Here’s another post I tried repeatedly to post but kept getting denied. (Un)fortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to save it in Google Docs first, so I have to start from scratch. But that might not be a bad thing.
No. Two letters. They shouldn’t be so difficult to say, right? And yet I struggle. I’m sure it’s an equal mix of culture and upbringing. It just feels rude to flat out say no. But it shouldn’t. As one of the wise Mollys from college said, “‘No’ is a statement.” You don’t need to clarify or justify. No means no.
But more often than not, I’ll hedge.
To be fair, doing something new or stepping outside my comfort zone (e.g., happy hours) often makes me want to say no. I overthink the hell out of things and will talk myself into and out of doing something so many fucking times it’d make your head spin. Frankly, it’s exhausting. So, frequently I hedge and go with maybe. Because, depending on my mood it could be yes or no. Doesn’t make me the most dependable of companions some times. Although those close to me have learned that the less time you give me to decide / the shorter notice you give me, I’m more likely to say yes. And 9.9 times out of 10 I have a good time, so the whole struggle is just a waste.
Then there’s saying no in the context of family obligations. Growing up, you don’t get a choice, which is good and bad. But it’s hard to shake that sense that you have to do something if it involves family. And that’s ridiculous. As Mom said to me a few years ago regarding a family thing I was getting worked up over, “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.” And she’s right, as she so often is. I don’t have to do x or y solely because family is involved. When family is involved there’s other issues that come into play, i.e., emotional baggage (nothing super bad, just stuff I thought I’d made my peace with until it rears its head and hahahahaha, nope, still an issue), saying no can be the healthy choice. If I were as heartless as I like to claim from time to time, this shit wouldn’t bother me. By not doing x, I’m going to miss out on time with so and so who I might never get to see again. Can I live with that and any regret that comes with that because I want to spare myself some exhausting emotional shit in the short-term?
Seriously, the stuff I get worked up over in my waking life…it’s no wonder I get cracked-out dreams at night.
“Maybe you should talk to someone,” you might be thinking. I did see a therapist a few years ago during the whole grad school debacle that my moving into marketing saved me from. There were other things, too. I was hoping to finally offload some baggage I’ve been carrying for YEARS, but by the time we got to that I had resolved a lot of my other issues at the time, was in a much better headspace, and decided that, nope, I wasn’t ready to do the work I needed to to offload that baggage.
I’ve been considering therapy again in recent months off and on. I’m still in a pretty good headspace, but there are certain things I’m getting tired of dragging around and it’s not the kind of stuff you can deal with by talking with your mom or best friend or resolve on your own. You need that person completely removed that can be objective where you can’t. But uuuuuugh. And in the grand scheme of things, the shit I’m carrying around is peanuts compared to what other people deal with. Then again, you can’t really think like that. Emotions and life aren’t a competition. You feel what you feel and deal how you deal.