Not What You Got, It’s What You Give

I am not the girl who gets–not the boy, the joke, the invite, the crown. If there are three things in my life I know to be true, that’s one of them.

The other two?

Karma and Soulmates.

Karma’s a pretty easy one for me: you receive from the universe what you put out into it. My life may not better or worse than it was when I was sixteen, but I’m a lot happier now because I’m a lot less angsty–and, so, it feels a lot better.

Soulmates is a little harder, because my views on it have changed. I used to think you only had one soulmate. That they were your Forever. But I think it’s probably (a lot) more complicated than that.

There’s Binta. She’s my Soulmate. She’s been my best friend since sixth grade and she gets me so well I usually introduce her as my sister, or my soulmate–not my friend. She and I have suffered through enough similar traumas that we have always inherently understood each other.

Then there’s Kayla. She’s my Soulmate. She’s also my polar opposite. She grew up in a progressive, religious, lower upper class household with two parents who’ve been married since college. She has always known privilege in ways I never will, and she is my best friend. On an intellectual level, we’ve always understood each other.

Then there’s N.A.U.L. Or–Mark. He’s my Soulmate. I used to think I was gonna spend my life with him. But over the past two months I’ve realized why we have built and maintained our friendship.

He reminds me of my dad. He has a lot of the same addiction problems. He ignores his feelings the way my dad did. He’s what my dad would’ve been like if my dad had had me in his life.

Which is to say–better.

I love him because he needs me. Because if I was not there to be his Panic Attack Battle Buddy, to talk him down from suicidal thoughts, to listen when he wants to talk about his problems–he would be dead. And so I do the only thing I know how to do in response to a situation like that. I open my heart and I love. I love him. But–and this had taken me awhile to understand–I am not in love with him.

I am not the girl who gets. I give. Unconditionally and to a fault.

I have so many pieces of me that I’m willing to give that it doesn’t even make sense that I would have only one Soulmate. There are so many parts of me to give. It’s hard to do that, to want that One Soulmate Forever Meant to Be, when you feel like you don’t get anything in return.

Recently I’ve been getting. I’ve been feeling valued. I’ve been finding value in myself. And having it reinforced from others.

It’s been amazing. And weird. I spend time with people I care about because I want to, and because I feel like they want to be around me. But when I leave them, my anxiety spikes. Should I have said what I did? Should I have done that? Do they think I’m annoying now? Should I just stop participating?

But I don’t. I’ll keep trying. Because I think I might be getting.

And it feels pretty damn good.

-HH

P.S. Thank you Tesla (the band) for my koala-tea blog-post-title.

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