I believe you're given lessons of life every single day, whether it be in forms of conversations with friends, messages from strangers, your own thoughts, what have you--every day, the Universe gives you a sign. The problem is you won't really absorb that message until you're personally ready to receive it.
It's no secret now that I've struggled with self-worth for a while, and that had a lot to do with why I was making shitty decisions with my dating life.
Every single time, a friend of mine, or even someone I don't even know that well, would tell me things about how awesome I am, and I wouldn't really accept it, as if I'm not allowed to be that awesome person you're speaking of.
WTF is that about?
I kept asking myself questions like: Why can't I see what everyone else sees? Why can't I admire my substantial qualities? Why can I wholeheartedly and completely love someone else (and sometimes someone who is so undeserving of my love), yet I cannot begin to wholeheartedly and completely love myself?
Luckily, a sequence of events in recent months happened that, when put together, really gave me a slap in the face and helped me finally cross over this bridge.
You always think it's going to be some magical moment when the stars align and there's some transcendental experience that just puts everything in perspective. At least that's what I thought because you know I'm hella dramatic when it comes to the way my life is played out in my head.
But it was nothing like that. It was just another day. And I wanted to play basketball.
My old neighbor came over so we could go shoot around, and while we were in the car, we had our usual back-and-forth about dating in the modern age and everything that goes along with it.
That's when my moment began.
I started explaining how I felt like because I have a lot going on for me, it works against me, because I meet guys and they're either intimidated or aren't ready or whatever, and I'm just kinda stuck here like, OK, cool. Sorry I have my shit together?
And that's when he told me that I was right. He said when a guy meets someone like me, they already know I'm the settling down type, and that's scary, because it forces them to think longterm. I can understand that.
And then he said, "Bruna, you're attractive, you have a good job, you're funny, and you're cool as f--k."
That's when it hit me. Cool as f--k.
I'm driving down the street and thinking to myself, "Bruna, you really are cool as f--k."
I don't know why it was those three specific words (although I do find it to be a huge compliment LOL) but the puzzle pieces just seemed to finally be put together.
It wasn't the first time someone told me I was "cool as f--k," but it was the first time I let myself believe it.
Fast-forward about a month, and I got the heartbreaking news that my mentor Scott Carter passed away. It hit me like a moving train, and I'm still dealing with the reality that our meaningful conversations, our lunch dates, his big bear hugs and kisses on my head are never coming back.
What I have left are a few pictures, some audio CDs (he was a radio guy, so he'd make me audio clips constantly), the memories, and hundreds of emails. I never deleted an email from him, because each one had something worth re-reading.
He was between 40-50 years my senior, but he never acted that way. He had this undeniable ability to connect with young people in a way that made him both an extraordinary mentor and a dear friend. I loved how special he made everyone around him feel, and I was no exception.
He'd tell me in every single message, after reading my blog posts, how great I am and how one day I'm going to find a man who sees that and appreciates that and makes me feel all of the beautiful things he felt with his wife.
"I love your honesty and your comments about putting yourself out there. But the biggest problem you have is that you scare the shit out of most young men. You’re gorgeous – extremely intelligent – direct & honest – sensual as hell -- and a visible presence in the world. Most young men have zero idea of how to deal with that – they’re having enough trouble just fitting into the image of what they think they ought to be."
"You are now coming into that magnificent time of your life when I truly believe you will find a partner who WILL have your back. It ain't easy -- it takes time -- but you will find it and I'm pulling for you. I'm an Old Fart -- my time is over -- but it's been a full life and I take great comfort in the loves I've had and the friendships and affection I still have. It's your turn -- and it Will happen. Can't wait to see the look on your face when it happens. Believe me -- it WILL change the way you look -- a sense of security and contentment will fill beyond anything I could try to describe -- and I'll know it when I see it."
And now, I finally believe it.
My name is Bruna. I am emotional because I feel everything deeply. I love unconditionally. I give my heart to those I think need it, and struggle to take it back after they leave. I care to the point of no return. I give people the benefit of the doubt. I was searching for someone to love me, so that I could feel like I am someone worth loving.
But not anymore.
My name is Bruna. I am emotional because I feel everything deeply. I love unconditionally. I give my heart to those I think need it, and I will begin to gratefully take it back should they choose to leave. Because I know I am a fixture. I am permanent. Whether I am there physically or not, I will be there in their minds. I am one of one. There is no one like me, and if someone I give my heart to chooses they aren't ready for it and leaves, then I will let them go freely, because not everyone can handle my depth and my being.
And that's OK.
I know what I bring to the table, and it's a dish not served everywhere. It's an acquired taste. I will no longer spend my time and energy trying to figure out why people can't handle me, and instead, praise those who always come back for more because they know the richness I embody.
My name is Bruna, and I can finally say with honesty, I love myself.