This isn’t about two paths diverging in a yellow wood, well, maybe. I am the path less traveled, the path with the most risk. My path is shrouded in shadow, large trees lay felled at your feet. There you shall encounter vast stretches of jagged and near impassible terrain. However, supple fruit hangs above, just out of reach.
At seventeen, I was told something that has continued to resonate. The ‘will they-won’t they’ tussle between my longtime beloved and myself had reached its zenith. A gleaming moment in time, once again dissipating into rings of smoke. In an odd twist of fate, it would be of all people, his own mother, providing wisdom. You’re too independent.
Understand now, that she didn’t mean it as an insult or condemnation. Looking back I’m sure I scowled. She went on to explain. You will never be the damsel in distress, the princess who needs to be rescued. You’re too strong.
My scowl turned to distant thought as my mind scrolled through his past relationships. I analyzed his armor-less, amours. They would never be Queens at his side. They would be delicate, meek and subservient. Their weakness made me shudder.
Subsequently, due to this simple conversation, I have spent the last fifteen years evaluating his and other’s partner choices. What role do they fill? Unfortunately this can quickly spiral out of control into, why didn’t I fit the role?
“You know that feeling when you’re not sure what you want and you go for the safe bet?”
It was the beginning of an apology that came far too late. Different man, same well known song and dance. Messages that I have squirreled away for when I want to pour bleach into a wound.
The following messages were riddled with flowery compliments and proclamations of affections. The words slipped through the screen and fell to the floor. The all too familiar juxtaposition of how can someone be great and wonderful but not good enough?
Good enough isn’t the problem. Funny how you can read, or be told something hundreds of times but it never hits until the precise, divine moment. The idea that love didn’t hurt you- somebody who didn’t know how to love you, hurt you. Or even, just because something is good doesn’t make it right.
I will never be the safe bet, the easy choice. And, to all the other girls who aren’t the easy choice, I see you. You’re the women who don’t wait for men to bring you flowers, you plant your own garden.