At the recommendation of a friend, I’ve been reading Tiny Beautiful Things, the Dear Sugar compilation, by Cheryl Strayed (the same author as Wild).
While all the letters and responses she shares are vastly different, there is one underlying theme (at least in my opinion)…loving yourself. Whether you’re learning to appreciate who you are, pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, believing you’re worth it, etc. – the single message that shines through is that we’re all somebody.
In one letter, a man who is disfigured from a disease, writes that he feels ugly and worries he’ll never experience true love. He even asks Sugar if he should give up. She writes to him that we are all here to do the best we can “and every last one of us can do better than give up.”
I loved these words especially since the man described his outward appearance as I sometimes feel about my insides: ugly and scarred. And the more I thought about it, the angrier I got about my dating experiences, those in the far distant past and even those more recent. I’ve learned in the past 2 years that I struggle with trust, immensely. I still default to trusting people implicitly, but now instead of being potentially blindsided, I move quickly from trust to distrust.
And to be honest, it really pisses me off. I hate that I don’t trust people anymore because it’s so cliche. Women being distrustful of men. It’s every Lifetime movie. It’s every advice column topic. It’s just terribly cliche. The more I think about my actions and the crazy I feel deep inside boils my blood. Primarily, because I didn’t get here by myself. I didn’t wake up one day and say to myself, men are lying pigs. No. I had a lot of help.
And I hate it. I hate that I’m that stereotypical crazy woman at times, even if I’ve successfully hidden it from a guy, I feel it on the inside. I hate how it tears me up. How I feed into and sacrifice who I am. I hate even more that I seem to be the one who feels it all, when I wasn’t the one who misstepped. It feels like I’m punished for my trust and for opening myself up; whereas, counterparts have been rewarded for their indiscretions. I know many people probably feel that way, but a lot of my friends are quick to admit that I’ve had a rough go at dating and at finding love. But it seems there is no solution or real advice other than don’t give up. Take my time in between the pain, but don’t give up.
And so I don’t. But I’m tired and I want to trust all people again. I want that crazy, stupid love where you’re caught smiling for no reason. I want butterflies. I want to trust, truly. To share who I am at the deepest level and for that other person to really care. I want my heart to burn like a wildfire and I want to be wanted.
But a lot of days, it feels so impossibly hard. To trust. To love. To even believe it’s out there, just waiting for me. </3