Monday, February 09, 2009


You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love;
The running across fields into your lovers arms
Can only come later when you're sure they won't
Laugh at you if you trip.

- Jonathan Carroll

That quote was on the program at church. It made me laugh.

It also made me think. I'm very cautious in relationships. I try so hard to be perfect.

Must not get mad. Must not make mistakes. Must not be illogical...ever. Must look nice. Must be nice always. Must smile...a lot. No tripping!

Seriously, for ages I've believed that if I let a guy see me being what I think is less-than-perfect, he wouldn't like me any more. So, I try to hide all my negative emotions as much as possible and pretend that everything is okay, always.

It's exhausting. And, it's unfair - to him and to me. I need to be able to be myself. He needs to see that I have bad days. I should be able to tell him when he's being an insensitive jerk. He needs to see that sometimes I'm a bossy, insensitive jerk.

Slowly, I'm getting better, thanks mostly to my relationship with Anthony. The first time I got mad at him, I thought our relationship was over. Instead, he actually apologized and promised not to do it again, and he didn't. Despite his hearing loss, we were able to communicate better than any other boyfriend I'd had. I could be totally open with him because I trusted how he felt about me and that it wouldn't change because of one bad mood. I realized that I had never really given my past boyfriends a chance to show me they could be trusted the same way.

It gives me a new "criteria" for the guy that I'll someday marry (cross my fingers): he'll be someone who I trust enough to show all my imperfections to. I'll know that he won't leave just because I'm in a bad mood. He won't hate me because I get upset at him. He'll think I'm pretty even without makeup and with curlers in my hair. When I cry, he'll hold me. In short, I can be 100% me and he'll love me for being me.

I want to be able to trip and know that he won't laugh.

Okay, he can laugh...once he helps me up, makes sure I'm ok, and kisses my scraped knees and elbows.

I guess, really, I want a man who doesn't walk away when I trip.

Of course, that means that I'll actually have to let him see me trip. Scary!


Mellissa said...

It would be terribly exhausting to keep all my negative emotions bottled up. I seriously would explode. And for most people, the positive things far outweigh the negative things.

Emily said...

Julie I absolutely loved this post. It is so real and just putting yourself out there. I can completely relate to holding back. Not necessarily in the aspect of how I really am, but more how I really feel. Anyway thanks.

c jane said...

I've seen you trip and I laughed.

Framed said...

Love that quote. I trip all the time. You'd think some man would find it endearing, but at my age, he's probably afraid of all the potential health complications. I totally agree with you. Sooner or later, your "slight" imperfections are going to come out. Might as well get it over with.

Cardine said...

I totally fell down in front of a bunch of people tonight. And, I did it, I think, about a week ago, too, only privately. In some ways, I can't imagine someone loving me in spite of my clumsiness and extreme awkwardness (and many bruises and scars). But, well, family and friends love me, so maybe it'll happen.

Good post.

Madman said...

This was a nice post. Hooray for freeing yourself from past restraints!

julie said...

Missy, it is exhausting, but I'm so used to doing it that I sometimes don't realize how tiring it is.

Emily, thank you! Holding back: I think that really explains what I do. You're right - it's mostly how I feel, too.

Cjane, yeah, you totally saw me trip a half dozen times at least! One time when we were just standing at the bus stop. Aahh. Good times. Yes you laughed, but I know it was laughter full of love. It made all the difference. :)

Framed, I trip a lot too, I think that's why the quote resonated with me so much! My goal is to feel comfortable enough to "get it over with" sooner than later - though not TOO soon! :)

Cardine, what were you doing when you fell? I totally believe that someone will love you, clumsiness, bruises, and all! You're completely loveable!

Madman, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting. :)

warnser said...

I think about this subject from now and then, and I think "yes."

I think "how odd" when someone leaves before I even get a chance for a good fall.

I like it when a person can really be herself/ himself.

I think it's essential.
But I do think it is really good when a person can be their best self, and when they want to be their best self. Not that they are perfect, but that they want to be as good as they can.

And hopefully that doesn't disappear when they get married.

Hopefully it grows.
Clearly the more the relationship grows, the more foibles a person sees, but hopefully the more it grows, the more people can both relax/ not hold back, and the more they should want to be their best for the person that they have earned and chosen, and continue to earn.

And I've offended a goodly number of girls by laughing but I'd like to think that I'm that guy at the bottom, yeah, I'd often laugh, but I would hope that I'd be right there to help in any way necessary too.

any good blog.

warnser said...

and the more a person should be able to accept/ enjoy it.

(sorry I left that out, but it was there too)