19 and no experience dating an experienced 26 yr old

It was never about getting some promotion or praise, I really just wanted to earn respect as a junior artist in the industry. A few years back I used to informally date this guy who was just as car-crazy as me.

I had faith that my efforts would stand out to management and make a difference to our daily workload, but I was definitely proved wrong. He drove a sporty Mercedes and would take me along on joyrides every weekend with his car mates (it had me feeling like I was living a scene out of ).

I recall we were running so late that my friend had to run inside and get our tickets while I’d park the car.

But the problem was there was not a single spot I could find.

I was sick and tired of doing what everyone else in the mainstream hookup culture was doing —all with no strings attached. Clearing my phone out of dating apps and cutting ties with the non-committal was one of the first things.

It was a choice I’m proud to have gone through with, despite feeling socially disconnected, lonely and unsure about myself at times.

My way of handling any adversity or difficult situation in life was practically infantile, because I would hide my head in the sand waiting for everything to all blow over.

The reality was I hated confrontation or uncomfortable conversations because my anxiety made it worse than it actually was.

I switched to alternative medicine for several reasons —I was getting nowhere with long-term depression and anxiety, I had chronic health issues and lastly I was beaten down with the sudden death of a loved one.

I would do things like avoiding people, screening phone calls or ignoring emails that were difficult or awkward to deal with.

These actions only hurt me in the end, to the degree that I began to loose jobs, friendships, money and even respect because of it.

I’d feel great at the time, but I’d pay for it the next day with a rotten stomach AND a aching head still.

I was pretty transient as a young adult—I moved out for uni at eighteen, and then again around twenty-three to pursue my career in graphic design.

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