Stop Forcing It

Am I the only one that feels like they have spent too much time trying to force things that aren’t meant for them?

The thought that came to me a week or so ago was that you shouldn’t have to force things that are meant for you. It seems like the most obvious thing ever. But in a lot of ways, as someone that has given people and things the benefit of the doubt ad nauseum, I know that at times I have tried to “force” or “push” things on myself in an effort to like them or have them grow on me. And while with some aspects of life that you do just have to put up with, like with work or the compromise on family issues, some things just aren’t for you and forcing it is only wasted effort.

This epiphany of mine was brought on while I was driving to brunch Sunday morning. I was listening to Cardi B (whose album is my jam right now. Like I play the entire thing on repeat while I’m getting dressed, cooking, all of that) and driving through Baltimore, which is where my plans were. And as I was listening, it occurred to me how much I genuinely enjoyed this album. I was going to listen to it regardless just to support it, because I like Cardi and want to see her win. I’m like that with any artists that I like or that have a message that I like: I make sure I listen or support in some way, even when I’m not really feeling it. I feel like it’s just necessary. It’s the same way that I follow the social media pages of the businesses that friends or sorors of mine have, regardless of what the business is or if it’s something I have an interest in or not.  But with Cardi’s album, I listen to it because I love it. I’m not forcing it. I’m naturally drawn to it.

And really, shouldn’t everything be like that? Shouldn’t you lean toward what draws you in and attracts you and put to the side that which doesn’t?

The irony of that realization is that I was driving through a city that I tried for a long time to make feel like home. I joke that I’ve given Baltimore every chance, but we just don’t go together. It’s just not for me. (And that’s not to criticize it. It’s just acknowledging that it doesn’t feel like home and never will- and not for lack of trying. It is something, again, that I felt like I was forcing.) In a lot of ways, my years living in the DMV  have been symbolic of that: trying to fit into places that just don’t. Jobs that make me so miserable that I have anxiety attacks. Men that either look perfect on paper but that I just don’t click with.  Or men I do click with and sometimes fall for that just don’t care. I remember a date I had over a year ago with this guy that was so nice and sweet, but that I just wasn’t attracted to. In my mind I reasoned that if we just gave it some time, like a good amount of time, then maybe I’d eventually feel something. But on that second date, when he leaned in to try and kiss me, I basically matrix-swerved on him because everything in me was like “uh uh.” But true to form, trying to be nice, I felt bad and wanted to try and make myself like him. I mean, we had good conversations and seemed to be semi-compatible. So it was just a matter of time right?

I told all this to a friend of mine, one I can count on to keep it straight-no chaser with me- and her response was the common sense answer I needed, which was “if you don’t even want to kiss him, you’re not attracted to him. Why are you doing back out with him then?”

I don’t know where that comes from, this feeling that we (I say we, because I know I’m not alone with this) have to make things work that clearly aren’t fitting who we are, what we desire, etc. Especially when the opposite, the people and situations that we don’t have to force, are so easy and effortlessly enjoyable.  We see the signs and the flags, but still proceed on trying to force it. – Maybe it’s a side-effect of the “Good Girl Syndrome.”  We want to be nice and don’t want to rock the boat. So we give second, third, and forth chances to people that don’t deserve them. We try to make situations that don’t fit or don’t work, work.  We give the benefit of the doubt over and over again. It’s true that some things in life we do have to work for. But I believe that some things, the things that it feels like we’re forcing, are trying to tell us that we need to step back and re-evaluate. Maybe we should listen.

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