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February 14, 2013

on love, a neverending story. the good kind.

i didn't find love until i was twenty-five.

it took me this long to take the baby steps of finding myself. i had to change my life in every single way. the way i was living was not a life, not in the slightest. 

love with a man didn't find me until i was twenty-seven. this is okay because this has been my path. it was supposed to be this way, even on the days i've convinced myself i made things harder than they ever needed to be. 

a lot of us do this.

we make things harder for a lot of reasons. none of them are worth the sadness they bring, or the joy they rob us of.

for the longest time i was the fat girl in my group of friends. this was my security. i used humor to beat people to the joke. whatever you're thinking about me, believe me, i'm thinking worse. so i'm going to make you laugh before you can do/say/think anything else. try me. i dare you.

i ate. i cracked jokes. men stayed away. it worked.

i didn't have a boyfriend during high school. i went on my first date at twenty. i was jealous of anyone who had someone and was in love. it would take me a long time to know these two are not always conjoined. i was lonely and i was jealous, but at the same time i didn't want it. i didn't think i deserved it. 

but i woke up one day, quite literally, and changed my mind. i wish i knew what part of my brain or my heart it was that wanted to change and wanted to feel and wanted to start wanting things other than greasy food and bags of chocolate. because the first thing i would say is, what took you so damn long? do you know how much time i've lost?

greasy food and bags of chocolate never made me less lonely or sad. they never made me feel enveloped in warmth and love.

i started taking care of myself. i started listening to myself. i had to start asking questions. i decided to do this. i had to crawl at first.

i lost weight, then more weight. i got a little bit of confidence. i'd see a man looking at me at the gym and would become so self-conscious i would leave. i stopped going. i'd sneak greasy food in my car and bags of chocolate at work. i gained the weight back. i needed that security. people were starting to see me and i couldn't have that. i wasn't really ready.

i eventually learned to stop doing this. with years, years of healing and screaming and crying. and a green chair in the office of a former chicago cop. it's a walk i take daily, towards the life i'm building for myself.

i wanted to find love, but i didn't want to be seen. and that's a tricky game. it doesn't work that way.

i spent my whole life being told i was too much, too needy, too fat, too loud, too sad, too demanding. i settled for crumbs from the people i allowed into my world. so i worked really hard to be less. 

but i've found myself with a man who wants more of me and constantly asks for it. the universe is wonderfully funny like that.

i watch this man in the kitchen with his daughter and my heart feels calm for the first time in a painfully long time. i've finally stopped holding my breath. the ones who came before ben, i could never breathe with them.

we accept the love we think we deserve.

i wish i wrote this. 

few things are truer than this string of eight words. 

not everyone is able to love the same way. as much or as fierce. but this doesn't mean they don't love just the same. it's just different. 

but at times the different is a lack, an apathy. and it's deliberate. this must be paid attention to. 

but this is hard. it's hard because we care. we are programmed to care and love each other and give, give, give to everyone else and call it love. i'm giving to this person which makes me feel good because it makes me feel needed which makes me feel wanted which makes me feel tired and sad but it makes me feel needed which makes me feel loved. so i'm going to call it a day and call this enough. 

this is never enough.

nothing, truly nothing in this world will ever get done if we don't love ourselves enough to say no when we feel the difference. and this is coming from a person who deliberately kept herself at 293 pounds to push people away.

this day is tricky. i used to hate it. and i hate the word hate. it takes a lot of energy to be angry and bitter. thankfully, i found something that completely changed my perspective. i read an interview with queen latifah, someone whose confidence and spirit i admire, years ago in which she talked about how much she loved this day. i just love that it's a day that is all about love. period. 

it has to start with ourselves. crumbs are for the birds.



3 comments:

  1. This is beautiful. I really love this. I love the line "we accept the love we think we deserve."

    Thank you for posting this!

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  2. For better or worse, it sounds like I have been taking a similar path to the one you've walked...& I love what Queen Latifah said about VDay...it's a much more beautiful way to see the day I've also come to detest over the years.
    Thanks Rhi! :)

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  3. @Chantel, thank you! It's from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," which is chock full of amazing lines just like this one.

    @L.A. The Queen knows. :) It's one day and it's all about how we choose to see it.

    Have a lovely weekend, ladies!

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