El Blog

Dear Val

There is no easy way to say what you have to say sometimes. I know you’re hurt and you feel like this stage in your life will not end. I’ve been meaning to write to you sooner, but I never had the right words to say. I had a filter at the lower chambers of my heart, always preventing any feeling from escaping it. My heart protected me from exposing myself, my feelings and my longing. This safety blanket had saved me from a lot of heartache, but at the same time it prevented me from experiencing love. I drove up to my best friend’s house where we talked about my condition. The protection my heart gave me was useless up against a friend who saw right through me. Warm drops fell from my eyes. I was finally breathing easy and even though I didn’t have this safety blanket anymore I felt warm. I had never experienced such a feeling of catharsis. One day you will experience this feeling too.

I know it may seem like you’re not going anywhere.  This time in your life is here for you to learn to focus on being yourself. What does this mean? Well, it means that what you feel in your heart has to be reflected in your behavior. It’s like when you see someone walking down the street that makes your heart sink to your stomach; you quickly look away as you feel your cheeks get bright red and your poker face loses its battle with the eminent smile that wants to come out. You obviously feel something for this person yet all you say is “hi”, and what’s worse, you keep walking. It takes courage to be yourself, show the world who you are and verbalize what you feel. Find the courage to advocate for yourself in the things that you like to do and with the people that see you for who you are and who you can be. My best friend was the only one that could see right through me, and what I learned from her was that you have to keep in mind that you weren’t born to be perfect – you were born to be real.

Be real? I didn’t really understand this concept until recently. I wasn’t happy being me and I didn’t understand why. I thought, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be like my sister? Why can’t I have the wisdom of my best friend? Why can’t I just have a screw the world attitude like my cousin?” All this time I compared myself to other people, and although these are people I love very much and respect dearly, they are not me. You are beautiful inside and out. If anyone tells you otherwise, that is a reflection of who they are because, like any other mirror, our eyes will always show us our own reflection. Being capable of seeing your own reflection and not comparing yourself to anyone – that’s being real.

Part of being real is also allowing yourself to love. The more you try to avoid love and keep your guard up, the harder you will fall when you finally give yourself the chance to love. I was so anti-love for the longest time after parting ways with someone I cared about that the minute someone treated me differently I fell hard. It didn’t take long before I looked forward to talking to him. I got a rush every time my phone would show his name on the preview screen, and I tried to make mundane events interesting so I would have a reason to talk to him. I made the situation out to be more than what it was. I was so caught up with these feelings that I failed to see that I was only getting crumbs and he only wanted one thing. Once he failed to get it, we just stopped talking and I was left feeling alone and confused. With time eventually you realize that, just like your left glove is in love with your right hand, you were only in love with the idea or the impossibility of loving that person.

I didn’t want to be afraid to love, but this is easier said than done. I think it’s always better to say “oh well” than “what if” because you can learn from the “oh wells,” but there is little you can do about the “what ifs” So I started talking to someone else. He was the sweetest guy and we made plans to finally see each other. So sweet, I did the most sensible thing I could think of, I cancelled. Just like that he became my “what if” we didn’t talk to each other much after that. A few months passed and we started talking again. We met for drinks and I learned a lot from this very interesting man. I decided I wouldn’t allow myself to miss out on someone like him. I mustered up all the courage I had and I told him how I felt. I finally had the courage to tell someone how I really felt without any inhibitions. We have been together since and everything has been going great between us because life doesn’t give you the people that you want, it gives you the people that you need. I learned that it doesn’t matter who you love, and whether or not that love is reciprocated. The experience of loving is enough to transform you and make you a better person.

With every step you take you are arriving to your destination. Enjoy the simplicity of the ride. Give yourself the chance to open your heart to people because that will be the only way you can stop being who you are and become who you were always meant to be. Don’t try to move faster or slower than your heart. Every step that you take will help you learn something new, even if it seems insignificant, you’re still learning. It’s ok to not have everything figured out right now, trust me. Eventually you do.


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