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.