Tag Archives: insecurity

Romance: Confessions of a Girly Girl

“The longer you have to wait for something, the more you will appreciate it when it finally arrives. The harder you have to fight for something, the more priceless it will become once you achieve it. And the more pain you have to endure on your journey, the sweeter the arrival at your destination. All good things are worth waiting for and worth fighting for.”
– Susan Gale
Okay, so I have a confession to make.

I’m a girl.

Yep, it’s true. A big ole girly girl. That’s me. Now, I try to be rational – keep my head out of the clouds and all that jazz. But deep down, I’m still a girl. I still believe in girly stuff…romance, love, heart flutters…all that silliness.

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember (though it took over 30 years for me to get up the nerve to call myself that) and I can remember being 14 years old and writing my first love song. Talk about girly…sheesh! Here are some of the lyrics:

“Love, it can stand the test of time,
It can cross over any lines
No matter what people say
They would find a way
Nothing could stop those feelings inside…”

Girly, huh? Oh, you should hear the rest of it. It’s all about two young people in love who are torn apart for whatever reason and they have all these miles and years between them and yet still they hold on to each other through it all. Then she’s dying and in he walks to hold her as she takes her last breath.

*BARF!*

It’s easy now to make fun of that little 14-year-old version of me who wrote those silly little love lyrics. But, if I’m perfectly honest with myself, a part of her still exists. A pretty big part actually.

Those of you who know me or who have read my blog regularly know that my husband and I do not have your typical love story. (Read more about that here if you want.)  We didn’t see each other across a crowded room and gaze into each other’s eyes as we realized we had found the one.  Ha!  Hardly. We met, dated, ended things. Crossed paths again, dated, ended things. Got back together, got engaged, got married. Some love story, huh?

And I’m going to be honest with you – that little 14-year-old songwriter side of me has always struggled with that a bit. Isn’t it supposed to happen like it does in the movies?  Aren’t you supposed to meet and feel this sudden fluttery feeling in your stomach and just know? Now, in all honesty, it almost happened like that with me. It didn’t take long for me to decide that Richard was what I wanted.  But Richard? Notsomuch. He struggled. He was coming out of a long-term relationship and just wasn’t sure if my redheaded, loud-mouthed, starry-eyed version of romance was what he was needing in his life at the time. It took quite a while for him to come around.

And that bothered me.

During my varied insecure moments over the years, I’ve questioned him about this. “Did you just have to convince yourself to love me?” “Did you just decide to force it because it made sense?” “How do you know it’s real?” “Do you ever wonder if you made a mistake?” Etc.  (He loves these conversations, by the way.) And every time, he just tells me in his quiet, no-nonsense way that none of that matters. He loves me now. That’s all there is to it.

But I’m a girl, darn it!  I want more than that!  I want answers!

My dear lifelong friend John Michael posted something on my Facebook wall one day that he said made him think of mine and Richard’s relationship. Here it is:

romance

I told him at the time that he couldn’t know how much that meant to me. I didn’t know why or how to put it into words, but something about that quote just really struck a chord with me. I love the phrase “tidier histories.”  A tidy history is something that Richard and I definitely do not have. It’s a mess.

But maybe that’s okay?

This morning I was riding to work listening to an audio book: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this (or haven’t seen the Netflix TV series that sprouted from it), this is a true story about the author’s one-year stint in prison. Now, you wouldn’t expect to glean a love lesson from something like that, but…leave it to me…I did.

In one part of the book, Piper’s husband had written an article for the local paper about their unconventional love story. (It was unconventional even before she went to prison.) He talked about how he didn’t know from the start that she was “the one.” He said that it took him years to decide, even after they started dating, that he might want to marry her. He said he generally takes his time to choose anything in his life – even material things – and, because of this inability to make definite decisions, he tends to keep receipts for things he buys in case he decides to take them back. Basically, it’s not that he doesn’t want these things, it’s that he’s afraid he might be making a mistake. His fear of commitment (my words, not his) masks his desire.

Hmmm.

Now I’m sure there were thousands of lessons that Piper Kerman wanted us to take from her year of incarceration, but the one I took was this one. This tiny little blip in her book about how her husband wasn’t sure he wanted to marry her from the start.  I’m sure she’d be so proud if she knew this…

Turns out, I guess some people are just careful. They take their time. They make sure something is right before they dive in. Does that mean it isn’t real? Of course not. That just means they want to know they’re making the right decision before they make it. So, should I still be offended and worried that we don’t have that “movie” kind of love? Nah. I’d say what we have is better. I wasn’t just a passing feeling of romance that overtook him instantly. I was a long, well-thought out decision that he had to make. And in the end, my careful sweetheart chose me.

Awwww.  Well, how do you like that.

Now, does this mean I’m going to stop with all those insecurity questions? Am I going to lay off for a while and give him a break and rest in the knowledge that he does indeed love me and move forward without looking back ever again?

Psssh. Heck no. As if…

Hey, I’m still a girl. 😉

merichie

 ***

“For anything worth having one must pay the price;
and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice.”

