For as long as I can remember I have always had five-year and ten-year plans. I am by nature, a planner. I planned my academic trajectories and career. But one thing I never made room for in my plans was love. This was entirely intentional. Love, to me, was not logical, so it did
not have a place in my plans. I couldn't control love, so how could I plan for it? Ultimately, this led me to put love on pause until I was ready to accept it.
Fast forward to the present and I am in my mid-30s and I have completely ignored love. I "planned" and envisioned that I would be married with some little ones by now, but I failed to do one thing: fall in love. There is no place to lay blame, this was all my doing. I cannot complain about not being love when I actively ran away from it. I put love on pause to pursue the life I dreamed of - traveling the world, studying abroad, living in Egypt, pursuing a doctoral degree, etc. I never felt as though something was "missing" but I knew I needed to address my thoughts and beliefs about love before letting someone into my heart.
*Therapy has entered the room* At the urging of my therapist, I began to unpack these emotions about love and why I was so averse to opening up to the possibility of like, let alone love. I won't bore you with details of all those sessions where my therapist was like a mama bird, gently trying to coax me out of the nest into the world of dating. And I did try, but always quit before it went anywhere. The first sign of a red flag and I was OUT OF THERE, which, I am actually quite proud of... I don't need to try and fix anyone. I tried dating apps and even went as far as a terrible matchmaking service that should be out of business. But nothing was a hit for me.
I decided that I needed to work on a different kind of love before I could explore a romantic love and that was self-love. I had been doing myself a disservice all these years and making excuses why I didn't want love because I did not think that I was deserving of a romantic love. As a way to protect myself, I embodied the idea that love was not for me, so I threw
myself into all other aspects of my life and
muffled all intimations of love. I had to get to the center of unpacking why I believed I was not worthy of love. And to be honest, I do not fully understand it, but I am actively working on it. I am building my confidence and self-worth to acknowledge and believe that I am worthy of love.
Putting love on pause was the smartest thing that I could for me. I made a choice to focus on me and loving myself before I could love anyone else. And when the time comes, I hope that my mind and heart are both ready to accept that we are deserving of love.