A couple months ago my counselor had me take a defensive mechanism test. The result? I’m a carbon copy of the, “Tough Girl.” Want to know why? “Because I don’t need no man, no nobody and I can conquer the world all by my damn self!” Unfortunately, I’m learning the hard way that this is not true. Not only is this false but I’m learning I don’t want to live life on top of the mountain by myself. It’s lonely up there. Who cares how beautiful it is if you have no one to share the view with?
I moved in with a married couple a few months ago. They’re a few years older than me and we’ve been friends for several years. Before you ask, it’s not weird. It’s been quite eye opening actually. I’ve learned a lot from them about young love and the early years of marriage.
The first thing I realized while living here is: I want to be loved.
I don’t say this in a toddler throwing a fit type of way. I say it in a “I want to invest in someone that will do the same in return. I want a teammate that will go through the good and bad with me.” type of way.
I want to love someone, to see the best in them and them to see the best in me. I’m pretty hard on myself. It’d be nice to have a reminder every once in while from the person I loved the most that I’m not doing so bad after all. Someone once told me one reason why God puts couples together is so the other person can help you see what God sees.
I want that and I want to chersih it. Honestly, it’s one thing I was made for and I know I’d be good at it. Why? Because I’m a tough girl. When it comes to my heart and what it’s invested in I protect, fight for and pursue those things with everything I have.
We’re terrified to admit this. We’re afraid that admitting we want to be loved and to love someone back shows that we’re weak or even worse, we’re desperate. This is not always the case at all.
Our trusty Webster friends tell us that desperate means, “Very sad and upset because of having little or no hope : feeling or showing despair.” or “involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat or frustration”
They also tell us that to be weak means, “likely to break or stop working properly : not able to handle weight, pressure, or strain.”
Here’s the thing though, we believe being tough means to be independent with no needs for anyone. What if it really means admitting you need people? That you want to love someone? And that you want someone to love you back? I think that’s more than tough. I think it’s courageous.
What if being tough means choosing to improve yourself? What if it’s choosing to become healthy and mature in ways most people avoid.
Personally, I’m working on a little bit of everything at the moment. I’m aiming to be healthier financially, spiritually, physically and emotionally. And you know what? It’s hard sometimes but I can’t keep living the way I have been. This tough girl defense is getting me nowhere.
If I could relive the past year, I’d do it in a heart beat. Take me right back to midnight on New Years Eve. I’d change things in that exact moment. Mostly, I wouldn’t be afraid. If I could go back I’d ask the hard questions during conversations and then listen. I’d go to the parties and the movie nights I was invited to. I’d invest in people. Not just my select two or three friends, but lots of people. There are so many stories and life filled moments I missed out on all because I was trying to protect myself.
Although we do want these things it is important to remember if we find love/a fitting church/friend group/new best friend, nothing will be perfect. The honey moon phase will be fun but it is important to keep growing, to be vulnerable, to actually be tough.