“I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself.” – Pietro Aretino
Last week I was feeling lost and powerless. It felt as if I couldn’t find my footing. I was feeling sorry for myself. I don’t have a real reason or motive but I believe I can pinpoint 2 contributing factors:
1) Someone that I once dated was getting married. To me it was more than casual dating. It was falling head over heels and thinking there was a future. He was younger, but he seemed mature enough for the age difference not to matter. After 6 months he said he was not interested in serious dating so we became just friends. I was okay with that as I had been preparing myself from day 1 that this would be just a fling.
By then I had gotten emotionally attached. I wanted more. I was lying to myself thinking that I was okay with being just friends. But friends we became and we kept mostly a texting relationship and a drink once in a blue moon. I cherished the friendship.
Then one day sensing his distance about meeting for a drink I asked if he had a girlfriend and he came clean. It turned out he was not interested in seriously dating ME. 🙂
Still we continued the flirting over text. I chose to ignore the fact that he had a girlfriend. I am not proud of that.
Around Christmas last year he said he had gotten her an engagement ring. For a second I felt this pang in my stomach, but immediately felt happy for him. Honestly. But when he continued to flirt when texting I became uncomfortable. The fact that he was not available was now more than clear. I couldn’t deny it anymore. I guess I had been going along with the flirting because deep down inside I always hoped that he would come back and say: it is you I really want.
I told him that we needed to take a break from all the texting. He jokingly said: Is 2 hours enough of a break? I didn’t reply. He never texted again. I was actually relieved that he didn’t. It was hard not to reach out and say hi, but I knew if I did we would just start the flirting again.
Last week I found out it was his wedding week. Every now and then I would snoop on his friend’s Facebook and Instagram and would get tidbits about his life. I am not proud of that. Last week I spent a lot time torturing myself with every little detail and pictures of his beautiful wedding.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
All of a sudden I realized the absurdity of it. Why was I making myself miserable with this constant snooping? I think it is human nature to be curious, but I am here to tell you not to do it.
I STOPPED! It hasn’t been easy, but it has been extremely empowering not to look for anything related to him. I confess, at times I want to look and I ask myself what is the harm? I should really be asking what is the benefit? What am I gaining by snooping around the pictures and life of somebody that is part of my past and not of my future? Nothing! Nothing to gain, nothing to add to my life.
Instead of living my life, I am wasting it looking at his, as if he is the one that got away. The reality is I dodged a bullet. A man that even after getting engaged is still texting and flirting with other women is no prize. I am sure that had I not asked him to stop he would still be texting me even on the day of his wedding. I have no doubt about that.
I feel a bit sad as I thought we had a genuine friendship. I guess that is one of the reasons that it was so hard to let go of him. I do feel so foolish now for insisting on a friendship that was not going anywhere and I was not getting anything out of it. Well I guess I was feeding off the little attention I was getting.
Was I feeling down about not being the one getting married? Did I want to be his bride? Or anybody’s bride for that matter? Not really. I never really dreamed about marriage, wedding, etc. But I think that his wedding just highlighted the fact that I am alone at the moment. It made me feel alone.
When I decided to quit looking at anything about him I decided also to stop looking at everything else I was wasting time on. I had been looking at the pages of friends, strangers, celebrities, etc. What was I gaining with that? Nothing! The time I was spending looking at other people’s lives it was time I could be doing positive things in my own life.
To make a conscious choice to stay away from all Instagram and Facebook makes me feel powerful. It is extremely hard since I had been following certain people for awhile and I feel like I know them and want to know what they are up to.
I don’t have a problem with Facebook and Instagram in general. Those sites are great. There are so many great ones, inspirational, funny, etc, but I was overdoing it. I was becoming an addict. Because of that I decide to stop it all. I am like an alcoholic that knows he cannot stop at one drink, so for now I cannot trust myself to only look at certain pages. I may have mentioned this in the past, but now I feel I have turned a corner and I am actually doing it.
Social media can make me feel inadequate some times. The problem is when I look at their lives and compare them to mine. It seems everyone is going places, exotic vacations, great bodies, amazing boyfriends, and other great things. I struggle not to compare myself to others. Comparison is the fastest and surest way to unhappiness. I know better. I know much better.
Each time I have the urge to check someone out and I don’t, I feel stronger and stronger. There is amazing power in abstaining from viewing social media. I am growing stronger by the minute. Actually, abstaining from anything that threatens to become an addiction, or has become an addiction is extremely empowering. Try it!!
Since this post has gotten so long, I will be writing about the second factor that I mentioned in the beginning on the next post, so come back and check it out.
“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance. The wise grows it under his feet.” – James Oppenheim