As Is

Yesterday, I started reading this fantastic romance, Seven Secrets of Seduction, before work. I loved it and will discuss why I did so on my book review blog later today (as we all know I stayed up until 3am last night to finish it). Not only did it have me swooning in all the right ways, but it had me connecting with the female love interest on a really true level. She could have been me, she had the same personality, quirks and questions regarding her worth. So to see her fall in love was magical and gave me hope that one day, the same might happen to me.

Also, it gave me a bit of surprising confidence.

Later, during my work shift, a conversation with coworkers led to some reconnecting with friends on Facebook. During this reconnect, I noticed my friend was friends with a pretty attractive gentleman that caught my eye. Innocently, I creeped on his profile and determined that yes, he was definitely attractive and yes, he was single. What a surprise.

Now, normally, that would be the end of that. I would move on and continue living my life, berating myself for being creepy and odd and weird. Yet something made me pause. I figured, what would be the harm in mentioning to our mutual friend that an introduction between us wouldn’t be opposed of by me, if such an instance arose? The worse thing that would happen is that, well, nothing happens and I continue life as usual. Or, a connection could spark and who knows what would happen after that. All because I took a leap of faith and put myself out there, instead of waiting for someone to find me.

So I mentioned something, casually, trying to be smooth but feeling totally out of my element, to my aforementioned friend.

And nothing happened.

*whistles as she goes back to her eternally-single life, carrying her “Participation (But Not Really)” medal*

Except something did happen immediately after I sent that message to the cute stranger and I’s mutual friend. I felt the need to do two things: go to the gym and find a better Facebook profile picture, lest the creeping got turned back on me after my friend checked their messages. I stared at my profile picture, immediately picking out every potential flaw, as the gym was impossible to reach at that moment. I tried to think of where I could find a better photo, how I can make myself look more appealing, more beautiful, more attractive.

Only a manner of seconds passed before I realized how truly messed up that was.

Yes, the gentleman in question is an attractive dude; probably out of my league, if such measuring system possibly exists. Yet that shouldn’t matter. The size of my hips? Shouldn’t matter. The fact that it is obvious I’d rather get a second helping than work out 24/7? Shouldn’t matter. That my profile picture leans more towards cute instead of drop dead gorgeous? Yeah, shouldn’t matter, especially as I happen to really like that picture. That’s why it is my profile picture (and those of you whom are friends with me on Facebook know how often I change that thing ((hardly ever)).

Why, when I felt an odd courage to put myself out there on the dating marking, did I feel the immediate need to change myself; to subscribe to a predetermined ideal of what is considered beautiful, immediately doubting that someone I found attractive could look at me as is and have the same reaction? It’s no secret that I long for a relationship. Yet that doesn’t mean I want a man who is going to look at me and only see the things he wishes were different. I don’t want a man who I can’t be comfortable around, always wishing I was something that I’m not; something that, nine days out of ten, I don’t actually want to be. I want to be me: human, flawed, imperfect, but damn if I’m not trying. I want someone to love me as me, as that is something I want to do.

After putting myself out there, immediately feeling like I need to go and change–improve, as it were–myself isn’t the way to find a man who will love and appreciate me as is.

I always tell myself that I’ll try and actively look for someone once I’m skinnier; after I’ve been to the gym for a few months; after I learn to love myself fully; after I am financially fit; once I’ve moved into my own apartment; after I deal with this bout of depression. After, after, after. Though the small leap I took yesterday with a rare showing of courage may not look like much, it was a major step for me. And though nothing changed for me romantically, something changed for me mentally.

Perhaps…I dunno, perhaps I don’t have to wait until I have a body I love perfectly to go searching for love. Perhaps I don’t have to wait until I get my life together. Perhaps I don’t have to love myself entirely before I pour so much love into another soul. Perhaps I don’t have to wait for love because I am waiting until I have “improved myself enough” to deserve it. Perhaps, I am just enough as is; as me.

Perhaps, after 23 years of waiting for love, I can go and search for it. Whatever the hell that looks like.

Cheers.

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About Nicole Evans

Nicole Evans is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently unpublished and is working fervently to get the “un” removed from that statement. She has five completed manuscripts: a trilogy about destined heroes that fail anyway, a science fiction standalone that pits the natural desire to love against the natural instinct to kill during the extinction of the human race and a new series about a writer who can't get published and gets the chance to live a life that all writers dream. She also has two scripts done. Currently, she is about to start writing the second of a nine book series while planning two more. (If you can tell, she really likes this whole writing thing.) Considering she has run out of space for putting rejections letters up on her wall, Nicole now uses her spare time doing the typical things that nerds do: blogging, dying repeatedly during video games (which she believes is retribution for the characters’ she’s killed), wishing she was the character she is currently reading about and trying to fight off the real world by living in her own head, with varying degrees of success. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies, and works part-time as a supervisor in a library at the University of Kansas. View all posts by Nicole Evans

4 responses to “As Is

  • Jessica M

    Aw, I swear that books can play such a pivotal role in our emotional states sometimes, always in the most uncanny of ways. I know more than a handful of books that have unintentionally helped me to gain perspective and teach me something for a current bad situation.

