Hey great big internet world, it’s me. And I’ve come to bare my heart and soul a little. (Okay, a lot.)
It’s that time of the year again where it’s finally feeling like fall in the south and the leaves are changing colors and I’m in a sweater everyday that it’s under 70°. And along with that changing of the season, my heart always constricts a little. I don’t talk about it much, but fall brings up a lot of memories from the past that I can forget in almost every other season. And lately, I’ve come to realize that the wind rushing in through the windows as I’m making my way home after a long day at work, and the song that hits my heartstrings so hard that I put it on repeat for the rest of the drive home makes those feelings come rushing back. And then I realize that I’ve pent up those feelings for such a good long while that they’re bursting at the seams. The seams of my heart and the seams of my mind. And I find that it’s always at the most inconvenient time that these thoughts come, and suddenly words and whole paragraphs of sentences upon sentences are stringing themselves along in my mind, begging to be written down.
Because when I can’t talk about things, I write about them.
And so as soon as I pull into my parking space, I’m scrambling to furiously record those sentences and sometimes I post them and a lot of the times I don’t.
But I’ve decided to post them tonight for some reason. Because I’ve realized that even sometimes, just writing them down for myself isn’t enough.
Here’s what hit me hard. (Besides the cover of I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Sleeping at Last that came out of nowhere and stirred up all my feelings.)
I met a friend this weekend that I’ve only ever talked to online and I took a chance and set up a meet with her and we found that we have a ton in common and we even look alike so we’re basically twins. Throughout the night, the conversation flowed and we talked about everything and nothing and suddenly we were talking about relationships past and present and she asked me…
“Do you even want to get married?”
I’m not sure exactly what thought came first. The clarity of the one glaring word in my mind, an absolute, positive “YES” or the sudden anxiety and burst of trepidation and the question that sang violently throughout my whole being. “Do I give off the impression that I don’t want to?”
Let’s start at the beginning. Here’s the background of my previous relationship.
Girl meets boy at college. Boy and girl fall in love and date for almost 3 years. Boy and girl unknowingly grow apart. Boy breaks up with girl. Girl doesn’t realize that breaking up is the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Girl realizes that three years of her life are gone. Three years of shared hopes and shared dreams are suddenly over. Girl cries over boy for entirely too long.
It took me so long to realize that I didn’t miss that particular boy, but that I simply missed having that “someone.” The one who will listen and talk to you about those things people say they care about but don’t, really. It took me so long to realize that the tears I cried and the heartache I faced had more to do with the conflicting desire of having someone to share my life with and the sinking feeling of dread that something could happen again and it would all repeat itself.
Allow me to clarify.
It’s been years since that relationship ended but in those years, some pretty solid walls built up over time. It was on a night like tonight that I realized that I was scared. So scared. Of repeating the past. Of making new memories and hopes and dreams and then losing them.
And you can tell me that “You can’t be afraid to lose someone so much that you don’t even try.” But my heart will still tighten at the words. Trust me. Because these are words that I whisper to myself over and over again, trying to convince myself.
It’s a funny thing, when you look back and years and years have passed and you’re caught up in life. Caught up in traveling and exploring and living life in the moment, and loving it. And you think back to the person you used to be and it’s like looking at a doppelgänger who may look exactly like you but is completely different, inside.
Since my relationship ended, I’ve had so many incredible opportunities cross my path. I’ve worked hard and I’ve gotten an amazing job. I’ve traveled to foreign lands and fallen in love with mountains, and waterfalls, and the sound of foreign languages intertwining and that wonderful overwhelming feeling of stepping out of the plane and arriving in a different country for the first time. I’ve learned about myself and now I enjoy so many different hobbies and my world has grown SO MUCH more than it ever could have if I would have still been in that relationship. And I’m happy. I’m so happy with the life that I have today. And I’m so grateful for those incredible opportunities and the memories that I’ll have forever because of them.
And yet, the wind blows, and the song plays, and the memories come crashing and the question is asked, and with it the feeling that hits me so intensely, the feeling of how much I don’t want to be alone. And I can’t imagine that someone, even someone I’ve never met, could ever think that I don’t crave a “someone” more than I crave adventure, and independence, and the happiness that comes with the life that I have today.
In Pride and Prejudice, I’m more Jane than Elizabeth. My deepest feelings don’t show. Maybe I don’t show the world how much I crave a partner to walk through life with. Maybe I’m so independent, and so busy, and my life is so full of adventure that people don’t realize that I’m hurting, too. Maybe I’m so stubborn and so fearful of looking like the “desperate” one that I shy away from opportunities.
In the 21st century, your online presence is your “highlight reel”. It’s not the lonely thoughts that swirl around your head at night and the tears you cry. It’s the good times and the best times and the times you look pretty and the views you see across the world that you want everyone else to see too.
So maybe I’m writing this blog because I don’t want to be fake. I don’t want to pretend it doesn’t hurt when it does. I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I don’t want want to miss out on a Mr. Bingley because I don’t share my feelings openly like a certain Ms. Bennett.
Maybe my words will inspire. Maybe somewhere out there, even weeks or months from this chilly November evening, someone out there will need these words too.
And maybe I just needed to write them down for me. To remind myself that it’s possible to conquer an overwhelming fear, and that walls don’t crumble without a little work.
So here’s to being real, and being lonely, and not forgetting that God has a plan for every little detail of my life.