“Read that book, wake up early in the morning and go for that run to start off your day. Buy the nicest underwear and wear it to boost your mood. Eat as clean as possible because you’ll feel so much better but treat yourself as well. Be kind to everyone. Go out to a cafe and watch people walk buy as you sip your coffee. Compliment that stranger! Start a conversation with that person on the bus. Read a book about food, about astronomy, learn a new language. Watch the sunrise. Get away for a weekend. Introduce yourself. Do yoga and go on a hike. Lay on the beach under the stars and have a dnm with your best friend. Dance around and sing at the top of yours lungs at that festival. Life is meant to be lived, not controlled.” -Unknown
I learn new things about myself everyday but there is one thing I have always known for sure: I love to love. And there was a point in my life where I was convinced my journey was focused around just that. Audrey Hepburn put it perfectly, “I was born with an enormous need for affection and a terrible need to give it.”
I found myself devoting my energy to the unconditional love that existed within. To the passion that forms a fist in your heart that you just can’t shake. To the moments that took my breath away and the can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t think kind of love that I believed so deeply in.
And to my surprise it lasted — but that chapter was short and filled with many aches, pains and superficial expectations. I quickly realized that love is not a fairytale and it is not always ideal. Yup, girlfriend grew up. Timing can be wrong, people run off, and love fades out as quickly as it comes in. And after a year or so I decided that I was okay with that. I felt at peace with the fact that some good things end so that beautiful things can begin, that heartbreak is inevitable and life must go on. And so I did, which was the best, and only, decision I had.
There is a quote that I read years ago that really resonates with me lately that I’d like to share with you.
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” -Kurt Vonnegut
It brings up the question that I have asked myself each night before I close my eyes for the last 3 months: At what point did I choose to wake up and dress myself in an invisible armor simply to protect myself from wars that had not even begun?
A close friend and I sat down last week and he told me that if I need to work on one thing it is this: not going into a conversation or situation with a “loaded gun”. As a single independent woman I feel as though that is my new-found gut instinct. I feel defensive when it isn’t necessary. My nerves turn into sharp thorns that make me appear to be hard to approach. But the truth is that I feel fear. I fear the pain that I once felt because I chose to love. Because I chose to let myself be vulnerable, open, and willing to fall without anyone guaranteeing to be there.
But when did I lose my desire to “kill em’ with kindness” rather than with hateful words? To be silly and sweet, to gain trust by my actions, and to bond over a basic respect and understanding of one another.
I believe the woman/man who loves with no limit is the one who is lovable. The first to grab the others hand is the one that feels the spark many of us seek. And so that is what I would like to work on. I want to regain my tenderness, open up to the unknown, and be willing to take the jump into the divine. Because there is nothing more powerful than giving a love that you once questioned, a kiss that was once so sweet, and the trust that was often withheld.
Here’s to a new kind of love and a change in armor.
xoxo, Bailey Mikell