My name is Celeste. I am 21 years old, and I am an extrovert. My Myers-Briggs type is ENFP, which means extroverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceiving. I love meeting new people, feeling new sparks, and going through new experiences. But I have found that my discomfort grew as I felt a rising obligation to stay “loyal” to certain groups of people or to someone.
My ideal life for myself is one where I am free. I can do what I want, and I don’t have to feel guilty for enjoying my freedom. I don’t wish to feel trapped or as if I owe anyone my time or energy. When I do things from a place of perceived loyalty, I find my energy running out fast and anger toward that person grow quickly. When I do things simply out of love, I feel empowered and as if I am leading the life I want to live.
Ottessa Moshfegh writes in her novel Eileen, “Here is how I spend my days now. I live in a beautiful place. I sleep in a beautiful bed. I eat beautiful food. I go for walks through beautiful places. I care for people deeply. At night my bed is full of love, because I alone am in it. I cry easily, from pain and pleasure, and I don’t apologize for that. In the mornings I step outside and I’m thankful for another day. It took me many years to arrive at such a life.”
This is the type of life that I envision for myself, for right now and as the years come. I feel the most peace when I go home to an empty bed with my cat resting in it. I feel the most content when I can cry and laugh freely on my own. I have found more peace within myself when I stand alone than when I am committed to someone or a group of people. My inability to be an authentic version of myself without making the people around me scared or worried has been a great strain on me for a long time now, and I simply wish to be at peace with it on my own. But I also wish to form deeper bonds with those I care about.
The other part of the equation is that I am in fact an extrovert. I gain energy from being around others and I love meeting new people. There is such a thrill that comes from that part of my life, and I actively seek out those relationships. My friendships and relationships, no matter how long they last or how deep they are, are invaluable to me. But I can’t always act out on this part as freely.
I find great discomfort in the idea of “belonging” to anyone or any group. I’ve felt this for a long time, and it’s only about a year ago that I came to terms with what that meant to me. Whenever I enter any form of relationship like that, I feel that I am losing a part of myself. And in a sense, I really am. Because there is always a part of myself or my time and space that I must sacrifice. That is the price you have to pay.
And don’t get me wrong here. Some people are worth it. Some situations are worth it. But I can’t do that all the time for anyone. None of us can or should. And usually after some time, as I am pushed out of my comfort zone, it no longer becomes worth the sacrifice. Because being pushed into deep intimacy when I didn’t truly want it has always resulted in a loss of myself and my own control.
The issue stems from the fact that I feel pressured to be a part of something. To be part of a committed social group or one partner in a way that takes away from my own freedom and my own space. I think the very notion of relationships comes down to the idea of sharing with one another, but I have never felt the desire to do that. I wish to be my own free person, separate from any other person.
Upon establishing a strong and unique relationship with myself, I haven’t felt lonely in a long time. I am content, if not more at peace, declaring myself as on my own. When you have this type of energy, people will naturally be drawn to you.
Maybe I just have intimacy issues.
Or maybe I just want to be in control of my own life.