via Daily Prompt: Irrelevant
The past few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection on what I want and need. I had a little time to write last weekend about how I am feeling at the moment. I wrote this after spending the day at the beach last weekend, alone. I’ve been pressed for the time the past few weeks due to school to keep up with my blog.
It was a perfect late summer day here at the Jersey shore. I love this time of year. The humidity is down, the crowds are smaller and there is a peacefulness that comes with being so close to the water. Surprisingly for what started out as a cloudy day there were quite a few people on the beach. I brought reading with me from my class but ended up being easily distracted by the sights and sounds around me. I love the water, the beach, the sun, the sand. I feel like I belong here. The sun came out and I ended up watching the surfers trying to tackle the waves. I learned to surf decades ago, but I was always so bad at it. I could get up then I’d fall, but it didn’t stop me from trying, kind of like my life.
The past few years, actually most of my adult life, have been pretty heartbreaking and elusive when it comes to finding stable, permanent love. I’ve been in love and I’ve had some pretty great men in and out of my life, but the key phrase here is out of my life.
Everyone has opinions as to why love has eluded me for so long. Are their opinions irrelevant? No. But no one, I repeat no one, has walked in my shoes or experienced what I have first-hand. I’ve been told I rush love, or maybe I fall too hard, too fast, among other observations. I respect everyone’s opinion but they are not me. They only see my heartbreak on the outside and see me cry. I have friends who stay in bad relationships or forgive some of the worst behavior, but those are their stories too and they have their reasons for choosing those relationships. No one really knows what goes on inside someone or between two people. Some of us put up walls and don’t talk about it. Others talk strong even when they are breaking down inside. Some of us just settle and hope for the best. I tend to share my feelings and write about them. I am not weak or dislike myself, I am human and I don’t hide how I feel. But it does not make anyone an expert on me, heck I’m not even an expert on me. Advice is helpful, but support goes a long way.
I know we all want the basics when it comes to relationships – trust, respect, loyalty, honesty, desirability and to be loved back. Because I crave companionship it does not make me weak or desperate or worse yet, unable to be on my own. That is the biggest misconception about who I really am. I don’t need love, I want love. Just like I don’t need a man in my life, I want a man in my life. I am a hopeless romantic, in the sense that I believe in love even when it has broken me so many times. If someone is lucky enough to be allowed into my life I will do my best to be my best, for him, for me and for us. I do not give my heart to just anyone who pays attention to me. I have to feel a connection and when I do, I’m all in. The problem has been that my heart has not been protected back, it has been shattered and I need time to think about why that keeps happening. And if someone has not protected your heart, then you need to leave that relationship. It is a harsh truth. But think about it, the person you love should not hurt you, leave you or treat you badly. Simple as that. And I let too many men continually hurt me, emotionally, when I should have just walked away.
As I watched the surfers try, over and over again, to get up on their boards and ride the perfect wave it made me realize something as well. I will get up, over and over again, to save a relationship probably more times than I should. A relationship should take work but it shouldn’t be that hard, all the time.
I also realize that I am okay being alone right now. I still have someone in my life but I am keeping it private, we have a lot to work through and figure out before we can move forward, if we even do so. Finding a man has never been a problem for me. And as much as I enjoy companionship I will not settle. The man I am with has to want to be with me 100%. Right now, I am so incredibly busy with work and school that most of my spare time is schoolwork. And that is okay too, because in the end furthering my education is always worth it to me. If anything is meant to be relationship-wise it will happen, organically.
So just as those surfers did I will keep getting up, falling off and trying again. One day I will catch that perfect wave and all the falling off and getting back up will be worth it, no matter how hard and painful. I have to believe that it will happen.
And maybe in the end I’m just a girl, who has been broken too many times but still wants to love, and be loved. Maybe it will all be worth it and my next relationship will be my last. I have to believe there is a purpose and a reason for all this pain and maybe it is to let me know to not take love for granted when the right one walks in. And to cherish the beauty of it all when he does.