Yes, I know there’s a song by Bon Iver called “Skinny Love”. That’s not what this post is about.
Today I was fortunate enough to be able to go out on pass with my parents to Boston for a trip to Faneuil Hall. Other than being a place that spellchecker thinks is a magical fairytale land, it was a really fun time. We poked around in several stores, picked up a few souvenir photos and a sweatshirt, stopped to eat some very messy Greek food, and in general meandered around enjoying the beautiful weather and sights.
It was when we were leaving the actual building itself to head back across a couple busy streets to the T station that a thought struck me. Above me there were twinkling string lights entwined in the branches of trees; the Marketplace was alight with life and color, and the moon was beginning to rise in the sky. All around, people milled by. Some strolled past hand in hand. Others posed for pictures with brilliant smiles turned towards a camera and arms draped around each other. And my own parents would occasionally turn back towards me with an expression in their faces that could only be described by one word. In fact, everywhere I looked, I saw this word.
If I’m being completely honest with my readership, that’s a powerful word to me. Really, it’s the likes of to which nothing else can really compare. It’s four little letters. But the emotion and the meaning that it conveys truly transcends its simplicity. It’s something few people are lucky enough to experience on a daily basis. And if they’re lucky enough for that, then there is seldom an opportunity to experience it from more than one person that frequently.
This is what I want out of life. I want to open my eyes in the morning and know with complete certainty that I am loved. I want to put on clothes without caring whether or not the contours of my body are visible or not; I want to look at myself in the mirror and not feel revulsion rising in my throat; I want to make my way through each day and feel love for myself.
It seems easy, doesn’t it? Radical acceptance. Telling myself that I am beautiful and worthwhile.
Well, to be as blunt and frank as humanly possible, it isn’t. Self love is far more than two short words. It’s something I’m severely lacking in.
But there was a time where I opened my eyes in the morning and knew that I was loved, where I put on clothes without worrying about whether or not the shape of my body was visible, and looked in the mirror with something akin to contentment. I know that this time has existed in the past. How else would I know that the feelings and experience I have now are so distinctly opposite?
I’m a romantic. That much has always been obvious to me. I have always been the girl to watch the romantic comedy and cheer for the couple when they finally overcome everything and end up together in the closing moments of the film. I love rainy days and good books; I’m a fanatic for brilliant sunsets and sitting on windowsills. And as such, I have always dreamed of falling and being in love with someone who loves me just as wholeheartedly as I do them.
Today I watched the couples pass me by and posing for pictures and felt an intense longing resonating deep within me.
I don’t doubt that I’m loved. I know that my family cares deeply for me. I extend this definition to the friends that have stuck by my side through all of this; they are just as much family as my blood relatives.
What I’m missing in this puzzle is the piece that I’m truly longing for. I wish for someone who will remind me that I’m beautiful even on days where all I seem to be able to see are my flaws. I wish for someone who will hold my hand, pick me up to twirl me around, and place gentle kisses on my forehead out of the blue. I wish for someone who will let me settle my head against them when I am tired. I wish for someone who will make me laugh even when I feel sadness with a desperation that words can’t express. I wish for someone who will inspire me to follow my dreams, beliefs, and heart, perhaps to the extent that someday I am able love myself the way they they do.
This is not to say that I need a relationship to be happy. Nor is it to insinuate that the love I receive is not already monumentally helpful and appreciated, or that I’m somehow incomplete.
It’s just to say that most days, it’s something I really, really wish for with all my being. Especially on days where I’m walking around in the city with twinkling lights surrounding me as dusk sets in. Especially when I’m standing by myself, though surrounded by thousands and thousands of others.
Especially then. Especially when I’m feeling ugly, lost, and alone. Who would love the anorexic girl in the midst of recovery? Who would love me for all the things I am and all the things I’m not? Anyone?
I contemplated not even writing this. Why? Well, it’s sort of silly. It’s not a poem or a post about how my day went. It’s not some insight into how my mind works or a revelation I had earlier on. It’s a tad bit little girlish and starry eyed.
But it’s still true. And it’s been weighing heavy on my mind lately. That’s why I decided to go ahead and create this post. Take it for what you will.