You should go and love yourself: Part 2.


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One year ago, I became a gardener.

Here’s the thing about me: when I start to become obsessed with something, I give my whole life to it. I vow to love this thing more than any other thing for an eternity. I will devote my whole being to said-thing for approximately two months until the next best thing shows up to steal my attention. This is just the way I am wired. In 27 years I’ve been unable to change it. 

So I dove head first into gardening. It was love at first seed. I bought every plant possible. I got myself a watering can and some rain boots. I even created an Instagram account for my baby plants. I spoke to the veggies like some sort of Kale Whisperer. I debated a whole new blog on gardening alone. My life as a solo, single green-thumbed gardener. It was going to be beautiful.

Girl on “Wire”


They said grace and let the soy sauce roll.

Rows of sushi stuffed with salmon and avocado lined the plates in delicate, little rows, ready to be prodded by the chopsticks of girls gone hungry for communion & conversation.

They settled in their chairs, relaxed into the rhythms of one another’s stories. They were old friends, all too familiar with the way that distance could rap on the door frame.

“My girl wire got the best of me… it definitely did this time.” 

She stared down at her plate and looked up for some kind of forgiveness from her friend.

The two turned to laughing. They cleared the air of apologies. It wasn’t too late. No, it was not too late. 


One of my best friends and I refer to it as the “girl wire.”

The girl wire is best defined as “the ability to lose one’s footing, balance, and sanity, in a frenzy of obsession over a guy.” It’s a common prince charming syndrome. It’s acting out of emotion, out of carnal “accept me” motives, rather than grounded soul & assurance in your own worth.

It’s the abandoning of all the confidence & assurance you’ve carved into yourself for the approval of another. It’s letting that approval dominate your thoughts. Your actions. Alter your beliefs. Making you go back on the person you said you wanted to be all along.

Together, we’ve learned the tightrope walk of balance between being completely smitten over the existence of another beautiful soul and what it means to pack up and move straight into the Valley of Gone, Baby, Gone. A Valley of Straight Up Losing Yourself to Another. Checking the phone incessantly. Finding value in his words. Sizing yourself up by the comments he makes and the breath he bothers to take to speak life into you.  

The feminist that sometimes stirs in me would say this desire to be accepted is engraved in our roots.

The feminist inside of me would banter about young women raised to be praised as “pretty little things.” Raised to be small. Raised to be weak. Raised to be waiting by the door for a savior. Or by the window for a prince. And, when that prince comes, we pour out ourselves like a basin. We swab the decks of that Yesterday Girl to be whatever another person wants out of our Tomorrow.

But the plain old girl inside of me, the one who still doesn’t know if she prefers tea or coffee on a rainy Tuesday, would just say that we are all looking to be loved & accepted, and we are willing to give up a lot of ourselves to get there. 


Now I ain’t saying love is a bad thing.

I ain’t saying that falling into the arms of a Somebody who devours your quirks like pancakes on Sunday is a sin. I’m just saying that we is human beings. We is fragile. We is broken. We is never prepared to handle all the parts of someone else; we were never designed to be such holders. 

And. yet. we. try. like. the. dickens.

It’s instinct to throw ourselves into another. It’s hope strung like Christmas lights around the barn that another person could be all the arms we ever needed, all the love we ever prayed for, all the acceptance we gave up on giving ourselves. It’s affirmation & confirmation & admiration & and all the other “ations” we crave to keep us from staring in the mirror and finding just what it might take to go weak-kneed over our own reflections and the life that surges from inside us.

Oh, if we stopped shoving off that power. Oh, if we realized that our hands are so very small for a reason; and that a guy can come along and hold our hands, and kiss our hands, but they cannot hold the whole of us in such little hands. Oh, if we only cut off the “girl wire” and just sank into the skins of a girl on fire. 

Know this: I’m not here to pour poetry out onto your soul. Watering your bones with almond milk syllables will never mean a damn thing if I don’t just simply say, in one single sentence, what I have learnt to be true in all these years: your completion does not rest in another. It’s not lock-and-keyed into the heart of another. Or a 6’3 stature. Or the glow of a screen. Or the sounding of a text.

It’s already stitched inside of you, as beautiful as the dust of a Creation Story that knit you in secret spaces out of spiderweb silk. It’s there, there in the deep of you already, no matter how much sludge & hollow & pain & abuse & resentment has covered it up in all these years.

It never goes away. It never buys the next train ticket out and decides to leave you standing on the platform alone.

