Thursday, August 2, 2007

Baggage Check

"Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love a good quote, literary, movie or otherwise. I added the above one to my page because they seem like words to live by. Because, it seems like the things I remember, the things that hold on, are those small rejections from the past. Why don't I remember when former boyfriends and dates told me I was beautiful or smart or funny? Why do I bother to recall, usually when least I want to, not being good enough or pretty enough for someone who doesn't matter anymore?

Everybody brings a little baggage to a new relationship, even when they think they don't. When I arrived in my current relationship, I showed up a little (or maybe a lot) jaded by my interactions with previous, less than deserving men. But I was pretty sure I'd dealt with all the really important issues. I thought the real baggage had been checked at the gate.

This delusion lasted right up until our first discussion about the future. I could barely bring myself to talk about it, even theoretically. Why? "I'm afraid after you've really thought about it, you'll freak out and break up with me." The reply reassured me, and I had to remind myself, "He is not any of those other guys." But it wasn't the last time I had to shove the bulging suitcase closed.

Unprovoked insecurities still show up at the door unannounced, like the luggage you'd given up as lost only to find out it was just misdirected. I find myself wondering how I compare with past girlfriends (or any of a million faceless, nameless women who might want to replace me): am I prettier, skinnier, smarter, sexier, more creative, a better cook, more successful, more athletic...the list goes on and on and gets more absurd.

And, for every ridiculous question that pops into my head, I can remember the guy who dumped me for his ex, the cheater, the guy who got random calls at 3:00 am from girls I didn't know, the one who made fun of a haircut or looked at my thighs in disgust. Somewhere along the line, I internalized those comments and actions and began, on some subconscious level, to believe they were right. If I wasn't the best, I wouldn't be loved, and he wouldn't stick around.

And then I met someone who turned all those subconscious ideas upside down. I could hardly believe it. "What, you like my hips?" "You don't want to keep a few girls on the side, waiting for me to screw up?" There were millions of other little epiphanies like those, things any rational person should already know. I guess I never realized how much other people had messed with my head until I met someone who didn't.

He is amazing, and I want to throw out all that baggage once and for all. If I never think about a long-past shitty moment again, it would be fine by me. However, those images pop into my mind far less often than they used to. So, I'm thinking that the longer two people build trust and security between them, the quieter the negative memories become, until one day maybe they cease to exist all together. I want to empty the bag and treat this relationship like the brand-new experience it is.


  1. this makes me so happy! i'm so glad you found a guy that isn't a douche bag and will treat you right :]

  2. It's amazing how long those insecurities do stick around, though... They pop up at the oddest moments and it's hard to quelch them sometimes, but if he's worth it, you find a way. You go "Okay... he's not making me feel this. I'M making me feel this" and you're right... Someday they will just fade away. It just would be super if someday came a little quicker.