In over-saying I'm sorry are we suffocating ourselves? The other day I was about to apologize to someone for the third time....about the same situation. They accepted and were gracious of my apology the first time, so why did I feel a need to apologize a second and then contemplate the third? It makes me cringe to think about what I was apologizing for in the first place........being emotional. Okay, now I know this sounds bad but just listen! This person has been with me through a lot of moods swings, did I mention it was that time of the month? So naturally I felt badly for putting them through that because in my opinion it is not how they should be treated. In doing so however, I began feeling badly for being too sensitive. I cherish this person beyond words and am always going out of my way to show it, writing letters, "just thinking of you" texts and homemade goodies. And ya know what that also is? Being sensitive and emotional. So here I was over-apologizing for the reason they fell in love with me in the first place. Now, I am not saying to not apologize. Because trust me, they deserved that first apology right after the outburst! However there was no need for the guilt and feeling that I should apologize another two times after the fact. Which leads me back to my first question. In over-apologizing do we lose ourselves? When we say "I am sorry" more than once, who are we really apologizing to?
When it comes to love, when do you draw the line between caring for your partner and losing yourself? Often times one gets so wrapped up in their relationship, they don't notice who they are is dissipating. From "I" to "we" they quickly envelope their life around the other. Now I am not saying don't fall in love. Fall in love, and fall hard. However keep a clear mind in the process, or at least have a partner who keeps you in check. After all that is the most incredible and true love there is. To have someone so madly in love they want what is best for you no matter how it affects them. Someone who always tells you to chase your dreams. A person that encourages you to find a job you love no matter the location. Someone there to make sure you don't get paid or treated any less than you deserve. A person that wants to help you heal and grow. Someone who wants you to have a voice and use it. A person that wants to set you up for success in wherever life takes you, even if by that point they aren't in your life at all. There is a huge difference between selfish and selfless love. One you lose yourself completely, and the other you find who you truly are.
I can still vividly remember that day. Apprehensive glances and smiles amongst chatter and live music.I wore a delicate blue and white pattern scarf around my neck, with a grey sweater and jaded brown boots. Eagerly I awaited for the clock to strike 3:00pm. I was very very early and it is safe to say that was the last time. You texted sounding rushed, saying you would be there in just a couple minutes. Feeling a tingle go down my spine, busing myself I fixed my hair and scarf. I had been anxious before, but not like this. Glancing up, your sleek, black car flashes by the front window. My mouth becomes dry and cottony as my skin gets goose-bumps. In an effort to remain calm I open my phone once again and aimlessly click from one app to the next. Though this only lasted a moment before your smile greeted me. Swooping into the chair across the table, I became frozen. You wore a bright red fleece, dark jeans and tan Puma boots. My brown eyes skirted around your blue, not being able to hold in a smile any longer. You apologized for being late but I didn't mind, by this point an ease had come over me. Tapping on the table in a drum like motion you asked if I wanted to order, nodding we stood from our seats. With you following behind, I had to re-teach my legs how to walk. Reminding myself to place one foot in front of the other we safely made it to the front register. I pretended to look at the drinks, as you pretended to not look at me. Smirking I continued to glaze over the coffee menu bolted to the wall, even though I don't drink coffee. We ordered and sat back down. Conversation effortlessly flowed from one topic to the next. Brimming smiles and nervous laughs, we stayed until the place closed.
"Jumping out of the car my bare feet are welcomed by pebbles and sand. “Sophia please put your shoes on”. I reluctantly grab my flip-flops from the floor of the car and slip my toes between the plastic. “Alright everyone grab something!” the three of us gather and wait at the trunk. I grab the cooler filled with iced tea, the one that would make a shrieking noise every time you drank from its spout, and a stack of towels. Once fully armed we make our way to the train tracks. Stepping on the wooden boards the sun pours down on me. The track was recently traveled as the metal rails emanate heat like an oven on Christmas. I begin to play games hopping from one plank to the next or balancing on the metal rails like a gymnast; happy now I have rubber separating the soles of my feet from its scorching surface. Hearing the roar of the river, we make our way closer and closer to the bridge. Don’t look down, don’t look down, don’t look down! I try to keep my head straight; pretending there is a stack of books balancing upon it. I tip toe across the planks, a quick glance down revealing the white tipped current below churning and swirling. Don’t look down, don’t look down, don’t look down! Olivia walks across the bridge as if she owns it, not thinking twice about being suspended 30 feet above a rushing river guided through rocks and boulders. Juliette stays at my pace, timidly jumping from one plank to the next. My mom lags behind watching all of us, offering encouraging words when I freeze on one plank not wanting to move further. I fully breathe out as I step off the last wooden board onto pebbles and sand once again, turning right we head down the short trail. The dirt filled path dried from the summer sun, brittle branches whip into my vision as Olivia lets them go and continues moving. The rush of the river welcomes us as we emerge from the green leafed trees. Making our way onto the flat-bedded rocks finding a clear spot to call our own. Flicking out the towels we lay them down and crawl upon their plush yet stiff surface, but only for a minute. Jumping back up Juliette and I run to the rivers edge. Water spills onto the flat rock as we stand, our toes refreshed by its chilling touch in the summer sun. Our tiny hands grip to each other as we tip toe further till the water tickles our shines. The rock surface below us smooth as silk, beaten down by mountain run-off for thousands of years. We slowly sit upon its surface and scoot our way to the currents pull. Down the supple surface we shoot, a water slide open all day and all night. Our mom catches us we are spit out at the end. "Again, again, again!" '
The things that make you cringe on the inside, a light going off in your head or simply wanting to evacuate your body as quickly as possible. This can happen anywhere, at the grocery store with a stranger or in your own home with your partner. Whether this relationship is new or old it can come at any point. So when do you truly listen to these warning signs? Is it only in the beginning of the relationship because after that you have "too much history"? Afraid of listening to your gut for the dread of starting a new. So you stay and pretend the red flags aren't waving at you. What about when they aren't waving at all, but you believe they are? A false alarm in a sense, fictively created in your own mind. The tug back and forth between wanting to listen to yourself but then waking up and feel like you are over-reacting. So you stop. Go with the flow, only to come to a screeching halt a little down the road. If these are true fallacies, does it mean you should disregard them? Or is this figment of your imagination trying to tell you something more? Perhaps this message has less to do with your partner and more to do with yourself. That maybe those red flags are due to your reaction to a situation not theirs.
Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go