I managed to pull myself out of the slump I was in last week through various means: Zumba class, Glee with friends, turning down dates, a Batgirl costume, and attending church. But the real kicker was the intentional focus on my self-talk and shifting toward being a better friend to myself.
I'm finding that like most changes, it's a matter of pushing through that initial stubborn, slow start where it feels as if it's taking all of my energy simply to get going. But once I've pushed over that hump, it's easier to maintain that trajectory. For example, I felt terrible when Mr. Tennis Pro, who'd been calling for weeks, finally asked me for a date and I turned him down. I hated the idea of disappointing him, even though we'd never met before.
And this is where the whole "Nice Girl" complex comes into play. C and I talked about this extensively in my session today, how girls often are taught to be nice, obliging others and putting their own desires and needs at the bottom of the list. In elementary school, I had a friend who always let me decide what we were going to play--if I were at her house, she'd say that I was the guest and that's why I got to pick; if we were at my house, she'd say it was my house and that's why I got to pick. Kind of a silly example, but I think the point is clear enough.
The remnants of the "nice girl" complex are alive and well in this 27-year-old. And I can see now how it's been a barrier to being something much better than nice--being kind. Especially to myself. I felt like Mr. Tennis Pro had been so sweet, patient, and consistent--why wasn't I giving him a chance? I felt like I should give him a chance. But then I remembered, this isn't what I want right now. Yes, he was disappointed, but I knew that going out on a date with him was not what was right for me.
I can already see how I'm trying to change: in my decisions to stop trying so hard in the romance department; to cut off ties with Dr. Not-so-much; to be more careful in what I choose to share on this blog (and spend more time in my personal journal); to ask for space in my office to get me out of the house more often; to let certain calls go to voice mail. It's a process, and like most things, I'm expecting a roller coaster, not a steady uphill climb. But, I do know that I am feeling infinitely better than I was just a week ago, not only because I've been doing the external things to lift my spirits but also because I'm getting a handle on changing the internal.