Wednesday, May 1, 2013

And you tried to change, didn't you?

I'm breaking the kind-of-written rule that I have to talk about boys for a little bit. This is not going to be me dishing on all my dating drama (trust me, it's not pretty). But instead talking about something that I have personally struggled with since I started seriously dating (rather dealing with) men in college.

Trying to fit a specific persona to match whatever he wanted.

To give this context, watch this video:


Someone mentioned that I should watch it in a comment and I was so moved by it. I think every girl has felt like she was difficult to love. Sometimes I listen to this on repeat, especially on not-so-good days.

While the entire poem speaks to me in ways I can't even describe, the line: "And you tried to change, didn't you?"

This line holds true for things beyond just dating: wearing a certain outfit when out with a certain friend group. Sitting through a concert that hurts your ears to prove yourself as cool. Sitting up straighter and talking in a certain manner to impress a family friend.

It happens.

But with boys, it gets even trickier. You can ditch that outfit and switch back to your comfortable jeans. You can put your real favorite song on repeat during your commute to work the next morning. You can crack one of your witty jokes and let your personality shine through.

However, when you put up a certain front with a guy and build a relationship around that... it can't last. The lust wears off. The foundation everything you're standing on crumbles. It's bound to happen. And as much as you try to patch up the holes and fill in the cracks, you fall.

And you fall hard! Really, really, really hard.

Even though it's expected (because in your heart you know that this is false, not right), you hurt.

Of course, you can't go back and undo the personality change or the wardrobe change or the anything change. You have to push through and hope that, next time, you're authentic and yourself through and through.

I sometimes feel like that as I am (Type-A, high strung, emotional, borderline insane), I can't be loved. In order to be loved, I have to change something about myself. Pretend to enjoy late nights in dark bars. Or pretend that I'm okay crossing lines I'm actually not okay to cross. Or pretend that I'm not opinionated... that my career doesn't matter... or that I'm okay with being used.

But I know that... I enjoy early mornings and long breakfasts. I'm conservative and maybe even a little prude (owning this!). I have opinions. I want a career. I have feelings.

The right person will love me for everything that I am, not everything that I'm not or pretend to be.

xoxo

PS This goes for universities, best friends, employers... 

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34 comments :

  1. This post is amazing. Truly. Keep 'em coming because your blog is basically my morning (or nightly) must have to get through the day! :)

    -Meghan
    meghanbanke.com

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  2. Such an amazing post, thank you for this. I just had a conversation with a friend tonight about how many of our older friends are single and how terrified I am that this will be me, alone and searching forever, continuing to date people that use me as a filler until they find their right person. It makes me feel like i'm incapable of being someone's everything. The poem touched me in so many ways. SO incredible. <3

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  3. Carly - this post could not have come at a better time for me. Thank you for bringing things back into perspective. I especially loved this

    "But I know that... I enjoy early mornings and long breakfasts. I'm conservative and maybe even a little prude (owning this!). I have opinions. I want a career. I have feelings."

    It's so important to be who you really are all the time - especially around guys!

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  4. What a great post! I always felt this way with guys before my current boyfriend. Finally I learned to be just be me and that's what he fell in love with! It's always great to know anyone loves you for you (even if it's a friend!).

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  5. yesssss. I love everything about this.
    Also my favorite line in the poem was, "you can't make homes out of human beings"

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  6. You are fine just the way you are! As you mature you will also so when somebody is really just a user or expecting you to change in some way and you will not waste your time. Also, you are young, many of your peer group of men still need to mature. Don't worry,it will will happen.

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  7. So much truth to that poem! And in my opinion, Carly, self-respect when it comes to the physical side of dating does NOT equal being a prude. Purity (and I don't just mean virginity, but a sense of self-control and knowing who you are as a woman) is beautiful, and it invites the right kind of guy for the right reasons. Don't settle; they're out there and every girl deserves it!

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  8. I can't effectively put into words how much I love this or how much I needed at this very moment. In the past it had always bothered me to see how much females will change in order to get one guys attention, but before long, I noticed I was doing the same thing. I support and have personally felt everything you have mentioned so I understand where you are coming from.

