The thought of love never really seemed to matter to me. I was the quiet girl who never spoke a word, yet thought a million and one things. I was the insecure girl who compared herself to every single human being I came into contact with, hoping and praying that I manage to say all of the right things when the opportunity presented itself.
If there was one single thing on earth that I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about, it was love. I just knew that my life would consist of me second-guessing, and doubting myself into oblivion. I knew that any guy who tried to date me, would eventually see that I was a complete waste of time and energy. I knew that the second they caught wind of my insecurities and shame, they would pack their hypothetical bags and leave.
Still, that very small part of me hoped that maybe one day a guy wouldn’t care about any of my flaws. That a guy wouldn’t care if I woke up and cringed as I looked at myself in the mirror and saw the entirety of what is my screwed up life. That a guy wouldn’t care if I didn’t feel comfortable in public settings, because the mere thought of being in a crowded room gave me anxiety. That a guy wouldn’t notice when I stopped myself from speaking my mind, because I knew it would come out wrong and he would interpret it as such.
Every girl dreams of the day she finds a guy who surpasses anything she’s ever imagined for herself.
Sure, it’s easy to read a love story, or watch a romance movie and feel as though you could possibly be that happy one day. It’s easy to fantasize about the day when you get to walk down that immaculate isle, wearing the most breathtaking white dress you’ve ever owned. Thinking and fantasizing about love is easy, but actually finding it? Well, that’s a totally different, yet riveting experience.
Sure, it can be a little intimidating at first, but what true love story isn’t?
Maybe this isn’t a love story at all, but a mere acknowledgement that two people can coexist together, all the while trying their best to make sure the other knows just how important they are to each other. Maybe it’s a boy and a girl, preparing to conquer the world as each other’s partner in crime. Maybe it isn’t about trying to hide your flaws and insecurities from the other, but finally accepting that who you are isn’t going to change, so you might as well relish in the faults of the other person, together and all at once. To show each other that yes, we may both be broken, but that doesn’t mean that put together we can’t turn into something totally different, greater even.
I don’t condone using another person to hide what it is that you need to work on about yourself. Sure, they can tell you until they’re blue in the face that you’re perfect. Hell, they can even make you feel that you are perfect. But inside, you know different.
I knew different.
I met a boy who challenged everything. He challenged how I saw myself, how I saw others. He brought me this sense of peace I had long been searching for, sometimes without even knowing it.
For years, I would beat myself up, because the simple fact was: I wasn’t good enough. Not for him, not for anyone. However, I can’t continue to blame the one man I blame, for all of my insecurities.
Sure, the day my father left, hurt. But, it wasn’t until he came back and we were able to rebuild our relationship and trust, that he completely shattered my soul when he left a second time. Never in my entire existence, had I felt as useless and worthless as I did on that day in sixth grade.
I walked home with my best friend beside me, only to walk in on my mother crying on the couch, because she knew she didn’t know how to tell me that he was gone.
But I already knew. The moment I saw her face, I knew. I had seen that face once before, maybe I was five or six, but I still remember her face.
She told me that my father was gone, and that he probably wasn’t coming back.
What could I have done other than cry? So, that’s exactly what I did.
My best friend tried her hardest to console me, but ultimately she just had no other choice but to let me work through my emotions on my own. My mom tried talking to me about it, but I completely shut her out and convinced her that I was fine. She had enough on her plate trying to raise three kids alone; I couldn’t burden her with my diminished ego and personal wreckage.
So, to her, I was fine. To everyone I encountered, I was fine.
To myself? Fine would never be able to describe how I felt. Fine is a pretty shitty way of saying, “No, I’m not okay, in fact I’m completely ruined.”
Of course, nobody needed to know that. Why should anyone else care that my entire world fell apart? It isn’t their burden to bear. It’s mine, and it always will be.
Still, I longed for the day where I didn’t even have to think about him or any of it anymore.
Remember that boy I mentioned before? Well, he plays a big part in this story.
He was so much more than just a simple distraction. He was the reason I wanted to wake up every day smiling. He was the reason that my father completely ceased from entering my mind. He kept me on my toes, constantly challenging me and pushing me to stay strong.
I would get butterflies just simply looking at him, even if he didn’t know it.
Is that what love is? Mass amounts of butterflies soaring ramped inside your stomach at just the thought of that special person. For me, love is many things.
It’s waiting for the other person to get home to talk about the day you’ve had. It’s spending hours just watching TV, not once getting bored. It’s taking late night drives to McDonald’s at three in the morning because you both fell asleep early and forgot to eat dinner. It’s going out to the beach at night, and just listening to the waves crash onto the shoreline, all the while staring up at the stars to maybe catch a star that could be falling faster than you were, if that were humanly possible.
Love is spending every second of the day in comfort, knowing that you matter. Knowing that you’re good enough, despite your past trying to tell you any different.
Sure, you’ll have your doubts and days where you question everything, but that’s all part of the chaos that is true and undeniable love. I’m not saying it will always be sunshine and bubbly rainbows. You will have your days where you test each other, maybe more so than you should. There will be days where all you want to do is scream and pull your hair out, walking away.
But you’ll always stay. You’ll never truly leave. How could you? How could you leave, knowing very well you’d be leaving a huge part of yourself behind? A part that may not be physically attached to you, but emotionally it’s as if you’ve been surgically sewed together.
I suppose the point I’m trying to make would be, don’t run at the first sign of fear. Embrace it.
Embrace everything until you’re completely full of wonder and acceptance. Embrace knowing that at the end of every single day, you matter. It’s easy to feel like you’ll never be good enough, believe me, I’ve been there.
But the very second you open yourself up to love, nothing else matters. At least, for me it didn’t.
I get to wake up every single day with the one person who has seen me at my utter most low, and still manages to love me and tell me I look beautiful, even with bed-head and bad breath.
Not many people get to say that, so I am blessed.
The hardships and the trials of everything that’s happened to me, doesn’t define who I am right now.
The past will always be there to look back on, but it shouldn’t define your present. Nothing you do will ever change what’s already happened, that we know fact. But, if you could somehow grow from it, and learn from all of the failures and mistakes and doubts, perhaps it could shape you into the person you’ve imagined all your life. The person you’ve been all along, just hidden until now.
All we have is right now. Don’t waste that, because it’s a true gift.
Love is a true, sometimes ugly, but exceptionally beautiful gift.
So cherish it, before it’s too late. Because you matter.