Sunday, January 26, 2014

On what's good for me

There was a time, a few years ago, when I had to stop listening to the Cosmo channel on my satellite radio because it was making me insane.

Cosmo Radio, which doesn't even exist anymore, was basically Cosmopolitan magazine in radio format. I don't read Cosmo. I don't read any women's magazines. And, as it turns out, I shouldn't listen to any radio stations sponsored by women's magazines because I can't handle it.   

As you would assume, most topics were rooted in sex or relationships or sex and relationships. I listened for a few months and, I am completely serious when I tell you that listening made me insane. Not because the station annoyed me so much as it actually made me a crazy person. Paranoid and jaded and always second-guessing my own instincts.

I had to stop listening.

When I did, my life became much more pleasant. I prefer myself when I am not acting like a crazy girl.

I've never been one for dating and relationship books. Maybe you can tell from my general cluelessness and my asinine behavior when it comes to the opposite sex. I understand the general concept of The Rules and He's Just Not That Into You and whatever the kids are following these days: I've just never read any of the books. I've never subscribed to any of those methods. I've never committed. I've never bought in. Maybe it's a flaw in my character. Maybe that's the reason I'll be single forever. 

But it's impossible to escape all of the advice that's out there. There are so many damn experts saying how I should act or when I should text or why what I'm doing is wrong. It's especially bad at this time of the year: January, when all of the self-help books are published and all of the self-help authors are promoting their product. 

The experts are everywhere and I listen because -- why do I listen? Because I'm the target audience? Because hope is eternal? 

Whatever the reason, I listen and all of the advice echoes around in my head and it makes me just as crazy as Cosmo Radio. 

It doesn't make me happy. It doesn't serve me well. I know this. And I am going to be better at avoiding it. 

Maybe following my own instincts will never get me anywhere but at least it doesn't make me feel inadequate and foolish and overwhelmed. At least following my own instincts lets me be me and not a facsimile of every other single female who snatched up a copy of the latest high print-run title. 

Doing things my way may not do me any favors. But I have to believe that I gain a bit back by eliminating something from my life that doesn't serve me well. 

I'd rather go with my gut, call at the wrong time and scare a guy away than memorize and follow an intricate early relationship communications flow chart.

I'd rather just be me.      


Lynn said...

The Rules annoy me so much. It's game playing. I agree with going with your instincts. My guy friends would be horrified if they thought a woman was following a book's advice to get them interested, to propose, or whatever.

gloriason said...

You have to be true to yourself. No one likes a phony. I just have to believe that you are inching closer to a truly happy ending!

Accidentally Me said...

Clearly, you should ignore all experts. Except for me!!!

I get what you're saying, but I would still encourage you to occasionally get out of your comfort zone on purpose. You don't have to stay there, but you may find it to be worthwhile once in a while:-)

Anonymous said...

This is so true. I am learning I need to trust my gut more. The rules doesn't always apply to me and my gut when I don't listen to it...I'm led astray...I have a lot currently going on in my life and this post couldn't have come at a better time.

Anonymous said...

and me!

A said...

I think that my problem is that my head gets so full of advice that it feels a little like it's going to explode. That's why I'm just going to defer to you, AM, for all advice (like I didn't already) and then go with my gut (apologies in advance for when I do that and it drives you crazy).

As for a happy ending, well, that's feeling pretty far away at the moment never know!

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