It's one of the hard lessons of life. You can love a person with every fiber of your being, you can want nothing more than to cocoon yourself in the hazy warmth of their affections, and still be left wanting.
I have lived my life Sunday to Sunday and for a little while it was beautiful.
But then it wasn't.
You can't feel alive and loved for only one day a week. It's just not enough. As the days go by, insecurity and fear slowly poison your thoughts. You start to wonder why it's so easy for them to be without you. Maybe they don't really love you. Maybe they love another. Do they live Sunday to Sunday too? Or are they a more complete person with a more complete life? And when did you stop being complete?
I want to feel complete again.
It can be easy to overlook the ways your lovers hurt you. I have made so many mistakes and burned so many bridges that it's easy for me to forgive others. I understand that we are deeply flawed creatures who are basically running into things in the dark. I can't help but see the best in people, but even I can admit there are some actions that can't be undone.
Deception can be a tricky concept. What does it mean to deceive someone? Is withholding information the same as lying? When does a desire to avoid conflict become an excuse for selfishness? I just don't know. What I do know is this: someone who purposely deceives you for their own benefit is not being good to you. There can a hundred thousand reasons why a person is dishonest. Maybe they're scared. Maybe they're unsure.
Maybe, maybe, maybe...
In the face of all those reasons though, there is one reason to be honest instead of dishonest. Even with the fear and the doubt, I would not purposely hurt someone I care about to protect myself. That is the nature of my love.
Unfortunately it is not the nature of everyone's.
I find myself wondering about the type of love I am willing to accept. I am overly romantic so I tend to think of love as this powerful force in the universe. I imagine big declarations of adoration and promises of forever. But more than that, I am deeply realistic. I didn't last seven years with Ryan because of hallmark cards and roses. Life is messy and relationships are hard. I know this. But I also know that you can't survive the hard times if you don't have a partner you trust. More than love, trust is the substance that gives relationships their meaning. You have to be able to have confidence in your partner. Otherwise what's the point?
I got so wrapped up trying to prove myself that I forgot I am not the only one with something to prove.
I want a love that is brave. I want a love that is vulnerable. I don't want a partner who has to tear apart my love and see if it's worthy of acceptance. It is easy to try and whittle ourselves down for other people. When we have no one to blame, we blame ourselves. Love is my most elaborate method of self harm and I am not alone in this. So many of us walk around burdened with regret and it's easy to use every lost opportunity as further proof of our failings. Unlovable. Unwanted. Uncared for. A waste of space. These are the ugly things that echo in our broken hearts and the lies we comfort ourselves with. But we do ourselves a disservice thinking these thoughts. Tom Waits said you can't plant your bad days and he's right. Even though it hurts, we are worthy of love. The problem is not who we are. It's the quality of love we are being offered.
“This is about all the bad days in the world. I used to have some little bad days, and I kept them in a little box. And one day, I threw them out into the yard. "Oh, it's just a couple little innocent bad days." Well, we had a big rain. I don't know what it was growing in but I think we used to put eggshells out there and coffee grounds, too. Don't plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me. Choke those little bad days. Choke 'em down to nothin'. They're your days. Choke 'em!” -Tom WaitsIt's hard to look at the person you want to spend your days with and admit that they're not giving you what you need. It's even harder to convince yourself that you need to walk away from the person who means the most to you. My love is characterized by it's unwavering steadfastness. When I love a person, I will fight for that person and stand by them through thick and thin. This is something I am proud of. I may fall too quickly and too deeply, but I hold nothing back. But how long can I tolerate the disrespect and lack of consideration?
I was so scared of losing someone I love that I forgot I'm not the only one with someone to lose.
I have spent too much time the last couple weeks trying to explain my love. I have tried to prove that I am the right choice and that I will keep all my lover's secrets and hopes and dreams safe inside myself. But at no point did he feel the need to prove his. Why is that? Is it because I've given him permission to see me as unimportant? Have I been so focused on his needs that I forgot about my own? If I'm not the person you want to confide in or wish good morning to, then what am I holding on to? If the person I love isn't interested in my day or my life then what is the point?
So what does that mean?
I wish I knew. I am left with more questions than answers to be honest. That sinking feeling inside me is still there. The flame of my affections still burns bright. They say to never give up on someone you can't go a day without thinking about, but I'm not sure that's true. Maybe you have to give up on a person who has given up on you, even when every muscle in your body screams for you to stay. Maybe a person who is unwilling to sacrifice or compromise for you is unworthy of your love.
He once asked me if I wanted to win his heart for the sake of winning. What he didn't understand was how much it hurt me to even have to compete. No one should have to walk on eggshells or jump through hoops to prove they're worthy of being loved. I don't want to win his heart. I want him to give it to me willingly. If he can't do even that then what am I fighting for?
I am worthy of the type of love I dream about.
I am worthy.
At least I have one thing figured out.