushing reminders of my fun trip popping up whenever I find evidence of his cat’s hair in my bag, and grisly rips through tissue packs whenever I feel a wave of heartache come my way, I’m confused now more than ever as to where I stand with this guy.
It’s the 21st century and we live in a day and age where we’re socially encouraged as women to be be emboldened in our choices when it comes to who we sleep with.
Problem is, a vast majority of women (myself included), succumb to natural and biological chemicals that cause us to become attached and emotionally invested in someone after intimacy. We suddenly become slaves to our emotions, which pressure us to hunker down and attach to said person, as part of a survival method that we’ve been programmed to do since the beginning of time.
It’s natural, but it hurts like hell when we leave their apartment and wonder if we’ll ever hear from the guy again.
As if I wasn’t confused before where I stood with him, I had to make it more complicated by dousing my senses with the love drug.
I was talking to my friend about this, a friend who happened to be the first whom I shared my weekend with (over a fabulous meal at the Blue Bayou restaurant in Disneyland-really no better place to gush about my love life), and her advice resonated best with me.
Upon hearing about my emotional roller coasters (plural, there have been many), she encouraged me to feel what was happening. Let the tears flow, let the reminders affect me and let it ride, the ups and the downs. Suppressing or ignoring telltale signs that my body is in dire need of a good cry only makes my thoughts and feelings fester in an uncomfortable way. And as childish as I feel to succumb to the inevitable bout of tears coming on, I know the best way to move forward is to let myself feel whatever it is I’m feeling.
This pickle of mine is temporary, my friends assure me. Catching up on my bathroom floor with another one of my besties on the phone, I was assured that it was COMPLETELY normal to feel what I was feeling and that it will eventually clear, leaving me with a better understanding of what I’m actually feeling, and not what my body is tricking me into thinking I’m feeling.
Having the knowledge that my body is simply following biological processes helps me understand my emotions and will eventually help me move forward in whatever direction I choose. Despite strong urges to call him up on the phone and delve into what our relationship is, I know that at this point, this “what makes women crazy” drug (oxytocin, gotta love it) is completely disrupting my judgement and that I need time to get through it’s high before I’m back to a safe and sober state.
Eventually, and in due time, I’ll fess up and open up to the guy about our relationship, if there even is one. But it’s not happening while I go through this natural phase of attachment. It’ll be after I have time to reflect and proceed forth with a clearer understanding of what I’m feeling
In the meantime, I’m going to let myself cry it out and when my emotional state has been washed thoroughly through with tears, I’ll bravely make the move to talk to him again.
Luckily, I’ve got some incredibly wise and been-there-done-that friends who have been able to kindly help guide me through this first of mine, with inspiring stories and encouraging words.
But boy, oh boy, you gotta love those emotions.
A HUGE thank you to my friends Whitney (for spending a day at Disney with me) and Jordan (who maternally helped me through many tearful breakdowns).