> whO am I? or whO you maDe me…

Warning, this is one of those stream of consciousness posts that I often edit and/or erase later, but I just gotta figure shit out by writing.

Heart

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about relationships, and not just romantic ones. I’ve come to realize that each person has the potential to bring out a certain aspect of ourselves. By that I mean that when a relationship ends, you lose more than just the relationship, but you also lose a sense of your self. Because who I am with one person, is unique to who I am with somebody else. It’s not that I’m faking it or changing myself, it’s just that different people bring out different parts of my identity – for better or for worse.

After the break up I obviously had to grieve the loss of the romantic relationship, once I got through that stage I really had to grieve the loss of our friendship, and to some degree I’m still getting over the loss of the friendship – he was after all, my best friend for 5 months. However, as of late, I’ve realized yet another stage to that grief, and that is, grieving the loss of who I was when I was with him. Because who I was with him is not like who I am with anybody else in my life. So it’s as though I’m having to grieve a part of myself that has been lost. However, a lot of those parts are things I didn’t even like about myself. I mean, he and I did at times have a great relationship, and I do credit a lot of my success and drive to him, he continually challenged me and made me a stronger, better person. But, that was definitely not always the case. He also brought out sides of me that I honestly don’t exhibit with anybody else. I had been conditioned to think that’s just who I was. But now that I have a year’s worth of hindsight between us, I am not seeing any of those traits exhibited in any of my other relationships. It’s encouraging and refreshing to know that I’m not insecure, paranoid, or jealous. Those traits existed within the confines of that relationship, not me as a person.

I’ve recently been exchanging emails with an old “close” friend, and we have both been making amends for things that destroyed our friendship. While I can’t place the blame entirely on my ex because I made the decisions that I did on my own, I am able to recognize the role he unintentionally played in all of that. It was nothing deliberate on his part. I don’t mean to imply that, it was more the effect that his presence in my life had on how I approached other relationships, if that makes sense.

During the relationship stage, I’ve kinda become that “drifter”. You know, the one who floats between different groups. I really like it, I have my work friends, I have my hayskul school friends, I have few friends back from places I stayed before, I’ve got random people met. And for the most part, my social spheres do not collide, I keep them very separate. This has allowed me to really analyze my friendships with people. Each group here brings out different sides of my personality, and I kinda use each group for different purposes. I don’t mean use as in manipulate or anything like that, but rather use, in the sense of uses and gratifications. I get a different sense of gratification with the different groups of friends. And they are all important and necessary and know me on different levels.

Anyway, none of these groups or people really brings out in me who I was when I was with him. In fact, I don’t have that relationship with anybody; nobody knows me that completely or has known me for that long. And at times I really miss those parts of me, the positive ones, but I am also so glad to see that the negative parts have died. Now as far as romantic relationships go, yea, nothing I have now is even similar to what I had. I think this is in part because I have no idea what I really want in a romantic relationship right now. I say I just want fun and casual, do I? Or is that just a defense mechanism because I’m afraid of commitment and I’m afraid of being hurt again? I don’t think so entirely. I really like the control that I have in my relationships now and I am enjoying the freedom to do anything and be with anyone without the restrictions of a relationship [*been there…done that…].

I guess I’m just having to evaluate what parts of my identity each person brings out in me and decide which are positive and which aren’t, and which are priceless or unique to that relationship, and which are generic. Until then, I really have no idea what I want in a romantic relationship, so I go for something easy, fun, and to a certain degree, one that I am in control of. But by choosing this, am I somehow passing up opportunities at something greater or more fulfilling? I don’t know… I guess at times I’m equally as scared of hurting other people as I am of getting hurt. I kinda feel like no matter what I choose right now, somebody will get hurt…

I don’t know if this is making sense, I guess I just feel like my identity is more fragmented than it has been since I was maybe a freshmen or sophomore in college. Not that I’m going through some sort of identity crisis, because I’m very secure in who I am, but rather, I just feel that each person here only knows a certain side of my identity rather than the whole picture. And that is something I haven’t experienced in many years. I guess that comes with the territory when you grew up and moved and changed your whole life.

All I know is that I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time, and maybe that means keeping people at a bit of a distance, because I’m in more control of my emotions. So c’est la vie

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