I was fortunate enough to get a piece published at Indie Bloggers today. If you haven't been there before, I would definitely recommend checking it out-- they publish a new post everyday, and they are phenomenal snippets of writing-- plus, you can submit a piece of your own that you may be especially proud of!
"I sometimes get scared that you love me for what I do, not who I am."
These words are not fair, I know. Especially to the one person who shook me to my very core within a few encounters by his ability to see beyond the idiosyncracies I put forward.
However, sometimes your past is the easiest thing to fall back on, especially when you feel it tapping you on the shoulder every so often.
I was in a relationship for over six years. It becomes a little hard to sum up exactly what that relationship was. It was not a bad relationship in the sense of exploitation or cruelty. There were times of laughter, comfort, peace.
It sounds cliche, especially with all this time in which to amass hindsight, to declare there to have been something missing. But, really, that is the most accurate way of summing it up.
I don't believe for a moment that he didn't try to love me. I don't know if he was ever that far below the surface, if he always had that fear of drowning, and I just wasn't able to see it at 18, at 20, at 22, or if he just began treading water at a certain point.
The way I see it, he loved the idea of me. I am indeed a good idea on paper. I'm pretty. I'm sweet. I make people laugh. I'm smart. I'm ambitious. I'm social. I'm a firm believer in random acts of kindness.
However, I am more than just these traits stapled together. I'm spontaneously insecure. I sometimes care more deeply than I even know I'm capable. My mind and desk get cluttered. I sometimes need space and I sometimes need to be immersed. I have many ideas and many opinions. I find beauty in random moments that I want to share.
The clearest example of how the idea of me was better than the actuality emerged in one of my more prominent traits-- my intelligence. Whilst he would brag about having a girlfriend getting her Masters, and joked about how I was to be his future sugar-mama, he was less accepting of the realities brought about by this, realities such as ideas and opinions. I was accused of unfairly using my intellect in what I viewed as mere debates, as though it was something I was obliged to turn off when it inconvenienced him. While his athleticisms were to be celebrated, my brains were to be only displayed at the appropriate occasions, for apparently no one likes a know-it-all, even in the context of an intellectual conversation.
It sometimes takes a while, but eventually you figure out when your intelligence is just being recited off as another trait to make for a better piece of arm candy.
Maybe that's why I fell headlong this time around. It was that surreal for him to know that my sensitivity also meant the occasional tear, my intelligence meant the occasional disagreeing opinion, and that was all okay, for that was me.
Not just the convenient pieces taped together.
The whole thing.
Still, I worry sometimes. I throw myself wholeheartedly into the role of "good girlfriend", complete with spontaneous favours, meals, backrubs, always shaven legs, then get scared that if I get too busy and fall off this "good girlfriend" wagon, the bubble that contains his image of me may pop.
At those times, I need reach my hand around and give the back of my head a big ol' smack.
Because there is no bubble.
There is only me.