Somebody To Love

I spent another week mostly treading water.  I got up, went to work and came home.  I made dinner, I ate alone, I went to bed.  I spent another week mostly treading water.  And hiding.

I’m not sure exactly what it is I am hiding from, but the truth is the same.  You know, it’s easy to put on a brave face- to say to the whole world “I don’t need a man to be happy, I’m fine on my own.”  And sometimes, it’s just as easy to fool yourself.

I know in my head that I don’t need a man to be happy, but that doesn’t change the ache in my heart for love.

This week, I was cleaning out my emails and I came across a letter that I wrote to my parents several years ago.  And looking back over it, reading the words that I expressed to them, I could see how lost and broken I was back then.  I could remember the hurt and the pain that I felt, that I caused them to feel.  I can remember how it felt to hide from them.  I remember lying to the two people who never stopped loving me out of fear that they might.

It’s so much different now.  I’m amazed at how much my life has changed.  But in the very deepest part of my soul, I know that I’m still hiding.

I’m hiding from the person that I want to be, and the person that God created me to be.  I get up in the morning, I go to work, I come home.  And all the while, I feel like I’m hiding from the world, from the person that I am supposed to be.

See, the truth is- I know that there are people in this world that love and care for me.  I know that God has a life planned and mapped out for me.  And I know that somewhere down the road, I could do incredible things.  But what about right now?

The last relationship that I was in ended 7 weeks ago today.  And for a while I missed him.  But you know what I realized I miss now, even more than I miss him?  I miss the person that I was when I was with him.  With him I felt brave and beautiful.  I felt adventurous and precious and loved.  With him I felt special- like I could do anything.  He gave me strength and courage and determination and I felt like with him all of my dreams could come true.

And seven weeks ago today, he ended it.

Sometimes I wonder how you can mean so much to a person, and then one day, just stop.  I mean, it’s not like I went anywhere.  He still knows where to find me, and he said he wanted to be friends.  And yes, I understand that ‘being friends’ never really truly happens.  But how do you wake up one morning and just stop caring?

With him, my favorite part of the day was 8:00 a.m.  Because even though we had distance between us, every morning we would text each other just to say I love you.  Just to say ‘have a great day today’.  Every morning those messages set the tone for my entire day, if for no other reason than knowing that someone out there was thinking about me at the exact same time I was thinking about them.

I’ve never been good at letting go.  My life has been characterized by my failure to let go.  My best friend in high school, my life with a controlling boyfriend, friends that I’ve lost touch with.  So, it comes as no surprise to myself that I still hold this close to my heart.  I’m not saying that it will always be this way.  In fact, the days are fewer and further between that my heart aches this way.  But it’s hard knowing that your love for someone wasn’t enough.

This week I had the pleasure of meeting an amazing photographer.  And I think there is a real possibility that working with him could make a lot of my photography dreams come true.  I showed him some of my work, and he seemed thoroughly impressed and has agreed to take me on as a sort of apprentice.  The good news is, I have my first gig with him tomorrow.

The bad news is I have never felt worth it.  I am beginning to realize more and more that my own self worth is almost nil.  In fact, the reason that I even started this journey was to begin to teach myself to find worth in who I am, instead of always identifying myself by the guy that I date.  Because until I can learn to love and respect myself, how can I expect to do the same to anyone else?  And how can I expect anyone to love and respect me?

The first three weeks of my journey haven’t been exactly easy.  They’ve mostly been spent in hiding.  Hiding from the world and hiding from the person that I am.  The truth is there are things about myself that I need to change.  But there are also things about myself that are good, that I like (maybe even things that I love).

Tomorrow, out on this photography gig, I am forcing myself out of hiding.  The witness protection program phase is over.  I am searching out ways to make a difference.  To get out of the house and stop hiding.  If God can love me for who I am, the incredible mess, all of the mistakes (for he sees everything after all) then maybe I should give myself a shot.

