Member preview

Why I’m Choosing to Be Only In Love With Myself

It’s because I think my life may depend on it.

“red heart and man hanging drawing” by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I have not always loved myself. Or even liked myself. Which is sad because I’m pretty amazing.

I was a child who embodied the phrase “still waters run deep.” I was always in thought, always in the interior castles of my mind. Inside me was a deep, dark place — but not always a threatening darkness. At its best, it was a darkness that allowed for the peace and comfort of a darkened bedroom with drawn curtains.

But all that time spent inside was in total contrast to the brightness and brashness of the outer world. Children were loud in color, dress, and tone of voice. Everyone shouted, and their shouts were like nails on a blackboard for me. That’s why I preferred my interior castle, where things were dark but tranquil.

As an adult, not much has changed. One of the best things that I’ve learned along the way, though, is that there is immense value in the time I spend inside. And that while isolation can be a warning sign for problems, that the choice of solitude is a sign of immense comfort with oneself.

Right now? It’s all I crave.

For years, I tried to be normal. I wanted to fit in with the brashness and the noise. I wanted to be noticed, yet not noticed at all.

I tried to fit in. I wanted to be liked.

When I was a child, this came through in my desire for the brightly colored designer sweatshirts that were the status symbols of my 90’s American middle school. And until very recently, my desire to fit in was greatest in my own home — specifically in my marriage. And just like I just wanted to be noticed yet unnoticed in adolescence, I looked for the same in my relationship.

“grayscale photo of woman right hand on glass” by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash
Notice me. Love me. Be in love with me.
Don’t notice me. Don’t see my differences and my melancholy. Don’t notice that I live an adult life governed by a gripping sense of fear.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. And I’ve grown to a place where discomfort in my own skin is no longer an option. It’s as if my life has run out of the gas of giving a fuck what other people think of me. I was chugging along down the road of complacency and basic-ness just fine so long as my “Fucksgivenmobile” had fuel. But when it ran out, I began to sputter, jerk and grind my way to a halt. No more fuel for the fucks. And it’s in that spot that I sit and I hear faintly, from a chamber far within the interior castle:

Notice me. Love me. Be in love with me.

And I have two choices. I can walk back up the road from whence I came with my head hanging low and my gas can in tow to get more fuel to continue my familiar journey.

Or, I can turn off the ignition, leave the keys in the car, and begin to walk forward.

Forward, in a new direction.

I can travel forward by foot, unaware of exactly what lies ahead.

But all too familiar with what lies behind me.

And I have no desire to see what’s back there again.

“black asphalt road between brown fields during daytime” by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash