I’ve been back in the Netherlands now for four weeks and I already said it several times, it’s not easy. Looking for a job, being in such a different environment in every way, being almost out of money, and much more going on. I also haven’t seen any of my real-life “friends” in these weeks. They have even barely contacted me. And that hurts. It really hurts. But bare with me, I had an important insight on this.
As everything in life, it is a learning process. Or part of me growing up. Finally at almost 50….
Updating my resume for finding a job made me realise that I’ve never gotten a job pure from a place of self-confidence or skills and qualifications, but because I was hired by people who saw something in me, trusted that enough to take the jump and gave me a “chance”. And looking at my skills and possibilities right now, comparing them to what is generally asked for in “normal” jobs, it’s not a very good match. And if being self-employed has taught me one thing, is that I am not good at selling myself. Maybe I can learn, but just the sheer amount of things you have to live up to nowadays is giving me a burn-out even before I started. I applied for one thing so far, but got rejected without reason, and they didn’t want to go into that because of the number of responses they had. I am not good with rejection. So, I start to imagine all kinds of things. Too old? Not qualified enough? Was my motivation not good enough? I will never know. And I am trying not to take it personally, but maybe I’ve experienced too much rejection in my life to not do that. And I am not good at faking it, and I don’t want to. It will not help me or the company if I pretend to be more than I am. But, the dreamer, the idealist in me? She will have to take the backseat for a while so I can create a life with a steady income and a place of my own. I will still have my writing, I can still prepare and write my next books. The freelance work will also have to wait until I get things in order.
Another realisation I had was about my relationships. Why was it almost nobody contacted me? And the one that did I didn’t particularly want to see. I started pondering on this. I’ve got one friend who has been in my life for a while now, but all other people have come and gone. And I always thought it was me. What did I do wrong. Wasn’t I good enough? Didn’t I meet their needs? But then I got to thinking about why I became friends with them in the first place. Was there really a connection? Or was it just because I so desperately wanted to be loved, liked, acknowledged. Be a part of something.
I have always been the one in the middle, the one overlooked. Oh, Diana is fine, she is always fine. She can manage herself. And I think started to believe that. So, I stopped reaching out. Only stepping into the role of mediator, of being there for others. My needs and feelings didn’t matter. My hurt and pain wasn’t as bad as theirs. So I will just not mention it. As long as they keep liking me. But, did I really love and like them? Wasn’t I clinging on to the people that even showed a remote interest in me? Was it ever truly equal?
Everyone always describes me as being kind, gentle, caring, loving, compassionate. The angel of kindness. Such a good listener. Always being there when they needed me. But when the tables turned, suddenly they weren’t there. And this is not the first time this has happened to me in my life. Even though I didn’t want to blame them, I deep down did. I resented the fact that now that I needed it they weren’t there. That when I reached out for help, suddenly they were busy, or I was too far away. I was angry. Because I always tried to show up, even when I didn’t feel like it, or had to make time for them, cancel other appointments, take away time from my partner. Even without having a car or drivers license. I would find a way. By bike or by public transport. And they were always very willing to pick me up when it was beneficial to them, but otherwise? Or maybe I just didn’t bother to ask, afraid of rejection. Apparently keeping in touch with certain friends was more important to me than it was to them. Because when I stopped reaching out: crickets. Well, most of them. Or they gave me advice and tips I didn’t need or want. Or when we did meet up, it ended up always being about them. I even noticed this pattern now with some family members (also in the past), my ex-partner. Always they were spilling their guts about everything to me, and I listened. I always listened. I soaked it up, and they felt better afterwards. But when I tried to do the same? I shouldn’t be so negative, think positive, you’ve got nothing to complain about, they would change the subject. So, I didn’t reach out anymore. I stopped, it was too draining. It always felt like rejection. Over and over again. A confirmation of them not liking or loving me. I returned to my journaling. My trusted friend in life.
But just now I read an article about the toxic feminine and I realised I also have been in that energy. I have been manipulative, played the victim role and blamed others for where I am now. Maybe not always conscious, but there was always a voice deep down that kept blaming my parents, my siblings, my partners, my friends, my employers, my colleagues. I even blamed Source, the Universe. But I realise now that it was all me. It always was me all along. I was never clear about what I needed. I never spoke up when they crossed my boundaries. I said yes to things when really I wanted to say no. I manipulated those I knew would help me, because that’s just what they live for, helping others, being the superheroes. No wonder my ex-partner loves superhero movies. If he can take on the role as saviour he is happy. It’s how we ended up being together in the first place. I wasn’t clear when people were trying to be my friend but I actually didn’t want them to be my friend. And I started to wonder. What if this pattern is something I created? The people I wanted to be friends with, maybe they didn’t want to be my friend in the first place. Law of attraction? Was I really that kind, caring, compassionate? No. Certainly not. I was blaming, judgmental. I felt mistreated. Unheard. Unloved. Unwanted. And I blamed others for that.
I realised that I had been very good at being how the other person wanted me to be. Be a chameleon. To take on the role of what they needed. But not always because I liked that person that much, just because I wanted to be liked and loved. So, what is happening now in my life, isn’t this what I deserve? For not being honest? Even if it was a pattern, a behaviour that I wasn’t conscious of up til now?
And then the biggest realisation of all from this weekend. I am in the most complicated relationship with myself. Because, if I don’t love, like, accept myself for who I truly am, how can I ever expect anyone else to love, like and accept me. Or honour and respect me. So, this is the relationship I need to heal first. And take full responsibility for my own life. For the complete mess I made. Forgive myself. Accept that this is all a part of this journey. Forgive my parents, because they also didn’t know. Learn how to reach out to people I know care about me. Who will not judge me, or belittle me, or say I told you so. And accept their help without judging. Without being afraid of them having ulterior motives for helping me. Of course I am afraid of that, because that’s what I have been doing myself. Did I ever give freely? Without expecting something in return? Because even the need for being liked and loved is expecting something in return. I realise that now.
Maybe it’s time for new friendships after this, because how in the world did I end up with people that don’t care about the planet, animals, the environment on the same level as I do. How can I ever share my passions if most of the people around me don’t give a sh*t. I know, it’s my own doing, because I became who they wanted me to be. I was a huge people pleaser. Enormous. Humongous.
This is maybe the most honest I have ever been with myself, and others. I can honestly say there are only a hand few of people that I would love to keep in my life, but I also know that there are lessons to be received from everyone. Whether I like it or not. It is what it is.