Be brave,

If This Was A Movie

You know those cliché movie scenes where the favorite couple breaks up and the girl is driving home all broken hearted- but when she rounds the bend to her house, the guy is standing there waiting?  Ok, well maybe they don’t happen exactly like that, but you get the gist.  Just when the girl thought she was going to be alone and that the love of her life doesn’t feel the same- suddenly there he is- waiting.  I guess my point is this- have you ever wondered “why isn’t my life like that?”  Come on girls- we’ve all thought it about one movie or another.  But here’s the kicker- real life isn’t like the movies.  Real life is messy.  It’s broken hearts and broken homes.  Its unemployment and family illness and you can never tie up all the loose ends in a 2 hour span.

I used to be that girl.  The one who drives home with the small flicker of ‘will he be there waiting for me?’  I used to dream of the romantic comedy chance meeting- the falling in love with a perfect stranger over an ‘accidental’ meeting of fate.  I used to hope for a two hour neatly tied up ending.  And I say used to because I’m not that girl anymore.  Or at least, I don’t want to be.  That girl is a waiter.  She waits for the chance encounter with the handsome stranger.  She watches the ideal fantasies of often love deprived writers who create characters that have the romance and adventure that they crave.  And yes- love stories do still happen.  But the hard truth is- waiting gets you no where.  Waiting= never going to have a part in any sort of story like that.

And that’s why I’m not that girl anymore.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about women in society today.  More specifically, why it is that so many of us think that we need a man to be happy.  And more over why we measure ourselves by how men see us.  We’re supposed to be thin, but not too thin.  Trendy but without caring too much about it.  Successful but not more successful than him.  Beautiful but not fake.  Cook and clean.  Need him but not be clingy.  Sensitive but not overly emotional.  We have to do jobs twice as well as men to get half the recognition- or it’s said that we’re sleeping our way to the top.  And on top of all of that we have to be willing to give it all up in bed but not too soon or with too many people.  We have to do all of these things just to be recognized by society’s standards and to what end?  So that a guy can grace us with his presence until he finds someone younger/skinnier/smarter/blonder?  Why do we hold ourselves to such a double standard?

I know I may sound bitter, and that’s really not my intention.  I just don’t understand why we as women continue to torture ourselves to fit some mold.  To be something that we’re not.  To hide the true feelings and needs of our souls and to repress it so far that our only escape are these romantic movies that only briefly sate an unquenchable thirst.

Why do women love romance movies so much?  Because we all ache for another person to ‘get’ us in some deep way.

Personally, I think it’s the same reason we all go for bad boys.  Because even though we know they’ll break our hearts in the end, the brief explosion of passion and romance gives us the chance to feel like the women in all those romantic movies that we idolize.  There’s something in our souls that longs for romance and adventure and passion.  And those things so often seem to come at the expense of the bad boy jerks who tend to love and leave.

I’m reminded of one of those cheesy ABC Family movies I insist on torturing myself with where one of the characters says something to the effect of “You can change everything about a relationship except the most important thing- fate.” For some reason, all those other relationships that I’ve tried have failed.  And there’s a line of thinking that says that someday in the future, I’ll meet the guy that will show me why.  But that doesn’t change the now.  It doesn’t change the fact that until that person comes along, I have to be somebody.  I can’t just be the ghost of a person who goes through her day to day actions just hoping that she sparks some guy’s interest.  Because as far as lives go, that one’s pretty pathetic.

Going back to the past for a moment, I just want to say this.  No matter how good you thought things were or how perfect you thought the guy was for you, God has other plans.  If you think that I don’t understand that this is a hard concept to grasp when you’re elbow deep in Ben & Jerry’s and snotty tissues- I promise you, I get it.  But what if the heartbreak was preparing you for something?  And I don’t just mean the cliché ‘you have to know the bad to appreciate the good’ although that is applicable as well.  But what if it was preparing you for this time.  Right now.

That guy (the one in my past and yours) was great for a reason.  What did he teach you?  Maybe to stand up for yourself?  Maybe he taught you how to laugh again, or how to enjoy the little things- how to motivate yourself to do something you never imagined.  And because of that you have the strength to be exactly where and who you are right now, today.

God pinpointed today on his map of your life.  You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now.  It’s up to you to figure out why.


Be brave,