So, here’s the thing- the woman I want to be is a truth teller. When it’s ugly, when it’s inconvenient, when it doesn’t seem like the cutest option and when it’s hard to swallow.
She tells the truth because she knows that it’s the shortcut to peace. It’s the answer to letting things go.
If there is any secret of life I have learned in the past two years, it’s that people can’t use your truth against you when you are the one boldly telling it. They will try. As much as I wish they wouldn’t, know that they will try. It will hurt sometimes, baby. It will.
But know that telling your truth, however you choose to do it, will set you free. Free from them, and free from you.
So, my truth is that I’m not really satisfied anymore with sitting down and daydreaming about the kind of woman I want to be when I’m 24 and have a steady job (fingers crossed). Nope, that’s not cutting it.
I will be her now because, honestly, someone needs her right now.
Because she deserves to be at the table right now.
Because life really wasn’t given to us for us to dwindle it away and decide to get it right on our 24th birthdays.
My other truth, in light of simply being the woman that I want to be, is that I have been cheated on. Not in the most severe of cases, but it happened. And it sucked.
The other part of this truth is that there are few things in this life that have taught me more. So, here’s me telling my truth and probably saying too much.
But I also don’t think we were given life to ignore really real things simply because maybe people aren’t ready to hear them.
THINGS I LEARNED FROM GETTING CHEATED ON
You need to make a conscious decision about the type of woman you want to be when it comes to dealing with men.
I’ve written a bunch of things that say, to put it simply, that I don’t believe women who truly understand their value and love themselves the way they deserve to give it up easily. (My apologies for how harsh that sounds). I’ve thought about that a lot, I really have. While I don’t really retract my statement- I can definitely acknowledge that it’s totally possible that there are real life Samantha Jones-esque people walking around. I love Samantha Jones; so, do that.
I will completely acknowledge that we are young, and having fun is important. I will, however, say that I think it’s also important to decide how you want to be perceived. I think it's more important to understand the role that your actions, how you carry yourself and what you allow play into that perception.
In an era where the cool thing is for nothing to matter and it all to be okay, I will be the unpopular one to go on and say that I think it’s important to decide the level of discretion you want to hold for your mind, body and heart.
What makes you comfortable? What are you willing to give for what you’re receiving?
I think all of that is important.
I think it’s a real thing to understand what things will mean the next morning or the next month or 10 years from now with regards to who you're letting see your parts. With regards to who you're giving yourself to.
I think it's a really real thing to maybe wonder what you will tell your daughter in 30 years if she asks. Correction- WHEN she asks.
I think it’s important to consider these things when dealing with someone who may not consider them for you when sending you cute texts and inviting you to the movies.
I think it's imperative to understand that sometimes people say things with a goal in mind, and because we're all human...we hurt each other. I think it's important to know that there are ways you can protect yourself and soften potential blows.
I know that real, raw love requires risking it all and leaps of faith. I also know that sometimes everything that shines isn't golden, and no matter how much we want something to be a certain way, sometimes it's really just isn't.
Regardless, you're worth all of the gold and diamonds and glitter. Know that.
Act like it.
Trust your gut. Listen to your intuition. Boys aren’t that sneaky.
My mom used to tell me that when you hear that little voice in your head, to really listen. She told me it was God. I read a faith-based book recently that quoted scripture saying that Jesus gives his messages in soft whispers.
I don’t know what you believe in, but I do hope you believe in yourself enough to follow your gut feelings. Believe the vibes that stick around you. With guys, if it seems like he isn’t that into you- he’s probably not. If he’s acting shady, he’s probably shady. If he really likes you, he’ll let you know in his own way.
Yes, people are different. Ask questions, but really listen when someone gives you an answer.
You absolutely cannot measure your sense of value or worth by how much male attention you get.
Underline. Circle. Highlight. All of that.
I never realized how much I based my view of how attractive I am or how desirable I am on whoever I was dating or talking to until that just wasn’t really an option anymore. And I don’t mind saying that because trust and believe, that I have done allllll of the soul searching and there isn’t a thing you could tell me to convince me that this zit on my forehead (who I named Herman) isn’t adorable and fabulous (joking…sorta).
You simply can’t build yourself on the foundation of compliments from dudes. More likely than not, that foundation will fail and you will fall.
Build your value on real things. Like, foreal.
You are not God. You don’t get to not forgive someone.
This is the hardest one. The one I still get stuck in. It’s really easy to look down on someone who has done something ugly to you. It’s the easiest thing to throw a label on a girl who’s knowingly cut into your emotions.
But the thing is this- just because someone messed up differently than you, doesn’t make their indiscretion any worse than your life blemishes.
And I have fought that. Believe me I have. I have fought that, but it doesn’t change.
It has never been my job, or yours, to decide if someone is good or not. It’s certainly never been my job to decide that someone isn’t worthy of respect, grace and forgiveness when I walk around expecting so much of it.
It is simply not my job to decide that someone isn’t worth love. Ever.
Now, this doesn’t mean going up to her and sarcastically (or even not sarcastically) telling her you forgive her and trying to be friends. Actually, that might work for you…it didn’t work for me. At all. Because, to be real frank, someone who knowingly pursues your boyfriend while smiling in your face probably does not care about your forgiveness (no shade). However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
Giving someone love, respect, grace and forgiveness has a lot less to do with what you say to them and more to do with the things you say about them (or lack thereof) and the way you feel when you see them in public.
When you let go of hate, you win. Simple.
I know I used “you” a lot like I was lecturing as some sort of authority figure, but I’m not. Those are the things I told myself when I simply decided to be someone I’m proud of.
Those are the things I told myself when I decided that the most important thing I learned from being cheated on, like, the big ones is this- It had nothing to do with me.
That single sentence changed the whole game. It stopped the feelings of insecurity, fear, hate…all of it. It had absolutely nothing to do with me. Maybe someone else’s insecurity, probably selfishness and definite negligence- but absolutely nothing to do with me.
Hear me, right now.
You are a package of a bunch of stuff. Good, not-so-good, silly, sassy, stylish, intelligent, confusing, etc. stuff.
You are a bunch of stuff, and not a single piece of that stuff isn’t worth it. Not a single piece of what makes you isn’t worth love, care, time, effort and peace.
Not a single piece.
This does not change because someone is too distracted to see it.
You are too beautiful. You have too many dreams. You have fought too hard to be the woman you want to be to let it fall down because someone drank too much or isn’t ready to commit.
That is not your fault.
And the last thing I learned was that it will always be okay. Whether you work it out or let him go, you will always be okay even when you can’t see it coming anytime soon.
So, that’s a truth of mine. A nugget of my story. We aren’t perfect. We fail each other.
For what it’s worth, though, I truly believe that love always wins. In its most genuine, real form; I think love always wins.