Thursday, November 21, 2013

What I Learned from Love

Today I realized that I have spent a large portion of my life being in love. In love with life, in love with ideas, and mainly, in love with other people.

Nothing obvious came from this love, because I am 20 and unwed (thank goodness) but I think that the people I chose to fall in love with for even just a moment helped me learn things about myself both good and bad that have shaped me into the woman I am today. And yes, some of these people I dated. Some of the boys (men?) I (thought I) loved, however, did not reciprocate those feelings, but they were equally important to me and my development in life.

Let's go back to the beginning....a very fine place to start.

My first love was Chandler Lewis. Don't lie. If you know both of us, you knew that was coming. Chandler however, was not my first boyfriend. That was Blaine. He has a place in here too, somewhere. Anyways, Chandler was not only my boyfriend, but my best friend and that was important because that's how relationships should be. Chandler taught me that it was okay to be myself, to let my walls down, and most importantly to let other people in. And then, when we decided that maybe we weren't destined to be together forever, our break up taught me that just because you love someone doesn't mean you have to be romantically involved with them. Obviously there is more than one type of love in this world, but sometimes you can get so caught up trying to find a soul mate that you forget that there are other options for people. If not soul mates, then best friends.

What I never seem to learn, though is that sometimes your heart gets lonely and it will fall for anyone who offers some company. This doesn't necessarily mean that they will be careful with your heart, it just means that they'll steal it, keep it tied up for a while, drag you through the mud, and then give it back after its all broken. I had a few "boyfriends" in high school who did that. But that happens to everyone and we can cry and say our lives are "over" because "(S)HE WAS MY ENTIRE WORLD" but really, unless you end up married, they are just a phase and you'll heal in time. As did I. It is important to note though, that I did learn things from my insignificant high school relationships. I'll make this short and sweet.

  • To my first boyfriend - dating is scary and messy and hurts like hell, but sometimes its okay in the end.
  • To the boy who asked me if I was naughty like my mama after I told you she was a drug addict - Fuck you. That's all I can really say here. Oh, and men are pigs who will say anything if they thinks its sexy.
  • To the boy I dated for 2 short months - we should have never dated. Sometimes dating ruins friendships. 
  • To the boy I dated who called me a slut - I don't know what you were so embarrassed about. After all, I wasn't the one who tried to pressure YOU into having sex. Thanks for teaching me that my self worth isn't determined by your opinion of me.
  • To the boy who cheated on me with five girls and then tried to get back with me - not all people are good people. 
  • To the boy who loved me but I didn't love - "it's not you it's me" isn't such a cop out line after all. 

And then high school ended. I was single, I was headed off to college and I was excited about my future. Not necessarily in the love department, although Whitworth men are notorious for being gorgeous. If you don't know what I mean, go visit their campus and hang out around MacMillan hall for a little bit. You'll understand. With this new chapter in my life though, came a whole new batch of lessons to learn about love and life and myself. Being the flirt that I am, I kind of knew that I was going to have some romantic entanglement while at college, and I did. There were two boys at The Whit who taught me a lot about myself.

The first taught me that sometimes two people just aren't meant to be together even though it seems like a perfect fit. He also taught me that in order to love others you have to love yourself and that it is indeed okay to ask for help. He continues to show me that support systems are necessary and sometimes its awesome just to ring someone up and ask for affirmations that no, you are not a failure, and yes, you are beautiful and that should be okay. Because of him I remember every day that people love me, that I am a gorgeous human being and that I am important.

The second taught me that if your initial instinct upon being asked to date is NO, then you should just not date, because you'll try again and on the surface everything will be fine, but underneath it won't be. That sometimes a relationship just isn't meant to work and you can work at it and work at it but some people will NOT respect your choices and will NOT respect your wishes and WILL make you feel guilty about them. And those people are not with your (or my) time. Also. Communication is very important in a relationship.

I know it sounds like all I've learned from dating is mostly negative. But that's not true. I have discovered that I like boys who hug me for a long time, and ones who don't allow me to hate on myself because they want me to see myself like they see me, and I like boys who disagree with me on stuff because of scholarly reasons or have debates with me with proof and resources to back up their arguments. I've learned that a good relationship makes a good person better, but that a relationship is NOT necessary for survival. But most importantly I've learned that I deserve someone who loves me as much as I love them, and for all the right reasons.

Until I find that man who I want to spend my life with I'll keep dating, and I'll keep learning. And that's all I
can do. No, it's not always going to be easy or particularly fun. But in the end it'll be worth it.

And if I don't find anyone who measures up, I always have my cat.

Alexis Olmstead is a part time waitress and full time diva. She is currently anxiously awaiting the beginning of rehearsals for "Wizard of Oz" and attempting to train her kitten to fetch the paper. For more updates and useless ramblings from Alexis, check back often. 


Post a Comment