Friday, February 14, 2014

I am not a stop along the way. I am the destination.

With all the hype surrounding Valentine's Day, it got me thinking, as lover of love and a total hopeless romantic I actually truly enjoy Valentine's Day, even though I am single. GASP. I know, I know. Aren't I supposed to be wallowing in misery, stuffing my face with chocolate, weeping into my pillow because Mr. Right has not yet graced me with his presence and I am forced to spend yet another holiday focused on l.o.v.e. alone?
Nope. Not this girl.
You see, I have had Valentine's days where I was not single. I was in a relationship.  But you know what? Those were some of the most lonely Valentine's Days of my life.  
Why? Because I was in a relationship I shouldn't have been in.  I was with a guy who did not treat me like he loved me. Who did not value me. Who did not treasure or cherish me. Who, heck, didn't even bring me flowers or chocolates or even a stupid teddy bear that cost 2 bucks at Wal Mart ONCE. No, not once in the 8 years of on and off again dating did he buy me even one small trinket to show his affection.  He treated me like I was just some passing phase in his life, an OPTION, not a PRIORITY. 
A stop along the way, not a destination.
I am not putting all the blame on this boy. I take responsibility for accepting whatever sub-par, minuscule, ridiculous treatment/attention he graced me with.  I didn't see how incredibly wrong and horrible our relationship was at the time. It wasn't until him ripping my heart out of my butt and months and months of healing, praying, pondering, and learning to love myself happened that I realized I deserved more.  Much, much more. And I want more.
I am not something to be passed by.
I am not something that isn't worthy of attention.
I am not something you bide your time with, waiting  to see if something better comes along.
I am not something you see if you can "fit in" to your time, your schedule, your life when/ if it happens to suit you.
I am not an option. I am a priority.
I am not a stop along the way. I am the destination.

Realizing these things have been nothing short of life-altering.  It has changed the way I view myself, my time spent, who I spend it with, how I think about myself and others, how I treat others, what treatment I expect and accept from others, and who/how I consider dating.

I will not settle for a boy who doesn't treat me with respect and love.
I will not settle for a boy who does not see me as the Daughter of God that I am.
I will not settle for a boy who does not treat me right, who is thoughtless and selfish.
I will not settle for a boy who treats me like just another stop along the way. 

I will be with a man who sees me as the destination. Who cherishes, loves, confides in, needs, wants, and cares for me, because I know that is what I deserve, because that is what I give in return.

I just want to shout on the rooftops to anyone, male or female, who has been or is in a relationship where you are being neglected, mistreated, abused, what have you, that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SETTLE.  Do not just be with someone because you are afraid to be alone. Don't ignore red flags if they are there. Do not allow someone to make you feel like you aren't more than whatever bad treatment they can dish out.

This Valentine's Day I won't have a significant other, but I won't be sad. I will be with my friends, being HAPPY because I choose not to settle. I choose to be happy. I chose to have hope because I know that someday there will be a man that comes along, to me, happily stopping at his destination.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

To Mr. West Virginia

I don't even know where to begin...other than to say you have been on my mind a lot lately. Truthfully,this happens a lot.
I remember I liked you from the very first email you sent me.
 I remember how we would text and you actually asked me questions and cared and treated me wonderfully.  You actually called me beautiful, instead of hot. A lot of girls want to be called hot, but not me...I always wanted someone to see me as something deeper, not superficial- beautiful. And up until then "hot" was it.  
I remember how I couldn't focus the rest of the day after you told me.
I remember being SO impressed with you planning our first date.  You took charge of everything. You cared enough to go above and beyond, and it was glorious.  
 I remember our first date, that picnic up in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, and how you brought my favorite foods (without me even telling you what a lot were) and watching The Avengers at the mall.
I remember panicking, big time, and having a break down on the ride home, calling my mother in between fits of sobbing. 
The truth is you were my first date after getting my heart broken, and I found out quite quickly I wasn't ready to give my heart away again.  I hadn't even begun breaking down those steel-reinforced walls I had so carefully built around it.
And this.was.scary.  So I decided I needed another layer or two of steel, and some barbed wire for good measure.  
We stopped talking, and it was totally my fault. 
Time passed and I still thought about you.
I decided I needed to talk to you, to tell you I was sorry for dropping off the face of the earth.
You replied, so understanding and patient, and I could've jumped for joy.
We emailed again, we texted again, we made plans to meet again.
You drove over 6 hours to meet me at my house that Christmas break.
I remember becoming SO afraid again. And pushing that to the back of my mind, I owed you a chance.
We went to that arcade, and to dinner, and you treated me like a queen. 
Then a movie at my house, and you were respectful and sweet and you were so good with my family and even my two scared little dogs (who liked you!)
I remember waking up to a good morning text from you from our guest room downstairs.
And I became more and more frightened.
And I totally botched that batch of pancakes I made you ( I swear I can cook WAY better than that!)
By the end of the meal I was ready to bury myself in a hole. I was panicking again.And I felt like the scum of the earth.
I was convincing myself I didn't deserve you.
I sent you home with that loaf of Mennonite bread and a hug I could barely muster.
And I cried for days.
It made me SO frustrated. I thought for sure I was over that other guy completely, that my broken heart had healed, that I could trust again, that I was finally okay, and that I was ready to date and move on with my life.
And this was all just a huge freaking slap in the face saying "PSSHH, NOPE! YOU WISH! You still have a long ways to go, broken girl!"
So we stopped talking again. And AGAIN it was my fault. And we haven't really talked since.
And this is why I am here, to tell you I am so sorry. I am so, so sorry. 
That whole "it's not you, it's me" line is actually not a cliche, it's true. It WAS all me.
And now that time has passed, things have happened, prayers have been answered, peace has been restored, and slowly, oh so slowly,
my walls have been ripped,  torn, beaten, pushed, kicked, and crumpled down
 I wish I could talk to you.
But there's still this thing-I still feel like I don't deserve a chance. 
I have wronged you before and I want it to be different this time.
So for now I will say I am sorry, from the bottom of my heart
and hope that you might find this on my little corner of the internet
and maybe we can talk again
and I can prove to us both that I deserve this chance.