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This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon
Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.

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Chasing Love

Once again I find myself without a partner.  I feel an ache when my phone chimes and it’s not a sweet text from my sweetheart.  It’s a text saying my Verizon bill is available for review.  Thud goes hope, and yet for now, I choose to relax and focus on my kids and writing.  Why am I not chasing love?

Chase. Catch. Release.

I did do some chasing recently.  I signed up for an online dating service (proactive in itself). I sent a message to a man I found attractive (downright aggressive for me).  His profile spoke to me. I went for it.  It worked! I caught his attention too. What followed was two months of delightful dinner dates, hours on the couch legs entwined, much bedroom passion, late night phone conversations, personal stories, tears, insecurity, disappointment, love?/not love? Eventually, the tears outweighed the delight.

Why did the relationship not work?  In my opinion there was not enough space to be authentic and vulnerable. Our schedules limited the actual time we got to spend together but the real issue was that I never felt 100% comfortable being myself with him. I didn’t talk about my kids or writing as much as I do with others. I wanted to be what he wanted. I chased his affection but never quite got satiated. And that hurt.

Come Alive and Catch Love

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~ Dr. Howard Thurman

I’ve been reflecting about the most meaningful relationships in my life.  The people I love the deepest and/or have made the biggest impact on my character (excluding my family) have all shown up when I was doing what I loved. I didn’t actively pursue any of them.

I was learning and living the student life of freedom when my ex-husband offered me a ride to class. He taught me how to be a loving, fair, loyal partner.  He helped me grow because of our differences.

I wanted to be healthier and stronger so I joined a local health club.  My former trainer administered the free fitness assessment.  He later whipped me into the best shape of my life and helped me see what I was capable of.  He gave me that first feeling of, I can do anything.

I wanted to be a part of music so I took guitar lessons. Enter my teacher and dear friend. I distinctly remember him saying, You seem like someone who could do anything.  He spoke of a different way of being. One influenced from the inside rather than the outside. He validated me (introverted tendencies and all) and showed me I could endure change and fear.

Full of new found light and confidence I dared to sign up for writing classes.  In those classes I basked in a warmth that felt like home. I met countless writerly types who seemed to know me instantly. I especially connected with one of the instructors.  She is my hero for her huge heart and free spirit. I love her.

I love them all. They came to me while I was coming alive. They helped me love myself.

I joke that the next man I date will have to fall on my laptop to get my attention.  For now, I plan to work, write, raise kids and see who shows up.

Oh hey! my phone just chimed.;)

How  and when did love come into your life? Has chasing someone ever worked for you? 

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11 Comments

  1. Laura October 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Interestingly, I have been “rejected” lately by two long time people in my life…it hurt quite badly, but as I do, I reflected on the lessons in the hurt. (I also have many wonderful supportive people in my life – we are mutually supportive of each other) – and noticed that both the people who “rejected” me, are considered by many in our circles to be “selfish” people. On the one hand, I admire them because they have such control of their own lives, but they are so “set in their ways” and their own agendas, that they see the way I live my life as annoying or stressful. That is, I will often bracket my own life to pause and step out in a big way to help those close to me. It causes me to get off balance and my own world a bit out of control, but it also gives me the greatest joy, being there for those that I love…and knowing and having experienced their being there for me in the past and how amazing that feels, I want to do the same. It is tough when you are a single parent of 3, because if you step out of your own world to give elsewhere, it doesn’t take long for chaos to ensue on the home front. But it just makes me shake my head when those that have rejected me can text from their armchairs while sipping a cocktail, that I stress them out. They have no children or responsibilities beyond themselves, they never stick their necks out to help others, (really), but have criticized me harshly for doing so in my own life. One of these people is my father, another a friend of 40+ years. It really hurts, I will let it go with time, I just don’t understand people like them, and wonder if I’ve got it wrong. Should I just stick my nose straight ahead with blinders on to those around me so that I can make my world perfect, flowing and 100% in control at all times? Sorry for being a bit off topic, I just value your perspective on life and thought you might have some thoughts on this. Thanks, Brenda.

