Okay, can someone tell the police dispatcher in Hamilton County with that beautiful Sussex accent to keep talking? I don’t care if it’s about public intox or agg assault….damn!
When I was in the fourth grade, my two best friends at the time (Emily and Sarah) both moved away in the same year. I have a vivid memory of sitting on my Mom’s lap (yes, at age 10) crying my eyes out. I asked, “why do people leave?” My Mom shook her head and told me, “these things happen. You’ll make more friends.” This was the first time close friends had left me.
Little did I know I’d learn about losing people in an even harder way – I spent part of my childhood without a Mom. She was critically ill from the time I was 6 until I was about 14. This may explain why I didn’t embrace make-up until I was 15, had no clue how to deal with boys, but was a killer dancer (my Dad, FYI, was the HIT of Debbie Werbrouck’s School of Dance in Osceola). I was lucky – my Mom eventually beat the illness and I am close to my parents to this day.
But, it left me with a weird sense of abandonment.
Throughout my life, people have left. In droves. It happens.
My first serious boyfriend broke up with me because of his then-insane schedule (looking back, I don’t blame him – I couldn’t date anyone either with that many jobs and school). Not only that, I knew in the back of my mind that I was leaving Indiana for school (which I did).
At the time, it was devastating. I got to this mentality over the years of “everyone I love eventually leaves.” It scared me so much and, up until recently, shaped every decision I made. If I got afraid of being left, I’d leave first. I felt like I had zero choice or else get smacked down emotionally.
In the last few months, I’ve come to realize that couldn’t be further from the truth. My friends, the brothers/sisters I never had, have stood by me through a whole load of bullshit. They stood by me when I could not love the most important person in my life – me. Friends who are friends with people who despise me have stuck with me.
I don’t care how selfish that sounds – loving yourself is the only way we can truly love others and pay it forward in all avenues of our lives. Hence, why I spend time alone and do things by myself. I need that alone time so I can grow to love myself, perhaps for the first time in my life.
In the immortal words of RuPaul, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else? Can I get an amen?”