Spring cleaning is here, and with my big move to Spain, I’m more than ready to throw out 75% of the crap in my closets. But my journals, no, those will stay. I’ve been journaling and writing since I was 13, so you can imagine the huge stack of journals, notebooks, and papers that stuff my closet. I had the pleasure of flipping through a few of them today (it’s always hilarious to read through old journals) and I was struck even more by my experience involving a recent heartache. Ladies, please keep reading. Gents, you’re more than welcome to read, but if you’re not at all interested in matters of a young woman’s heart, I’ll forgive you if you stop here ;).
From the moment of my first boyfriend, I was obsessed with boys. Not surprising right? I mean who wouldn’t be. From an incredibly young age, girls seem to constantly be in search of receiving attention from boys. In elementary school, you love to be chased around by them, in middle school a simple hello and short conversation makes your heart flutter, and in high school, you start to use the term “relationship” and celebrate anniversaries. But you’re constantly seeking and in search of this attention and relationships, even if you don’t entirely understand what being in a relationship means.
“Those submissive to an external authority do not see their lives as worthwhile, nor can they endure the emptiness of having no one for whom to live. Instead, they must seek an external object with which to merge their identity to avoid facing the weakness and emptiness of their lives.” Shin Yatomi, Buddhism in a New Light
Once I entered into the “serious” dating realm, there was not a point in time where I wasn’t in some way, shape, or form, involved with someone. At all points, I was either in touch with an ex-boyfriend, dating a new beau, or staying in touch with a future potential, if not all three at once.
What I find worse, though, and I’m embarrassed to say this, but it must be said, is that I have, from the beginning, molded and shaped my personality according to the guys in my life. Not entirely on a conscious level, but in many ways, I would question who I thought the guy wanted me to be, and in very subtle ways, shifted myself accordingly. This of course, goes back to this idea of my being very easily swayed by others. While a large part of me was indeed, me, it wasn’t long before I started picking up characteristics that weren’t mine, or opinions that weren’t mine. I very much began to find ways to merge myself with someone else, and saw no wrong in this, because I didn’t realize my own self-worth.
Recently, as I continue to expand my life, and learn to “do epic shit” by staying true to my heart and passions for education, writing, and travel (in no particular order), I’ve finally been able to learn from and shed the past, and cut those cords that were in many ways holding me back, though I imagined them to be supporting me. And, with my most recent heartache of the timing and geography simply not working out with someone near and dear to my heart, I no longer have someone in the “future potential” category either. I am, in every sense of the word, single. And I can’t tell you how incredible it feels.
Those three cords of ex, beau, and future potential have all been cut. It’s been years, but they have all been cut, and I’m truly standing on my own. The sense of joy and pride I feel is inexplicable. While I have always prided myself on not being reliant on any man, I think to an extent, I really was reliable, in an emotional sense. Even with my most recent future potential, he was in many ways also going to be my comfort blanket in Spain. And that is the hardest thing to admit as a young woman; that being with someone else makes you feel more self-confident, when in no way, shape, or form, should that ever be the case.
“To love truly we must be free. To be free, then, we must discover our innate self-worth.” Shin Yatomi, Buddhism in a New Light
For years, I have had a guy in my life in some way, and even though I have also always been quite independent, even when dating someone, this is the first time that I am truly standing on my own. There is no attachment to, or emotional reliance on, someone else. With this new found sense of liberation, you would think I would be wondering. ‘Well, when is my day going to come?” But in all honesty, I’m not. There is no desire to be on the lookout for someone. While in my heart, yes I want to be involved in a relationship, the kind I desire is so profound and so meaningful, that I am more than happy to patiently wait for my partner to catch up with me, because I am straight-up running with my mentor in life, and I have cast off those bowlines to shore.
I’m sailing into I’ve sailed into open water, embarking on an adventure whose destinations are pretty much unknown (well, after Spain at least :D). Other than the fantastic support systems of family, friends and my practice, I am pretty much manning this ship on my own.
As I continue to get to know myself, and solidify my sense of self, I know that I will also come to truly understand my self-worth. It is way past the time when I need to realize how capable I really am.