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Someone called me a skeptic recently.

I have never been called a skeptic by anyone. In my life. Ever. (Well, I guess until recently.)

That has never been me. I’m Miss Optimistic. The sunny side of life. Even if it ain’t sunny, hey, I ain’t complainin’. I’m in the rain doing a buck-forty, hydroplanin’. (If you get that…I love you. +10)

You catch my drift though.

I’ve always had the type of mindset that thought the best of anyone I met, because I figured there was no way they could get to know me and intend to do me harm…right? The more I thought about it, the more I realized … He’s right. I am. A skeptic. At least I am now. I can add it to the list of Learned Behaviors (along with something else I won’t mention here).

I’ve found that the closer someone gets to me, the more my expectations lower. I brace. Wait for the blow. The other shoe will fall any minute now. It reminds me of Miranda when she first met Steve (Season 2, “The Man, The Myth, the Viagra). He wanted to stay around. She pushed him away. He worked harder to be in her life, and each time she fought harder to maintain distance. When he asked why, what was her response? “I guess I’ve just kissed too many bartenders.”

Miranda never considered he could be different. At least not for real. She knew he was saying something that someone “different” might say. Maybe even doing something that someone “different” might do. But to her, he looked the same. The same as every other one who had let her down. Who had said something different before. Who had done something different before. Eventually…it worked out for her. This moment started it…remember?

"...maybe I can believe it..."

“…maybe I can believe it…”

I don’t like it. I’m not okay with being afraid of the next hurt, but I’m also not okay with being so trusting that I become the fool each time. So what’s the middle ground? Skeptical Optimist? Optimistic Skeptic? I remember when Charlotte had that feeling after she and Trey divorced. I understood that place of feeling lost. More than I want to share.

What about you? Have you been in that place? Did you pull yourself out? Did you go for broke and trust? Are you there and okay with it? Let me know, but not right now…because Scandal is about to start. …like, right now. 😉

Love,

–V

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2012,

We didn’t meet under the best circumstances. Our introduction was awkward, and tainted by deception, betrayal, and embarrassment. I felt like I was a horrible person to deserve some of the things that I had endured by the time I laid eyes on you. I felt like I had control of very little. My life was being held together by a thread…a strong thread, but a thread. I didn’t feel like I had control over anything. And I felt loved, but alone.

I learned one very key lesson from our first glance: Grace. I learned the incredible strength it takes to forgive and push forward once you’ve been wronged. I learned to look past a person’s issues and choices and see the brokenness that caused it. It was important for me to learn that lesson because at some point, I’ll need it from someone else. God allowed me a minor glimpse of what He feels daily when dealing with us… When dealing with me.

As we got to know each other better, I know now that I was hurting. Not from the actual issue present at our meeting, but from every relational issue that had ever been. Some of my fears and self-doubt were surfacing, and it was coated with the tight cap I had placed over my emotions over the last few years. I also realized that the pain from our meeting wasn’t because I had felt deeply, but because I had tried and failed. I was angry that my decision had not worked out, and I had been embarrassed in the process. But it doesn’t change the fact that I sincerely wanted to feel.

I got to know my insecurities as I spent more time with you. I had a glimpse of what I actually wanted, but deep down never thought I could attain. My friendships strengthened. I took a few risks. I used my gifts. I trusted God more. Sometimes I trusted Him less…but at least I now know where those areas are so I can remove my hands. I’d been angry. I started expressing myself in different forms.

I let someone in. Well, correction… someone got in. I was prideful and vulnerable. I was ugly and beautiful. I was hard and soft. I rejected and accepted. I made a friend. A friend who saw my insecurities and didn’t play on them. Someone who affirmed beauty in my ugly places. Someone who didn’t try to make me be… just allowed me to be… and then I was. Helped me see through some of my learned behaviors and make me miss my true personality. I trusted. That’s scary, 2012. You could have warned me that I’d be emoting through the latter part of the year. Could’ve given me some preparation for all the emotions that would come flooding back… but noooooo. I felt stripped and bare no matter how hard I tried to stay covered. And though it was frightening…it was freeing. Just inopportune.

So I’m leaving you with some similar feelings, but they’re a good negative if that makes any sense. I feel my broken places, and now I know they’re there. I won’t board them up. I’ll shine light into them and fix them. I won’t internalize rejection. I may feel lonely, but it’ll pass. And it won’t be my truth forever. I’ll be vulnerable…yet selective. I’ll be cautious…but I’ll love. And I’ll feel pain…but so help me God, it’ll be growing pain. It’ll make me better. Because in the new year, all I want to be is better.

I want that for you too. Whoever you are. So thanks, 2012. It wasn’t always pleasant, but it was necessary.

Love,

–V

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