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5 Smiles Closer to a New Life

5 Mar

Today I was at the gym again.  It’s a new gym in a new town so I don’t really know anyone.  I had been at my old gym for years and used to walk around talking to everyone like I was in high school.  I flirted and had fun and had a great time.

Until………my sort of ex boyfriend who shall be nameless changed all that.  And even though I am responsible for letting him change me, I still became a different person tehn I was before.

He told me that he hated people like me.  Friendly, flirty, talkative.  That if I was friendly to a guy they thought I wanted to have sex with them.  And, if I wanted to work out with him, I couldn’t talk to anyone.

At first I didn’t believe him.  How could that be?  I was just having fun being friendly .  why would they think that?  I couldn’t believe it.  But, I liked working out with him so I decided I would do what he wanted me to.

And, just like with my ex husband before him, I let him turn me into someone other then my real self.  I became a good girl, trying to please him, not talking to other guys, keeping my head down.  Serious, not smiling, and definately not friendly.

And it didn’t matter that I changed, because he always got mad about something else anyway.  There was no pleasing him no matter what I did.

So then why would I change myself for these guys?  It’s a great question.  One that I’ve been wondering about.  I think I learned to be a good girl when I was small.  My father was a great guy, but a couple of times he got really mad.  And it was scary.  So, I decided I better be good.  I learned to do whatever I had to do to keep him from getting mad.  It worked every time but once.  I forgot to sweep the porch one day.  He told me I was a lazy, selfish, good for nothing.  And, until very recently, I believed that his words were true.

So the pattern was there.  Be good.  Do what they say.  Try not to get yelled at.  And do whatever I had to do to get them to love me anyway.  The problem was, thought, that deep down, I thought I was unlovable.  I didn’t think anyone could love the real me, so, it makes sense that I would try to be someone else, right?  In a crazy sort of way.  Logic doesn’t apply.

So, back to the gym today.  I was there, remembering my post from yesterday.  I decided to do something.  “Say hi or smile at 5 people,” I decided.

So I smiled at a few people and they didn’t smile back.

Don’t give up.  They probably had an ex boyfriend like me.  And then the next woman smiled.  I counted her.  Another young guy asked if I was using the bench.  “No, ” I said.  And he smiled.  2.

A woman was stretching and shaking her head.  I asked what was wrong.  “My friends are always late,” she said.  And we started a discussion.

It didn’t have to be with guys I decided.  Just to get my friendliness back.  2 to go.  I got on the elliptical even though I was finished.  No one looked at me.

Desperate to get my last 2, on my way out, I said hi to the guy at the desk. He said hi back.   I also spoke to the membership girl about a college break discount for my kids.

And then, on my way out, I asked the guy behind me if it was still cold out.  “Yes,” he said.  “but it’s almost spring.”  So that was 6.

And, even though I almost didn’t do it, I forced myself.  These weren’t noble prize  winning conversations, but I still felt like a new person.  I did something I didn’t want to do.  It’s not like I have new friends or a date from it, but if I can say hi or smile at 5 people I don’t know every day, my life just may look different.  Who knows what can happen?

But the main point is that I feel great.  On a high.  I guess that comes from going out of my comfort zone.  Doing something different.  I’m not really sure.  But you can bet I will try it again tomorrow.  It might even become a habit.  And then, who knows what could happen?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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