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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Love is a Many Stress-Filled Thing...

I've been doing a lot of thinking about a lot of things.  And should be afraid.  You should be very, very afraid.

(Nah.  Just kidding.  You don't have to fear me.  I don't bite.)

Although, I am going to be using this edition of the "WHO AM I WEDNESDAY" to talk about something that has been fairly elusive to me...well...pretty much my whole life so far.  And, admittedly, I didn't know what the answers were.

At least, that is until recently.

Sometimes it takes a conversation with someone to help you really see things in a different view.  And, sometimes that different view can help a person really look at the big picture and face a few home truths about himself (or herself) that he (or she) didn't want to admit to.

I guess here's hoping that if I make this admission once and for all, it'll be some sort of catalyst.

Here's today's diary entry...this time in words (and some pictures and video clips).

May 28, 2014

I thought that I'd open up this diary entry with a classic song by "Def Leppard" from 1987.  The song is called "Love Bites", and it is probably considered a hit that was buried by the massive success of the band's smash single "Pour Some Sugar On Me".  

Of course, if life were really easy, all that I would need to fall is love is to pour sugar on the ground and roll around in it as if I were some sort of powdered donut.  After all, I'd be sweet...and be a moving target for every honeybee in the entire world. 

Um, yeah.  Bad idea.  Don't roll around in sugar.  Ever.

Now, I suppose you're wondering why I've decided to open this blog entry with "Love Bites".  Well, it is a really good song.  It certainly proved that Def Leppard could do a rock ballad.  But for the longest time, the whole message of that song was what I totally felt about the very concept of love.

Love bites.

Or, does it?

You know, I think back to when I was a kid, and I think that my idea of what love was back then was just a wee bit skewered.  But then again, I suppose it didn't help that my visions of what love was were quite contrasting.  In real life, I've seen my fair share of dysfunctional relationships among people that I am close to, and while I won't reveal too much about them in every gory detail, I will say that a couple of the relationships that I've seen that ended badly made an episode of "Melrose Place" look like "Sesame Street" in comparison.

So, imagine turning on the television after seeing so much dysfunction and watching couples like Cliff and Clair Huxtable or Mike and Carol Brady giving each other ga-ga-goo-goo eyes at each other and whispering nothings in each others ears that are so sweet that I reckon that they would have developed three cavities right then and there.

You can understand why my view of love as a child was so damn confusing.  One part of my childhood told me that love was stormy and tumultuous and the other part told me that love was sugary sweet and filled with romance.  So, which was it?  I mean, keep in mind that I was only a few years shy of ten at the time.  I probably didn't understand much of anything back then.

As I grew a little older, I started to wonder what love was.  I think it was right around the time that I hit puberty that I was really curious about love (as I'm sure that a good 90% or higher of us were around the age of 10, 11, 12).  I always saw Valentine's Day as a day in which we bought 32 packs of Valentines with cartoon characters plastered all over them and handed them out to everybody in the class.  It wasn't until I became a teenager that I realized that the day was more or less a Hallmark holiday designed to give your girlfriend a box of chocolates so that she could dump you for making her morbidly obese.

Harsh tone?  Perhaps.  But I think the reason why I always looked down on Valentine's Day was because I never had one.  Seriously, I know that Valentine's Day is just a day that is commercialized and doesn't mean anything, and I know that you have 364 other days of the year in which you can shower your love  But to me, it was always just a reminder that I was single, and that I had resigned myself to being single for the rest of my life.

You've heard of the derogatory term of "crazy cat lady", which supposedly describes a woman who has never married and who has eight or more cats living with her to fill the void.  It also happens to be a phrase that I absolutely despise, because I've met quite a few lovely ladies who love cats who are the kindest, most generous people I know.  But anyway, you've heard that phrase, right?  I guess somewhere along the way, I decided that I was going to meet the same fate.  Well, the male version anyway.  I honestly don't even know what they're called.  Crazy cat dudes?  Oh, why am I even debating this?  I hate that phrase no matter what gender you use!

The point is that I spent a lot of time feeling incredibly sorry for myself, apparently grieving the loss of something that I didn't even really know.  I never went to dances, because I was too much of a critic about my dancing abilities.  After all, who wants to embarrass themselves in front of ladies, right?

Whenever we had those high school computer dating things (where we filled out those surveys to find out our love matches - because apparently my high school was such that it was something that was apparently necessary for graduation), I was mortified that I ended up getting matched up with some of the biggest snobs to ever stroll the halls of my school.  Just my luck to have my "perfect matches" be the ones who hated me!  But, hey, who ever takes those tests seriously, right?

Shamefully at age 15, I did.  Not a very happy moment for me.  But hey, at least I own it now at 33.

And, you know what?  I'll just come out with it.  I can pretty much count the dates that I ever went on in my lifetime on two hands (and maybe a couple of toes, if I really stretched it).  And, a lot of the reason why I didn't go on dates was because I thought that I was simply undateable.

I don't even know if undateable is even a real English word, but regardless, it's here so I may as well go with the flow.

I mean, I look at the people who were considered cool back in those days.  The guys who always seemed to get all the loving that high school and college had to offer.  They were slim, athletic, got good grades, were highly regarded by students and faculty alike, and were all around considered to be the perfect role model.  But were they really all that perfect?  I didn't think so.  They were also the types of guys who were aggravating, boorish, cruel, defensive, egotistical...and, I'm just now realizing that these adjectives are all in alphabetical order.  How frustrating.

But of course, I knew that I wasn't any of those things.  So, I suppose I told myself long ago that because I wasn't, it would be impossible for anyone to fall in love with me.  And, in a way, that is the truth.

But let's face it.  My inability to have a relationship with anyone wasn't because of any of those things at all.  And it took that conversation with a friend to make me see why.

I couldn't fall in love with anybody because I didn't love myself.  And, if you can't love yourself, well, there isn't anyone in the world who can.  It's the word of truth, and I kept denying it, making up all sorts of excuses why I was unworthy of being loved when the truth was staring you right in the face.

It's a real sobering moment when you stop and think about it.

Truth is...I'm not ready for love right now from another person because I don't think I can be there for them one hundred per cent.  The only way I can be is if I can be there for myself one hundred per cent.  And, right now, I'm not.

But now that I've come to that realization...I do feel better for it.  Only slightly, mind you...but better.

Of course now comes the tricky part.  Trying to find methods in which I can take care of myself and groom myself to be someone who can not only love themselves but find a way to share that love with other people.  I don't even know if anyone has that skill mastered completely. 

But what the hell.  It's worth trying.

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