Love me, Please


It's a hard truth when you wake up at 35 years young and realize that the knight you were waiting on, the grand warrior to make life easier and filled with romance and adventure...has been here all along. 
Inside of you.
But the truth isn't meant to be easily digested, it simply is.

This all began with the idea that I needed to write. I need to write almost as much as I love to run and need to breathe. It's a calling I have had since I was a child writing poetry and songs. I have always loved words, I just didn't know the name of the story that called to me. I searched it out for awhile. I gave up, I came back. I got lost, I got hurt, I almost died. And yet, when I came out on the other side of all the shit...the words still beckoned. In the past few months the words have started taking on a shape. A title emerged. A feeling of completion has drawn near. I am pulled, hard, into the necessity of this. 

I am inspired by many of the stories out there. Resilience, triumph, struggles won. I know why, I know that I feel and see my story in these. I also know I downplay the shit out of my own experiences. I mean, I am here. This is life. What's so fucking amazing about that? It just is, nothing more. Except, I get a lot out of those stories. A sense that the impossible isn't impossible. That love is real, but it starts within, not without. A sense that pain may not ever go away, but it can be endured.
And I have endured some pain. 
I am enduring pain right now. 
Hidden and visible scars. 
Blips in my path as I look behind, but in those/these moments...they feel a lot like life or death. 
I want to share how I made it through some of the hardest ones. I want to share what it felt like. What it feels like right now. Since I am being really honest, I am scared. I am terrified that sharing will take me back, and goddess knows I don't want to go there. Still, I need to. The Jessica of then whispers I must, the Jessica of now believes that spoken truth heals all wounds. Call me an optimist.

I have dreamed of this beginning for so long. I know exactly how it all starts. It starts with me telling you that I don't love me. I will say it again so you don't miss it, since it is kind of my main point.
I don't love me. 
Perhaps at one time I did, and I am definitely working on it. But right now, sitting in this coffee shop that is like a second home...I don't love me. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW I am lovable. I have many amazing people that love me, have loved me, want to love me.
I just haven't made that list yet. Remember when I said the truth was hard? 

So how does one write a story about not loving yourself? Easy, by starting at the beginning, and going all the way back to when I knew I was loved and safe. The last time I remember knowing that - I was 8, almost 9. For the next few years past this point I would begin to question that security, the conditions of being lovable. Many of the moments and experiences contained in this story will involve others. Names have been omitted or changed for privacy, but many you will likely deduce. Keep in mind that this is not a soliloquy of blame, or intended to shame anyone. This is MY experience of these moments in time. I deeply love many of those I will introduce, they are amazing humans just trying to live and love. Life circumstances often create instances that are less than ideal, and while we are in control of our own behavior...to an extent...we are also human. This is the ONLY disclaimer I will provide. Take it or leave it. I am not here to trash other people, only share my journey. I have great respect for every person that has been in or is currently in my life, no matter what we have been through together. If it were not for each and every one of them, I would not be me as I am right now.

Don't feel sorry for me. I have learned a LOT this year. I fully believe I am a strong, capable, badass, brilliant woman. I have found the me that existed pre-marriage, academia, running, motherhood and movement. I have BIG ASS dreams and the guts and backbone to pursue the hell out of them, despite those that have or will tell me I won't. I am passionate about many things, and no longer willing to be ashamed of any of them. I like me a whole lot more now than I ever have, ever. And each new moment, I am finding a little more of me to love. Maybe it is a slow process, falling in love with me again. But hey, I'm only almost 36 (just a few more days!!). 
I have plenty of time to take it nice and slow. I keep hearing a cruel little voice telling me everything is falling a part and going to hell right this moment.
It's not. 
I am just emerging from my great sleep, busting the fuck out of this chrysalis. 
Once I spread my wings, there will be no limit.


~Jess


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