Being comfortable in my own skin is something I have never completely mastered. I've come a long way but I realised something the other day after pondering the fact that my husband and I struggle to see eye to eye on this concept –he is fabulously independent and great with people but doesn't need deep connection with anyone to really survive... while I am a classic introvert, meaning I'm not so great with general relationships as the only type of connection I can survive on is a genuine kind that allows me to feel safe.
(Ok let's be honest. This has been one of the hardest differences of our relationship. His independence often leaves me feeling inferior because I somehow interpret it to mean that my need of connection becomes an inconvenience.)
Needless to say it has been a bit of a mystery to me as to how I resolve this. But (back to my realisation) I had to stop and ask myself... Do I continue thinking I'm less of a person because I desire genuine connection? Or do I chase something different –a new understanding, a bigger perspective? I finally chose the second.
Not only did I shift something in my thinking, I also took a risk and kind of did something outrageously scary for me.
After a tiring day of over thinking things, I jumped in the car and drove, and it wasn't till I got to the end of my street that I figured out what I would do. I knew I needed time but what does that even look like? I never did this. I avoided being alone at all costs unless at home. So it was decided –Dinner for one! That's right. I rocked up to a restaurant at 5:45pm and asked for an "early dinner for one please." And to my surprise the waitress didn't flinch. She was rather accommodating even though I hadn't booked and it was a rather odd request.
I ordered a fig and prosciutto wood fired pizza that was way too much for one, but ridiculously delicious and totally worth the feelings of embarrassment and awkwardness as I sat at a table for two or four, all on my own. But (again to my surprise) I had a really lovely time. I ate and wrote down my thoughts (which turned into this post) –two of my favourite things to do.
I didn't stay at the restaurant long. When you aren't making conversation things happen rather quickly and so I left at 6:20 with a doggy bag and headed home (small steps). But before I even walked into that restaurant I did take time to go for a short stroll and sit at a bench to read. Another thing I love to do but never get around to doing. All in all I couldn't believe how easy it was to be on my own.
The new Blussh Offline movement we've started is all about genuine connection. The Coffee Catchups with women from all walks of life is to instil that notion of authentic exchanges, stories told, ears open and listening, time given to someone just because they are worth the investment. After my little alone time experiment I can honestly say I no longer feel inferior but rather proud of my desire for such connection. But I also realised I had been missing the most important part. How can I offer authenticity to anyone else if I can't offer it to myself... If I can't be comfortable in my own skin?
I have always admired independence but now I understand it a little more and conclude that independence and the need to create genuine connection are equally admirable qualities. Furthermore, after my dinner for one experience I felt refreshed and I dare say confident (a feeling that is often a distant acquaintance visiting me rarely, rather than a close friend). So I now have another reason to celebrate my husband for his differences and a revelation on how capable I can be in the face of something that scares me. I am learning how to be comfortable with a lot of things that have made me feel anxious. And this revelation has chipped away at that some more.
As for "resolving" what feels like a perpetual cycle of turmoil, I'd say this. An independent spirit who is breathtakingly comfortable with being alone, is beautiful. An introvert who both needs and can instil genuine connection, is also beautiful. But how does one serve the other? How does an independent spirit love, respect and celebrate the one who needs connection. And how does the introvert love, respect and celebrate the independence of another? That should be the goal.
More coming on this thought soon!
Be inspired today!
Love Heids Xx