17

Ahhh, 17. That magical time in my life when I fell in love and the world was right. When I literally felt time stop when you put your arms around me for the first time and I could exhale. Why did I stay so long? Why would I have never of been the one to leave? I have thought about this and there are a few reasons.

One. Things were really, really good for the first couple years. I felt loved, respected, accepted for me and above all else I believed in you and the man you would become. Somewhere along the way I transferred all the belief I had in myself into you. Over time that belief in myself began to fade and dwindled down to a tiny thread. It wasn’t until the last couple weeks that I started believing in myself once again.

Two. When you came into my life I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I knew that I had zero patience for immature high school boys and I was perfectly happy with it just being my friends and I. With what I had watched at home, I doubted myself and my ability to be in a relationship. To be perfectly honest I was flat out scared to have guy in my life. Giving yourself to someone like that makes you vulnerable. It opens up the possibility for pain and disappointment. Two things I did not want to feel. For awhile you were like a breath of fresh air. You were kind and patient. I felt safe and secure with you. Then slowly over time this began to change. It was the moments we first shared that I clung to like a safe harbor. I recalled these memories time and time again to remind myself why I fell in love. I have learned that memories are strong, they can provide faith in times of doubt, but they can also cloud your mind and keep you from recognizing what is happening in the present. Clinging to the past is something I probably do too much of.

Three. One word, acceptance. I accepted that you were always right. What mattered to me didn’t hold enough value. This is not something I am proud of. I allowed you to get inside my head. I hear your voice all the time resonating with every decision and choice before me. I accepted that I had to be the one to always change because I am too opinionated, too difficult, too stubborn and too broken. You were the perfect one, the one who could do no wrong. Over time I learned that when I did try to express my thoughts and feelings they would simply be rejected. So I accepted that they held no weight and I had to be the one to make sacrifices. Again, not something I am proud of. This way of thinking goes agaisnt every fiber in my body. My soul was screaming, This is not right, this is not you! In order to stay, I had to reject the cries of my soul and find coping mechanisms. So I became passive aggressive because I was too terrified and incapable of asserting myself.

Four. You were worth it. I told myself over and over again that you were worth it. I hoped and I prayed for the day when you would evolve into the man I saw you capable of becoming. When trivial and superficial things no longer mattered. When you woke up one day and saw the beauty inside me, not just the outward appearance. When the meaning of life and connection both spiritually and emotionally finally occurred. I told myself I could wait, I could exercise patience. We were so young and I knew you needed space to grown and mature. I was willing to give you that space. Again my belief in you was terribly strong.

Five. The ever elusive true love. There are a lot of things about you that I love. Even though you have changed over time my love for you never stopped. There are things  you have done and said that hurt like hell. Through all of that I was always able to forgive you. For whatever reason I was never able to hold anger towards you for very long. I would rather forgive then stay angry. Love changes over time, it has many seasons. There is an ebb and flow. It becomes fluid, never exactly the same at any one moment, but never ceasing. I understand now that you are not willing to do the same for me. For you love is one thing and one thing only, a snap shot in time, not timeless.

Lessons learned:

A relationship is never one sided. One person should not hold all the power. One person should not always be the one willing to change. You have to meet in the middle and be willing to allow the person space for individuality and growth. Neither person should ever feel like they cannot explore who they are. Acceptance of that is key.

What we had was not real love. At least the kind of love I am capable of or looking for. I think deeply and I love deeply. I need someone who can do the same.

A relationship should never make you completely reject yourself. One should not be afraid of who they are or what they want to explore.

Beauty comes from within. Compassion, empathy and kindness are the true signs of beauty.

There are things in life that matter and then there are things that don’t. Having a fancy house and lots of toys do not matter to me. Living simply and traveling the world does.

Sometimes in life you have to go through extreme pain to find yourself and learn what you are capable of.

Fear no longer holds me captive. I am not afraid of who I am and expressing what is important to me.

I was not my best with you because I never felt the freedom to truly express myself.

 

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