Relationships and all those ships.
This is very personal, and it's a part of my heart that I wasn't sure I wanted to share with 'strangers' but I believe there's power in speaking out and being vulnerable.
Writing things down has been quite therapeutic, so I suppose this is mostly for my own sake, however I wonder if anyone reading this will find something they can identify with, and honestly (maybe selfishly) I’m hoping someone does. it would make me feel less alone.
I find it scary to write about my relationship, the last thing I want is to shove my love on peoples faces, Funny enough this open letter might just be the complete opposite.
The truth is I’ve been struggling lately. eek! did I just type that. out. loud? That was hard.
Before my relationship with Dan I was single for six years. A lot of learning and growing happened, as it normally does. Unconsciously I began to put fears and insecurities aside, instead of dealing with them. As I’ve grown and become who I am today a lot of these things have resurfaced, specially now in this relationship.
I often struggle when people ask me how's it going, most people just expect a sweet and short "fine thanks" when instead I just want to be able to pour my heart out and say you know what? it's beautiful and it's difficult and it’s challenging. But I’ll spare them the awkwardness of my honesty.
No one prepares you for how hard it is to love someone and to let that person love you. The real you.
I’ve prayed for a relationship for about four years, I know that might sound weird and it’s not like I literally prayed every day for one, but I definitely began to write down thoughts, ask God and began imagining what it would look like. I figured if we both loved Jesus, everything else would come easy. Except I forgot the part where we would still be human. Maybe that was mistake number one.
Love as I know it now, it's beautiful and it's messy and it takes work, so much work.
Maybe I'm wrong to say this, but I think it's specially hard work when you're in a long distance relationship.
I’ve always been a pretty independent person so when Dan, and I started our relationship I didn’t really think I’d struggle with him not being around, and I have to be honest and say that for the first half of it I kind of really didn’t.
Yes, It was nice to hear from him and his day over Skype, and it was nice to receive cute messages, and have someone care about my day, every day. But I didn’t feel the emptiness of him not being around like I do now.
Perhaps back then I saw him more as a friend that liked me than anything else, it wasn’t until I began to fall in love that all of a sudden a lot of emotions –good ones and bad ones – hit me.
Theres so much fullness in my life and at the same time something is missing. There's this man, my best friend, living somewhere else and we can’t do anything but wait. He is living a completely different life from me, a life that for the most part does not include me, and one that I literally cannot understand. (yay! language barriers)
I never really considered myself a jealous person, and now out of nowhere, jealousy.
Where did it come from? I get upset easily, and I’m jealous when I hear about his wonderful day, a day that didn’t include me. When did I become so irritable, and selfish?
I want him to be happy and I want him to have a joyful, full life, but I’m not going to lie, I catch myself wanting to be the one and only person who provides that. Mistake number two.
I’m learning (even though I already knew) that I am not, and will never be Dan's source of joy and happiness, and neither is he. This is all so much easier said than done of course, and my bible shouts it at me (lovingly) frequently. But putting it into practice is proving to be extremely challenging.
Trust is another major thing for me. I wish there was a ‘Trust for Dummies’ book somewhere. Because letting go of past hurts, past experiences and not comparing Dan to the ones that came before him is something I have not yet successfully done, not smoothly anyway.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” never spoke to me louder.
I don’t have much experience in the subject yet, and I’m praying one day I can trust Dan whole heartedly. Not because he is not trustworthy, or because he's ever proved me otherwise. He has the kindest of hearts, after all that's what made me fall in love. But trusting completely is vulnerable and it's scary. For now though I find that when I slow myself and my thoughts down and talk to God about these fears, He begins to speak truth into my life, and I slowly begin to let go of control. A process that has not come tear free.
I'm trying to remember that the things Dan does or says do not define me and my worth. The moment I start putting my self worth and identity in his hands things start to crumble.
We are both brilliant at saying mean, passive-aggressive and unkind things to each other even if we don’t mean to. Learning and remembering to consider each others feelings takes practice, willingness, patience, and time. All very fun!
Deep down I know a lot of these insecurities, and self doubt come from a whole lot of fear. Since I'm being honest I can say I’m still scared he’ll change his mind about me (after all it hasn’t been that long) I’m scared of rejection and scared of been seen. Vulnerability hurts sometimes.
I’ve learned I can avoid getting hurt if I hide, if I run. I've been practicing for years.
This letter might just be part one of a journey of discovering who my love is, discovering my role in the relationship and discovering how to love him better, how to open up more, and how to choose love before my own needs and pride.
The truth is, I can no longer remember what life looked like before Dan, or how it is to not be loved by him. We've already built so many memories, and he has made me the happiest I've ever been. He's teaching me so much about myself, my faith and what the future could look like.
I'd like to think no good, long lasting thing comes without me feeling a little uncomfortable. And all these feelings will be worth it in the end. Because all those prayers for a relationship were answered when I met him.
I’m slowly leaving my bubble behind.