To feel something

Three minutes had gone by, I know because I’d been staring at my watch. Three minutes of awkward, stiff cuddling that just didn’t feel right. Three minutes of one-sided chit chat about college. “Well then, I’m gonna head home,” He said, picking his keys and passport up off the floor and swishing his hair back and forth, “I’ll see you again.” He flashed a smile and gave a quick nod and out the door he went. I sat up on the edge of the bed, and all I could think was, “Hopefully not.”

I sat there for a while that day, I wanted to give myself time to think. I was sick of this; the same old, same old. For the first time in a long time, I actually stopped and asked myself, what do you feel?

Nothing.

Emptiness.

The lack of emotion was frightening of course, but it wasn’t something I was unfamiliar with. I just chose not to notice it, I thought I could go on without it having an impact on my life. It did.

I thought this emotionless, rock of a human was just who I was. For a long time, I thought I wasn’t capable of feeling anything at all. “It’s probably just my anxiety,” I thought, or “Maybe I could be depressed.” Possibly, but no. I just wasn’t being true to myself.

Maybe I should have realised that I couldn’t keep up this act of content, but if you act out the same scene for long enough, you sometimes forget it isn’t real. It becomes a part of you, an alien part maybe, but you stop questioning it. You just start to accept it, or at least try to.

I asked myself what it was that I really wanted that day, and was mildly shocked and partly upset at my brain’s initial response. That first thought led to another, which led to another, and another. About something I’d always known to be there, but always known I could suppress. There was no suppressing it anymore.

From a very young age, I’d told myself, “This is not something you can entertain.” But something inside of me changed that day. I was sick of hiding. I was sick of being afraid. I was sick of battling with myself. I just wanted to feel something, anything, again.

I stopped doing what I felt like I should do, and started doing what I wanted to do. I stopped trying to be what people expected of me, instead focusing on being the real me. I won’t lie, there were times where I backtracked. Many “I can’t do this” moments, and I wasn’t the only one getting hurt this time.

But every time I tried to stop myself, I got more and more drawn in. There was always something pulling me back. What was it? I was unsure. I was unsure of everything, in a short few weeks it felt as though my whole life was being turned upside down. And one day, I realised what it was.

Happiness.

emotion

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The Secret Life of a Commitmentphobe / Why Do I Need a Boyfriend?

I’m the girl who runs a mile at the very mention of the word feelings. I’m the girl who gets asked, “What happened with you and Jack?” and the response is always the same, “Well he told me he liked me”. I’m the girl who frunningreezes at the thought of settling down with someone. I, Michaela Deane, am a commitmentphobe.

But what’s so bad about that for now? I’m 19 years old, it’s hardly time for me to be thinking up baby names just yet. I was told going into my first year of college that I’d want, and probably need, to be free and single. So I broke up with my boyfriend, and there I had it, the single life. But it all takes a U-turn in second year when suddenly everyone’s like come on, settle down now, it’s time to find a boyfriend.

dontlikeBut why do I need to have a boyfriend so badly? And why is it so wrong for me not to want one at this current moment in time? I spent a good three years of my teenage years in relationships, so I think I’m entitled to a little alone time. People are shocked and appalled when I sigh at the mention of a potential relationship, but why is it such a big deal? This isn’t 1940, I don’t need a man hanging off my shoulder 24/7.

I’ve been lectured many a time about my unwillingness to get into a relationship. “You’re missing out on so many great opportunities” is always a popular argument. But if I’m willing to let these opportunities slide, then they can’t have been that great in the first place. If I’m letting things run their course and seeing where they go, perfect. If I find someone worth staying with, then I’ll stay with them. If my Prince Charming comes sauntering up to me in Crush some night, then that’s just fabulous, but I’m not on the lookout just yet.sigh

I’ve also been informed that people usually find their future husband in college. It’s a valid point, but I don’t think people realise that when I finish my degree I’ll only be 21. I have no plans of running off and getting married at 22, thanks very much. Maybe I’ll run off and travel to Australia, and find my future husband there instead. Who knows?

