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I was always a super clingy young man. My first memory of clinging on to people for dear life was when I was about seven years old and my friend was out seeing his gran and grandad. I waited outside of his house the entire time. I think I waited for four hours; as you’ve probably guessed by now I had abandonment issues. I’ve never enjoyed being alone until recently, recently being in the last 10 years. I’ve always been one for sucking out the life of my friends through their noses. Even now I must watch myself when I enjoy being in the company of another that I don’t start dominating their time. I do still have tendencies.
I equivalate enjoying my own company with finding my inner peace. It’s a version of finding the harmony within oneself. Someone told me once that I am only ever going to be with myself 100% of the time when I’m on this earth so isn’t it responsible and sensible that I look after myself? I should be my own best friend. I could see what he was saying back then but how can one do so when all I could think of was how much of a bad person I was? I’ve never really liked myself. I mean I looked stupid, did stupid things and people were often laughing at me. There’s nothing to really like.
Finding a friendship circle that was empowering helped a great deal. I was no longer fending off the insults or explaining myself like a five-year-old child. I think an important part of progression is understanding that we are all flawed. I was always one for trying to make everything perfect when it completely wasn’t. Trying to find the diamond in the rough from everything when sometimes it just is rough. Sometimes that’s fine, you know?
I am one messy damn individual. It drives my wife insane. Literally bonkers. Yet we have both accepted that I am untidy and this is part of my flaws. That doesn’t mean that I can’t give being tidier a try. It just means we have accepted this is me and are looking at ways to better this. Accepting my flaws was the first step.
For me, accepting my flaws was the biggest step. Realising that I wasn’t perfect and that no matter how hard that I tried I would never be able to perfect myself. It helped me to relax a lot more. It helped me be comfortable in how I was; that, sometimes I’m going to fuck up. Like everyone else and their dog. My mentor and my friends were always saying that I had a wealth of experience to give the world but I couldn’t see it. I just couldn’t. I was a no-one with a previous alcohol and drug addiction and nothing else. What? I kitchen ported for a few hotels. What can I give from that? Did a bit of admin for the government? Come on, I was no Cambridge University Student.
That’s why I say you need someone else supporting you. When I found myself lost in the wilderness I needed someone flying high over the fog to point me in the right direction. People that had been there before, people that had walked my walk, people that could see the shine in me that I just couldn’t. No-one can see their own shine in the beginning. It’s something that needs to be observed in my opinion; an objective view is a good eye for finding the awesome in people.
Turns out I was a fantastic mentor. Later I found myself as an amazing diplomat and progressive manager. Whoever told me that I had a lot to give the world was right, SO right. Couldn’t have been more right. I also feel there’s more to come out of my amazing, more to learn, more to achieve, more to teach, more to reach.
Accepting my own company came with the final realization that I didn’t need other people to make me happy. I was already super proud of myself with all the new achievements I had made. By now I had won several community wards in my industry and was well on my way to getting another promotion. I was proud that I had stopped drinking and it was something that no-one in my family had previously done before, and I was happy that I was well on the way to making a career for myself out of teaching in the community and being a mentor. Wow? I was finally starting to like myself. At the very least all this goodwill from me was offsetting the bad stuff.
Soon I was finding myself blowing off friends on a hot summer day to sit in the house with the window open, a specialty coffee, my feet up, and some amazing tunes blasting out of my radio. I was starting to enjoy a part of myself that I had never known to exist. I had never done anything like this before, just enjoying some alone time. I didn’t do it all the time of course, humans aren’t designed to be alone, but it was nice just to spend some time with me occasionally. I think I was finally starting to like myself a little bit.
Please don’t mistake finally enjoying some alone time with looking after myself properly. I didn’t get to grips with this until much later. Looking after myself properly was an all-encompassing thing. It was looking after myself physically as well as mentally. It was eating properly, dressing for the right weather, going to the doctors when I needed to and keeping myself in physical shape and lots more. I will talk about this later as it takes a lot of self-awareness to achieve and we’re only at the time where I started to enjoy my own company. Many moons have passed since then. Many hardships and many realizations afterward.
I feel though when I started to create my own happiness then I could move forward in life. It was finally time to seek out some love, or at least open myself to the notion of it. For the last year, I had closed all my emotional borders and worked hard on bettering myself. Now that I had hobbies to distract me, friends to go out and do fun stuff with and enjoyed being in my own company; it was finally time to check out for females on the horizon. I felt that I was ready inside. That longing for someone to spend eternity with was no longer there. That deep loneliness I had previously latched onto was replaced with a buzz of happiness and excitement for the future. I had put myself in a great position in life. I no longer felt the need for others to make me happy. I had set myself eons ahead of my peers. They were all still running around trying to find happiness and love and partnership whereas I had already found that within myself.
I was in a unique position that not a huge amount of men (or the men that I knew at least) could walk into an intimate relationship and feel that they can survive if it didn’t go to plan or hadn’t worked out. I wasn’t hugely confident in myself yet but I knew that if whoever I had chosen ended up not compatible with me then I could quite happily ease into the state that I was in currently, which was a happy one. Beforehand I would walk into partnerships all in, heart first, that if it didn’t work out the world was ending. I would take it as such a personal affliction that it ended and I would look to them to create my happiness. Now? I was happy. I created my own happiness and no-one was going to squish that. I was excited for what the future would bring.
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