Sometimes when I get really sad I go outside, sit on the step of my deck, and look at the sky. Seeing the stars and the moon up there makes me feel better. They’ve been around for billions of years, they’ve witnessed so much. They’ve seen it all, and my life to them is only a blink.
When I think of my problems, all the pain and sadness I have. All of the failures I have endured. All of the terrible things that I have experienced in my life. Looking at the night sky makes me feel like they are all smaller. It helps me put things in perspective. The stars and moon have witnessed terrible things. They have seen greater pain and problems than my own. Sounds weird, right? You should try it.
I’ve realized that there are several things about myself that I need to change. There are things that I don’t like about myself. This isn’t a moment of self-loathing, it’s one of clarity. I can see the areas I need to change, but I’m unsure of how to. Some of them are so deeply ingrained in me, that I could put a hole right through myself trying to smooth them out. I have a list in my head. I haven’t written them down yet, so I’ll list a few now.
1. I do not ask for what I want. I always keep the other person in mind, their needs and desires come before my own. If I do ask, I am always willing to compromise. Which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, but I compromise to the point where I am not getting what I want, and most of my needs are not being met. This happens in all areas of my life. My job, friends, family, and romantic relationships. I climb mountains and then I’m disappointed with the view I see. Why? Because I wasn’t climbing the mountain for myself, I was climbing it for someone else. But if it makes someone I love and care about happy, then I’ll stare at the view with them. I’ll tell them how lovely it is, even if the sky is on fire and the bottoms of my feet are starting to burn. This is how I have been for thirty-three years, close to thirty-four now.
2. I accept less than what I deserve. (Again, in all areas of my life) Really, I don’t feel like I deserve anything. I have done some terrible things, so why should I feel entitled to anything? The blood I see on my hands is a constant reminder of the choices I have made and of their consequences. Maybe part of those consequences are that I don’t deserve to be happy or to be forgiven.
3. I give and I do not expect to receive. I accept what I get and hesitate to ask for more.
4. I am very unhappy with my body. I hate it. There are things I like about myself, but for every one thing, I have three to use as a counter. The days that I feel beautiful do not happen often, and if I’m complimented I have a hard time accepting it. I often think the person giving the compliment is just being nice, because I don’t see how whatever they are saying could apply to me. Please do not send me anons or messages telling me how beautiful I am. That’s not what I’m going for here. I’m not seeking attention or anything from the virtual world. I need to love myself and the truth is that I don’t. So please, for my sake, don’t send me anything like that.
5. I am tolerant of more than I should be. I will bend over backwards, stifle the no in my throat, because I put myself in second place when I shouldn’t. Of course, there are loved ones that will always come first (my son), but I should make myself a priority. If I don’t, no one else will.
This is good start. I’m just as fucked up as anyone else is, but I try very hard not to show it. In real life I’m a very optimistic person. I smile and laugh a lot, put on a happy face even if I feel like my heart is about to burst. Most of the laughter and smiles are genuine, but sometimes they are not. There are a handful of people who know when I’m faking it. I’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years.
I use writing as a way to get things out, and there are a few people I can talk to about stuff, but there aren’t many. I haven’t been writing much lately. It all comes out wrong, it hurts myself and others. So, I’ve stopped. I’ve started trying to get it out in other ways. Most of which are healthy, but some are not. These help me cope, even if some are destructive. At least they are self destructive. I wouldn’t want to take anyone else down with me.
Those five things all have one thing in common: fear. The fear of losing someone else. The fear of someone else leaving. I’m used to people leaving. That’s the majority of the experience I have had with friendships, relationships, and even my own father. Make sense?
Last night and tonight it has been cloudy. There are no stars to be seen and the moon is in hiding. I have nothing to weigh the feelings in my heart against. Still, I sit on this step and take a peek at the clouds between writing this. When I glance up, I hope to see at least one star, but so far it hasn’t happened. I’m looking for a sign. I’m looking for God to point me in the right direction. To tell me He is there and that everything will be alright. I need something. I need hope. I need to change.
I’m tired now. I’ve waited for the stars long enough. Maybe tomorrow they will come out or maybe I need to stop looking up. I need to start looking for a way to change these things. To improve my life and love myself. I never really have. That makes me sad to admit.
I’m so afraid.