“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ― Marilyn Monroe
The moment I grew in strength was the day I admitted to someone other than myself that I was insecure and weak. Then, and now, the word “weak” makes me cringe. I don’t care to think of myself as weak or insecure. Weakness and insecurity never go well with my outfit – not any of them – yet those words clung to me like they were tailor-made. Depression soon became the accessory that I couldn’t live without; couldn’t live with it either…
Now, here I am admitting yet another embarrassing truth: I sold myself short. I settled. After years of failed effort and much courage I revealed my secrets and immediately felt I could never do it again. I could be considered a “one-hitter-quitter.” I laid out my dirty laundry, uncharacteristically allowed myself to be vulnerable, and while I didn’t get the reaction (me left in a cloud of dust while vaguely recognizing the car break lights in the distance) I was expecting from the person on the receiving end of my Big Reveal, I knew that I was never likely to allow myself to be so open again for fear of being judged, and ultimately, rejected. Although I had overcome, or to be more precise, was making great strides in overcoming the depression, insecurity, and weakness, I didn’t think I would be strong enough to stand unpolished and emotionally naked in front of another. So I settled. That is where the buck stopped for me. Dreams deferred. Growth stifled.
I didn’t want to admit that I settled. “Settled” is not a very sexy word. Not all that desirable of an action either. But, I admit, I settled.
Today, I am choosing to do something that scares me. Assessing the poor and impulsive decisions I have made in my life and taking complete ownership of how I reached this point in my life is scary, but not as scary as choosing to accept that I can never turn back the hands of time and correct the many, many mistakes that I have made, but instead must move forward to happiness in the aftermath of all that has led me to this moment. There is no room for regrets. We all know that regret is only a short fall from the corner of Pissed Off and Bitter. That block doesn’t really work for my outfits either.
Being an adult is hard work. It looked so deceitfully glamorous as a child. But of course that’s because children are far less scared than adults. I’m not afraid of the dark, or the monster in the closet, but I am certainly afraid to reconcile the past with the present and cannot bear to fathom an uncertain future. Today, I am deciding to forgive myself for past mistakes and grant myself permission to sometimes be vulnerable without fear or regard of judgment.
Join me in confronting the fear that might be holding you back. Be encouraged.
“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood
Don’t let me be misunderstood”
Nina Simone, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
“I’m not who you think I am. If you love me, you love me for the wrong reasons.”
– Sister Souljah, Midnight
The moment I read this quote it reminded me of a response I once gave someone who asked me how’d I know I wanted to marry my husband. He questioned whether I married him because for the 2 grueling years I was in graduate school he came to visit me every month by plane despite the distance between us; or was it the fact that he supported me during some of the worst times of my life; or, maybe it was because he had been consistent for the 5 years we’d known each other before we wed?
I confess, all of the aforementioned were befitting reasons to marry him, in addition to him being a beautiful man inside and out. But I reconciled that I said “yes” (or some unintelligible babble that was equivalent to the word yes) to the proposal and 9 months later “I do,” because of all the things he makes me want to do for him.
Love and relationships are not only about how that person makes you feel and what he/she could do for you. It’s about the actions conjured up by the shared love between the two of you. Actions you’ve never cared to think to do before. Believe it or not, we all love to give and with the right person there’s no need to question or second guess giving freely. When it’s right there’s no need to solicit friends opinions, asking, “Do you think I should…?” You do for the one you love because you feel there is no other viable choice. It’s what makes you happy. For this, you are grateful to “your love” for helping you tap into a benevolent love that in the end leaves you open for receiving the love that you’ve deserved all along. I said “I do” because my husband was, and still is, the kind of man whom I want to make a sandwich, sweet tea, and a slice of Death by Chocolate cake for. I’ll search near and far for a made-from-scratch recipe because his love puts me in a benevolent mood (usually…lol). LoVe…