There’s a moment in my head that I’ve played on repeat for the past two years. Almost every day it pops into my mind, sending me back to the first and last time I’ve ever been giddy with promise and excitement for the future.
I’m leaving his house. Head down. Cheeks flushed red. My hair blows in the unusually crisp spring air and I tuck the strand tickling my nose tight behind my ear. I get in my blue Jeep Liberty, shut the door and close my eyes as the feeling soaks in. It happened. He just kissed me for the first time.
Now this moment haunts me. It keeps me up at night, crying for what seems like the 200th time. It pulls me apart at my seams, making me feel like I’ll never be good enough again. It drives me crazy, reminding me every single goddamn day that I’ll never have it again.
This moment, or maybe even just the idea of it, could be the end of me.
When I think about my life and what it entailed over the last two years, I think of one person. Whether or not we’ve encountered them yet, we all have a person. The one that came into our lives and turned it upside down in days. The one that made us think and question everything. The one we’ll warn our kids to stay away from. This person isn’t a blessing, they’re a real life devil in disguise.
My person came to me when I was in my most vulnerable state, junior year of high school.
Every girl remembers the first boy she ever liked, and I am no exception to this rule. When I met my person, I had no idea what effect he would have on my life. What started out as innocent romance turned into the longest, most tiring relationship I hold to this day. See, boys these days can’t like just one girl. They like to play the field, string girls along, and hit them late at night with the ever-so-romantic ‘come over’ texts. And no matter how much I’d like to think I’m special and worth more than that, my boy treated me no differently.
Call me a hopeless romantic. Say I’m “clingy” or I “care too much”. Any of that would be better than the constant hot and cold, on and off mess I’ve been in with this boy for the past two years. I consider myself a strong person, but he’ll always be my downfall. I’ve tried so many times to pull myself out of it but the second he contacts me, it’s game over. I’m putty in his hands.
It’s embarrassing. I’m constantly tired of the way I feel when his name rolls off my tongue. I’m tired of telling my friends about yet another thing he did to hurt me. I’m just tired. After one last go around with him over winter break, my heart is in shambles, shattered into pieces all over the floor once again. I’m questioning myself. Like the handsome bachelor Ben Higgins, I’m wondering if I’m unloveable; but instead of crying about it for the 201st time, all I’ve been able to do is think.
Instead of making myself feel like shit because one person didn’t accept me, I’m focusing on everything about me that makes me who I am and being happy with that. Why did I think I needed someone to validate me? Why should we let ourselves be defined by the people who make us feel like anything less than the sheer awesomeness that we truly are? I don’t know about you, but I think I’m more than just my past.
I’m the movie I illegally watched with my friends last weekend. I’m that book I can’t put down. I’m the bed we all squeeze into and snuggle in. I’m the strappy black wedges that have absolutely fallen apart after only one semester (sorry mom). I’m all these little things and unseen moments in my life wrapped up into one outspoken and semi-crazy package. And you wanna know the best part? I’m not the only one.
We’re all made up of these moments, big or small. They make us who we are and give us stories to tell. Like that time you went to Hot Box Cookies right after hitting the gym. Or the moment you said goodbye to your best friend who went to a different school. Even the moment you woke up and had absolutely no idea where you were. Everyone has an entire lifetime of these moments squeezed inside of us. No one, not a single person on this planet, is insignificant.
While I’m struggling with one moment that’s seeming to define me, I need to look past it and just be happy with who I am and the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with.
So no, I’m not unlovable, and neither are you. Everyone reading this is another individual we’re lucky to have on this planet. Despite what society or our person says, we’re all unique. We all have our moments. We’re all more than enough. Isn’t it time we start remembering that?