The poetic, playful and prophetic musings of quintessential voices trying to keep up with life

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Being Unapolgetically Me

For real though.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been doing the online dating thing.  I’ve had mostly mixed feelings so far, and am thinking of taking a break from it for a little while once March is over.  It’s not that I have anything against online dating.  I have several friends and family members who met their significant others that way, and are very happy.  I’ve just never been good at non-face-to-face interactions, so this whole experience has been way out of my comfort zone, and quite frankly exhausting.
My lack of game and smoothness online is not the point of this post, though.  As uncomfortable as this process has made me, it has also made me very aware of a few things about myself.  Today in particular, I had a very major epiphany moment.  I realized that when interacting with potential romantic partners, there were some things about myself that I hesitated to tell them.  One of these things, notably, was my career.  I would intentionally put off telling the guys I talked to that I was a campus minister.  Why?  In all honesty, it’s because I didn’t want them to jump to any conclusions or draw on any stereotypes they might have for that type of job and apply them to me.  I was scared of being judged for doing something I love.  And I do LOVE my ministry.  I love it and I am proud of it.  I worked hard to get my degree and find my job, and I was lucky enough to find a position that was exactly what I wanted to do in the area I wanted to be in.  In summary: my career rocks, and anyone who wants to try and judge me for it can suck it.
That’s easy to say now, after my epiphany moment earlier today.  It wasn’t just my job, though.  There were other, more personal things and choices I’ve made that I was scared I would be judged for.  I was scared if a guy learned some of these things, he would bolt and I’d never find love.  I’d end up alone, with twelve cats, living in a cabin in the woods and wearing floral nightgowns everyday (yeah…I’ve thought pretty carefully about this).  So, to avoid this fate, I hid things about myself and hoped I could get a guy to fall for me before he needed to know any of my “secrets.”
That was stupid.  I was being so incredibly stupid, and worse yet, I was chipping away at my self-esteem bit by tiny bit.  Self-esteem I’d spent years building up, but that was still fairly delicate.  It wasn’t until one particular conversation, where I was dodging questions out of fear of revealing one of my “secrets” that I realized how totally idiotic I was being.  I have nothing to be ashamed of, about any of the choices I’ve made, and what’s more, I’m not sorry for any of them.  So why should I be afraid to be totally honest with the guys I was talking to?  Didn’t I want to be with someone who accepted me for who I was, what I did, and what I valued?  Did I really want to be with someone who didn’t accept me for who I really was?  Someone I had to change myself to be with?
No.  Hell no.  I’d rather be single.
That’s when the epiphany really hit.  I have no reason to hide anything about myself from anyone.  I’m not ashamed of myself, I’m not embarrassed by what I do.  I’m good at what I do, and I’m proud of who I am.  If a guy is scared off by anything that I bring to the table, that’s his problem, not mine.  Dating in the adult world is hard enough without pretending to be someone I’m not, or wasting time with people who don’t actually like me.  So, I’m going to keep at it, but I’m not going to play games.  I’m going to be honest.  I’m going to be myself.  Maybe I’ll find someone, maybe I won’t.  However I end up, though, I’m going to be me, and I’m not going to apologize for it.
Have you ever held part of yourself back in a relationship because you were afraid of rejection?  Are you lucky enough to have someone who does accept everything about you?  Tell me about it in the comment section below.  The good, the bad…we all have stories to tell.
Until next time,
Erin B.
Because I like to end on a laugh.  P.S. if anyone throws any of these your way, online or in person, RUN!

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