Whiskey on the rocks and books at the bar. Coffee, cigarettes, jazz, and mumble core films. I’m a hopeless romantic, and I’m always too busy focusing on the future to be aware of the present. These are just a few of the characteristics that make up who I am. It’s been a long year of self-exploration and battles with inner demons. With each new trait I discover about myself, I’ve been trying to commit to the hardest work, which is learning how to love and embrace it.
For a very long time, I struggled with issues of self-loathing. Until recently, I’ve never quite been comfortable with what I see in the mirror. I was always under the impression I needed to find my other half to find myself whole, and it’s been an uphill battle of heartache and headaches.
This year marks a milestone: I finally understood that you need to be able to love yourself before you can love someone else.
I’m coming to terms with the fact that I might not ever be able to properly order my food or engage in insignificant conversations with strangers. I’m trying to change the fact that I’ve always got to walk through a door last, and I’m working on changing the mindset that not everyone in my life wants me to fail. Maybe I’ll never truly know everything about myself. It might take an outsider to discover the rest of the idiosyncrasies that make me who I am.
Realistically, you’ll probably never fully be able to admire every kink you bring to the table, nor will the person you decide to spend eternity with. I do believe however, that if you learn to understand the person you are and the person you want to become, that it will help with any of the other relationships in your life. Healthy relationships allow for healthy separations without cutoffs or drama. It’s important to control your own comings and goings, and to allow others space to control theirs.
The biggest problem I’ve noticed amongst my peers—and something I myself have been guilty of in the past—is changing who you are for the person you are trying to be with. This process has left me with a bleeding heart and a skewed view on relationships and love. A few people have come and gone, and I now realize that I shouldn’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I believe the person I meet needs to understand that I am aware of myself and I have a lot of things other women will not be able to offer. Working on your imperfections is all well and good, but I would never change morals or interests to create an artificial personality that is not a true depiction of myself.
The thought of manipulating the person you’re becoming in order to appeal to another person seems arbitrary and cheap, and it’s a shame when the people I love fall victim to this habit. Some people from my past are a shell of who they used to be, and all for what? The love of somebody who didn’t take them as is? Occasionally, a glimpse of who they were shines through, like the sun on a black cloudy day, only to be consumed seconds later by the gray mass that is this abstract character they have to play. It’s sad, really.
You can’t make homes out of human beings, and so I’ve been turning my misfortunes into memories, and my mishaps into milestones. It’s about time I focus on myself, and disregard others. I’m working on build a foundation inside myself—a home, a refuge so when the day has dried me up, I have a place to remember that I don’t need to change everything.
Things will fall into place when they need to. Until then, why not try getting to know someone you’ve never met before: yourself?