Love You Long Time…or…Looooonnnnggg Time No See. You choose

Clearly this semester has not been going too swimmingly. A few of you have mentioned my lack of posts. I took on too much like I normally do but thought it would be a good coping mechanism. I would flood myself with school and work to avoid thinking about things I didn’t want to think about. Reality: thinking about things I didn’t want to while drowning in school. I have felt like I can barely keep my head above water this semester, and I balance my social life and school life so horribly. I crave people. I love being around my family and friends. I love meeting new people. And if Bryan’s death taught me anything it was to NOT take moments for granted, so I haven’t. I have spent countless hours enjoying one too many meals out with friends. I have micro-managed my weekend hours in order to get the most out of every minute, and I still miss out on time with so many people I think about.

I guess I thought that being single would allow me the freedom to excel in school while spending every spare moment with friends. Who was I kidding? That’s not me at all. I don’t like free time. I like to be busy; so, when you hear me complaining about being busy it is really me boasting about how full my schedule is. Or at least I thought it was me boasting, until I fell asleep the other day with my eyes open having a conversation. The minute I was still enough and not adding to the conversation I am almost positive I was asleep. I don’t remember anything from that conversation. I don’t even remember what I added to it. Looking back, that is not the only conversation I think I fell asleep in. It has nothing to do with the other person or my lack of interest. It has everything to do with me being completely exhausted.

Not that I thought anything would go away when I chose to be single, but I thought things might be easier…or different. No matter if you choose to be single or “singledom” chooses you, things will happen around you. You will change. Things that never bothered you will become game changers for current and future relationships and friendships. You grow. You learn. You still make mistakes. Being single doesn’t mean you stop feeling. Not at all. Often, you feel more. More than you ever thought possible. Sometimes you feel great, other times not so much. And that is OK. Just because you are single doesn’t mean you don’t fall in love. You still experience heartbreak. You still wait for prince charming to show up on your front porch in the pouring rain wearing a wet white t-shirt, levi’s and boots. Wait…maybe that’s just me. Anyway, he doesn’t show and probably won’t, but you can be hopeful. You don’t stop hoping for love. You want someone to come along who makes you forget about that year long singledom you committed to. You want something anything to come along and whisk you away from school/work/life. Being alone makes you realize so much more about yourself and gives you the opportunity to learn from your past. Even if you are not single, you should find time to be alone.

If you can’t learn from your past I feel so sorry for you. Learning from my past has given me a freedom and confidence that you can’t get anywhere else. You must grow. You must move forward.

Sometimes you feel great, other times not so much. And that is OK. I used to feel so dumb if I felt anything. I even found myself justifying my feelings to sound more positive. It is OK to feel sad, angry, happy, blissful, indecisive. And oh how indecisive I can be. There are things I want to walk away from on a daily basis. It is even more OK to be indecisive than to just feel. Society makes us feel like we must resolve any and all issues immediately. I say it’s ok to brood over things as long as needed but you must take action for your life. Eventually you have to make decisions based on what you have learned about yourself.

I will say this though:

Not once in my indecision have I picked up my Bible. Actually, other than the two or three times I dared to step into a church building have I even held my Bible since Bryan died. It’s weird the things that distance you from God. Even more so, the things that scare you about God. I know as soon as I open that book there will be answers. They may not be what I want to hear. In fact, the probability is high they won’t be anything I want to hear. God’s guidance protects us from hurt and pain yet we so often stray from it. When I have needed him most I have pushed Him away. I have been absolutely angry with Him. And it’s OK to be angry with God. If we understood everything He did we wouldn’t need Him. If we had no emotion toward Him then what kind of awful relationship would that be? Sometimes you turn away just to see if He will remain. He does.

My point is it’s OK to be in an awkward stage. It’s ok to not know what you want. But if you are not learning and growing then you are NOT in a good place. Do not be stagnant. Do not hurt the people around you because you can’t take time to learn to love yourself. Do not get complacent in something just because it’s comfortable. Figure out what YOU want and go for it. If that means picking up your Bible, then do so. If it means planning a road trip or going for a run or going camping, DO IT. Do the things that lead you to peace. If you cannot find peace in your life, you cannot truly love. You CAN’T.

Embrace your awkward learning stages. Here’s a hint: they don’t stop coming. You will overcome something now, and hit another road block of indecision in 3 months, years, decades. Life happens, but learn from it. Love YOU! Don’t depend on someone else to love. And don’t expect love from someone else if you can’t love yourself. I am not perfect. There are days I do not love myself, my body, my actions, my mind. Those days happen, but I have a peace and confidence back that I lost a long time ago. I am no longer afraid to stand up for myself and make decisions-even if it is just choosing a restaurant. I have grown from my past mistakes, past relationships, past friendships. I sincerely want the best for each of my past boyfriends and old friends. Even the few I don’t talk to anymore. I want happiness for them. And if you can’t get to that spot in your life, my heart truly aches for you.

Love is so not about a relationship. Love is a decision every morning. I never understood that until recently. I thought love found us and we couldn’t help who we loved. You decide to look in the mirror and become better because you love yourself or you decide to hate yourself and destroy the confidence you have built. In your relationships, love is a decision every morning. You decide if you will be building someone up or destroying them…every day. Be as indecisive as you want about things in life, but if you hold true to deciding to love yourself I bet things will start falling into place. 

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