Lessons from a Stranger

Typing takes forever one-handed. Jus’ sayin’.

(to catch y’all up: I broke my arm about a week and a half ago being chased by a liger while sprinting through the forest pretending to be Katniss Everdeen trying to save Rue. Either that or I simply faceplanted while running. Your choice.)

But I miss writing. While doing everything else is now impossibly inconvenient, I miss using my hand to write more than anything.

Tonight I came across this blog “Single Dad Laughing.” I guess I’m a little behind on the times with this, since the writer, Dan, had his really famous post “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay”, come out over a year ago. But I digress. Anyway, yes, this blog… it’s super interesting. It’s full of all these thoughts I’ve had before, and lots that I haven’t – basically it’s just a musing at life through the eyes of a guy in his early thirties that’s been divorced twice. Sad, indeed, sometimes, but he doesn’t make himself into a sympathy story or a self-righteous something or anything. He’s just a normal guy. And I have a few things I want to write down and ponder before I forget (so why not do it here?):

Being me, I read all his posts (er, the ones I could find, at least) on love and marriage and, well, namely, why his didn’t work. I have this habit of researching marriage and “what we’re getting ourselves into” like I’m writing a report for class, since I like to be prepared for things… I dunno. I realize I might be weird. I just have a tendency to do all my homework when I make a decision. But ultimately in this case I wanted to know how to proactively avoid his end result. And in these articles, there were a few things that he said that just stuck with me that I know from a personal standpoint I really need to work on. Namely:

Loving myself. I will be the first to admit that I have self-esteem issues. From my grandma calling me fat my whole life to a girl in my major telling me my glasses are ugly earlier this year, I have a lot of shit that I haven’t figured out how to work through. And that really adds up sometimes. Usually I can put on a brave face, but deep down, I really have issues admitting (even to myself) that I am beautiful. I feel… awkward. And huge. And fat. And not feminine-looking enough. And especially clumsy now that I have ten extra pounds of bandage on my arm. And I know Davis loves me just the way I am, but I really need to love myself. This doesn’t mean I should conform to who these people (read: usually strangers, whose opinions really shouldn’t have an impact on my life) want me to be; I just need to be prouder than I am now for being the kick-awesome tall blond girl with the rolly backpack and her arm in a sling. Because by loving myself, I know it will make it easier (on both me and him) for Davis to love me too. (plus the fact that it’s just good for me… not a bad reason either.)

The second point to remember is that love will grow stronger – the true, honest-to-goodness fact that what we have really is awesome and that, like good wine, it will get better over time. Davis and I are going to go through so much together. And you know what? That’s really awesome. And all of this – both the good and the bad – is going to bring us together, especially because I get to do it with my best friend. But just think of it now: by the time we’re in our seventies, we will have so much life and love under our belts, nothing will be able to tear us apart. We really are going to be the couple on the park bench holding hands and watching our grandkids play. Between now and then, we really will get to do everything together. And just that thought makes me so incredibly excited about everything; I can’t properly express it. I can’t wrap my mind around how much love I’ll have for him ten, twenty-five, fifty years from now… and that gives me so much hope too.

We have all the makings of something really great. And let’s be honest: I think our relationship’s really remarkable to begin with. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I forget that. It becomes covered in the stresses of schoolwork and extracurricular activities and jobs and broken bones, is thrown to the side and sometimes becomes a stress itself. But at the core, it really is strong and good and wonderful, and it will just get better over time.

The third and final thing I learned from this guy tonight was from the post that took me to his page in the first place: “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.” And the message was a simple one, and something that I really aspire to: love your neighbor. That’s it. Something that’s been said for thousands of years by all of the big-name religious leaders of the past. So why is it so hard for humans to do that? I still don’t fully understand it myself, and I can also guarantee that I haven’t followed it anywhere close to 100% of the time. But my point is, I do want to do it more.

So yes. Lessons from a stranger. I love it when that happens though. I love learning from and about life. And writing again. I love that too.

Do you have any thoughts on this, especially the “loving myself” part? I’m open to all suggestions 🙂

PS – Feel free to check out “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay” and Dan’s other blog posts: http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html

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