“I used to float along in all of this, like a leaf on a coursing stream, but I am heavier now, less easily moved, more resolute and steadfast. I am no longer in pursuit of happiness. As I stand here at my front door, key in hand, I think it is just possible that happiness, at least for now, today, this hour, may be in pursuit of me.” ~ Anne Giardini, The Sad Truth About Happiness
“You are the most dangerous kind of female the world can ever know. You carry the seeds for your own destruction and the destruction of everyone who loves you. And a great many will love you for your beautiful face for your seductive body; but you will fail them all because you will believe they all fail you first. You are an idealist of the worst kind – the romantic idealist. Born to destroy and self destruct.” ~ V.C. Andrews, Fallen Hearts
It’s a bit late in life, but I found a great love this year. The most important love of all. And even more special, I discovered this great love at the end of the year, during the holidays, when I am typically a pathetic mess.
I did not go home for Christmas this year. It’s the first year in a long time that I will not be celebrating Christmas with my family in the Philippines. But I felt it important to stay here, and cultivate this new-found love of mine. I felt it important to keep the momentum going. Taking a long, arduous trip to Asia would have exhausted me, and I really just wanted to plant my feet firmly on the ground before I think of taking flight again.
This great love of mine?
The thing is, I finally fell in love with myself.
After living most of my adult life despising myself and regretting most of the choices that I have made, I have finally forgiven myself for all the blunders and debacles I have created, and I have come to the realization that I am not such a despicable person. And the truth is, I am actually quite of a jewel. A bit tarnished maybe, and chipped on some surfaces, but I still carry value in general.
I can finally look at myself in the mirror and not hate what I see. I don’t mean that I see physical beauty in my reflection, but I can finally see into my own soul — and what I saw was a person who just wants to love those around her and be loved by those same people.
The problem was that I was allowing my relationships to define who I was. I was attracted to those who were toxic and who sought pleasure in making me feel less than who I am. I was attracted to incomplete men whose deficiencies manifested in their unfair and even emotionally abusive treatment of me.
They always made me believe that I was so undeserving of anyone’s love, and so I became addicted to seeking their constant approval, and when instead I would get their rejection, I felt as though my whole world would fall apart.
But no more.
I am who I am. I have flaws, and many of them. But who doesn’t?
Love others, but don’t forget to love yourself. It’s the best gift of all.(Photo credit)
Mati | (photo by GP)
“I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I have spent my whole life being afraid. Afraid of loss. Afraid of change. Afraid of being alone.
But then the worst happens, and you are face to face with everything that you fear, and you come to the realization that with loss, you also experience freedom.
I have lost everything. But I am free, and I am no longer afraid.
And I can begin again.
“There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save.” ~ Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
The summer has been brutally hot.
“I may be the type who manages to grab all the pointless things in life but lets the really important things slip away.” ~ Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
(photo source: Google Images)
- Life is fragile. A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. Fine one day. Diagnosed with cancer the next. In my young life, this is the fourth person I know to have cancer. The first three died. I feel as though as I am too young to be so familiar with cancer.
- People are finicky. People will never remember all the three dozen good things you do, and will only remember the bad things about you.
- I truly am alone in this world. The people I count on to always be there for me, are the same ones who disappear and become invisible.
“The dead are never exactly seen by the living, but many people seem acutely aware of something changed around them. They speak of a chill in the air. The mates of the deceased wake from dreams and see a figure standing at the end of thier bed, or in a doorway, or boarding, phantomlike, a city bus.” ~ Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones
My friend M lives in a typical pre-war building here in New York. It is a building with a long history and a long roster of souls that have come and gone.
And some that have not left.
I visited her one afternoon. She lives on the first floor, adjacent to the front lobby, and just past the mail room. After she buzzed me in the front door that day, I walked down the long corridor towards her door. I passed the mail room and caught a glimpse from the corner of my eye a young woman bent down in front of the mailboxes. She was dressed in a long, white skirt and a dark top. I turned away, and then turned again to look back at the woman.
She had disappeared.
After a conversation with my friend and her building super, I learned the story of a woman who had died in the building. She was an elderly woman who had lived in the building since the first year the apartment building was erected. She was then a young woman who was engaged to a young soldier who was sent to Europe to fight in WWII.
It is said that her lover’s body was never found during the war. He was considered dead after they could not locate him after a mission he served in France. Accounts from other tenants in the building reported that the young woman never stopped hoping to receive word about her lover. She faithfully checked her mailbox every afternoon with the hopes of receiving some kind of correspondence regarding her one true love.
From what I saw that afternoon, she still waits.
True love never dies and waits forever.
“I want to sleep, I want dreams to pull me from this world and make me forget. To stop the memories from swirling around me. To put an end to this ache that consumes me.” ~ Carrie Ryan, The Forest of Hands and Teeth
One of my favorites …