Worth FIGHTING for

christaI’m Christa

…this is a piece of my story…

I’ve been boy crazy for as long as I can remember. My first boyfriend’s name was Todd, we were 7. He was the best dance partner ever, when he spun me around, my feet would leave the ground and I felt like I was flying. My first TV crush was Jerry O’Connell from My Secret Identity.

My grade 8 crush was so epic, that even though my youngest brother and sister were only three, if you ask them “Who is Tom Hawkins?” They will reply; “Christa’s grade 8 crush.” For years I was obsessed with Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

Because I didn’t really date in high school I often cried in my room for a boy to save me from my family. To take me away. To understand me better than them. I will point out that my family is amazing but as a teen I sure felt misunderstood.

I remember  watching the show Ally McBeal and thinking I would never be as pathetic as Ally and still be single at 29.

Well, I’m 32 and still single. Being single isn’t as fun as popular culture would lead you to believe. Single for me is not endless parties or bar nights. It’s not endless guys lined up for my number. Rarely is it a free dinner. It’s definitely not kissing a new guy every week. No cheesy pick-up lines, not even nice pick-up lines. I’ll be honest, I HATE dating. It is not fun for me. I hate making small talk, I’m not a big fan of first dates. I LOVE dating, once I find someone I’d like to date but those happen few and far between.

Single for me is lots of meals eaten alone. Too much TV. Lots of pity parties, lots of tears. And lots and lots of scrap booking.

It was actually scrap booking that lead me to Brave Girls Club. I had read an article in a magazine about Camp and looked them up. My heart had been broken a few times, to the point that I wasn’t even sure who I was anymore. I was ready to find that girl. Maybe if I found that girl, someone would love me.

I have taken every course Brave Girls has offered. I found my inner 8-year-old, my inner artist, my inner Brave Girl. I’ve worked really hard to find and embrace those girls. Eventually, I felt more comfortable in my own skin. I thought the girl I was, was pretty cool. Surely a nice guy would think I was pretty cool too. So I revamped my online dating profile and I got this message; “If you were invited to a food fight, what would you bring?” Best online message I had ever gotten. Mike is an adorable computer geek and we hit it off right away. We talked for hours on our first coffee date. On our first actual date he took me to the beach in the middle of winter to roast marshmallows. We shared our first kiss on that beach and it was a first kiss like you see in the movies. The kind where the girl lifts up her foot, yeah I’m pretty sure I lifted up my foot. Here was a guy whom liked that I didn’t have a cell phone, whom didn’t think Brave Girls was weird, whom was actually taking the time to get to know me. The real me.

I was falling for him and I was going to fall really hard but while he was visiting one evening he said to me;

“Blah blah blah blah blah blah the spark is missing. I don’t feel it. Blah blah blah blah blah blah.”

Just like that my hopes of no longer being single came crashing down like a house of cards. Every dream and every hope laying on the floor like a bad game of 52 pick-up. I should mention what his “Blah blah blahs” were. They are important things I needed to hear but couldn’t.

He said; “I like you, I think you are beautiful, I think you are amazing. I enjoy kissing you, you are so affectionate …” and ” I’m not sure I want anymore children and I think you would make an amazing mom and I don’t want to take that away from you.” It would take me many months to actually hear what he was saying.

To say that this experience coloured the rest of my spring and summer would be an understatement. There were days that I didn’t even want to get out of bed because if I didn’t, nothing bad would happen to me. I had a string of bad days and when I have a bad day, I have a really bad day. The thoughts of going to my brother Dan’s up coming wedding alone made me feel really sorry for myself. The thought of not slow dancing at that wedding made me even sadder ( I love slow dancing). The trip I planned to go on to Manitoulin Island – while I had planned to go alone anyway – didn’t sound all that much fun anymore. I believe that everything happens for a reason. But I could not find the reason here. I could not see the lesson. I raged against GOD, telling HIM to basically take his lesson and shove it. Whatever the lesson, I could do with out it. I even wished I’d never met Mike. I asked my Mom if something was wrong with me. I didn’t understand what all my hard work to figure out who I was, was for if it wasn’t going to get me what I most wanted. I was so angry but I was loosing my fight. You see, I’ve had to fight for everything I’ve ever got. I really didn’t want to fight anymore. How could I fight, when I didn’t even want to cut the grass.

But I am a BRAVE GIRL.

i-am-a-brave-girl

 

So I “did it anyway.” I worked on my art, I worked on my courses, I went to bridal showers, I planned trips, I cooked meals, went to yoga, cut the grass, went to work, got out of bed, smiled, shopped, crafted, sang, went to church and hugged even though my heart wasn’t always in it. Even though sometimes I had to wipe away tears first.