Reason #29 that I don’t want a relationship right now is quite simple – I want to focus on myself. It might sound stupid but my education is really important to me, and right now I have one aim and that’s doing the best that I can in college. Nothing wrong with being a bit of a nerd, for the time being anyways. I’m sure this phase won’t last very long.

feelzAnd as strange as it may seem, I do have feelings of some sort and like any girl, I don’t want them to get hurt. I spent a lot of my early teenage years being a dramatic, hormonal mess about boys and listening to lots of Taylor Swift. I do not want a repeat of that, especially now that I’m having the time of my life in college. I don’t want any boy related drama or disruptions, so it’s easier to steer clear. I’m a very sensitive creature deep down, I swear.

And to conclude, I swear I’m not a man hating extreme feminist. I have lots of friends who are lads, and I don’t see anything wrong with having a bit of fun. But a relationship would be too much for me right now, and it’s okay to want to be single.

I’ve definitely jinxed myself now and will end up getting in a relationship. But sure look, what will be will be.

Feelings – I’m Not Doing It

He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not. It all seems like a bit of an ongoing struggle, doesn’t it? We’re constantly wondering if the boy we like, likes us back. It can be a head wrecking few weeks of “Why won’t he tfeelings2ext me back?” and “Why did he like her photo on Facebook?” and frankly, I find it a bit exhausting. Which is why I don’t bother with it anymore. I’ve developed a bit of an ice queen aura, and for the time being it’s working quite well for me.

Your first year of college (or your second year of college, as I have found) isn’t exactly an ideal time to let your feelings for people flourish. College is all about being young and wild and free, and the last thing you want is a relationship tying you down. When you get into a relationship with someone, you end up either breaking up with them or marrying them, and the possibility of either of these options are equally as scary to me. When you catch the feels, it’s usually pretty hard to get them to piss off. But as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and avoiding this whole “feeling” craic in the first place can actually be pretty simple.

“I’m not going to get fefeelings4elings for him”
Go into it with your walls up and stick to your guns, just keep telling yourself that you’re not going to get feelings for this person. If you have this set in your mind from the start it’s easier to stick to, rather than deciding half way through when you’re already pretty fond of this guy or girl. If you feel yourself slipping up, take a little time to remind yourself of all the reasons that you don’t want to be with this person. A personal favourite of mine is, “I could definitely see myself throwing something at him in a nightclub”.

“I’m not coming over”feelings3

Avoid spending too much time with this person. Space it out, and do other things you enjoy before meeting up with them. The more time you spend with someone, the more you begin to like them, and that’s not our aim here. Leaving gaps between meeting up gives you the opportunity to meet other people to focus your attention on, which is a win-win situation really. It’s all about balance… Balancing your feelings between multiple people and having each one wonder why you’re so heartless and cold. No, I’m joking. Just don’t get attached. feelings5

“I’m not gonna text him”

This is just as bad, if not worse, than spending too much time together. When we’re hiding behind a phone screen we feel ballsy and brave, and we’re not afraid to say what we really think. Hence the “I actually really like you” text, followed by some seriously disheartening I-don’t-want-to-complicate-things type reply. So why botfeelings6her? Over the phone you can easily wear your heart on your sleeve and feelings are poured out here, there and everywhere. So just don’t bother with it in the first place.

“I’m not looking at his Facebook page”
We all do it, I know, but try not to. It may seem like a harmless bit of nosing around but next thing you know, you’re on the page of Joanna from Louth who’s studying English and History in UCD and wondering why the hell he keeps liking all her profile pictures. Who IS she? Where did he FIND her? And his ex-girlfriend… You’ll be sending your bestie screenshots of her for reassurance that you’re prettier than her, mark my words.

“I’m not telling him anything about me”

He does not need to know your life story. He doesn’t need to know why feelings7you and your ex broke up, or your parents’ names, or that you’re allergic to mustard. If you start telling him everything that’s happened to you since the age of five, you’ll find more and more things that you have in common. This leads to more communication, which leads to the “F” word. It’s nice to know their interests, but don’t get into it too much. Work on that mysterious streak.feelings8

“I’m not cuddling him”
Probably the most vital rule of all, this one is a must. Affection is wrong in so many ways when it comes to avoiding feelings. Getting close to someone physically means getting close to them emotionally, which is exactly what you don’t want. Don’t do it, it’s not worth it.

I’ll finish this post with a quote from the original ice queen, the one and only Effy Stonem – “The best way to not get your heart broken, is to pretend you don’t have one.” Have fun feeling absolutely nothing towards anyone little chickens.

If you enjoyed this post, you can vote for me as “Best Youth Blog” in the Irish Blog Awards here