“She used to believe that love
should feel like
raw and raging
But so many storms
and left her
more broken than before
Now she looks for a love
that feels like
after the storm
~ Cynthia Go, “The calm after the storm”
I want friendship.
Quick comebacks and laughter, because we share the same sense of humor; inside jokes and winks across crowded rooms; dancing and being playful; not caring about the opinions of others.
I want simplicity.
Heading to the creek with some bait and a six-pack instead of a fancy dinner date; being comfortable in our silence; not feeling the need to make idle conversation, knowing we can just relax.
I want vulnerability.
Discussing our lives and our pasts without fear of judgement; accepting each other’s insecurities; comforting each other if or when the tears fall.
I want freedom.
A wine night with the girls or weekend trips with the guys, without guilt, because we want each other to have a life outside of what we share and we understand we each have our own journey.
I want honesty.
Being truthful and respecting each other for it. Lies lead to pain and no one needs more of that.
I want challenge.
Supportively calling each other out when it’s needed. We are both human and understand that honesty has no gray area. We’re here to help each other grow.
I want security.
Finding comfort in the fact that we choose to share this—not out of duty, not because of a title, but because we recognize the connection and all it has to offer.
I have lived through many relationships that were the opposite of these things, and it only led to pain. I accepted what wasn’t meant for me, and clung to it because I had no self-worth and wasn’t honest with myself.
We often hold onto pain, change ourselves, or mute our desires out of fear of rejection or not wanting to show weakness. This type if thinking leads us off our path, closes us off from our own hearts, and deters us from the love we deserve.
Not long ago, a dear friend did me the greatest favor, probably without realizing the impact it would have. He, gently but honestly, called me out on my own bullsh*t. This simple act—just three little words, “No, you’re not.”—changed my life. What followed was a deep introspection that allowed me to examine how I handle pain and stress, helped me be completely honest with myself, and led me to free myself of old pain that has weighed my life down for decades.
It’s a work in progress. Digging up the old stuff to look it in the face and then letting it go takes time and, some days, more fortitude than seems possible. A large part of this process is recognizing how we have contributed to what’s happened or what we’ve missed in our lives. We don’t change overnight, but for me, the more immediate change was finally learning what I want in terms of love and even friendships.
I hope each of you find someone with the bravery to call you on your sh*t, to say whatever it is that snaps you awake and sets you back on your own path.
Learn what you want, know what you deserve, and accept nothing less. And until then—do the dirty work, dig deep, and be unapologetically honest with yourself.
Because if you can’t accept yourself, no one else can either.