You might forget it. You might lose the muscles it takes to believe in it. But everything you have ever needed is already inside of you. It’s sprawling like bucketfuls of wildflowers. It demands a watering can that’s only ever craved your fingers wrapped around its handle.

Your completion does not rest in another. If I know a single thing to be true in this crazy, whimsical life… it’s that. I don’t always believe in it but I know it is true. 

I am one, among a tidal wave of individuals, who is looking for self worth in a cellphone under her pillow, set to vibrate.

I used to put my cellphone on silent, hide it under my pillow and leave it there for the entire day. It was my way of convincing myself that I was a worthwhile person.

I would go about my day, looping in and out of items on my “to do” list and would come back, only after I reached the bottom of my list, to retrieve the hidden cell phone.

My worth, for  a very long time, depended on the number of missed calls and text messages I had received.

It sounds silly looking back, probably the most ridiculous way to tabulate my relevance in this world. But for a girl who hinged her life on other people? Oh, it made perfect sense.

I have long placed my worth upon the comments, compliments and words of others. And it is not such a good thing. One person can tell me that I am amazing and I will be amazing for the day. Another can tell me that I need to work on this article or that piece of work, and I will translate it in my head: You are not good enough. You need work. Try again, fall short again. I am honest in saying all of this because of one simple truth: I am far from being the only one.

I am one, among a tidal wave of individuals, who is looking for self worth in a cellphone under her pillow, set to vibrate.

I want to challenge our culture to a fight sometimes. Tap it on the shoulder and tell it to suit up, or we could go MMA style, in which case I am ready to throw the first punch right now. I can picture myself fighting our culture, yelling at it for convincing us that if we are not moving every second of the day then we are being lazy. Irresponsible. Not on our A-Game.

Left Hook. Sucker Punch. Jab. Round About Kick to the Face.

No wonder the self-help industry has such a big ol’ drum to beat, every 5 minutes another battered soul falls out of the ring. Punched square in the face with the reality that they are not perfect. Will never be perfect. And will never save the world.

It’s really very sad to feel like no matter how much we accomplish in a day, it is never enough. We cannot please the world and yet we are hellbent on trying.

We chalk our worth up to boxes we can check off and meetings we can attest to having attended. We monetize our worth. We hand our worth over to other people so that they can twist it and contort it and spit back their feedback, to let us know whether or not we matter. Or if we will make it far in this place. Or if we should just give up and find a new craft. A new hobby. A new life.

Some nights I fall asleep wondering how heavy the world is. Surely it is so heavy that we each could hold a decent chunk of it on our shoulders. We could walk around tired, constantly wondering if we will drop the world. And if we do, how will it shatter? How will it break?

What will happen when our Little Chunks of Africa & Australia, Texas & Peru come falling from our Shoulders?

I think this is precisely the reason that people go fleeting to find God, wherever He may be, because they realize that they are Too Little to battle this World and they need someone with a better Right Hook. A Stronger Left Kick.

The more we are taught to believe in ourselves, the less we feel the need to believe in something outside of ourselves. And that’s o.k. That’s fine. That will work for about 10 minutes. But eventually we all fall down right? We run around in our circles, getting quite dizzy, holding tighter to the hands of others. But We All Fall Down.

And then we do one of two things. Either we pick ourselves up and we begin to spin once again. Or we turn away from the spinning, the clutching onto others for self worth, and we realize we are already in the perfect position. On the ground. The perfect position.

We take off our capes. We take the world from our shoulders as if it were heavy football padding. We fold onto our knees and we pray.

We pray for new self worth. We pray for something besides a superhero status to convince ourselves that every single day, as we wake and put both feet on the ground and start walking forward, we are worth it. And we are wonderful. We pray for a rumination in our hearts to keep our inner working warm.

And then we find the strength to get up. One Knee to One Foot. Other Knee to Other Foot. Standing. Yes, Standing. Two Legs Strong. And We Begin to Walk. And We Begin to Talk. And we Begin To Live Life by Our Own Standards. And we Adopt Words like Better, Happier, Fuller. Not Invincible but Stronger. Not Perfect but Perfectly Imperfect.

You know, the whole world gets a lot easier when we realize that it is not one big boulder made for our shoulders.  The world was never meant to stand upon us, for if it was, it surely would. We were meant to stand upon the world. And here we are, holding hands and spinning gently, Slowly but in not hurry, Up On Top Of The World.