– John Burroughs

Advertisements

Toes

I’m going to tell you a story about my toes.

(Yep.  She’s seriously blogging about her toes…)

You know how some people have a second toe that is longer than their big toe?  Well, holy llamas, this girl right here has a second toe that could eat her big toe for breakfast.  And still be hungry.  Oh yes, I was cursed with the longest second toe known to man.  In fact, all of my toes are pretty long.  As my boyfriend’s son recently told me, “You could play piano with those things.”

(I’m thinking of actually looking into that, by the way…)

Or another of my favorite toe stories…I once had a few actor friends crash at my house for a night when I lived the closest to a venue we had travelled to for a performance.  When everyone awoke the next morning, I asked them how they slept.  There were the obligatory “fine” responses, of course, but then…..sigh.  Then there was Evan.  Dramatic little Evan’s response?  “Well, I slept okay, but I had this nightmare.  It was awful.  I dreamed I was lying in bed sleeping and suddenly I felt something wrapped around my neck trying to choke me.  I opened my eyes, and it was your toes, Melissa!”

Ha ha.  Veeeeery funny.

So, yeah.  I’m kinda known for my horrendous toes.  And you know what I used to do?  I used to hide them.  I dreaded summer.  All the girls would pull out their cutesy little flip flops and sandals, but not this girl.  Nope, I was sporting tennis shoes no matter what time of year it was.  There was no way I was going to show the world my hideous toes.  Some things you just want to keep hidden.

But one day, that changed.  And I don’t mean that in a generic sense of the term “one day.”  I mean, I remember the exact day.

It was a particularly hot summer day and there I was sporting my tennis shoes, as usual.  I was standing in line at a gas station to pay and was looking down at the ground while I waited.  While looking down, I happened to notice the feet in front of me.  They were some chick’s cutesy little toes in a pair of cutesy little flip flops.  Of course.  I’m not gonna lie…the green-eyed monster in me started rearing its ugly head right then and there.  Why, oh why, couldn’t I have feet like that?  Why couldn’t I have the cutesy little toes and wear the cutesy little shoes?  Why did this chick get the cute toes and not me?  What a lucky, lucky girl she is.

And then I looked up.

Along with the cutesy feet, you know what else this girl had?

A bald head. 

She was a cancer patient.

Suddenly, a million memories came flooding back to me.  A few years prior to this, I too had been a bald cancer patient.  And, at the time, I was absolutely mortified by the fact that I was a 17-year-old girl with no hair.  I didn’t have the maturity yet to realize that being bald was such a small price to pay for the medicine that was saving my life.  No, I was too self-conscious and insecure for that.  I was just worried about how I looked.  I wouldn’t let anyone take any pictures of me without my wig on, so I have no documentation whatsoever of that time in my life.  Once I was finally able to return to school to finish my senior year, I remember a lot of the kids telling me to just take my hot, itchy wig off and wear scarves or something to make myself more comfortable.  But nope.  Silly me.  I wasn’t ready to uncover something that I felt was a flaw, even though I knew that I would be loved and embraced  regardless.

I have often looked back on that time over the years and wished that I would have just taken that thing off.  It was silly to hide behind it.  It was hot; it was uncomfortable; and I would have felt soooo much better if I would have just stopped worrying about how I looked, and just let my bald head shine for all the world to see.  It was nothing to be ashamed of.  I couldn’t help it.  I was beautiful – not in spite of my bald head, but because of it.

And now, here I was, hiding something else.  My stupid toes.

Psssh.

I silently applauded pretty-toe-girl for her confidence and strength and went home and took those uncomfortable, stupid tennis shoes off and started wearing flip-flops and sandals from that day forward.

True story.

So, why am I telling you this?

Well, first of all, I’m just warning you that – ugly toes and all – you are all about to see a whole big bunch of those annoying “toes in the sand” pictures from my beach trip next week.  My boyfriend Richard’s family does a big family beach trip every year in July and this year I’ve been upgraded from “the girl who feeds his animals while he’s away” to the girl who actually gets to GO on the trip.  Woohoo!  I’m always jealous of those pretty toe pictures at the beach that you see floating around, so I’m fully prepared to add my monstrosities to the mix.

But aside from that ugly toe warning to the general public, the real reason I’m telling you this story is that I hope maybe you’ll take something from it.  Do you have something you’re hiding?  Well, stop that.  Maybe it’s something physical like ugly toes, or maybe it’s something a little deeper.  Some part of you that you think people wouldn’t accept if they ‘saw’ it.  Either way – stop it right now.  There is no logical reason to hide something that makes you who you are.  Whatever it is, own it.  One day you’ll look back and wish you had.

Be comfortable.  Be confident.  Be you.

Show your toes. 

Got it?

Oh.  And I just don’t have the heart to make you read all this and not actually get to see my ugly toes.  So, here ya go…

toesblog

***

“I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today. Life is good today.”

– Zac Brown Band lyrics