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  • jhoannaloualbano

Acceptance Stage

Updated: Nov 2, 2023



I have been trying to be treat myself better by abiding and practicing self-help shit like that thing that's popular on social media — have the courage to be disliked — or what they say about what other people think of me being none of my business.


For the most part, I think I am getting good at it, comfortable even.


Except I realized the more I do this, the more friends I lose and it's...well, I haven't been able to shrug that off my mind. It's annoying.


Suddenly, something I believed in for the longest time resurfaced: if it's everybody else's fault, maybe it's really mine. Or, I guess it does get lonely sometimes.


I know I just need to be myself and love myself and the right people will come along. I need to have faith that they will. I have to believe this.


 

The other day, I said to myself that I needed to accept the fact that I'm not particularly easy to understand. Sometimes, I don't even understand myself! And that maybe, mom didn't really dislike my as I had thought and believed all my life. Maybe, she really just didn't know how to handle a complex child. I softened at the thought.


Poor woman, having to raise a petulant, outspoken, and opinionated child, who, let's admit it, is a little rough around the edges. Not the easiest really, and truly not within her grasp and aesthetic preference. Maybe she did the best she could.


I was having a Friday night massage when the thought occurred to me. I opened my eyes to see a sliver of light streaming through the glass partition and thought, how appropriate for an epiphany.


I teared up with compassion: I liked that storyline better than the one in my head, which is, let's admit it, a lot funnier one but a little more hurtful. Ready to let go of such thought that's no longer serving me.


Yes, maybe it's time to accept I'm not the easiest to understand. Or that I was easygoing.

 

For the longest time, I wanted to be that easygoing girl, without issues whatsoever, likeable and outgoing, calm, smart, and sassy.


And maybe that's where my interpersonal troubles like. People misconstrue my easygoing manner as irresponsible and careless. Or they misinterpret me as someone with whom they can irresponsible with because I knew I would be OK with it because I could and I would troubleshoot a problem.


That couldn't be farthest from the truth.


I'd like to be relaxed and calm and cool with shitty behavior but I'm actually a scatterbrain and nearer frazzled, with a gazillion things to figure out and do.


Perhaps I'm not easygoing after all.


 

On the flip side, there are plenty things I didn't think I was: I didn't think I was the type to curl my hair, get botoxed, love hotel sheets and pillows, and spend for staycations.


I also didn't think I would be so committed to climbing, or that I'd be the type to mark a birthday with a photo shoot, although I'm not there yet but I've already approached three photographers — five actually, if we're to count those shoots for those programs last year.


It's been a strange trip so far, this whole self-love thing of shedding skin. I'm getting to know this me that's emerging, looking at her with compassion and understanding instead of judgement, which is really on an intermediate level of awareness. It's not an easy thing to do.


But like I said, it gets lonely. I can't expect others to love me and be there for me even if they're my friends because yes they're my friends, but they're also just friends. They have their own lives to live, families to attend to, work to do, etc etc etc.


I need to be here for myself, first and foremost. And trust the right people always comes along.


 

With friends and family, it's so easy to forget that people change. We think we know them, approach them with so much familiarity, but the truth is, they aren't necessarily the same people we know from yesterday. Especially after the pandemic.

Earlier in the homecoming business, I was looking for the kindness of space from people. Because there was this heaviness of expectations. Batchmates I haven't seen since high school, our teachers, other school mates expected me to be the person I was in high school when I haven't been that girl in 25 long years!


Anyway, over the weekend, I realized I could do the same for others. I went out with a bunch of friends and it struck me how some of them felt unfamiliar.


I have to remind myself that they're not necessarily the same person from when we saw each other last. They've been changed by their everyday as I have been changed by my everyday.


I shouldn't take that change in behavior personally, no? Like I keep reminding myself, it's never about me — and that's a good thing.


As I shed skin, become the person that I am, and strive to life a more authentic life, may the right people float into my life, too.

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