An Ode To Self Care

Illustration by Alex Hwee.

Shaun Jackson

Staff Columnist 

Recommended Listening While Reading: Apple Juice – Jessie Reyez

I am not an atheist per se, but as a member of the LGBT community it feels hard to explore any sort of relationship with a higher power due to how most marginalized groups are treated in a religious context. What the hell do I do?

Granted, I can’t give you anything close to a spiritual awakening. But I do think that if this is something you truly desire, you should look into inclusive places of worship. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find there are quite a few, even right here in Richmond. Like most members of the LGBT community, you’ve probably had a negative experience with religion, so I can see how this whole thing is not only confusing, but off-putting to you. Finding a way to marry your spiritual and sexual identities is easier said than done, but even though most people don’t get the opportunity to do so, it isn’t impossible.

In my day-to-day life, I think I’m way too dependent on people. I don’t really feel my day is complete unless I’ve had a certain amount of social interactions, and I can’t stand to be alone most of the time except for when I’m sleeping. How do I get used to being alone?

It starts with knowing the difference between being alone and being lonely. After that, you have to take steps to be confident in being alone. Introvert into yourself, indulge in yourself and get to know yourself — which can be a rather difficult task when there are people around all the time. No matter your nature, whether you’re extroverted or introverted, there will be times in life when you’ll be by yourself. Knowing how to function in those instances is going to make them just a bit more bearable.

There’s this girl I met two years ago , but I wasn’t anywhere near ready for a relationship then. Now she is in a committed relationship, but they are possibly considering ending things. I really like this girl and I am waiting to see how things pan out. Is there any sense in waiting?

This is never fun because someone is going to get hurt, period. I get it. Things didn’t work out before, but now you’ve built yourself up. You’re better. You’re ready for a relationship. But as fate would have it, that person is already with someone else. The whole thing blows. I encourage you to take a step back; be sure you’re not still carrying around this romanticized idea of who she was and letting that cloud your judgement. I don’t think waiting is ever the answer, at least not in this situation. Time is too fleeting and precious to waste on “never’s” and “maybe’s.” I say continue to do you. Don’t deny yourself new pleasures, intimacies and experiences for someone you essentially cannot have.

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