Monday, April 3, 2017
This Mess is Mine
Confession: A fear is that the car in front of me will put on their breaks and I'll run into them in the middle of a car wash." I posted this on Snapchat, along with a photo of my windshield completely covered in suds. The reply I received said, "100% impossible." I never said this was a rational fear... in fact, how often are our fears rational? This irrational fear stems from the fact that I was in MANY fender benders in my early driving years. However, this hasn't crippled me from getting my car washed once every couple weeks, but I still think about it every single time I do it. There are many fears I have that haven't crippled me- yet. I love dogs, but I fear some, because I've been bitten a few times. I fear losing my job, because I've been the product of "restructuring" on more than one occasion. I fear escalators, this comes from when I was 8 yrs old seeing the insides of a little boys hand after it was about ripped off. I fear being divorced AGAIN, this comes from growing up around many failed marriages. I fear being too damaged, this comes from emotional abuse. I fear becoming too hard, which comes from being told I am too closed off not once but twice in the last few weeks. These are all factors of the mess that's mine.
A sentence I'm tired of hearing is "whyyyyy are you single?!" Not only is this a rude comment, but its ignorant. It's akin to asking a married woman "whyyyyy haven't you had kids yet?" well, that's none of your damn business. Maybe she has a deep down in her gut desire to be a mom but it's not in the cards for her. Maybe she just doesn't want dirty, sticky hands everywhere and enjoys the freedom to travel as she pleases. Maybe she fears trying again because she's had two miscarriages before, and the heartache of losing another might just kill her. The point is, she doesn't have to tell you why.
When I'm told something like "you're so great, I just don't understand why you're single!" its slightly offensive. I'm aware that it's meant as a compliment, I really do, I know that's the heart behind it... but, I struggle to not respond with "that's a good question, did you have time to sit down and talk about how badly my heart desires a partner, but all I seem to come across are those who tell me that I'm 'so cute I make a baby deer look like a pile of shit?' and why it is that my bar is set about 10,000ft due north of that kind of 'compliment? Or how I've been on a couple really really fantastic first dates, but not been pursued by any of them. Did you want to talk about that? Oh, I'm sorry have I made you uncomfortable in answering your question...?'
I'm encouraging of everyone owning their stories, and I'm the first to publish my mess publically, obviously. But come sit on my patio and drink some coffee or a glass of wine and lets talk about desires of our hearts and our lives and the cards we've each been dealt. Please, please do. Don't just say this kind of comment on a whim, and please don't say it with such desperation in your voice, because instead of complimenting me what you're actually doing is confirming my fear that there MUST be something wrong with me for being single. When in fact there's nothing wrong with me. I'm willing to be open and vulnerable, but I'm certainly not desperate and won't force something to happen. I unapologetically wear my heart on my sleeve because I know the reward will be great and I have too much to lose to be anything but honest about the mess that's mine. Which means sometimes I’ll drive home drenched in tears after sharing parts of my heart with someone because I could see the bricks simultaneously stacking up around them with every word I spoke.
An M.O. of mine is to stumble across a song, fall in love with it and play the shit out of it until I'm utterly annoyed with it. Recently that has been a song called Mess Is Mine, by Vance Joy. There have been days at work that this is the only song I've listened to, on repeat, all day. Hours and hours and hours of playtime this song has received from just me alone. "This mess was yours, now your mess is mine...sorry for the mess. hey, I don't mind." I have a few friends that have been a part of seeing this mess be created, they've seen me at my worst, then helped me find my feet. They know all my secrets, details of my stupid mistakes and things I will carry with my for the rest of my life. My friends that I can call and just say 'I need you to tell me nice things" or like Leslie Knope told her best friend, Ann, "I need you to text me every 30seconds and tell me everything is going to be okay" and they'll do it. They get it, but they've been a part of it all along the way. These are my people, the ones who make me feel like my mess is theirs too, not just mine.
I'm messy, I get that. I have two children, very limited free time, some baby daddy drama, work-in-progress-credit, and a big ol' slew of scars on my heart. It’s a mess. My fear is that my mess is too large for someone new to come and claim, and this fear comes from having yet to see it happen.
Today is a day that I believe the fear that I am in fact a mess- and I am. But some days I believe it more than others, sometimes people confirm it, and some days I burry myself under my mess. As I saw the bricks being stacked recently, I believed my mess was my identity. But it's not. I fear being closed off, because I've been told I am, and I fear being too open, because I know I can be. BUT, this mess IS mine, I do own it because I did my part in creating it. What I wont do, is continue to live in fear that this mess will always be only mine.