In My Own Way


By Puja

I am coming to the point of my introspective journey where I can clearly see how I get in my own way. Problem is, I have no idea HOW to stop doing it. You see, even though I am a newer and better person, I’m living the same old life. Which renders all the work I have been doing to be a better me pointless. How do you move forward when you realize you’re your own worst enemy?

So what am I talking about? What existential crisis isn’t allowing me to dance with the sun? Not allowing me to live my best life?

My utter lack of “Game,” aka terrible flirting skills.

You guys, it is really, really bad. It is so bad that I ask whether Past Me was so toxic and terrible that her defense mechanisms of self-sabotage and distancing herself from people are now automatic reactions? Past Me did (does????) not like people getting too close to her. Here is the problem: now that New Me is trying to get her life together, I am realizing that Past Me sucked. Past Me isn’t like Drunk Me*. Drunk Me makes sure I hydrate, eat, and take two Aleve before going to bed. Drunk me was kind and wise. Past Me was foolish.  Past Me keeps me anchored in bad habits and despondency.

Back to my lack of coquettishness: the only two options Past Me ever took when I was interested in someone were self-sabotage and shutting people out. Is this why, now when I feel better about who I am, I cannot navigate these waters beyond those two guide posts? I fear I am heading down the path where all the neighborhood kidswill refer to me as the ‘crazy cat lady with the unibrow up the street.’ If I keep living my life wrapped in bubble tape, I will reach that point within 7 years.

So what to do? What to do? How can I get a boo? In all honestly, I don’t know what I will do with him once I get him, but let’s save that problem for IF we ever get to it.

Right now, I need to get out of my own head. Why? Because in my head Mean Me holds court; And those conversations go something like this:

Mean Me: He will reject you, hang back. Save the drama and the heartache, stay focused on other goals.

New Me: Okay so since I acknowledge I am not good at this, let me try to hint at my desires via flirting. [Please note at this point New Me is saying ‘brown chicken, brown cow’ to herself]

Past Me: But we are not set-up for that, you either have to avoid rejection or hope he makes his move, you are not prepared to steer any ship, let alone a relationship (you can groan all you want, but this is a solid pun). Play it safe.

New Me: That has never worked, let’s try a new tactic that is more befitting our better self. I have some good lines to try, I’ve been working on my wink, I –

Mean Me: You can call a pig a parrot, but it’s still a pig

Past Me: Sigh, she’s right. The few times you did put yourself out there, it did not end well.

New Me: I see that I am outnumbered, so I will just head over to the Zone of Friendshipshire  and sit quietly and feel ALL the angst. I hate me.

So very defeatist, I know.  But honestly what do I do? How do I get comfortable enough in my own skin, turn my brain off, let my guard down and let the current ‘Chincha Oppa Daebak’ know that I smile when I read his texts, that he pops into my head more than once a day, or that I am genuinely flustered when I am around him? Does he need to know these things? More importantly, what if he already knows, and is pointedly giving me hints that we should just be friends? Shouldn’t I just follow his lead on this to avoid the trouble? I mean isn’t it better to have him as a friend than risk it all for something that may possibly never be more than a crush?

I am a pro at getting in my own way, but Nike doesn’t sponsor losers.

I am seriously asking you, WTF do I do? I have no clue here. I am 35 and still awkward around boys. Dammit Past Me, look what you’ve done! Leave your [gentle] suggestions, advice, tips, instructions, expressions of sympathy in the comments or our facebook page.

*I acknowledge there are a lot of “Me-s,” but I am complicated like that.

Things Keeping Me Sane This Week: A new Harry Potter book comes out at the end of this month. Specifically, July 31, 2016 (which will be J.K. Rowling’s and Harry Potter’s birthday) will bring the release the script of “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” play into fans’ hands. It may be the closest some of us Potterheads get to seeing it on the stage. I loved going to the Barnes & Noble midnight release parties, being among fellow fans, exchanging theories, talking about favorite characters, and just generally geeking out about the Potterverse. Good, honest nerd girl fun. I know that any new hoopla won’t be as electric as it was during the peak Potterdom, but I am relishing the fact that it still excites me.

3 thoughts on “In My Own Way

  1. While I cannot give much advice in regards to your current predicament (I’m just as bad, if not worse when it comes to letting people get close to me), I will say that I like the way you’ve written this entry. Using terms such as ‘Past me’ really help to differentiate that, like everyone you are constantly changing and, despite you feeling that you’ve been held back by your past, using language such as this suggests you’re going in the right direction – onwards, and hopefully upwards 🙂


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