In honor of my newest re-realization, I've changed the title of my blog.
I was going to tattoo this phrase on my wrist but I decided I would try it out here first.
As a sufferer of demand resistance, the idea "I don't have to" is the most freeing concept I've found. Statements like "just be yourself" and "enjoy the moment" or any of those happiness concepts that are phrased positively just feel like commands to me, and that makes me feel trapped, and feeling trapped makes me howl in misery and have mini freak-outs. "I don't have to," however, makes me remember that I'm doing what I'm doing because I want to, and makes me feel like I still have a choice.
How this came about: last week was the week before Valentine's Day. My relationship right now is just one of those complicated whatsits that make people hate Valentine's Day. So I was confused.
Normally I love Valentine's Day. Normally I get all my friends presents and make it all about how much I love everybody in my life. But I was not in a giving mood. And I was all, wtf do I do about Valentine's Day? Do I explain to this person that it's important to me? Or just let it go? Can I let it go and then not be mad about it? Maybe I should just get him a present. But no! Why would I get him a present, when secretly I want him to just say Happy Valentine's Day and, like, send me a heart emoticon? And yada yada idiocy.
So I walked into work on Friday and poured myself a cup of tea with all this on my mind and my co-worker, the Godsend MB who is like my own personal life coach and God I hope I'm like her when I'm forty, walks in and goes, "How are y--? Whoa. What's wrong?"
"Monday is Valentine's Day," I snarled, and viciously stirred my tea.
MB sighed. "That's why I hate Valentine's Day. Because of people in your situation."
So I went on to tell her all about the stuff I already told you in the last blog stanza, and then she goes, "Well, you know, you don't have to celebrate it. February 14th doesn't have to be a convenient day for you to express these things."
And it was like f*cking angels were singing at me. Right! I didn't have to. It was not convenient for me.
And I tra-la-laed through the rest of the weekend and right on through Valentine's Day, and the word Valentine never even came out of my mouth, and I legit did not have any expectations, and it was just February the 14th which happened to be a day when it wasn't convenient for me to have an overpriced dinner or exchange delightful pre-packaged sentiments with my loved one, because he is in another state and lately we are both making each other snarl due to the fact that the telephone is a poor excuse for human interaction.
Because there are other, more convenient days, such as December 17 of last year, which was quite a nice one for us, and also February 26th will probably be more fun, and I don't have to have my romances when other people, and especially stupid corporations, suggest that I do. Because guess what? We did not celebrate Valentine's Day, and we are fine.