Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air

Love Song

on March 31, 2017

1983

They say you can’t really love someone else until you love yourself. Today I want to share my love story:

I started young… in Kindergarten, I volunteered to sit at the all boys’ table.

In grammar school, I kept a (Judy Blume!) diary, and it was all about boys and boys; I had 3 crushes I can clearly recall (but according to my diarydiaryID, in 1983 there were 7…). In 3rd and 4th grade, I had this ongoing daydream that a boy I liked would give me his “ID bracelet” and I would then be his girlfriend. I totally blame the Brady Bunch for this formula flop; I am pretty sure no one I knew in grammar school (or since the 60s) even had an ID bracelet.

In junior high, the crushes continued. At first, there seemed to always be a prettier friend that the boys preferred. But, around age 13, I blossomed a bit, exchanging my sweat pants for sweaters, my braces for boobs, and my fresh but flat feathered hair for Aqua Net and 2 more inches. And then I got noticed! After kissing a couple frogs, I got my first boyfriend. And I was madly. Deeply. In love. Our song was “Never Say Goodbye” by Bon Jovi (although I am pretty sure he never knew this, but my friends and I sure did!) I still remember wearing a new tight red skirt, an olive colored blouse, and a red belt, and getting busted making out on the floor of parents basement! [After which I got a talk from my mom that French kissing leads to oral sex* (?not for me then, and not for me now!)] And for almost 2 months, it was all great, until he two-timed me with an “older” (aka freshman) girl. I was crushed.

I didn’t realize it then but I realize it now, it took me a long time to recover from this. When another girl replaces you, our first instinct (especially at 13), is to look at what is wrong with us. So I did. Hard. For a long time. Then came the low self-esteem, an eating disorder, and many steps in many wrong directions trying to be someone I wasn’t while I figured out who I was. And I experienced a lot of unreturned love. I always found a guy and fell hard, and would watch him fall for someone else while we became friends. I didn’t really have another boyfriend until college. And even after that, my pattern(s) and process(es) continued.

Then, finally (!), I met a nice guy. A great guy.

Someone who wanted to love me like I had loved and wanted to be loved. And I loved him back with all that I had and all that I knew. But it turned out that wasn’t enough. Not that what we had wasn’t true; but I wasn’t true. At the time, I couldn’t capture what was wrong, but I wanted spectacular and stars and this wasn’t that. It wasn’t him – it was ALL me. And the truth was I couldn’t see spectacular and stars. because I wasn’t ever clear enough to see myself, let alone anyone else.

Then, when I least expected it, I found the love of my life.

oldusgood1

Matt and I at my going away party at the Tumble in, 2001, before I moved to Colorado with him.

He was my best friend, which is the perfect foundation for a strong future. It took a while for it all to come together (it’s a great meet-cute for another day), but it finally did and we got married. I didn’t think I could love him more than I did. But I was wrong.

About 5 years in, we hit tough times, and things were either going to break or get beyond better. Lucky for me, these hard times forced me to find myself in a way that I don’t think ever would have happened otherwise (so a blessing in disguise type thing). And the person I found, the me who looks for her better self each day, is my true me. It was so nice to finally meet her, and more so to finally love her. And loving her allowed my love for him to expand into something beyond spectacular and stars and even words. Instead, it is my smile, it the sparkle in my eye, and is it the warmth in my heart. And it is goose bumps and butterflies. (even as I type this :-)).

colorado

Matt n me, 2015, Colorado.

They say you can’t really love someone else until you love yourself.

They. are. right.

 

 

* This moment raised a hot topic with the entire 8th grade class, leading to the discovery that oral sex was not simply talking about sex!

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