I walked down the aisle at Dan’s wedding with my beautiful niece Lexi, she wouldn’t walk with anyone else. And I smiled, I smiled lots.

I went on my Manitoulin Island adventure and felt so at peace there. I only had to tell the Mike in my head to; “Get lost you weren’t invited!” a few times. I played sad songs, then I played happy songs and I played them over and over.

The sad days became less and less. Then, I went to Brave Girls Camp. I drove 3536km, 36 hours, 4 days to get there. Along the way, I rediscovered the struggle of the Jewish people in modern times. I discovered the perils of settling the west; Donner Party anyone? I learned about the fight of the Mormon people for religious freedom. I learned about the struggle for women in aviation. And when I arrived in Boise my Brave Girl sisters were waiting for me. And they SAW me for who I really am. I was so loved on and continue to get loved on my them. I heard their battle stories. The BGC staff and the women that I feel so blessed to have met, have changed my life. I miss them everyday. It was okay that I cried. They loved that I was the first to meals just because I was happy not to have had to cook them myself.  They loved my rendition of “If I had a million dollars.” They hugged me. They cried with me, as I cried with them. I was meant to be there, even if I had to make that journey alone. It was worth the fight. And I felt worthy.

But when I got home, I had a major case of the Brave Girl Blues. I had changed but noting else had. I was still single. But again, a Brave Girls carries on. So I carried on. I took my BG sister Ann’s advice and I said yes to dates, even if I didn’t want to go and I wore a good bra. I took my co-worker Ester’s advice and I wore my hair down. Still, sometimes I felt like throwing in the dating towel.

It took a recent conversation with Mike (yes, THAT Mike) for me to finally get it. He told me some things that I really didn’t want to hear but needed to. And he told me some things that allowed me to hear those hard things. He told me, it would be a  shame to take myself out of the game. It would be a shame for someone to miss out on me. That no, there was nothing wrong with me, it wasn’t about that at all, it was about compatibility (something my Mom had told me too). I was a good catch; I had my stuff together, I was beautiful, I was funny, I was just independent enough. He told me that guys have a hard time in the dating world too. But he thought that I wasn’t putting myself out there enough. That the odds of finding someone you kinda liked was 1 in 36. Odds I did not like. I protested. I was putting myself out there. I was willing to go on dates, if only someone would ask. He told me that I couldn’t expect guys to always make the first move, because they wouldn’t. They were afraid of rejection just as much as I was. He also said that guys in our generation were a little bit lazy when it came to dating. He thought I needed to take more initiative (something my brother Tim had also said). If I did, then it would mean I would get to choose which guys I wanted to notice me. I left our conversation feeling defeated. Then I had a tantrum. Then I felt motivated.

dear beautiful soul your story is not over yet

 

A light went on. I might have not liked all that Mike had said but I was a Brave girl so what was I going to about it? I was going to fight, that’s what I was going to do. I was going to fight for me. Because I was WORTH fighting for. In the last week I have sent over 20 messages to guys I have thought interesting. And while nothing has really come of it yet, that’s okay I’m going to keep at it. If I have to talk to random guys in the supermarket, I will. If I have to tell everyone I know, that I am  willing to be set up, I will. I will do this not because I need saving, or don’t want to be single anymore. I will do this because I am WORTH fighting for. Me. My dreams are WORTH fighting for. How can I expect someone to fight for me, if I wouldn’t fight for myself? Love is WORTH fighting for. And when it comes a long, I’ll be ready to fight for it, for the rest of my life.

Comments

  1. Claire Miller says:

    You are so brave to share this Christa! I know what you are going through. Even though I was married for 6 years and have two wonderful sons and 5 granchildren, I haven’t had a date since 1998 – the year my Mom died. I get lonely. I have a hard time putting myself out there, and I have been hurt. I don’t want to be hurt again, but how to get past that and be brave? You are an inspiration!

  2. brenda says:

    Love your story! Keep putting yourself out there girlfriend!!! At the age of 38 I had it all together, a great job, my own home, everything except someone to share it with. When I traveled there was always an empty seat next to me on the plan. I decided to take the bull by the horns and start doing things I wanted to do, by myself. I also joined match.com and started dating (yes, you need to increase your odds). While in the midst of “dating” about 4 different men, I headed out to the theater one evening by myself, to be given a free seat by an elderly woman whose friend had cancelled – I had a lovely evening…and came home to a message on my answering machine from a man who mutual friends were trying to connect. Long story short, he & I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in November.
    Put yourself out there, kiss those frogs! The frogs are there so we can realize what we don’t want in a mate, so when our prince comes, we know it. Believe that God has a plan for you and don’t rush it. Lots of hugs Brave Girl!

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