He lifted his arms to the crystalline, radiant sky. “I know myself,” he cried, “but that is all.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
History shows us that since the dawn of time, sentient beings have sought one thing above all. Wars have been fought, lives lost (looking at you Romeo & Juliet), empires born, and endless art created, all in the name of love. Born and raised a hippie, the sentiment “all you need is love” is permanently etched in my brain. And though patchouli and lavender always surround me and there is always a crystal either on or around me, somewhere along the way I lost love and zealousness for myself, and replaced it with criticism and harshness. I let my happiness depend on people, or things, and when I lost them I felt that I had lost my happiness. I found myself placing blame on people I loved for the reason I didn’t feel like myself, I looked outward for reasons until I could no longer avoid looking in at myself. I had lost my best friend: me.
A couple of chapters ago, I was in Tallahassee, FL, in a relationship that I thought was the end all be all. In the beginning we were inseparable, we would finish each other’s sentences but we couldn’t be more different, and that was the beauty of it. Being a free-spirited, democratic vegetarian, I was unlike anything he had seen. Being a passionate Republican with a quick wit and a big heart, he was the yin to my yang. Nevertheless, throughout the relationship, small quips and actions here and there slowly began to wear me down, to curb the self-confidence I had built up in my last year at college. The differences that ignited the passions we shared ended up burning us out. Despite both of our better judgements, I decided to move to Pittsburgh, PA where he had just begun law school. We had already been at a rocky point in our relationship, but after three long weeks of tears, and feeling more alone in our relationship than I ever had before, my heart strings couldn’t be pulled any longer.
I moved back home to Ft. Lauderdale, FL and jumped into a relationship with a long-time friend, and current beau, J Cole (no relation, but has been known to spit on a track a time or two). While I don’t regret any decisions that have led me to where I am today, I realized that I hadn’t let myself get back to me after the earth-shattering heartbreak I experienced. I began to see certain destructive patterns come forth in my relationship with J Cole that had been braided not only in my previous relationship, but in the threads of all relationships past. That’s when it hit me. I was the common denominator. I was finding faults and starting fights with people I love, with my partner in life. Until only a few months ago I wallowed, then I swallowed my pride and got to the source. I journaled, I sought help, I quit my job that was going against the grain of me, I left DC and went home for a couple weeks. I spent time with my family, and focused on me. I’m currently appalled at the number of “I”’s and “me”’s in this entry, but that is the point. I’m abandoning false expectations of myself, and what I thought others wanted to see and hear. I can’t say for certain that I’ve reached my destination, but life is about the journey and I’m sure as hell on my way there.
While I am by no means a self-love guru, (if you have the name and number of one, please share) this is my journey back to myself. Many a time I have found solace in the plights of others, be it in the pages of a novel or the words of a blog. While not known for being overly open, I’m currently chasing the real and the raw. I’m only interested in the ugly, scary, beautiful truth. Come along for the ride and cheers to falling in love with yourself, all over again <3