Setting Boundaries

If there is one thing that I find incredibly difficult it is setting boundaries with people.

Second to that is properly expressing my feelings when they are hurt.

I am a HIGHLY sensitive human.

Sensitive to the point that something that happened months ago can boil up and hurt me at an unsuspecting time. I have over the years known this about myself and mostly learned to deal with it. But on occasion it creeps in out of nowhere and I lose control.

2020 has thrown me a mind fuck of a time – I honestly didn’t really vision me being unemployed for this long. I didn’t vision me wondering what to do with my life. I also didn’t plan on setting my bar high and going after some long term dreams.

But here I am … just doing that.

In the last few weeks I have really started to feel like connecting with other humans has become increasingly difficult. I don’t know if it is the people that I have chosen as friends, my fear of making new friends, or just an overall feeling of complete social isolation … but some sort of shit is happening and it is powerful.

I have realized that I, for the most part, have been (in the past) a pretty chill human being. I am flexible wth plans and flexible with changes … or at least I thought. I guess until now. I think that because I want to have social/friend time I become too flexible to other peoples schedules and then forget about myself in the process.

2020 has made me realize that I need to be more selfish. I need to be better at sticking to my guns and doing what I want and following the lead of others and making sure I take care of myself first.

Setting this type of boundary has definitely shaken up a lot of my friendships and relationships.

When you set boundaries you change your role in friendships and relationships – you change you position and it changes the dynamic.

And it is hard.

REALLY HARD.

Very few people talk about what happens in your world when you set personal boundaries – it gets lonely.

It gets lonely because all the people that were taking advantage of you and not respecting you are now put into question.

It is really hard to stand up for yourself and see that you are worth it. Your schedule is worth it and that people that don’t respect you are not people worth having in your life.

Forging a new path, a new dream – it takes work and dedication. The same with deciding how to let people treat you. You set the bar for appropriate behaviour – you choose.

You are worth someones full attention.

You are worthy of being a priority.

You are worth you goals and dreams.

You are worth standing up for yourself and not taking any shit for anyone.

Setting boundaries and setting the pace for what I need, for me, is honestly some of the hardest things for me to do. Because when I set boundaries I feel like I lose out on things. And honestly that isn’t the truth.

When you set boundaries you don’t miss out on anything. You get everything that you need for you.

If someone doesn’t want to respect you or your boundaries – if they don’t want to treat you as human – they are not worth it.

2020 has been a great year for reflection and understanding. Setting new goals and aspirations and seeing the shifts that we are all making as we adapt to what is now the norm.

Today I challenge you to stand up for yourself and set one boundary that wasn’t there before. Loudly state something that you need that you aren’t getting because of an action you are allowing (from yourself or someone else) – see how that feels …. and grow from it.

The bag of burritos I needed.

Truth: Even though I had a fairly great job situation in Calgary post SAIT I quit my job and moved to Montreal. I transferred with Starbucks to get me started and took my boho looking, dreadlock sporting self to the city of liberty and freedom and decided it was about time I make a life for myself.  My friend told me there were lots of jobs, and even though I hadn’t actually found anything online and had no response I packed my stuff, shipped my entire life and decided to make a go of it.

Truth: Montreal was the hardest 6 months of my life.

Truth: I struggled with my pay dropping to a quarter of what I was making in Calgary.  I struggled with transferring into a store that instantly and blatantly hated me because I had dreadlocks among other stupid reasons (sidenote: I later actually made some amazing friends and connections at that Starbucks – Monkland represent!). I was already feeling self conscious and that just wreaked havoc on my emotions and my state of mind. I struggled with sleeping on the hardwood floor for 6 months. My self worth was trapped in material possessions.  When I finally made the decision to leave Montreal my options were limited. I didn’t have any money. I was so fucked. My spirit and soul were crushed. Needless to say moving in with my sister and her family for a couple months changed my life. It propelled me to get where I needed to be.

Edmonton has been a lot of growing and progress; baby steps to a brighter future. However, because I moved here under those dire circumstances. Edmonton has always felt like a failure. That my life is a fail. I failed at Montreal. And that, right there, my friends is a lesson I just learned after almost 2 years in Edmonton.

I have felt like a failure in Edmonton because of the hiccup of time I spent in Montreal that crushed my soul.

It is funny how that works.

So while this might sound like a pity party. It is actually a blessing and a break through in my development as a human. I am so focused on why this (Edmonton) was a fail I have failed myself in seeing my success. I feel so profound in my discovery. Like someone has ripped off some blinders.

So how did I get here ?…. Mark Manson.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

Saturday. I read the entire book. It is fresh in my head so I am trying to implement as many of the lessons as I possible can. But the overarching theme is taking a look  at yourself and your self worth and basically working on yourself to become better for you and then others. I am not going to lie it sucks to realize that you are the root cause of all your problems. It sucks to realize that you are causing your own unhappiness from preconceived notions of yourself. But it makes me smile when I think about all the foolish pressure I have put on myself in the last couple of years because I have limiting beliefs about myself. My mind is fucking blown Friends. All the sudden I am peeling back the layers of destructive self hatred and attempting to lift some pressure from myself and work on my own happiness instead of placing that in other people’s hands and other peoples acceptance of me.

Truth: Sometimes I compare Carol today to Carol back then (not Montreal just happier times) to try and learn from the times in my life when I thought I was my happiest. The thing is. Those were times where I literally and wholeheartedly didn’t give a fuck about what anyone else thought. I never listened I just got on the plane and went. I went to Japan. I went to Korea. I went to China. I went to Chile. I went everywhere. I met amazing people. I didn’t give a flying fuck. I have realized recently I don’t actually want to live like that anymore. I like the stability of not having to figure out where I am going to move every year. I like knowing that my job still exist tomorrow. I don’t need visas and immigration and worrying about whether I can afford a visa run. I don’t have to save for my next flight – unless I truly want to. I think all that time I was searching for security and the only one that can provide that is me.

So today I commit to trying my best to stop that self deprecating behavior. Stop comparing myself to other people doing different things at different phases of their lives. And to just breathe. Because honestly I couldn’t of lived my 20ies any cooler than I did. I didn’t get where I am today but not chancing all those things …testing myself.  Learning that I can build a life where ever I go. Learning that people are selfish assholes and that most advice comes for their own personal experiences, drives, desires and failures. I commit to opening myself up to the possibilities of a wonderful life right here in this city – a place that has been so incredibly good for me, my bank account and my financial well being. I also commit to trying to stop interjecting my suggestions when people what to talk to me. My opinion doesn’t matter much.

So if your are reading this thinking – good gawd – know this – I feel like I am bursting with positivity because I unlocked a secret about my life or I finally figured something out. It is going to be a journey to a brighter Carol. It isn’t my first time pulling myself out of a mess. And I have the power to change everything. It’s a choice.

So Friends – are you trapped in a circle of negative behavior and thoughts? Are you trapped on the hamster wheel of self deprecating behavior and don’t know how to jump off? The sad reality is … it is a choice. Bad things may have happened to you but in the end you chose how you feel about it, how you internalize it or if and when it’s time to let go. You chose to stay. You chose to go. Everything is a choice. So you need to chose to not let past experience affect your current life. And it is hard as fuck. But I am sure as fuck it is going to be worth it.

And with that – all my Love and Self help magic vibes!

Stay dirty,

C