    • Brenda Knowles October 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Your sentence about finding it difficult for a single parent to step away from home and help others rang so true with me. Sometimes we want to help others besides those residing in our home but we are resented for doing that. I sometimes envy the freedom of my child free friends who can choose where to give and put their energy. It must be frustrating to be chastised by those who are not givers. You have a generous heart. That should be revered. I’m sure you want to do it all – be gracious at home as well as outside the home. Something has to give. We have to be masters at triaging those obligations or opportunities pulling on us.

      Remember the nay-sayers can’t take anything from you. You are in control of your reactions to them. If you are happy/content then honor your dad and friend’s views but continue on your merry way. Choose to spearhead your own life to the best of your ability. Things will fall through the cracks. That’s life in the complicated world we live in. Don’t beat yourself up. Do your best and move forward. I bet you’re excellent at building relationships. Do ask for help yourself occasionally.

      There are definitely people worth sticking your neck out for. Help them but prioritize the demands on your time and energy. No is a perfectly legitimate answer. If you feel really bad, just postpone your help until a later time. Meanwhile fill yourself up and cut out the negative Nellie’s as much as possible.

      Thanks for sharing your story. I’m behind you. Sending you peace.

  2. David Kanigan October 6, 2012 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Your posts are moving. Like talking to a friend on a couch. I can feel the angst and the pain. Let it flow Brenna. Let it flow…It will happen.

    • brennagee October 6, 2012 at 8:10 am - Reply

      Thank you David. I feel the same about your writing. I’m very grateful I stumbled upon your blog.

      You are right. I just have to BE. Let it flow. Every day that message becomes clearer. I’ve never enjoyed life more.:)

  3. Debbi October 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Right before I read this, I was just telling my Mom that I was more me since this summer. She disagreed and said that I was always me. I disagreed back and explained that ever since I was more relaxed, myself, doing the things I like because I had a little more money, and confident without trying, people having been gravitating to me like I’m this person to be known. When I’m in a room, I get attention. Interesting, unique, sassy, intelligent, hard to land guys have been chasing me. Young guys are picking me out of a crowd and working their way towards me like they think they can’t get the time of day from me…and these are guys I would’ve thought the same about in the past. I’m happier. I laugh harder, and I don’t look to see if anyone is watching me do it. I’ve found more interesting things to try, and I’ve focused on the friends that, as you said, I am always myself with. I realized that a guy I’ve been emailing with since the beginning of April has never made me feel the need to pretend I think anything different than I do. I don’t hold back jokes, my hobbies, the good, the bad, the ugly…anything. He is a constant and loves my humor and conversation. He takes it all, and he is one of two people who make me the happiest these days. I agree. Focusing on what other people want you to be is the opposite of how to make you and the people you really want in your life happy.

    • brennagee October 6, 2012 at 8:04 am - Reply

      You are more you now. I tried to say that to you a while back but it may have come out muddled. I do believe that is why you are receiving more attention. People have something to be attracted to – your way of being, rather than you trying to be what they want (which isn’t a self/person/soul at all). Keep doing what you love so that you can keep on shining. The good ones will come into your life and stay.:)

      Thanks for reading and commenting dear friend.

      • Debbi October 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm - Reply

        No, it didn’t come out muddled. I think I was just putting it down how much I see it now and also, that I believe it so much I took the time to share it with my Mom…and then insist on it when she countered nicely that I was always me. I love who I am now:). I also sat for a second and thought about it. Then I emailed one of those two people that I always am myself with and let him know it and let him know I liked that. Thank you to the other one soul sister 🙂

  4. Kimber October 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    You are alive. Now what?

    What I mean is something new is coming your way. Keep your eyes and heart open. Be curious.

    • brennagee October 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      Exactly! My eyes and heart are wide open. Can’t wait to see what or who is around the corner. 🙂

  5. Dominique Santos October 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    How and when did love come into your life? Has chasing someone ever worked for you? Love this question…. makes me think about how we define ‘chase’….. I have chased things (and got them – as far as we ‘get’ anything!)… but it’s been a long game without any certainty of reward. Does this count as chasing? I think it does… just that chase can be as much about persistent movement as it is about speed. A long drawn out thrill….. a deeper reward?

    • brennagee October 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Chasing could be seen as part of the journey (and a deep reward) for some things like personal growth or fulfillment but when it comes to people I think it’s different. It never worked when I chased someone. I lost track of myself in the process. That’s my experience anyway.;)

      Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments Dominique.

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