Sit back and relax. I really want your input on this one.
"I've found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said "Journeys end in lovers meeting." What an extraordinary thought. Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I am more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said "love is blind". Now that is something I know to be true. The kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Yes, you are looking at one such individual. And I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years! The absolute worst years of my life! The worst Christmas', the worst Birthday's, New Years Eve's brought in by tears and valium. These years that I have been in love have been the darkest days of my life. All because I've been cursed by being in love with a man who does not and will not love me back. Oh god, just the sight of him! Heart pounding! Throat thickening! Absolutely can't swallow! All the usual symptoms."
Iris (Kate Winslet) in The Holiday.
Not only do I love this movie and the classy Kate Winslet, this quote has been quite apparent and applicable in my life recently.
I have stood by and watched a dear friend of mine be, literally, torn apart due to a lack of unreturned feelings from a male. And then, on a smaller scale, I have continuously watched that same thing continue to happen in my own life. Yes, I say "watched" because sometimes I feel like I'm watching my life through someone else's eyes. Is that odd? Am I the only one who does this?
It's almost as if my inconsistent emotions and feelings are so irrational and frustrating, that I pretend it's not me. It's easier to feel it, to go through it, to experience it, if it seems as though I'm watching and experiencing a highlight (a negative highlight?) reel from someone else's life.
That's me. Right now. With very minimal makeup on. Sitting outside on my balcony. It's a beautiful Spring Sunday. The sun is shining. It's perfect. I've spent the day organizing and going through things in my room. I came across 8th grade letters from friends I haven't spoken to in awhile. I read letters from people who have influenced me for good. I laughed a little, cried a little, and reminisced a whole lot.
Through this organization (remember when I've been told I was a perfectionist and a daydreamer. yea...not a good combination) I began to think. A lot.
A few weeks ago, a friend (or a girl who I thought was my friend) told me I was unapproachable and overbearing. She continued to tell me some more negative aspects about myself, which, to be honest, were all so far from the truth. I have never, in my entire life, been told I possessed any of those characteristics. I'm not entirely sure why she said those things. It may have stemmed from jealousy or I may have been simply a scapegoat for something. Either way, it still hurt. It hurt bad. No one wants to be told those things about themselves. How can that not affect someone's confidence? I started questioning myself and how others saw me. How could it not, you know? I was constantly questioning how I was acting around others. I tried to receive validation from those who loved me the most to solidify that all of those things were not true; to be reminded that that I was a good person with great qualities.
And want to know what happened?
I realized that I truly am a good person.
I am a GREAT person.
I don't say this to boast. I say this because I think it is important to remember that confidence is the key to success for anything in life. Confidence will allow you to progress, grow, and be happy.
Okay, bear with me. This will all make sense right.about NOW.
I have learned that this confidence that I have been reminding myself over these past few weeks should be present at all times.
Even in the midst of dating and relationships. (ahhh you see the connection now?)
"I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn't know you had inside you. And it doesn't matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends... you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he'll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you'll go somewhere new. And you'll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade."
Iris (Kate Winslet) in The Holiday...again...
How often have we, as humans, been plagued with the tortuous journey of loving someone who simply does not love us back? I honestly believe that this idea of unrequited love is the worst feeling in the world.
It eats at you. It makes you go crazy.
You start questioning why you aren't good enough, why he/she isn't noticing you.
Early on, in our childhood, we have to learn that some children don't particularly want to play with us. We have all experienced being left out, being made fun of, or just simply disliked. Unfortunately, as we grow up, we continue to learn this lesson (isn't life just a bigger elementary school?--I tell you I have learned that much thus far from being a teenager. Teaching 2nd graders and college students are the exact same.)
I have felt this.
It's terrible. These moments of unreturned love or lust of feelings or whatever they seem to be are tough. Scratch that--it is gut wrenchingly sad, confusing, bare, lonely and vulnerable.
I keep going though, why? Because I know I'm great, even if he doesn't see it.
I know that some of you may take my advice with a grain of salt, but this is what I have learned from experience:
Focus on yourself.
Yep, never though you'd hear someone say that, huh?
Focus on your confidence, on your strengths, on your talents, etc. You cannot force that other person to feel a certain way, but you can change how you see yourself. All you can do is be yourself, focus on bettering yourself, and remember that there are multiple in your life who love you for YOU.
"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." *Anna Quindlen*
We don't have to be perfect. We have to be ourselves.
You are wonderful.
Kill 'em with confidence. ;)