I should have loved her better; I want to get back together with her. I want reconciliation between us, a chance to right my wrongs and write a better ending. I long for a chance to write more love and appreciation into the script for this scene.
I want to get back together with me.
I want to reconcile with every version of myself and give each one the love I’ve poured out for others. The quirks I adore in others are things I’ve often shamed myself for. I can celebrate my small victories and do my little happy dance. I can bask in the warmth as my nose scrunches and eyes crinkle with unabashed jubilation. I want to thank myself for being so determined even when things felt damn near impossible to obtain. I want to thank myself for standing on the other end of the finish line for me as I cross.
My therapist helped me make a pivotal change in the way I saw myself. “Imagine you won an all expense paid vacation to your favorite place,” she had said, as though it were the beginning of a sales pitch. “Who would you take with you? Who would you want by your side to help you pick out activities and places to eat? What if you could just clone yourself and take them instead?”
“Think of yourself as the perfect vacation buddy. You are the only person who is going to want to do every activity you want to, you are going to be able to agree with yourself on what foods to eat. You could enjoy your own company. Now take away the concept of a clone and you still have yourself to keep you company and enjoy things with you.” I needed to love myself better by treating her like a best friend. I needed to be my own best friend. I am the friend that always takes pictures, I am the friend who leaves silly little love notes and I will make room on the sidewalk for you.
There is still a long way to go, a lot of work to do, but I am able to welcome myself with open arms. It’s because I learned to love the goofiness of my laugh and the way it allows others to follow suit. I learned to appreciate my habit of putting songs on repeat and threw away the shame. I have finally allowed myself to feel at home in my body as I drown out the photoshopped expectations. I love my sleepy voice when it’s soft and groggy, whispering to my partner as he shares my pillow and a good morning kiss. I love the creativity I channel through the many facets of my life, my expression of love through a painted canvas. I love the fascination I have for the supernatural and the way I am always drawn back to it.
Often to reinforce the point of my therapist, I think back to her example when I struggle with wanting to go out of the way for myself. I imagine how excited I would be to pick up my boba tea or retrieve a lucky penny. I spend more time appreciating my own joy and interests. I allow myself to be expressive. I allow myself to be sensitive, to let the spectrum of emotions seep into my bones and run their course. It is an achingly beautiful privilege to feel so deeply.
I deserve to find and love the good parts of me just as I have searched and found those in others. This reconciliation will be a celebration. I will continue in the spirit of showing up for myself as I have shown up for those around me. Maybe I’ll throw a party, although there’s no use trying to keep it a surprise. I’ll let myself loosen my muscles and sway to the music as the record player crackles to life. There will be pointy polka dot party hats, the aroma of freshly baked pizza in the air, a white cake with swirly pink icing bordering the edges, and a sprawling silk banner bearing:
Voting starts April 16, 2024 12:00am