Originally, this post was meant to be about my anniversary and the gift I gave to my sweet boyfriend. But when you’re a writer, sometimes creativity takes a turn and you just have to follow your mind down the rabbit hole. This is actually the case often.
I’ve been reading a ton about love this month. It’s not something I mind at all. It's made me think about love and all its complexity, how it can make you euphoric, how its absence can make you suffer. It packs a punch this love stuff. I thought of this in the wake of my 2 year anniversary because I am obviously an over thinker.
Don't ask me why these thoughts flooded my brain just before celebrating 2 awesomely successful years together, including a move-in and possibly a new dog on the horizon. Perhaps it’s the writer in me constantly searching for a struggle? That rising action until the climax, the crescendo until the organ brings it home. Yes, these are the things I think about as I sip my morning coffee. I observe my life as an impartial party because this is completely normal.
Either way, the important part is that all this analyzation took me on a time warp to my single days. I spent quite a few years trying to understand myself and a few others searching for love outside myself. That was one of the bigger problems. Many people gave me the same ol' spiel, just focus on you, it'll come when you're not looking, blah, blah. All of that advice is right, but when you're not satisfied with something inside of you, hearing "look within" makes you stare at people until your eyes glaze over. “That’s it?” you want to say. “Oh okay cool. Well I’ll just be here throwing a party for myself and NOT thinking about falling in love. Totally casual.”
If you can relate (and I know at least some of you can), I promise the answer is to find yourself fabulous. When you invest in yourself and begin doing or discovering the things that jazz you up, you are never more attractive and happy. You radiate love. All kinds of love. That kind of electricity is contagious and people want to be around it!
When I started dating my boyfriend, I had to face a lot of my own demons, which caught me off guard. I figured once I found my person a lot of my insecurities and doubts would magically dissipate into the loveless land I was leaving. HAHA. Right? It’s funny because it's true. I actually believed this.
I am not pooping on the confetti-filled, fireworks loaded beginning to our romantic journey. Twas truly beautiful, like those love-themed Pinterest boards you don’t believe exist. Oh, they sure do. But I’m being real here… the self is a layered beast of complexity.
Our union brought other things to light within myself. Because my relationship and love life was now where I wanted it to be, my unhappiness with what I was doing, my lost passions, my untouched hobbies, my lack of self confidence...all these things things came gurgling up. It was really gross.
Without any space to assume my unhappiness was about being single, I was now faced with the real deal. No one completes you. You complete yourself. My boyfriend, as caring, hilarious and studly as he is, couldn't put a bandaid over these things.
For the first year of our relationship, I felt like I was dating two people: him and myself. No joke. It took me around a year to finally feel really good in my own skin and head. And honestly, it's crazy to me how separate these two loves are. Even more shocked, how much more I loved him when I was coming from a clearheaded, secure place. Go figure. Those schmucks with their "searching inside you" advice were right all along. And now I guess I’m one of them. But maybe (fingers crossed) I am telling you this in a much cooler way that doesn’t make you feel like listening to Rihanna's “love in a hopeless place” on repeat.
To bring this pony show somewhat back to my original point, I was thinking of an awesome anniversary gift for my boyfriend. Something we could do together, until I went through my mental tangent outlined above and decided to get him something he can enjoy for himself. Because even when you’re in a relationship and your partner is your biggest fangirl, you will never feel better or love harder than when you find yourself fabulous.
In case you’re wondering, I went with 2 months of guitar lessons.