A blog by Amanda Alcantara

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thoughts on romance, loneliness, and #cuffingseason

Life has become so dull that my weeks are all compiled into what feels like one long day. Reminds me of the fact that we have to put life in years if not they feel shorter (read that in Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer).

I guess it has to do with the fact that my most recent love interest (because I just don't want to get into how awesomely beautiful it was) is over.. And so the little excitement that my life had feels gone.

But why can't I feel excited about other things? 
I'm leading a belly dancing/body image workshop on Saturday. And although finding the motivation to go through with it is hard, every time I work on it I heal. My mind relaxes. I dance and hope to bring this healing to other women through dancing too.

I'm also waiting to hear back from work opportunities. And if I don't get either one then I'm moving on to get a master's degree.

I guess things are going well!

And yet, life is just dull. I think it's a result of living alone. I dread going home, it gives me too much room to think. I feel forgotten. Alone. Lonely. Waaaahhhh. 

Is it because it's #cuffingseason?

Ugh. This brings me to the question: how do you begin wanting a partnership without the possibility of being set-up for failure? 

I wouldn't mind a partner. And saying that doesn't mean that I'm not strong, or that I'm not capable of being on my own. Unlike this silly comic strip:

Saying that I wanna be pampered doesn't mean that I'm not an independent woman. In fact, I understand that my worth isn't determined by society or a male partner, but rather by how I view myself. And I deserve to get what I want, and right now I want somebody to cuddle with. And to share space with. And to connect with. And to complain about society with. And to read with. And to eat with. Shit, I wanna get taken care of. 

And yet a balance is necessary. If I simply sit around and wait for this person to come and don't seek to move forward on my own then that just leaves space for disappointment and feelings of worthlessness. 

Forget if your older tía keeps asking you if you're seeing anyone. Forget that so many of your amigas are getting married and having babies. Marriage feels like the obvious next step because we were brought up to think that way. 

I have personally granted men the power to make me feel beautiful. And alive. And just better when I'm down. Sometimes better than I can make myself feel. So I'm working toward giving that power to myself. I grew up in an environment where everything that women do is framed in terms of our marriage-bility. For example, at least in my cultura, when a women learns to cook everyone says "ya se puede casar" as a huge compliment (it means "you're ready to get married").

So now, even if I don't want to, my brain just finds it easier to feel happy when it distracts itself with thoughts of a significant other rather than thoughts of new projects, ideas, friendships, news, etc. Is it because picturing romance is simply easier? Unlike positive thoughts and words of encouragement that so often lack in women's lives, we know what romance looks like because we've seen it in movies, in music, all over pinterest, on Facebook...everywhere. El romance esta en todas partes. 

When is female empowerment going to be everywhere? When are positive images of women who handle their own--not for the purpose of impressing men but for their own fulfillment--going to be showcased? Without (!) needing to repurpose their lives if they do find a partner. Even most of mainstream's attempts at showing women as independent are meant to impress men... there's this underlying "show-him-what-he's-missing" theme. Why not write a song about just being a woman?

Okay, I'll stop there and take a second to remember this--a song that got me through high school:

Anyway, these songs aren't the cultural norm. They aren't the norm but rather the exception, even if coming from pop artists like Christina Aguilera. 

We need spaces where women can learn to feel strong, empowered, talented, and worthy of all the love that they receive- especially the love that they're able to grant to themselves through self-care, patience, and inner-growth. A space where women feel free to just be.

I'm worthy of mad love. No matter where it comes from--me, friends, family, or a romantic partner.

Ah, writing this helped me feel so good! The fact that I'm alive and able to indulge in some late-night reading with wine is exciting! Tomorrow, I can wake up and do a bunch of other things. Wooo! Go self-empowerment! Go being! Go women of the world who kick-ass! And thank you forces of the universe for giving me another day! I am alive! 


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