I Know Too Much About Myself To Go Backwards Now

 Image Credit: Dylan Spitz

Image Credit: Dylan Spitz

The lyrics sing, “She's playing like a mystery.” I know exactly what he means.

Enticing. Layered. Mesmerizing in her wholeness and strength and just as enchanting when she strips down to her core, her humanity, her vulnerability. 

It’s all perspective and perception, I’m learning. For months, I let the days stack up in my favor, like a Jenga game I was destined not to lose. For every day that I committed to my journey I got signs from God that I was on the right path, signs from the universe that I was playing my part just right. 

“I hold both a deep appreciation of where I have come from and a deep respect for what I am learning to outgrow. It is my duty to do so.” 

I know too much. About the woman I’m becoming. About the man I need in my life. About how I define partnership. About the way my voice goes soft when it’s 3am, for one reason or another. About the way my back can arch. About the way my laugh finds home when there’s emotional stability. 

I’m unapologetic about the discovery process that brought me here. There’s no resentment, no shame, how could I feel anything other than gratitude for the time and the space to learn myself so well?

I dance in my nicest lingerie in my home and stare at how whole I look. I look into my eyes and see how whole I feel. There are so many crevices and dimples that are still me, but other inches of me are forever changed. To get to know me now is to learn a woman who wasn’t and now is. 

It’s to find me at my most assertive, to learn me at my most determined, to smile at me at my most gracious, at my most unapologetic. When you know this much about yourself, you can move through hurt because survival is a given, giving yourself a chance to learn from pain is the only question that needs to be answered. 

I answered it with moments of quiet, moments with simple drinks and unexpected, grounded views a la Taylor Swift, moments of asking my people to give me space to pour into just myself, to learn to be taken care of. 

I came out of it with my hair a couple of inches longer, my values with a couple of more roots to them, a piece of skin where the tattoo will go, extra weight on my hips where the mozzarella sticks went. 

When you’ve opened your eyes to your own power, you know that watering it down can no longer be an option. Dishonoring yourself is no longer an available possibility. You’re either met where you are, challenged to become a better person, or…well, there is no ‘or’ — taking steps back for someone is now a part of the “we don’t do that here” motto. 

To feel like a mystery worthy of being uncovered by myself, by someone else, it’s liberating. All parts of my soul are invited into the equation in the right relationships and it’s engaging, to be known and seen.

I see no disrespect to clearly stating — either I’m invited to show up whole or I’m just not interested in showing up at all. I’ve seen way too much life to negotiate my existence for anyone. I’ve lived through too much happiness to compromise it for chosen emotional instability. 

I get high off fancy candles that cost more than I pay in utilities, simple pleasures. 

I learned how to love myself in the dark that turned into broad daylight with good windows, simple, simple pleasures. 

It’s freeing to know this much about myself because to live afraid of myself and my own mind would mean running in circles, stepping foot in the same path of destruction, never learning from my mistakes. I like politics, podcasts that speak truth to power, speaking about mental health the way we do about physical health, words that tell stories in songs and in essays, men who are brave, friends who hurt when you hurt. 

Mostly though, I like people who choose growth over resentment.