You’ve seen photos of her.
She was petite, delicate. You’re lanky, with broad shoulders.
Her face was round, like a moon. You wonder if a surgical fat transfer will bankrupt you.
She makes a living from her art. You still struggle to find the will to sketch.
The weaknesses in your relationship – would the gaps between you close if you became more like her? After all, he was in love with her once. He admired the curves of her body, not yours. He admired her laugh, not yours. On the plane extending away from his ideal, exactly how far off course does your point fall?
But you’re looking at this all wrong.
Confidence is not a stable, fixed characteristic. It’s an outcome of the actions we take and comes from what we learn we are or are capable of. It’s increased when we’re recognized for our positive qualities – there’s a reason narcissists tend to come from families where attention was either too freely or too seldom given. It’s not a reflection of our actual value, just one of our own hang-ups, achievements, and understanding of ourselves – it’s only a perception. And when someone else holds space in the past and threatens to invade the vicinity of the present, it becomes just so easy to mythologize them, their qualities, their features. So are you seeing the whole picture?
So remember: You’ve seen photos of her.
She was petite, delicate. But you’re a striking five-foot-eleven and get the double-takes.
Her face was round, like a moon. But your cheekbones, high and delicate, are refined and elegant.
She makes a living from her art. But you’re paid for a different one – you stand down angry inmates and track down convicts, a nonfiction heroine.
When you catch yourself mythologizing, remember – he chose you, not her. And your self-doubt? Nothing more than an illusion, you beautiful creature.