I finally did it: I cut all the toxic people out of my life, started putting myself first, and prioritized protecting my own peace above all else. My boundaries have never been stronger, and I have never been so bored.
Turns out, safeguarding your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing is actually a super dull way to live.
My therapist, Diane, told me it was unhelpful for me to keep living my life as though it were a reality TV show, and while that’s probably true, it also feels unhelpful to sit at home every night with a dry phone and a healthy respect for my own self worth.
How am I supposed to use messy friendship drama to give my life meaning now?
Now, I only talk to people with whom I share a mutual respect. And while, yeah, this change has helped me grow as a person and has been fundamental in fostering rich and meaningful relationships in my life, it has also left me wondering: where’s the tea? Where’s the intrigue? Where are the screaming matches? Where’s the betrayal? What ever happened with my friend Kacey talking shit about me behind my back and sleeping with my ex?
I know other people live entertaining and enjoyable lives without sacrificing their dignity or engaging in petty drama, but how they do so is beyond me. So far, my experience has been: check in with myself, connect with my community, say no to things that don’t serve me, spend quality time with my family, and pick up old hobbies I had long ago given up on.
With no blowout fights with friends, no toxic men blowing up my phone, and no work meetings lasting well into the evening, it feels like the narrative arc of my life just disappeared.
I had to delete Hinge entirely. It was, to quote my therapist, “a complete drain on my time and energy” and “actively harming my perception of love.” But what my therapist doesn’t understand is that it was also a space for random strangers to tell me that I’m hot. I guess protecting my peace comes at the expense of losing the shallow external validation I was relying on to prove my own self-worth?
Can you die of too much peace?
For now, I suppose I’ll just have to keep pursuing things that serve me, spend my time with people who build me up, and maybe hit Kacey up and tell her if she has shit to say, then to say it to my face. Nobody can protect their peace all the time, and Diane doesn’t have to know.