So, I do this writing thing from time to time and occasionally it comes out as what I can only explain as my sorry attempt at poetry. I had an amazing phone interview today with Bold Magazine (www.boldzine.com) and one of the unscripted topics we discussed revolved around dating. Let’s face it, dating is hard. No matter your age, size, color or gender, dating well, to put it mildly, just sucks. Navigating this weight loss thing is tough, but navigating my way towards love? Psh, that seems like an impossibility at times.
After my divorce back in 2015, I found that reentering the dating world was a nightmare. Most of the time the old cliche rang true: “Men only want one thing.” Other times though, men wanted to drop the big “L” bomb after only a few short dates. Luckily, the latter admittedly happened way less often, but those are the ones that creeped me out the most. But what I learned about myself post-divorce was a bit more unsettling than even the strangest of dating encounters.
First, let me preface this with one simple fact about divorce – Just like childhood, no one escapes a marriage unscathed. Even if you ended it as cordially as possible, there are still reasons it ended and there will inevitably be that proverbial “baggage” that gets left behind as you move forward in life. Most of my baggage resulted in a major lack of confidence and self-worth. Now, some of this I can easily blame on things outside of my marriage, but a number of toxic ideals I clung to were based on things that were uttered to me at one time or another throughout our almost 8 years together. Once it ended, I realized I had been playing these hurtful words on repeat and in surround-sound in my head since the moment they escaped his mouth. While I can say now my own behavior was equally inadmissible at many moments in our marriage, I can see now that this tendency to cling to negative comments not only led to the demise of my relationship, but also to the major collapse of my self-esteem.
In this poem, I highlight my struggles of feeling worthy of love and it chronicles my incessant desire to place unnecessary warning labels on my forehead that say “Buyer beware!” I wrote this in a time and place where I felt like “damaged goods” and truly unsure of whether or not all of my flaws left me capable of being loved. My hope today is to reach others who have ever felt the same way. I’m here to remind you (and myself) that you are not alone in the battle to find love – Both for yourself and from others. It is a battle I’m fighting every day and I can promise you it’s TOTALLY worth it.