This addresses a topic I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while. Thanks to Twenty-Somethings for weighing in on the conversation.
Baggage. We all have it. Some of us don’t have as much and some of us are better at carrying it, but there’s no denying it’s there. I was talking to my friend the other day and she was complaining that every guy she’s met in the past few months is either divorced, a recovering addict or has children. And we’re not talking about 45-year-old men here; we’re talking about 20-somethings men.
Those are extreme examples, although very real, but seriously, what 20-somethings person doesn’t come with at least some painful or messed up history? Off the top of my head I can think of a number of people who have been in multiple-year relationships that ended dramatically, people who have moved in together and it didn’t work out, people who have exs who can’t take a hint, people who have been lied to or abused, and I can’t think of many people who haven’t been cheated on. So what are we supposed to do with all of this weight we’re holding onto? Unfortunately, unlike other things in our lives, we can’t just get rid of it because we don’t like it. It stays with us; it’s permanent. And more importantly, it’s part of who we are.
I think a lot of times we are ashamed of our past, not wanting to admit certain things because we aren’t proud of them or it hurts us to talk about or we think someone new might run away scared by it. I’ll admit to feeling all of those ways at one time or another. It’s not that we haven’t dealt with it, but is there ever an easy way for us to open ourselves up and be vulnerable to someone new?
I don’t have the answer–not even sure there is one–but I think part of the healing is in honest conversations with someone worth having those conversations with. We might be scared to tell someone about our dark past (or maybe even our present), but the right person is going to accept it and love our imperfect selves anyway. We might be afraid to let someone in out of fear of getting bruised and damaged again when we’re not even sure we’re completely whole yet, but when the right person comes along we’ll begin to believe in love, learn to trust and become complete again.
The best thing about it is that the other person will bring their baggage along too. Even though this can be unsettling, I think there’s a lot of security in knowing that you’re not alone and someone can meet you where you are. The sooner you know, the sooner you can check your bags and enjoy the ride.