    While I know this post is out of your normal comfort zone, it was truly refreshing and I thank you for it!

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  9. Thank you for this post! I can completely empathize with your fear - I worry that people think I'm too uptight, too high strung, that I take things too seriously. I enjoy feeling successful productive while my peers want to party in frat basements. It's a tough personality to have in college but I know it will pay off and the right person will come along eventually.

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  10. Oh...so very true but I can promise you that it will "click" soon.

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  11. I think this is something I struggle with when it comes to people other than boys. My boyfriend for some crazy reason doesn't mind my quirks 97% of the time, even when I'm being a total perfectionist and nitpicking everything. I had problems with this when I was in high school and early college, but I finally ditched the guy that I was pretending for, and decided I didn't care. I decided I'd rather be alone than be with someone that makes me miserable, and that I just wanted to have fun and be me... a few months later I met someone that wanted to do those same things with me and we've been having fun ever since! I'm quite positive that if I can find a guy that can deal with me, then you can too! I read your blog just because of the quirks and the "borderline insanity" because that's what I connect with, that's how I am too.

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  12. I'm glad that you said that trying to be different for someone would never last. This is VERY true. I mean, you want your relationship to be healthy and strong... if you never let your TRUE SELF shine through... well, like you said, it will never work. It's not a REAL relationship. And it's not fair to you either.

    You're going to find a like-minded, handsome, boy one day soon! Just stay true to who you are and you'll "find" him :)

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  13. This is exactly what I needed to read today. It's like you read my mind, Carly! Thanks!

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  14. Carly,

    I always appreciate the honesty and outspokenness in your writing!

    As a fellow Type-A gal, I can definitely relate. I think that finding a balance (between controlling and letting things go) is essential to being able to let the right person into your life. As I've gotten older, I've realized that in the moments when I've relinquished this need to control everything, this has always been when the things I've wanted in life have fallen into my lap. I hope you find someone who celebrates how fabulous you are! :)

    xo Cait

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  15. Thank you for posting this Carly. It's not even about boys really, it's about being you!

    It's the same for me in class though. I'm always the one raising my hand (or not, guilty) to answer questions and I don't even think to wait for someone else to answer. I don't assume I'm the only one who knows an answer, I'm not trying to showoff, and I don't want to discourage anyone else. I'm just in a rush to get on with topics since I understand things quickly and get bored.

    I have been actively waiting 2-3 seconds after the professor asks to give other people a chance to answer and I think it's been helping other students to speak up more. Little steps!

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  16. Agreeing with everyone else! Suchhh a good post, poem, and points that you made. Thanks for being so honest. I think every girl puts on a front depending where she is/who she's with, etc. and it isn't always the right thing. Definitely makes me think, and makes me have hope for the one that is right:).

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  17. love this post! i was never that girl that liked being out late or going to bars. i didn't date anyone in high school and didn't go to a single party. i feel very lucky to have my guy. we were friends for two years before we started dated so he knows me and loves me the way i am. he knows i am stubborn, opinionated, conservative and kind of a pain in the ass.

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  18. THANK YOU for posting this :) I watch some of my friends change for guys and it kills me. I think we all have so much to offer the world and we shouldn't have to change what we like based on something else. When we like a guy enough to try new things and work with what they like such as late mornings, etc its tough to be true to yourself and also be ok with doing things for the relationship. I think we all need a reminder to be honest with ourselves and the person we are with.

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  19. Chills. I got chills listening to this video. SO what I needed right now. I've been spending an incredible amount of time trying to live up to the person that I think everyone wants me to be instead of just embracing who I am. This was a perfect reminder that who I am is more than enough. Those who don't think so... well their opinion isn't one I'm concerned with.

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  20. This post reminds me so much of the movie, "The Ugly Truth." If you have not seen it, go find it now! It's definitely a chick flick, but it holds a powerful message that will inspire you to be yourself in the dating world. :)

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  21. For me it's not so much been with men but with employers. I mean, I'm not married and am "old" so obvi I've not had luck with men either. But being myself has never been a major issue. At new jobs though, that's what gets me. And then always always comes back to bit me in the tush when I am stuck doing my job and three more because I pretended I didn't mind doing alllll these extra unrelated tasks that first two weeks to impress a new boss!

