Lately, I see this one girl around campus. She's absolutely beautiful.
Her style is so effortlessly classic, with a hint of urban flare -- I admire every piece of clothing that I see her in.
She also has a boyfriend. And, together they make a beautiful couple. I'm actually intrigued by them.
Times when they are sitting in front of me or ahead of me in a line, I can't help but stare.
Again, they have this old-school look to them that I just admire entirely.
Lately, I've had more of a complex about relationships and how they look from an objective perspective. Even today, I expressed to a friend that everyone seems as though they're in perfect relationships - though I realize that perfection is an unreachable feat.
Friends of mine are married, engaged, pregnant, graduated, working...adulting...
And, it's not that I envy these things that my friends have (I actually love them for it!), but I also don't know what I would consider myself other than student and girlfriend. And this isn't to diminish my roles as student and girlfriend, but I can't help but feel that people are doing something more right than I am, and I wonder at the way this makes me feel.
Social media is no help, but that's a beast in itself.
Anyway, my relationship at the moment is very flawed. And, this isn't something that I am admitting without having discussed so with my boyfriend. Both of us see the flaws, and we're continually weighing them. It shouldn't matter to either of us what others think, but--for me--I often catch myself caring.
I feel like a bad girlfriend. I could give you a million reasons why.
And long distance feels so strenuous on love. Rather than engaging in romance, boyfriend and I work hard merely to keep up a texting conversation throughout a single day. We are no longer fazed by the dazzling feelings of young, new love. Instead, we are active participants in making love a choice -- and, let me tell you, in spite of it's importance it is so freaking difficult.
Back to the girl I was telling you about: I obviously have this impression of her. And it isn't necessarily a bad impression -- but it's a limited impression. However, today as I sat down at the coffee shop, I happened to sit near to her by coincidence. As a result of sitting so close, I overheard pieces of her conversation.
Now, I can't say that I was pleased to over hear her venting her struggles and worries at the moment, but I did admire her more.
You see, I sometimes deceive myself into thinking that a beautiful exterior masks my mile deep worries. Same with others. I think that perhaps if I look the part, then I will become the part. And yet no matter how many days I receive compliments on my clothes or whatever else, I don't feel better about myself at the end of the day. I still go home and unload all of my worries from the day. Those don't go anywhere. They don't wash away with the change of an outfit or the wash of my face. My relationship could look so ideal to an outsider, but that doesn't deny the fact that there's an underlying struggle.
I'm not saying all of this to be pessimistic, rather I'm hoping to encourage the embrace of imperfection. I think that too often we feel more comfortable settling for the lies we tell ourselves and the masks we wear because everyone else seems like they aren't freaking the hell out. This conversation isn't anything new. And yet, why do I have to constantly remind myself of its value?
I think that my biggest, greatest flaw is my ability to wear worry as a cloak. I'm an open book, I'll tell people anything that they want to know about me. I am not easily offended, nor am I opposed to conflicting conversations. But when it comes to me? Well, that's where I'm the queen of lies because worry is the throne of which I often sit on rather than putting God first.
I tell myself that I'm the only one in the room who doesn't have it figured out, and by doing that I self-isolate...I am therefore the only one to blame.
I think what I am trying to tell myself is that admiration can be a wonderful thing, but it can quickly enter the realm of envy, insecurity, comparison, judgment or falsity of self. I think that we all owe ourselves the freedom to look at ourselves just as objectively as we look at others.
And to do so with the mentality that knows that others are just as flawed and probably hopeful that they're not the only ones.
I think that there's something beautiful about owning one's imperfections. I also think it's beautiful when it can be owned publicly, in the presence of listening ears and eager hearts and safe individuals.
I didn't need the girl with the pretty clothes to admit to her struggles for me to know that she does indeed have them, but I know that by hearing her utter just a few sentences, she's already become more admirable in my sight because she indirectly let me know that I am not alone in my worries.