Desperately Seeking Me
“You just act so desperate…” The words stung me and silenced me for the remainder of a two and a half car ride through the backwoods of eastern North Carolina. I can’t even remember what my passenger and me were discussing but what they said in that moment hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m sure they’ve forgotten they even said it. It hurt my feelings but I’m glad they did it was the kind of revealing truth that you need because I’m sure they weren’t the only person who was thinking it.
This statement came in the aftermath of me completely losing myself in yet another guy who couldn’t give less than a fuck about me. You see I have this problem when I find myself really feeling a guy I lose myself completely in him; in his habits, in his schedule, in his likes and dislikes, his moods, and the list goes on and on. However, with the last guy I retained enough of my sentience that I could see myself drowning but I couldn’t save myself. It was like watching a movie and knowing the ending but not being able to stop it. I was so wrapped up in him that I’d acted an ass and lost my dignity and more importantly my professional reputation. I allowed him to permeate my spirit and control my moods. I knew it was happening and it wasn’t that I didn’t care I had just become so wrapped in him that for me to cut ties I’d felt I damage me more than I’d damage him.
But this kind of symbiosis wasn’t new to me I was used to losing myself in someone else. Then when it would end I would find myself dissecting me and asking what is wrong with me. Only to repeat the pattern again I was a glutton for punishment.
As a little girl I never imagined a wedding or a husband, that wasn’t my thing. However, I could tell you exactly what I wanted to be and how I was going to do it. But in middle school something snapped in me. I’ll never forget it, it was Valentine’s Day of my sixth grade year. It seemed like all of my classmates had a Valentine’s “boo” and were receiving the standard Valentine gifts of chocolate, a cheap stuffed animals, and cheap chocolate. When I got home that evening I had tears in my eyes and my family told me I needed to toughen up. But in my mind in that moment I started to hear a little voice that said if I didn’t have a boo something was wrong with me. A few ill chosen crushes later I was in despair of the ripe old age of 14.
I’ll spare you the details but in reflection on my dating choices I’ve realized something. I have never been truly been in love. Strong infatuation? Yes. Strong “like”? Yes. But I have never been in love. You want to know how I know? Because I never truly loved myself. The only way you can truly and purely love someone else is if you love you and quite frankly, I didn’t. Hell I didn't even like me and my choices subconsciously reflected that. That is why it was so easy for me to get caught up in somebody else because I didn’t love me or truly know who I was.
After that “desperate” comment I decided to take a cold hard look at me and who I was which was easy because I’m my own worst critic. I decided I needed to remove myself from the dating scene and figure me out. What do I like? What do I truly want out of life? I decided to fully devote myself to my scholarly and career endeavors. I decided to finally lose that 30 or 40 pounds I’ve gained over the past few weeks. I decided to stop seeing people the way I wanted to see them and ignoring their flaws, I needed to be objective. And more importantly me, I decided to make a deep, concerted effort to first LOVE MYSELF.
To anyone reading this I want you to know a few things. Contrary to the belief of some your relationship status doesn’t define you. Your value, your dignity nor your self worth is tied to your being single. But before seeking a relationship be sure of who you are as a person because if you aren’t sure you’re open the door to hurt, heartbreak, and confusion because so much of you is tied up in something else. Be able to stand on your own two feet and be sure of you, and love yourself fiercely and without cease. Before desperately seeking a partner or outside validation I want you to desperately seek YOURSELF.
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