    KK

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  22. Great post, I used to feel this way! Keep using this time to better yourself and figure out who you are and what you want. When you least expect it, it (he) will come along and it will seem too good to be true! :) stay true to yourself!

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  23. Carly, you're my spirit animal!

    Lesson I've learned: There's a difference between changing yourself BECAUSE of someone and changing FOR of someone.

    I changed my career path from bioethics and law to medicine BECAUSE I fell in love with the world my mentors and sponsors opened up to me, not because I wanted to make them happy or because I wanted them to like me more. I (almost) changed my career path from medicine to "something shorter and easier" FOR my ex-boyfriend. I wanted the relationship to work and if it didn't, it was because I was too ambitious, or too straightforward, or too opinionated, or too {insert admirable but stereotypically undesirable trait here}....

    The Gilmore Girls wisdom that gets me through:
    (LUKE): "I guess if you can find that one person, you know, who's willing to put up with all your crap, and doesn't want to change you or dress you or you know, make you eat French food, then marriage can be all right. But that's only if you find that person."

    Channel your inner Mulan and be true to your heart!

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  24. Hey Carly, this is an awesome post! It's so true that us girls try and change to please whoever. I've done it with guys, friends...you name it! But I've come to the realization lately that God made me exactly the way I am and if anyone's not comfortable with that then tough bikkies for them. I've made a conscious decision to be who I am regardless of what people might think. And hey, just so you know, what I see from reading your blog is pretty awesome! You're a capable, strong incredibly talented woman - He made you well indeed! (psalm 149:14)And those who don't see that? Well that's their loss! Be blessed! Jovita xoxo

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  25. Carly, you rock! And so do the rest of the young, wide-eyed, and ambitious women on this post!

    I used to have a big problem with making myself fit molds of people I liked or dated or heck - wanted to date - to seem more appealing. It wasn't until I realized all those failed because I wasn't being me that I vowed to never make that mistake again, there may have been a lonely 6-8 months, but in relatively short time I found someone who admired my ambitions, who thought I was crazy (cause I often am) but loved me not in spite of it, but BECAUSE of it. We're both extremely ambitious and driven in our careers and have lots of similar interests, but plenty of different ones too. So, to all the fellow type-a, extreme planners on here like myself - love isn't planned; it's a surprise, and who doesn't like a great surprise just when they need it most? Be yourself, and the people who should be in your life, will be, to the rest - they're the ones missing out, not you!

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  26. Had to comment/share day:

    The big deal with love is: it is supposed to be natural, and it can't be faked. I would say focus on the things and people you really love and a relationship surrounded by true love will be inevitable.
    xoxo
    L

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  27. I know it's sort of the fashion to state things in an exaggerated way, but I would recommend you not describe yourself as insane. I've read your blog for awhile. You're not insane. Be comfortably proud of who you are and that quiet self knowledge will draw an equal to you. Be careful what you tell yourself about who you are. I bet you know who you really are. It looks to me that you already have plenty to be proud of. Relax.

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  28. This is awesome Carly! I know you don't like posting relationship stuff, but it is so comforting to hear that you go through all this mess too. Hope things work out a bit better for you, I'd love to read more posts like this one :)

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  29. I am so glad that you posted this. It's an absolutely wonderful poem. And I absolutely agree with all that you wrote as well. It's great to see that people like you are working through these types of situations, feelings, emotions, and keeping on going. So inspiring.

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  30. this is beautiful and moving! girls need to stick together like this poem promotes, supporting all of each other's crazy quirks and reminding each other that we are all lovable!

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  31. Hitting the nail on the head once again, Carly! If you're into spoken word and like Warsan Shire and Sarah Kay's style then you will probably like Alysia Harris. This is one of my favourites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t7UsbvF4qY

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  32. Thank you so much for bringing this up. I have a hard time in wondering who my true love is. This touched me heart.

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  33. Thanks! Really amazing post. Excellent idea and thought.
    Clipping Path

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