    So I was hoping for something of a happy ending! Perhaps a to-be-continued! But in a ways, it’s good to see the lesson learned. I too (and still do) have bouts of self-consciousness where if there’s a potential of my face/image/writing/art/etc. to be presented somewhere, I’ll either a) chicken out, b) tighten up appearances, or c) remind myself that this is who I am, stop worrying what everyone else is thinking.

    C is the best option. Self-confidence is hard to come by. I feel that women especially are programmed to fit a certain image, to wear makeup a certain way, to compare their waist/hips/bust/hair/and on and on with each other, and basically become something of a chameleon to fit whatever setting they’re in. And that just destroys the self-confidence. In doing so, they don’t have an identity anymore.

    It took me a long, a very long time, to be confident of who I am. I’d say I’m about 80% confident, maybe even 85%, self-confident now: what you see is what you get, this is who I am and I’m not going to change myself to cater to something that’s just an opinion. Because at the end of the day, I’m the one in bed at night trying to go to sleep with my mind. I’m the one that has to live with myself day in and day out. Even if there’s someone beside you, whether it be for 2 hours or 24/7, it’s your opinion that you have to live with forever, not theirs.

    Now I’m just rambling. Am I making any sense?? lol! Life has a way of sneaking up on you… and love works in the same way. It comes when you don’t want it to, or when you least expect it. 12 years ago, I told myself that I don’t need a man to make me feel good, and that I am living for me and my career now instead of for everyone else and their expectations… well, you can guess who I met not even a week later! It was bittersweet. Sweet now, but I was disbelieving at first.

    The one that will love you will see through your nervousness, he will see through all of the superficial details and love you for you, not for your looks, or your paycheck, or your gym membership, or anything else except for your heart and everything that makes you you. You’re smart and beautiful, don’t ever be intimidated by or change for anybody (:

    • inkstaind13

      Oh gosh, I have a handful of books that have literally changed entire mindsets or events for me. People who claim reading doesn’t do anything or is boring just don’t realize the power reading truly has!
      Ha, trust me, me too. 😉 But at least I took that step and don’t have to question whether or not something might have happened, you know?
      Yes, that totally made sense, I loved everything you just said! It is totally helpful and I understand completely where you are coming from. This quote: “Because at the end of the day, I’m the one in bed at night trying to go to sleep with my mind. I’m the one that has to live with myself day in and day out. Even if there’s someone beside you, whether it be for 2 hours or 24/7, it’s your opinion that you have to live with forever, not theirs,” is so spot on. I absolutely *love* that and that truth is so easy to forget in the throngs of trying to figure out your own identity amidst the pressures of subscribing to a prescribed, expected, “ideal” identity pushed on you by society.
      I love your story about meeting someone at the most inopportune time, yet it worked out for the best! I’m hoping that my time of meeting The One is coming up soon. 😛
      Jessica, thank you so, so, so much. Your response means the absolute world. ❤

  • M.A. Crosbie

    YES. What she ^^^ said. You are SO deserving of love, you just haven’t found the right guy yet. But you will. I struggled (and still do) with the same kind of self-consciousness, but you just have to keep being yourself, and yeah, every once in a while do something brave and out of your comfort zone – like you did! That was huge for you to reach out like that, and hopefully he responds, but even if nothing really comes of it, you know you are capable of bold moves like that 😉

    I met my guy a few months after my dad died. I was in the lowest slump of my entire life and barely left the house. Some friends convinced me to go out with them one night, even though I REALLY didn’t feel like it – but that’s when I met my guy. So you just never know when you might bump into him 🙂

    So anyway, this is all just to say keep being your awesome self, your guy is out there somewhere, and we’re all rooting for you! 😀

    • inkstaind13

      M.A.! ❤ Thank you so much, my dear. You are absolutely fantastic. It's weird to do bold things like that, but you're right, it is such a comfort to know that I'm able to do it, even if nothing results! Because eventually, something just might! 🙂
      I'm so glad you met your man, even though it was during a hard time. I hope he has been able to help you through that time and make your day just a little bit brighter. 🙂
      You're amazing! ❤

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