Steve Maraboli wrecked me when he wrote, “She is delightfully chaotic; a beautiful mess. Loving her is a splendid adventure.”
I wonder if Maraboli knew the weight that resonated in his words when he wrote them. I wonder if he could have possibly imagined the countless hours a woman would clock trying to walk that fine line between being a damsel in distress as well as her own knight in shining armor just so she could woo the man that is making her work so very hard for it. I wonder if he could’ve predicted the countless of dollars that would be spent on bold, red lipstick or hair bleach or fake tans or gym memberships just so a girl could look “too-hot-for-you” when she walked into a room. I wonder if he foresaw the tears a tired soul and wounded heart would cry at night when she could no longer keep up the “you can’t tame me” act. Maraboli’s words haunted me from the moment I saw them come across my Tumblr dashboard three years ago. How could I, the girl who would rather spend Friday nights watching Say Yes To The Dress with the women in her family, the Plain-Jane who only likes ketchup on her burgers and ham and cheese on her subway sandwiches, the loner who had been friends with the same group of outcasts for years, the girl who followed the rules– how could that girl be worth loving? I wasn’t chaotic in any sense, so that means I’m not an adventure? Was I not the perfect blend of chaotic and delightful? Of course not. Well, that was why so many people (according to myself and no one else) got bored with me; that’s why my friends scattered; that’s why I couldn’t make the boy care enough. I wasn’t a big enough adventure. My next move: change. Better myself. And to do that, I had to have a mental “I-Can’t-Be-Tamed-But-Why-Don’t-You-Try” checklist:
- Walk in a room, straighten your back.
- Be wearing plenty of black.
- Pucker those red lips.
- Don’t look a single person in the eye.
- Wear your best smile.
- Ask plenty of questions about other people, but don’t ever answer any about yourself. When they know everything, you’re no longer an adventure.
- When you do talk about yourself, only feed them enough to perk their interest more.
- Still, talk a lot, especially to strangers, but don’t dominate the conversation.
- Don’t have the usual opinions most women have about things. When you say you’re not like other girls, MEAN IT.
Of course, the list goes on and on, and it changes for different people.
I was convinced that the more I made myself harder to figure out, the more they would love me.
I was forced to face the fact that I was molding myself into a person that would make someone else happy while all along I’d stopped being ME. I’d been too busy grasping at all the big ideas that society, a man, and my friends had implanted in my head to even begin deciding who it was I wanted to be, let alone becoming that person. In 2014, my goal became to find a safe balance between being at peace with myself and being open to positive suggestions of improvement.
One day I finally took my eyes off of the people who were making me fight for my worth long enough to actually see all the things that made me worthy… The funniest thing was, I was able to see other people who noticed those things, too.
It hurts shedding the negativity from your life. Do it anyway. It takes up too much space. People who make you feel like you aren’t enough aren’t worth it.
Ladies, stop trying so hard to stand in the wake of disaster-meets-sexy, and learn to be more than okay with the core of who you are - love yourself, and let that part of you flourish. You aren’t here for the sake of anyone else, so stop trying to measure up to something that you aren’t just so you can feel an ounce of worth – grow worth in your own heart, and then surround yourself with good gardeners.
You are so worth loving.