I’ve always been a sensitive person.
When I was a teenager into my early twenties, I thought this was my downfall. Feeling my emotions too deeply. Falling in love too easily. Getting hurt too often. Trusting others too quickly.
I believed in the better qualities of people even when there weren’t redemptive traits to detect on the surface. Like a gardener, I dug deep into the soil of a person’s character to locate their potential for growth. I would often see people through the lens of who they could be rather than who they were.
This habit never served me well with romantic interests. I disregarded my intuition so I could make the man standing in front of me be the man I wanted him to be. The man I needed him to be.
As you can imagine, my glass was never full, just always halfway to the brim, as I patiently waited to be poured into. Hoping to be fulfilled. Starving to be loved.
So much of my history in love as a younger woman revolves around this theme of tending to other people’s crops instead of my own. I knew when to plant their seeds. I watered them at the perfect time. I predicted sunshine & future rainfall. I protected growing buds at all costs. And just when the seed was ripened to blossom, it would never bloom.
I’d wait & wait until a flower’s petals were born into the sky, but I never saw the fruits of my labor – only the work required to maintain a vine that would never reach maturation. I didn’t realize this at the time, so I just kept tending to the plant. Waiting & hoping, tired & empty. In a perpetual state of vacant desire.
So much longing to have never been fulfilled. So much patience for a dream that would never see the light of day.
As the years passed & I grew older, smarter, & wiser as a result of all my heartache, I realized that when you are the gardener of your life, your garden - fecund with roses, daisies, & hydrangeas - become the fulfillment you’re seeking. Your glass will never deplete or be emptied when you tend to yourself.
When you harvest your own crops, all you need is yourself to be whole. Anything or anyone that enters your life is like extra sunshine poured over everything you’ve already grown.
Now that I’m far removed from the girl I used to be, I understand that this is how I’ll live my life.
My own love has always been the love I’ve searched for.
My own love has been the greatest love story of all.