I had to go through a long and agonizing process of waiting (for a piece of news) in the past two weeks. In fact, as of now, the wait is not over yet. But the worst time has passed. After knowing the reason why I had to wait longer than expected, I’m waiting in a very chill fashion now.
It’s more or less a shame, but the previous excessive anxiety and disturbance from the waiting, did trigger a sense of resemblance of what I felt when I was in an emotionally abusive relationship several years ago. The sinking heart when staring at my quiet phone as hours went by, the mix of disappointment, anger, self-doubt, paranoid speculations and damaged pride, the state of being completely seized by the uneasiness and couldn’t focus on anything else.
These are two substantially different situations, apparently. But what makes me feel the resemblance, I know, is that the deepest insecurity inside me was triggered, and the reluctancy to face it. Different people has different source of the their no.1 insecurity. In the context of love and romance, some might feel most insecure about the financial state of their partner, some feel most insecure about the fidelity of their partner, some feel most insecure about the companion and attention they can get. In some way, I do more or less feel some of the above. But if I have to go full-on psychoanalytical and diagnose myself, my deepest insecurity lies in the quest I was dreading very much to face: what is my life without love, or the illusion of love?
It was the dread of the internal void that made me would rather entangle myself with someone who was clearly wrong for me for two years than letting it go, rather stare at a phone that didn’t ring and wound’t ring for hours than looking in the face of the void.
In the past ten months, I’ve been consciously staying single and focusing on filling up the void. I spent a lot of time being alone, not only becoz I realize it’s the state I’m more comfortable with relative to social occasions, but also becoz I see it as a necessary, repetitive practise. I’ve only spent time on meaningful human connections in my life and retreated from the others, acknowledging to myself that not every relation is worth keeping. I’ve rejuvenated some of my old-time hobbies. I write, I play music, I watch movies, I exercise, I take photos to document my state of existence, however ordinary it seems. I can’t say how successful I am at filling up the void, but at least all this time, I’m looking at it as it is.
My friend Jorge once told me, many people think they have to find the other half of their orange (don’t ask why, he always has some peculiar metaphors), that’s becoz they decide to see themselves as half an orange. But it’s not the case. One has to be a full orange first, and try to be a ample, happy orange. After that, no matter if you find another orange or not, or even another banana, apple, you’d at least have the power to make yourself happy. Then you make other people happy. —— That’s perhaps a cheerful Spanish version of my gloomy void theory, if one prefers.
I guess the bottom line to deal with insecurity is, there’s no shortcut, and you just have to be honest about it to start with. Of course, some people would easily resort to a temporary quick fix (e.g, finding a rich husband to oppose financial insecurity) or even slide into a sad state of self-denial/deception (e.g, engaging in a marathon dating game to maintain a perception of self worth). But there’s a difference between resisting insecurity and feeling secure. And it’s no secret that any sense of security can only come from within.
As of the reason lies under my most recent insecurity attack, well, I don’t wanna talk much about it yet to jinx the result I’m waiting for, (I’m insecure, remember?) but it did force me to look underneath the symptoms and to think hard on what to do with it. The first step is, unfortunately, wait.
P.S: A very important lesson I learned from recent piano practise: it’s more difficult to play lightly (and have perfect control of the finger strength) than to play it out loud and hard. When I realized this, it was like an “ah-ha” philosophical moment. The same rule can actually be applied to many things in life, isn’t it?