He looked at me one day. I could see the genuine adoration that equaled the same amount of concern take hold of his face.
He said to me, “Just be you.”
Those three little words have stuck with me for the last two years. So simple, right? Just be you. Well, I learned something that day but didn’t realize it until right this moment.
When he made that statement, I didn’t know who I was. He might as well have told me to start walking through walls or flying through the air.
I knew what I wanted. Out of my life, my future. I had goals and those cheesy day dreams of him and I laying on our couch watching shitty TV and enjoying each other’s presence. But that didn’t tell me who I wanted to actually be.
In the past, I had always been the girl who put herself in unnecessary tough situations and then found her way out of them. Bettering herself along the way. Becoming, gradually albeit, a (mostly) good human over two years.
What kind of woman did I want to be? What kind of woman did I want to be for him? It took a lot of self reflection, a lot of analyzing my life, a lot of not letting myself be in denial about any negativities I allowed, even if they were from friends or family
The only thing I did know for sure was that I wasn’t going to mold myself into how he looked at me. I wanted to “just be me.” So I guess I had a head start in the process.
Who you are is not about what job title you hold, how much money you make, or the nice things you have.
Who you are defines your perspective, your actions, your responses.
It’s the difference between people. Do you litter on the side of the road or do you clean your car out near a garbage can? When you go out do you tip more than enough or do you do the bare 10-15%? Do you smile at people when you walk by them? Do you constantly flake on commitments with friends and family or do you put them as a priority and keep your word? Do you possess loyalty?
Who do I want to be?
I want to be the woman that keeps in touch with out of state relatives. That doesn’t litter. That is kind and generous. That is loyal. I want to be the woman that has friends that become family. I want to not be bitter about scars of my past. I want to be the woman that is fun yet responsible during the week. That smiles at people in the grocery store and tells everyone “Merry Christmas.”Hell, I want to be the woman that actually answers 98% of her phone calls without screening or avoiding someone for no reason.
The thing is, some of these things happened naturally while some things will take time. Baby steps. I’m still new to this self improvement thing.
Over the last two years, I have slowly began the process of letting myself just be me. I have good days and days, but I’m learning to embrace my flaws, my accomplishments and my quirks.
It really is eye opening looking back on it now. I should have realized I was starting to see the woman I wanted to be emerge about a month ago. I’m sure in the last two years I should have noticed multiple times but this one event really stands out.
I was out having cocktails with friends on the weekend, I was tired, exhausted, stressed. I interrupted one of my very best friends who was trying to give requested advice. I cut her off, I got defensive and frustrated. I was rude. I was so rude that she had to walk away from the table for a few minutes. I remember sitting there trying to replay what happened in my head. The girl I used to be would have still been there sitting at the table, waiting for her to return to feel her out, ignore it, or apologize at the end of the night by providing excuses.
I made a decision that day to start becoming the friend I wanted to be. The good human. The woman.
I got up from the table and followed her around until she would talk to me. The first few attempts didn’t go well. I failed. I started with perspective and excuses instead of a genuine apology. Finally she turned around to my face and called me out on my shit. “You are being a bitch,” is what she said to me, straight to my face. No remorse, no judgement, no apology after it left her mouth. Just a fact that she perceived and the negative emotions that I had just caused her to back it up .
FINALLY! A real friend that cares, loves, and respects me enough to not let me get away with being a rude and disrespectful human. It took me about a whole day to get over it. Not because she was wrong. She was absolutely very correct. But because no one (in a very very very long time) had ever said anything so directly to me. So matter of fact.
The more I thought about it, the more I found myself feeling like I was truly fitting in to the Framily group and not just because of my significant other. Real friends don’t let you get away with your own bullshit. They support each other, make each other stronger, make each other better. They add positive value to each other’s lives. And they keep you from being a dick and from making unwise decisions.
So now as I lay here on a Saturday morning with the love of my life sleeping in between my legs as I occasionally run my fingers through his hair, it just hits me.
I can see the woman I decided I wanted to be. She still needs some work but she’s finally starting to show without effort.
I have loyal friends and to be honest, “friends” is an insulting term because of how much they mean to me and how much I love them. They are family. I have been working on my “rbf” and actually smile at people. I put my shopping carts back. With help from my Love, I am trying to break my habit of always focusing on problems versus realizing the problem and immediately focusing on a way to fix it instead. I answer the phone a lot more and actually call people back.
I sing in the car. I get drunk. I stopped holding my past against myself. I embraced my need for control of the weirdest situations. I try to stay in the political loop. I overpack. I don’t eat salads with lettuce. When I’m home alone (and sometimes when I’m not) I dance around the house.
I’m shedding the guilt of the girl and I’m embracing the rest of my life by just being me. And as more real me comes out, he loves and appreciates me more.
I wish I never had to move from where I am laying. I want to stay in this moment forever. Him laying in between my legs, breathing so heavily but peacefully. Music softly playing. I can feel the warmth of his skin. Even though he sleeps, I feel connected to him. We are connected in a way I never thought two people could be.
As I lay here, in this moment that I had dreamt of but never thought would be a reality, I can only smile. Great man. Great family. And I sleep well at night, without frequent nightmares and terrors that I used to experience. I am maturing and evolving. I have figured out who I am with no shame about it.
Just be you.