Friday, March 11, 2011

How do you know if your gut is your Gut?

Like many teenage girls, I suffered from a terrible affliction known as the Low Self-esteem Dragon during my formative years.  If a guy looked at me, surely it was because I was an ugly, pimply teenager who had some pudge and not because I was a cute, blonde tennis player.  I was convinced I was not only fat and chunky, but that I would be fat and chunky FOREVER.  And anytime I felt that Dragon rear its ugly, scaly head, I was convinced that it was my Gut telling me the clear and present Truth of a given situation.

I wish my internal Dragon was this cute
For example, the varsity football player who flirted with me on the back staircase Junior year? Obviously he was just teasing and making fun of such an ugly kid. Gut = Truth.

Then I got older, and wiser, and realized that It Gets Better.  I happen to think I'm pretty frickin' gorgeous and awesome.  I'm better (but still not great) at flirting and decoding flirting, and I realize that you know what? Occasionally my Low Self-esteem Dragon rears it's head and that's okay.  We all have days where we don't feel good enough, or smart enough, or like anyone cares about us.  I'm human, and I'm a female human, and shitty moods happen.  But there's one thing I'm not all that great at just yet, and that is reading my Gut.

Because sometimes, and especially when it comes to matters involving the male species, I don't know whether the little voice in my head is my Dragon or my Gut.  I'd like to think I have an amazing Gut (Trevor notwithstanding. That gut is a problem child.) but sometimes I just don't know when to trust it.  If I listen to it, am I avoiding a pointless/dangerous situation (Gut)? Or am I giving up because I think I'm not worth it (Dragon)?

Most recently, I can't decide how to feel about the progress (or lack thereof) with The Bandleader.  It's hard when we only see each other once a month, and it's especially hard when he DOESN'T ask for my NUMBER at the end of the NIGHT.  It's hard because there's a middle-lady who I work with, but don't hang out with, that's trying to act as a go-between.  And what's even harder about THAT is that she and I have different views about how this setting-people-up thing works.  But that's neither here nor there (or is it?) because...

...I have this feeling about our budding (or not-so-budding) romance.  That it's not going anywhere.  That it never will go anywhere.  That it's pointless and hopeless and I should just get over my stupid little crush.

Obviously he and I had some chemistry on the dance floor.  And I think there's no denying there was an attraction (I had no problem reading that Gut reaction after our non-date).  And clearly he had a great time with me, as the subsequent conversations with Coworker and others showed. But. Butbutbutbutbut.

I don't know if my Gut is letting me know that this little crush is nothing more than a fun flame, or if my Low Self-esteem Dragon is making it's comeback as a fake gut.  Do I really feel like it's going nowhere, or am I convinced because of the time between shows and lack of other suitors that I'm not worthy, or that I'll never catch his eye, or there's too many other ladies interested in a guy who's *swoon* in a band?

I can't tell.  I really can't.  The only thing I'm sure of is that things stall out if there's too much time between events, and I don't doubt that there's a bit of stalling going on right now.  But I have a hard time going full force into something when my "gut" tells me it'll never happen.  Why should I waste my time on it? At the same time, if this isn't my Gut talking and is instead my Dragon, I don't want the Dragon to win.

So, follies, help a girl out: How do I slay my Dragon and listen to my Gut?

Shout out here to the It Gets Better Project (  Mr. Savage may have started it with GLBTQ teens in mind, but I think the message applies more broadly to all who have been or are currently being bullied.  We may have been raised to brush harsh words off with the old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" but I believe that when you reach a certain age, and certainly more in today's world than what I saw when I was a child, words can and do hurt more than any stick or stone ever could.  Let's stick up for each other and reach out instead of putting down.  And what do I say? SMILE BACK!


Josie said...

I wish, as an older wiser female, I had something older and wiser to add. . .but I come up with nothing. . sorry. So glad I'm no longer as clueless but still have no idea, except, if a guy likes you who will pursue you.
Sorry, not much help at all. This from someone who always was useless at flirting. . except with my husband. Good luck, my dear!
Josie x

Ashten said...

I stumbled across this blog today and this post made my day. I have been struggling with the same issue my whole life, and it made me feel better to know I'm not entirely alone. Thank you!

Folly of One said...

Josie - Thanks for reassuring me that if a likes me, he'll pursue me. I think that's easy to forget when you've got a Crush!

Ashten - I'm so happy to hear that my post made your day! Pretty sure your comment made my day :) You're not alone, and now I know that neither am I!!