an open door
Yesterday, I had a revelation I didn’t expect. I suppose that no one expects a revelation. It’s like the Spanish Inquisition. It’s got SPAM in it. Wait, that’s not right. Let’s get back to the point: I’m not a perfect person. I don’t intend to be. Sure, I try to make the right choices, do the right things. But at the end of the day, I’m full of flaws. I’m insecure. I worry. I have a tendency to keep my mouth shut when things are bothering me. I’m more inclined to worry about you than I am to show that I’m having a bad day.
Honestly, the past month, I have been a total mess. I have been a mess for a specific reason – or, more accurately, a combination of reasons. I don’t really talk about it. Because I don’t want you (figuratively speaking) to know I’m hurting. I do this as a defense mechanism. I do this to put another person first. I’m trying to be the bigger person and hide everything, only that doesn’t do anyone any favors.
So, here’s the truth: I’m not talking to someone I really need to talk to. For a while, I blamed myself. For a while, I looked in the mirror and saw the carrier monkey. For weeks, I assumed that this is what I get, for being open and naïve. And then, yesterday, I realized: this is not my fault. Moreover: it’s unacceptable. I may be impulsive, impetuous, and impractical. I may do dumb things, take crazy risks, and dance in the middle of a parking lot. I have been nothing except honest, available, and loving. Despite the inherent insanity that may entail. I’m not one to shortchange anyone – and I know that I often go above and beyond for those I care about, happily.
A friend, a few weeks ago, asked me why I wasn’t taking care of myself. Why wasn’t I getting what I needed? Why was I always worried about someone else, not even considering myself? And the truth is that I don’t often take care of myself. I put others ahead of me, especially those I love. I make compromises. But the secret about that is that they only work when two people are compromises. If one person is doing all the bending, you’re nothing more than an emotional pretzel. Someone’s going to come along, sprinkle you with salt, and have you for a snack. And not in a sexy way.
After that email, that’s been swirling around in my brain like water circling a drain, I’ve been thinking about what I’m not getting – what is it that I need? There are relationships that I deeply cherish, but in order for them to truly work, changes need to be made. Because objectively looking at things as they are, this is not how I want things to be. This is not how they should be. There are at least two people in my life that this applies to, possibly three.
After a conversation with Suzanne Palmieri yesterday, I sat down and really gave everything some thought. Because lately, man, things have just been hard. Too hard. They don’t need to be this hard. Further still: they don’t need to be like this.
So, here is what I need: action and proof. Not words or even silence. Here is what I want: everything. Nothing short of a miracle. Nothing short of revolution. Here is what I deserve: just that. Exactly that. This is not unreasonable. This is not even asking a lot. This is how things need to evolve.
I may not be perfect. I may be outrageous at times. My behavior might surprise you. My heart may startle you. But no matter the relationship or situation, I give everything I’ve got. At the end of the day, that’s really all we have: our ability to invest ourselves in the pursuit of something or someone. To shape our lives, no matter how scary it is, for a purpose.
For perhaps the first time in my life, I’m giving myself permission to run. Well, not exactly run. Sometimes, doing nothing is the same thing. Sometimes, all you can do in a situation is…stop. It’s that easy and that hard. But it’s time for someone else to bend. It’s time for someone else to try. Show me what you’ve got. Show me what you’re willing to give. Show me what you’re willing to do. Or realize that if you don’t, then this is how things are. There are two questions, love, that you should be considering:
Do you really want to lose me? And is this really all you think there is?
The truth is that I will gladly fight every battle alongside those in my life. But I will not fight for you, if I also have to fight you and if you aren’t willing to fight for yourself. Sometimes, love is a battlefield. Pat Benatar had that right. But sometimes, love is also being willing to let go.