I read something today that was talking about how much easier life would be if each person came with their own relevant warning label. First of all, I agree. Second, what would mine be? I have been thinking about this and have a partially composed answer, the rest will come as I write I am sure.
My first answer (the composed part of this post) is Flight Risk. This was an accurate warning label for me through most of my twenties and the entirety of my single life. This label was born from a catastrophic end to a complicated relationship and a separate trauma event that followed months later. Trust became a major issue for me in the beginning of new relationship prospects, along with fear. The first few men who I attempted to date once I felt ready did not listen to my request to move slow and thus this warning label was created. I would literally tell potential partners at the very beginning, I am a flight risk, I need to take things slow. What I was so often met with was the guy thinking this was some kind of challenge.. Oh it will be different with me or I can change/save you. I never stuck around long enough to find out. Intimacy had become this really scary place for me, which is sad, so no matter when in the relationship intimacy finally came up it was going to be scary and difficult for me. My thought was if I at least have a solid foundation of trust and healthy relationship with the person maybe it will be less scary. I was right, kind of. It was still scary and difficult when it finally came up in Todd and I’s relationship but we had been building a relationship together for so long that I had someone supporting me through it who was patient and loved me.
So fast forward 5 years into the future.. What would be my warning label now.. Challenging maybe? I like that because it has many definitions that feel right.
Challenging in that I will challenge things that others say either because I do not agree and want to have a dialogue or out of curiosity which may then require them to give insightful thought to what they actually mean (intention v. impact type of stuff).
Challenging in that I am complex and may make some uncomfortable.
Challenging in an ambiguous sense..
Person 1: How would you describe X, Y, and Z.
Person 2: Um, Challenging?
I mean, what does it even mean? Who knows? It may be worth it to some to find out, and to others not so much.
This is my take on my own warning label right now. Thinking about from other’s perspectives though..
I think Todd’s warning label for me would be verbose. I wear him out sometimes with my long-windedness.
I think my Mom’s would be outspoken. I have found my voice and truth in that relationship and I think I wear her out too sometimes.
Verbose, outspoken, challenging. I think the take away message from this post is to use my natural skills of introversion to shut up and listen. I will approach my day tomorrow with the intention of mouth closed, ears open and see what the world tells me.