The Gift of Love

It’s that special day, Valentine’s Day! For many, the day represents love. For others, it’s just another day thats true meaning has been sapped up and spit out by commercialization. I believe it’s a little of both. Mostly, it’s just another day.

I feel like I am much changed from the person who gave up her virginity on this day twenty-one years ago. The emotions now removed from the experience, I look back at the memory of who I was. Fast forward twenty-one years, and I’m finally letting go of a unique but unappreciative and undeserving love (aren’t they all?!) from my past. I’m allowing life’s events to wash over me. I take a calming few deep breaths, to be human. This is me.

I love me. Many times I don’t feel like it’s enough, and I question my own worth. I would seek the definition of who I am through the eyes of others. I believed that if I tried hard enough, loved enough, that I could change the most painful pieces of my past. I maintained the belief that I could think it or will it into existence.

I was really struggling this past weekend. By Tuesday, a colleague of mine shared with me a song that I needed to hear at that very moment. Trust me when I say that I have a tough time letting go of the past. The mental grooves in my head of thinking and rethinking would drive anyone insane. I beat myself up over the times where I was a terrible judge of character, thinking that I wasn’t enough, that it was my fault.

And while life’s experiences are enough to jade anyone, I chose not to be so jaded that I lose my own humanity. In truth, I have been in love with someone from my past who has merely taken advantage of that fact. Neither of us can claim the moral high ground, but I can say that I always believed that because of what I felt for him, I was exceptional and that what we shared was mutually special. But the reality, him not caring, only using, I felt that I could somehow change that. If only he could see… the way he treats you doesn’t define you or dictate how you are supposed to feel. It’s okay to love deeply and not be loved in return. It sucks, yeh, and hurts like hell, but that’s going to happen in life. Disappointment. Disillusionment. Life.

Never far from my thoughts, I fed my internal narrative, that fairytale. I think that while fairytales can come true, what is most likely to happen is to have a few fairytale moments sprinkled throughout life. He was one of them. It was the last piece of a little girl’s dream that became an adult nightmare. You never saw me but I clearly now see you. Eyes now fully open, I know that he was the cat and I was the foolish mouse. Catch and release. Catch and release.

Life is messy. It’s not easy, especially for someone who suffers from severe depression. Life is more than black or white. I celebrate for the last time the memory of him, of shared moments, of the joy that was once felt. I am not a doormat, I am not less than, I am no longer a prisoner. I let go of the muse, the pain, the desire, the fairytale. I let go of him and finally embrace and celebrate me. I am enough, and This is Me!

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