Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 2: My First Love

I would have to say my first love was Robert. I won't say his last name to protect his innocence. I fell in love with Robert in first grade; I know that sounds stupid, but hear me out. Robert may have been in my kindergarten class, but I know for sure he was in my first grade class. First grade was probably my favorite year of elementary school and Robert was a big reason for that :) We use to get in trouble for talking to each other. Robert was kind of a bad kid and his name was always "on the board"; once in a while my name was on the board, but it was mostly for talking to him. We would flick bits of eraser at each other and I always tried to sit at the same table with him at lunch, where he would tell bathroom-humor jokes. Oh, childhood.

The reason I think Robert was my first love is because of what happened the summer before second grade. My elementary school use to do this thing where they would post the new classes for the new school year in the front windows. So the week before school started all the mothers would take their kids up to the school to see who their  teacher was and who else was in their class. Well, as it turned out, Robert was NOT in my second grade class. I distinctly remember  swinging on the  swingset in my family's backyard and thinking to myself: what am I going to do without Robert in my class? How  will I survive second  grade? Apparently  I've been dramatic  since birth.

I don't  remember much about  Robert  after that, but at one point when I was in either college or  grad school my mom worked with a lady who was Robert's aunt and  she emailed my mom a picture of  Robert in his  military uniform; of course my mom forwarded it to me and it was very strange to see him all grown up!

Sad to say, since my Robert days I don't know if I can really say I've been "in love". I've definitely dated, had boyfriends, and had crushes of course, but when I really think about  it, I don't think I've been in love with a man  before. That sounds  really strange and  vulnerable to me  right now. I just don't  like it when people  rush to say they're in love with someone. I don't want to mistake lust or interest for love. I know what it is like to love another person (in an unromantic way) and I sure do love my dog  (if you know me, you know that  me loving you like I love my dog is probably the highest compliment you could get), so I know what love is and  I think  I'll know it when I truly fall in love with the right  man.

Incidentally, I was watching  Dexter last night (and of course only I would make a TV show into a nerdy lesson on  self-actualization), but I thought  this was really interesting: two of the characters were talking about the men in their lives who  had hurt them. One of them said that she still sometimes missed the guy and the other one said, "You don't miss him, you miss the way he made you feel about yourself". I thought  that was profound! It made me wonder how many  women stay with men they KNOW are bad news just because  they like the way him liking them makes them  feel?

I know that for me, when a  guy likes me and is  paying attention to me, I feel wanted, loved, cared for, important, worthy  of attention -  and those are  wonderful feelings, but I think we should know that we are those things even if a guy isn't paying attention to us. Without getting too deep, I will just say that if you're struggling with wanting to feel that way and   trying to get  it from a guy (or from anything really), it might  sound   trite, but it's true - Jesus is the answer - He loves, cares for you, thinks you're worthy of all His attention, and thought you were important enough to die for - much better than any guy you will ever date or marry.

Plus, when I do  fall in love, I want it to be because I really love the man I'm falling in love with, not  because  I just love the way he makes me  feel about myself.

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