a rare breed…

“I don’t know if you realize how rare you are.”

that’s what he said to her a few days ago. those words that i just read tonight because i fail at keeping up on google reader. i fail at keeping up on blogs. which is why i don’t follow many. it takes quite a bit to make it into and stay in my reader. because i know i fail and it’s not fair to those i’m trying to keep up with to be fail. anyway, i digress.

“I don’t know if you realize how rare you are.”

as this post went on and the back story and explanation went on i thought and i thought. i thought about the people i know, i thought about all the people i’ve met over the past year, i thought about their personalities, i thought about how i feel about them, i thought about what people say when they meet me.

do i realize how rare i am?

yes, i do.

the people like me, the people like us, who throw our lives and our hearts out there for people to see are rare. and i don’t just mean putting our hearts out on type in some interwebs world. i mean in the real world too. i mean those who let people see them. those who are authentic and vulnerable in their relationships. in all their relationships. with everyone around there.

some people see it as bad. some people see it as a heart on a sleeve, as a way to get attention, a soft personality. i see it as being real. i see it as appreciating everything around me. i see it as thanking james for getting me a glass of water. i see it as appreciating my mom buying stuff for my wedding. would they know that i was grateful even if i didn’t say anything? yeah.

but why hold it in? why hold it back? why create rooms full of things you left unsaid?

i want those around me to know that i appreciate them. and that i love them. and that they’re important to me. for too long, i kept all that inside. i wasn’t an emotional kind of person. i wasn’t someone who put myself out on the line, who let people read into my thoughts and my feelings. i certainly didn’t voice them. and to be honest, i don’t think that it was one huge, life-changing event that changed it all for me. i think it was a series of huge, life-changing events that made me realize what i was doing.

i lost a cousin to a drunk driver a little over two years ago. that made me step back and look at how precious time is. how important it is to slow down and SEE the things around me. to SEE the people around me. to pay attention to what i’m doing, to rediscover and redefine my faith. just over a year ago, i graduated from college (the first time) and i had no job. i had nothing to sustain me. i was living on a savings account and fumes of a failed relationship. a relationship that ended with a houseful of rooms, all filled with the things that were never said. i retreated into that house and began to wander through the rooms, taking out everything that was never said. some things were finally said, of course those being the things that should have remained unsaid. i wandered through the house and i looked through the pictures and walked through all the memories, the painful memories.

then, one day, i opened up.

i was sitting in a car with three of my friends, driving home from a hockey game when i finally, for the first time in over a month, admitted to someone else that my relationship was over. for good. forever. they were all completely surprised. i remember the expression on my friend’s face when she turned to look at me, both of us in the backseat. i still vividly remember the pain of that confession. in fact, i can still feel it when i think back to that night. i can still feel the choking pain and the despair wash over me. i can still feel my heart explode as the words came out and the idea suddenly became real. i remember the conversations we had after that, the conversations where i poured my heart out to her. i poured out my pain, i poured out my anger, my frustration. i remember her patience with me and then experiencing her very own pain. her very same pain.

then i joined a group at church and found someone else. i opened up with her about some very personal things but still kept quite a bit to the back. we talked a lot about the break up and her marriage, which had been on rocks almost from the beginning. we talked about life, about love, about pain, about addiction, about coping, about God, about each other. i grew to really trust her and eventually shared with her some of my deepest and most personal thoughts.

then i found another person. and i opened up more. it took a few lucky guesses on his part and i opened up to him. i shared with him things i never shared with anyone. i told him things i’d never told anyone. because i needed someone to listen. and he listened. at least on the other end of facebook chat.

i was soon able to open up to people in real life. those who had known me for years. i finally was able to open up to them and tell them things that i’d never said, things i’d never dare to say. and i found that people liked it. i found that people liked ME.

i began to see that all the things about me that had caused me so much pain in my previous relationship were precisely the things that made me who i am. the way i interact, the way i talk, everything about me that appeals to other people. i had been told and been led to believe that these were bad things. that i needed to change them. that i needed to change me in order to be good enough to be loved. i began to see that this wasn’t the case at all. what i began to see, and what others had seen all along, was that the person i was made him uncomfortable and he lashed out at me in his discomfort.

i reconnected with people from the past and i asked for their forgiveness for my terrible behaviour. even though i was young and stupid and hurting, i knew that my actions had been unacceptable. i heard back from all four of them. that they were proud of me for what i was doing, reassured me that all was well and i was forgiven, and we all moved on. i debated as to whether i should now invite them all to be part of my life and finally decided not to. if our paths were to cross again, it would be wonderful, but it wasn’t necessary as a part of healing to include them in my life.

i connected with bloggers who were like me. almost exactly like me, who came to care about the person i am and what goes on in my life. and i care about them and what goes on in their lives. i’ve discovered a new medium in which to open up. and i eventually opened it, this blog, up to everyone in my life. anyone who follows me on twitter, anyone who finds me on facebook, and for a while, anyone who could google my name can find me and this blog. because i don’t want to hide anymore. i want to be open.

“I don’t know if you realize how rare you are.”

most of the new people i’ve met over the past few months have been very unlike me. they are about keeping up appearances. they are about watching out for themselves. they are good people for the most part, don’t get me wrong, but they are not vulnerable. at least not without a few drinks in them.

i am rare. i am special. i am a gem.

it’s taken me a long time to grasp that and believe it. it certainly helps that i hear it everyday. and it helps that the face and the eyes and actions back up those words. it helps that he loves to sit with me while i do my homework and rub my back or play with my hair. that he loves the smell of my hair. that when he looks at me, i know that he’s genuine.

i had certainly begun to realize and see these things before i met him. i think it was precisely that realization and that acceptance that made me ready to meet him. that made me ready for him. i had already begun to know that the next person, the next significant other, would have to be something out of this world for me to open up to and trust. i think my heart knew right away when i met him. it took some convincing of my mind to agree.

it’s impossible for me now to close up. it’s too liberating being open and honest. it’s terrifying being that vulnerable but i don’t want it any other way. i want people to know me. i don’t answer “good” to ‘how are you?’ unless i am good. i don’t do generic answers to that. i do honest answers, even if it’s just to say that i’m tired today. i don’t need an excuse or a reason to close back up. i don’t need to start that trend. i know that human nature makes it all to easy to hide in our closets and come out only when we’re pretty and presentable. i never want to close my closet door. i don’t want to hide behind a curtain anymore. i don’t want to be afraid of my glass jar being dropped. life is short. it’s meant to be lived. it’s meant to be close to people.

so yes, i’m rare. people like me are rare.

do you let the world see you for who you are or do you try to hide?

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One thought on “a rare breed…

  1. Tabitha says:

    Love it. I love that you know you’re incredibly special, and that James tells you and shows you regularly. 🙂

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