Monday, March 30, 2015

On Numbness and Vulnerability

It's funny how the universe works, right? Earlier last week I was talking to my mom about this numb feeling I've been having, like whether something good or bad happens I'm tuned out to it. Right now I am in this weird in-between period. December was a whirlwind month, with graduation, Christmas and my birthday and within three weeks. So much of the past few years led up to December. All the papers, all the hours studying for exams, all led up to graduating college. And it was exciting, it really was. And then most of January was spent prepping for my grad school interview. By the time February rolled around I was strikingly aware of the lack of things going on in my life.

It felt like everyone was starting the spring semester or getting a new job, and what was I doing? Binge watching Grey's Anatomy and eating too many pierogies, that's what I was doing. I spent countless hours thinking of all the ways my life would be perfect once I moved to Philadelphia, which in turn only made me spiral further. I wanted so badly for things to be different, to be happier, to feel more joy. I felt helpless, but it was in the helplessness that I found joy. You see, for the past few years I have felt this numbness. It swept over me slowly, so that by the time I noticed it I was incapable of feeling any emotion at all.

It was at this moment that it hit me that I no longer recognized myself. Sometime over the last five years I lost myself. I never noticed it because I was slowly chipped away at. I woke up one day, unable to feel excitement over something good happening, terrified of the person I had become. I hadn't thought about this numbness for quite some time, until last week. I had been in such a funk, sabotaging my training, moping around the house, that I was unable to see what was happening.

Friday I watched this TED talk by Brene Brown. I found myself nodding along in agreement, as if she was speaking directly to me and everything I was experiencing. She talked about how we numb ourselves to avoid vulnerability, and quite frankly, truer words have never been spoken. This got me thinking about so, so much. What emotions have I been hiding from? Why? I know for one, I'm afraid of getting hurt. In the span of three months I lost both my dad and my boyfriend, two of the most important people in my life at the time. When you go through a loss like that it is really freaking hard to make yourself vulnerable again. To open yourself up to getting hurt again.

But in hiding and trying to protect myself from experiencing more pain I was preventing myself from experiencing joy. When we numb ourselves from the bad we inevitably numb ourselves from the good too. So where do I go from here? How do I ease this numbness? Honestly, I'm not quite sure. I wish I had an answer but all I can do right now is acknowledge that I am in a period of decrease. I may not have tons of incredible opportunities on my door right now but I also don't have loads of stress to deal with either. Right now I'm acknowledging that I am lost. But you know what, I'm on the way to finding myself. And I know that the universe is on my side because it gave me exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it.

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