I couldn’t really describe the feeling other than the fact that I felt empty and my insides were all numb that morning, drawing blank spaces as I sat cuddling the blankets on my bed whisking out deep sighs. There was no way of shaking off the hollowness—no amount of Netflix or dark chocolate, or desperate prayers, or stacking up my schedule so that I didn’t have to think about what was happening with my heart. Nothing could fix it. I was a walking corpse; living and breathing, but not actually living. I had given until I literally could not give anymore because there was nothing left in my system to give. It was like I was lying out in the desert, naked and bare, with no access to water for days. I was parched. Completely sucked dry. And very, very tired.
People usually say they’re too afraid to love someone because of all the ways they’ve been tossed about and left a broken mess. And this too, has previously been true for me in many circumstances. This one, however, was different. I was never afraid to love him. I wanted to, and I did. I had no problem washing the dishes, making him meals, cleaning things up around his place, leaving secret gifts on his pillow for when he got home from work, sending him reminders and sweet little notes, or running errands that were not my own. To this day, I still don’t regret doing any of those things nor do I feel any resentment at all because that’s what love does. LOVE. DOES. And all that was my choice, but sometimes I wonder if maybe that was my mistake the entire time: to love so hard when he didn’t love as hard back, because the relationship (or the lack of an official relationship) proved it otherwise.
It took me awhile to finally to get to where I am now. It was one year filled with many dark days, extremely hard conversations with God, violent praying, unrelenting tears, and endeavoring on solo adventures perching myself under all things nature-y and inhaling in ocean waves in order to process through. I was attempting to find some kind of revelation in all this. And then I would teeter totter back and forth, trying to figure out if what we had was something authentic and real, or if he just kept me around because I was convenient and made life easier for him. I kept trying to analyze if our interactions came from places of genuineness, or if I was simply a victim of my own silly deception. What I concluded was that none of that actually mattered. Facts are facts, sometimes. And what fact told me was that he didn’t care as much about all of it as I had. He didn’t love me enough because he just let me walk away. He wasn’t willing to sacrifice. He never fought for anything. He just let me go.
He had given me stems instead of roses when all I really wanted, were roses.
In retrospect, I am really glad that I never got my roses. Because at the end of the day, I want roses from someone who is willing to give me those roses, not because it is out of obligation or formality. Let’s be real for a quick moment: as much as I chuckle at romantic gestures and deeply roll my eyes at chick flicks, there is a part of me waiting for those roses. High school Juliann used to dream about how some guy would throw pebbles Taylor Swift style at her window at 1am, and then proceed to leave roses and a letter at her door. A part of me still thinks that would be pretty damn amazing. But please, whomever you are out in cyberspace if you’re reading this, refrain from the 1am. I will probably not be pleased because I am no longer a fifteen year old, and sleep might be a tiny bit more important to me than some nice smelling flowers.
“I’m so sorry that happened to you. It sounded like a whole lot of sacrifice without any real commitment.”
And that’s exactly what I told someone as we were talking about their past relationship and how lifestyle transformations and shifting of dreams happened as a result of pursuing that relationship. I’m not a relationship expert by any means, but if you’re relocating across the country, giving up on callings that you’ve been bred to do, and feeling unsupported as a human being, chances are that it’s a wrong move, and you’re just digging yourself a bottomless grave.
We are meant to grow and change, but we were never meant to change the person we were created to be.
I’ve been guilty of that. 100% guilty. Because, I used to think I could convince a person to fall back in love with me. Turns out, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t warm a heart, when it’s stone cold. I couldn’t pretend like I was actually into all the technical aspects of music gear or actually cared about tube amps, when I didn’t really give a flying rats. Although, now I can say that I can hold a pretty solid conversation about guitar pedals and none of that nerdy talk goes too much beyond my brain capacity (high fives to me). But in all seriousness, I found me trying to force myself to fit molds and acting strangely different, catering to other peoples’ needs and not valuing my own in order to maybe, just maybe, sway a boy to like me a little more. I even contemplated for months about dying my hair a certain red, which would have been a terrible life choice because that’s what he was into. Yikes! I’m laughing as I type that line, because gosh, that sounds extremely ridiculous.
Don’t change the core of who you are for someone not worth changing for, someone who isn’t committed to you and willing to equally sacrifice.
I’m super hesitant even stating that, because I feel like as humans, we find excuses to justify our behavior especially when emotions are involved. And yes, there are cases where dramatic changes in your own life will make you a better human and it could be a good choice. I guess what I’m really trying to say is: let it be an internal change rather than behavior modification. And, don’t be that person who is actually a shitty person thinking that you don’t need to make changes because “that’s who you are.” Real talk. That’s not cool at all either. At the end of the day, if the change will enhance who you are in a positive way, then it’s probably a good thing. But if it’s pushing you into depression, or giving you confusion, or you’re just emotionally upset all the time with personal aspirations placed on hold. Two words… Abort mission.
Be honest with others. But mostly, be honest with yourself.
If something feels off, it’s probably off. If something feels like wildfire, and that it might eventually lead to a situation that will crash and burn, it probably will. That’s why God gave us the ability to discern. In other words, sometimes, you just need to go with your gut.
The roses. They’ll come. They’ll come like raging flames—full bloom, long stemmed, breathtakingly beautiful. Dozen upon dozens upon dozens of them, delivered to your door, with a letter.