Alone-Ly

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I call bullshit on the notion that as modern women we should be satisfied with being alone. Okay, okay, don’t get your panties in a bunch ladies! I’m definitely NOT saying that another person, especially a man, can come along and magically make you happy. I am NOT saying that you should devote yourself to finding a mythical something to take the pain away, and make everything that isn’t okay, okay (impossible, by the way, but if you already knew that, read on).

What I AM saying is the modernist notion of women always having to have it all together is way off. We are complex, multifaceted, and cannot be boiled down to basics.

Now that I’ve quelled my need to scream this at the world, we can get down to brass tacks.

I am single and there’s no shame in my game. I like being able to do whatever I please- leave my bed messy, avoid shaving my legs without embarrassment or consequence, et cetera. Being single allows me a kind of absolute freedom that’s truly difficult to enjoy when you’re attached to someone. I make my own money, use a vibrator, own a tool kit, and can pretty much do whatever you would need a man for all by myself. But something I recently discovered is that my fuck-you attitude is not serving my highest good.

Backtrack with me for a moment.

Picture a very little Lindsay-desperate for her parent’s attention as nearly all children are-and never quite getting what she would deem adequate love from her childhood. So she grows up with an aching sense that something is missing.That if only she could be noticed and validated by a mail counterpart, she would be fulfilled and completed as a person.

So yes while this is true-I never got the attention and felt abandoned in my childhood-I was and am exactly where I need to be. This challenge of lacking has made me who I am today. Capable, independent, strong and determined. So if I’m capable and even successful in my life, why the heck do I still feel the need to be with or connect with someone? Why can’t I just chill all by myself? Because I’m a human being.

As human beings, it’s true that being in this world (especially in this city), we can tend to go on autopilot. We tend to shrug off suggestions of assistance or support by others in lieu of doing it all on our own. I know there are plenty of women-and believe me, I’ve met my fair share-who sit and pine away for a man to come along and make life bearable, but the tide seems to have changed.

It’s now the trend to be your own woman.  Alone. Solo and content with a table for one or not having to share the popcorn at the movies (not to mention the movie choices). It’s not to say that I’m not one hundred percent supportive of the aforementioned scenarios. Personally, I need me time, where I don’t have to be involved with another person-their thoughts, feelings, problems. But I also need time with others. Not companionable isolation, like with strangers at my local bar, but real intimacy with other human beings.

My need for autonomy does not usurp my need for connection. If you’re anything like me you’ve forgone deep bonds with others for a tough gal act that keeps you at arms length of any real emotions. Instead of feeling  what we should we make the goal to feel as little as possible.

My desire for autonomy does not usurp my need for connection. The fashion, and pressure for so many of us, is to forgo creating bonds with others for an unnecessary “tough girl” act that keeps you an arm’s length from any breadth of emotion. Instead of acknowledging our feelings, we make the goal to feel as close to nothing as possible. “Tough girl-hood” even becomes a bade of honor in some sense-to be able to handle even the most egregious heartbreak, betrayal, pain, without flinching. Wait a freakin’ second. Have we forgotten that we are the feeling half of the food chain?

My solution to being a more complete person is to feel, and feel everything. Feel what it’s like to be on my own, and even sometimes lonely. We can feel the pain of reticent parents, painful losses, lacking childhoods without becoming it.

I can be the benevolent observer of my suffering rather than a slave to its narrative. To ask for help when I need it without shame. To open myself up to the possibility that I can have my needs met by many different people, and in turn have a deeply connected romantic partner. Someone who not only replaces my vibrator, but reminds me that I deserve to be loved, and that I am the shit.

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Ladies Who Crunch

There’s a new phenomenon occurring at a gym, yoga studio, or barre class near you. Chances are you’ve already seen it. Adult women, comfortable in their Lululemon workout gear, spending 75% of their disposable income on fitness classes. Gone are the days of sipping martinis over finger sandwiches in the middle of the day at the Plaza. Now both kept woman AND their successful exec counterparts are siding up, spandex to spandex, in spin class and then again later in the day at yoga, barre, or the cardio dance class of their choice. Gone are the days where working out once daily is enough. Now the daily workout means multiple times daily. For women who have the cash to shell out $100 a day plus on fitness, working out has left past-time and graduated to infatuation. Is all this good, too good for you? Have we gone overboard on wellness?

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So more of a good thing is better isn’t it? Not really. Research says that just 30 minutes a day of physical activity is enough to help prevent things like diabetes, high-blood pressure and cholesterol. The idea that two hours of exercise is better than one is a little well, obsessive thinking, ladies. In actuality, too much exercise can yield very opposite results like injuries, exhaustion, and surprise — depression! Basically, too much of anything is no good and some experts say this could be the new form of addiction: Exercise.

So how do you know you should go to exercise rehab instead of your next Pilates class? Telltale signs are refusing to take time off even when injured, exercising at inappropriate times like when your wife is giving birth, and being OBSESSED with counting calories, inches lost, or that tiny piece of chocolate you just ate. Another giveaway sign is the obsession with how you look. Do you obsess about your abs, ass, or all of the above? You might just be crossing the line from where something is gratifying to controlling.

Recognize yourself in the above? Don’t fret — there’s recovery for what ails you. First off, come into balance. If you feel the need to add another workout to your schedule think again. What self-soothing activity can you do instead? Get a massage? Take a nap? Do nothing? Ask yourself why you’re wanting to squeeze in that extra spin class today. Is it because you need it or would like it? Another great solution is to get professional help. Working with an exercise professional such as a personal trainer or Pilates instructor, they will keep your feet on the ground while still reaching for your fitness and wellbeing goals. They can design a plan to keep you healthy without over doing it and injuring yourself. Finally, talk it out. Think you might have a bit of a dependence on the exercise high? Ask your friends and family for their advice, or even better see a professional to address the underlying issues that got you jones for your exercise fix in the first place.

Find some equilibrium in your workouts and eat a sandwich. Turns out those ladies who lunch were onto something after all…

Sources:

WebMD

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