This is one of those really honest posts, the ones that get a little messy and maybe a little long. The ones that aren’t easy to post, but are somehow so freeing. Good luck!
If love were a baseball game, you might call 1st base dating, 2nd base a monogamous relationship, 3rd base getting engaged and a home run is marriage.
Most of us spend the majority of our time hitting doubles. I’ve been up to bat my fair share since I began playing the game at 16. In the early years, I had a handful of doubles and even one at bat had me headed towards third. Then I hit a home run. It was all good until the game got called and the run was stripped from me like I was using roids or something. So I went up to bat again. A few singles and then a decent double, but as I headed to third, I got called out. Longest freaking game of my life!
Here is the thing, I love love.
Probably too much.
I love the excitement of love developing. I love the promises that love offers. I love the tummy tingles. I love that special look that he reserves just for you. I love being someones other half, part of a couple, loved. I love feeling depended upon. I love having someone to do things with, to be there for and to talk to about my day. I love being in a relationship. I love thinking about all the possibilities to come.
Why is this a problem? In actuality, I love the idea of all these things. It has come to my attention, that in my quest to be in love and be loved by someone else, I often forget to love myself.
That is both a sad realization and one that is hard to admit out loud. It’s hard to acknowledge that you aren’t really you when you are with someone else. It’s hard to admit that you don’t know how to be yourself in a relationship.
In relationships, I spend so much time focusing on the other person, I forget to make myself happy and be who I want to be. I compromise on things that define me. I become undefined or rather almost entirely defined by the other persons happiness. Meanwhile, I get lost. I begin to fill up with unnecessary sadness. I become dependent and empty. Soon I am a shell of the person he was originally attracted to. Try as he may, he can’t fix me.
Then the relationship ends, as it inevitably will because, let’s face it, who wants to deal with someone’s nightly panic attacks brought on by self uncertainty. At this point you are so lost, that it is a struggle just to function. You have to coax yourself into being happy. You seek out attention and love like a drug. Male interest provides a quick fix, but is short lived. Then one of three things happen:
I’ve chosen number 2 all too often. This time I am sticking with number 3. I want to be madly in love with someone and have them be madly in love with me too- the raw, honest version of me. The thing is, I just don’t think that can happen until I know who the authentic version of me is. I’ve been getting a glimpse of her lately, but I think she has a little more growing to do before she is ready to hang out full time.
So I’m benching myself from the game for a little while. Until I get my shit together. Until I am happy with who I am and ready for someone else to love me for that person. Until the desperate Ashley (that just wants to be loved and get on base) gets bitch slapped by the confident Ashley (that loves herself and is totally cool with hanging in the dugout for a while). Every day I’m working on me by writing things down in a gratitude journal, finding things to inspire me, getting involved in my community, putting myself first and examining my relationship with God. Every day I am making baby steps.
There’s some external stuff I want to work on too. So to hold myself accountable, I’ve set some stipulations - areas of my life I would like to be in order before I go up to bat again.
- Become financially stable. I don’t need to be debt free, but I would like to at least not owe anything on my store specific credit lines, finish paying off a loan and build up my savings account to a certain number.
Based on those two provisions, this girl is going to be single until at least June. It’s time for me to celebrate being me.
Of course I have wondered, what if Mr. Right shows up tomorrow or next week or in March? I feel deep down in my gut that when I am truly ready to really be with my soul mate, we will be together. I also feel deep down in my soul, that I’m not ready. If Mr. Right doesn’t want to wait, then he wasn’t really Mr. Right after all. Who knows, maybe Mr. Right is already in my life… The possibilities are endless.
Very few people are born natural ball players. To get a home run, you have to practice, you have to take your time and you have to keep trying, The promise of finding that forever love, still makes me giddy, but I finally feel like I am giving myself a chance to be forever happy too. I can’t wait until I'm ready to take another swing, but in the meantime, you can find me at the batting cages, working on my form!