Love and all it’s friends and foes
I hope this doesn’t break your heart, but, this is not the first blog I’ve ever had. I know, I know, it’s best to say these things at the beginning but, I didn’t really want you know. In the past few weeks I’ve spent a little more time on this blog and reading other people’s blogs as well and so Dan and I have been discussing and looking at blogs. Yes, he’s adorable and will check out my favorites so he knows what I’m chattering about at high speed (and in return I have the official AFL website on my blogroll and actually read it… sometimes).
When I was telling D that I kinda wanted to spend more time on this site we discussed it in detail and he was really excited for me. But he wanted to read my writing, he wanted to read my other blog. I told him, honestly, that he could, my life is completely open to him, but that I am afraid (and it’s really really long). I wrote that blog as a journal I kept for 5 years. I wrote during some of the darkest most embarassing times of my life. No THE darkest times. I wrote like no one would read it but my best friends. And a few of them did and they know me and love me anyway. He said he wouldn’t read it if I didn’t want him to but he would like to. I said okay. After looking at the first few entries he said “wow, you write a LOT” and I was hoping that meant he’d lose interest and stop. He finished all 5 years in one week. He read everything about my eating disorders, my past relationships, the fact that I have a hard time moving past the bitterness of my childhood, my ups and downs with a burgeoning performing career. He saw pictures of me with my ex’s, my family members. He read the stupid poem I wrote about a glue stick when I was bored. People, I am a wordy, wordy woman.
Every day when I came home from work, he was reading my blog and, I have to say, I was really nervous – I’m so glad he’s done. I was holding my breath for when he realized I wasn’t worth the effort, or that I was damaged beyond lovability, that I was nut job, that I’d slept with too many people, that I was a dramatic fool who felt sorry for myself. But each day when I came home he would say “hey Nugget, I’m up to this month” and I’d ask “do you still love me?” he’d reply “of course silly! I love you even more!” First of all, I know what you’re all thinking, the man deserves a medal for reading five years of a woman’s history in a week… I totally agree. Perhaps I’ll bake him something special. Second of all you might be thinking “geez Crista! where’s your pride? asking a man if he still loves you” and I’d totally agree with that too. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried that I’d come home and it’d be over. I am, if nothing else in life, open and honest. And on that blog and in person I show my best traits and my worst as they come. I can’t hide anything. On that blog I wrote things I knew were ridiculous because that’s how I felt, or that’s how I thought. I barely censored anything. There were times I was overly dramatic, that I blamed people for my own frustrations, that I felt victimized or betrayed, valid or not, I wrote selfish desires and I was cruel to myself and let out all my insecurities. I talked about my family and how scared I was of recreating my own childhood. I admitted I overdrew my bank account and couldn’t afford to put gas in my car. I grew up over the course of writing that blog. Of course there’s good stuff too! But who’s worried about that?!
In the end this is what I realized. I worried Dan wouldn’t want me because of these specific things: “I wasn’t worth the effort, or that I was damaged beyond lovability, that I was nut job, that I’d slept with too many people, that I was a dramatic fool who felt sorry for myself”… because I felt that way about myself. I don’t ever read that blog because I know I fear that I am not worth the effort, that I am overly dramatic, that I’m damaged. Oh my god. of all people in the world I should at least be the one who fights for myself, I should believe I’m lovable and good and human.
When he was done, Dan and I had breakfast together and discussed the blog. He said that he was so glad he got to read it, that though he was jealous at times of the people, the boys, that knew me, that were part of my life and that I wrote about, reading it made him feel like he was part of my past. Like now he shared that with me. He said a lot of the time he just wanted to hold me and protect me from the things that were going on and other times he laughed and thought, thats just how she is now! He loved it. He wants to be the one I blog about now. But this was the message at the end “Cris,YOU say the cruelest things about yourself, you judge yourself so harshly. I can’t believe how mean you are and unforgiving to yourself. I want to protect you from that. Or I want to love you and show you how wonderful you are so you don’t do that anymore” (UM who wants to steal my boyfriend and run off and marry him and make a million adorable babies?). That really, instantly, shot a message through to my brain. I know, I KNOW that in everybody’s life there are plenty of people who do cruel things to them- that is living, we run into people who are mean, situations that are less then stellar, even really really hard. But if I am… and the c word is really severe to me… CRUEL to myself how do I live? How do I thrive? What is the point of writing a blog and eating delicious food and loving a beautiful man and having a fab career if I’m going to beat myself down? In fact my fears that Dan would stop loving me because I showed vulnerability, sadness, anger and weakness in my blog IS cruel. Isn’t everyone the embodiment of all these aspects of humanity?
I have always thought the way to success was through hard work and sacrifice. But I’m beginning to see that perhaps success isn’t my goal, that working smart (and with commitment) is more important then “hard”, that pain doesn’t mean gain, that sacrifice doesn’t buy love. From anyone and definitely not from yourself. I touched on it in my other blog that realizing that I have a general attitude of reward and sacrifice is something I will vanquish from my life. I want a happy, full life. I want to feel accomplished. I want to raise beautiful babies and tell them everyday how wonderful and beautiful and adored they are.
I will tell you more then just this once, and I tell him, I learn so much from Dan, from our relationship. It is still so new and we have the future stretching before us. But since day one I have learned about love from him. That is not to say I’ve never experienced love in my life. But love attached to sacrifice, attached to earning or losing has been an overarching theme. Affection that vacillates with anger and violence is what I’ve mostly experienced and I believed that all love included those things…and I accepted that. Dan does not love me that way. He doesn’t temper his love with defensiveness and anger and disappointment. He’s never showed me anything but kindness even when he’s frustrated because he believes I deserve it (kindness that is). And it feels really mushy to admit it but that kind of love from him changes me, day by day. Sometimes I feel like a child learning to walk around him. I’m grateful to believe that life doesn’t have to include violence and shame.
This may seem an odd topic for a fitness blog, but this isn’t just a fitness blog, it’s my life that I open up. Fitness to me must include all aspects of health – food, physical activity, mental and emotional wellness.
I would love for you to share any personal thoughts or things you want to share about your own experiences. To me love and freedom are two of the most important things in life over and above fitness and even health.