To actively avoid this pain would be to deny ourselves the ability to counteract it in the future. After all, any person raised in complete sterile solitude would, upon exposure, likely be killed by a common flu. We can’t afford our love lives to go the same way.
So protect yourself. Date an asshole first. Hell, date a few. Date them all. Learn what it feels like to be treated badly and, in turn, how you deserve to be treated in the future. Make all the mistakes there are to make. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed or guilty about it. It’s normal, it’s healthy — it’s a right of passage.
Let the painful experiences grow and accumulate. Let them build a new resilience.
Date an asshole now, so you don’t end up with one later.
— Samuel Leighton-Dore
Vogue Paris June 1988 Les Eaux de L’été Photo Patrick Demarchelier Model Cindy Crawford
I’ve spent most of my life heavily invested in the idea of control. I thought that if I could manage my routine, what I put in my body, or how much money I make - I would be able to make my own luck. My least favorite feeling in the world is powerlessness. Being “out of control” isn’t really an option for me, especially since I realized very early on that I have terrible coping mechanisms. So in order for me to avoid any potential stress, I’d have to be in charge of everything going on around me at all times. Sounds easy, right? Sounds simple? The only thing simple about it is that… it’s simply not possible.
I took the last year of my life to let go. And I know people say this all the time, but I wonder how many of them can feel the newfound softness in their hands from all the pain they’ve let go of. Because I can. In the last year i’ve witnessed first hand that control is largely an illusion. You think you can steer the wheel and place your life on this beautifully well-lit track, and to a certain extent, I guess you can. But the thing I’ve learned the most in my brief years of living, is that life is annoying. Twenty two years of living has reduced life to a word I knew before I was five. It’s simply annoying. Life switches things up without asking for your permission. You can control and micromanage all you want but at the end of the day, life is going to do whatever it wants. The only thing left for you to do is choose how you react to the chaos. And most of the time, we fuck that up too.
And I know to so many people this is me stating the obvious. I know that this very sentiment was first expressed with The Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” But don’t forget that we were all once at an age where we thought it would never resonate. That it only applied to Christians and Moms.
But then it did. And it became something you need to hear over and over.
I’m convinced that anyone who figures out how to focus on the things that are within their control while forgetting the stuff they can’t has won life. I’m convinced that their hands feel even softer than mine. I look at the people who have “let go” and I wonder what their hands feel like.
you will stumble upon
someone who will start
a fire in you that cannot die.
However, the saddest,
most awful truth
you will ever come to find––
is they are not always
with whom we spend our lives.
— Elisabeth Eaves
— Mandy Hale (via sorakeem)