Love, Insecurity and a Quest to Be Better

Love is not something I have been in very often. There was the occasional person, here and there, who I vaguely had feelings for, but outright love? Probably not. An ex-girlfriend in the past, sure, but if I were to be honest with myself, that was more lust than love. The occasional crush here and there, but again — faint attraction. Not love. Nothing I could call love, nothing that resembled it.

And now I have fallen.

Love, in all its many definitions, is a thing of vulnerability. It’s an opening of the softest part of the person, an admission to the screaming, passionate voices within you that you might otherwise hide away for fear of being left out in the open, unless you be that rare individual so vocal as to share their innermost self with the rest of the world. It’s a beautiful reveal and while the person may occasionally spiral and fall into their vulnerabilities, they can always count on being caught on the other side.

I am in love. Now that I am in love, I find myself admitting to insecurities I never even knew I had, insecurities that have been broiling under the surface, never before addressed but sorely in need of addressing. You’re not a good enough person to be loved, says one. You’re annoying, says another, so you better not be annoying otherwise your lover will leave you. Check who you are. Check how you are. You, you need to be a better person, lest that person you hold most precious decide that you are just not worth the trouble.

In these doubting times, I have learned something. I have learned a lesson I’m glad to have learned, a lesson I need to take to heart. My lover did not fall in love with me because I’m the person I aspire to be, no, that person is not yet here. They did not fall in love with me for some aggrandized, dream version of the me that stands here today, no, they did not fall for that person. They fell in love with me, the incomplete me, the broken me, the me who might not be the best writer, best artist, smartest guy on the planet, who might, at times, be a little on the chatty and talkative and excessively exuberant and annoying side, and I fell in love with them, them in their incompleteness. It’s pointless to hold myself to a standard that doesn’t exist yet because that’s not the person my lover fell in love with. I should just be myself.

Of course, this isn’t to say that we can’t all stand to improve. Do I feel like I need to be a better writer? Sure, so work on it, but don’t let it get to you. Do you think you talk to much? Maybe you do, but don’t beat yourself up about it — communicate properly. Can you stand to improve, stand to be a better person, stand to be a better version of the me that I already am? Yes, yes I can, but I mustn’t forget the me that I am today is loved, loved greatly, loved profoundly, and that that me is the me that I am allowed to be every single day of my life.

So love yourself. Be honest to yourself. This is a letter to whoever is reading this, and a letter most especially to myself.

Environmentalist, culture conservationist, essayist. Development studies graduate. A collector of stories.

Environmentalist, culture conservationist, essayist. Development studies graduate. A collector of stories.