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A Lesson in Humility… in Self-Love

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Being the oldest of four children, the one word I heard most while growing up was Share. Yes, Share was said even more than Quiet. Well, sometimes.

Everything was shared, from my room to my hair barrettes; right down to the personal pan pizza redeemed for meeting my Book It! quota. But one of the first lessons in sharing was learned in sharing attention. I was four years old when I became a big sister. At first I struggled with the fact there was a new kid on the block. Better yet, in my bedroom. The baby took all of Mom and Dad’s time. I couldn’t laugh as loud as I wanted as before without getting shushed. The baby was sleeping. The baby called the shots and we were all at her whim.

I was fed up and hid her clothes, hoping she was disappear too. My mother explained that my parents still loved me, but I was no longer an only child. Being a good big sister meant understanding that not everything was about me anymore. But to my five year old ears, anymore meant never again.

I never wanted her to feel bad or upset, so I let her win at every game we played. I gave her the first and last cookie. I gave the clothes off my Barbie’s back. As I started to make everything about her, I slowly dimmed myself.

Putting her first made me feel like I was being a good big sister. A good daughter. This carried over to my life outside of home. Being one of the few kids in my Kingergarten class who could read, I felt guilty reading aloud, worried that I’d somehow hurt the other students’ feelings. I hid my high test scores from my classmates. My cheeks would flush embarrassment when I was praised in front of my peers. I felt that my achievements were nothing to be proud of because they put me ahead of others. Every wonderful thing I did was followed by a It’s not a big deal or It’s nothing special.

I had it all wrong. I was not being humble or modest, I was being self-deprecating at every turn. I had replaced It’s with I. The more I said it, the more I believed. I felt everyone was more deserving, more beautiful, more worthy. I had made myself Quasimodo in my own Notre Dame, ringing the bells and singing the praises of others, never of myself.

I dumbed myself down for my dating partners, whispered my ideas at work. By midday my eyeliner and lipgloss would be smeared off my face and onto a tissue. Attention, of any kind, made me anxious. It felt wrong to be noticed. I felt more comfortable in the background, playing Cyrano and pushed my ideas through others who I felt had more of a voice.

I’m still struggling with this, but have learned that hiding me: my thoughts, feelings and talents is extremely selfish. One person being inspired by something I do, say, or write is more valuable than hording my gifts to myself. Denying my greatness does no one any favors and only does to me a disservice. Humility comes with the connotation of respect not disrespect of oneself.

My sister graduates college this year as the most decorated athlete in her university’s history. I will be there to cheer her on. Cheers coming from a place of balance, self-respect, but most importantly love.

photo © Anders Lundstedt | Dreamstime.com

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Aside

One summer, when I was young, my family passed by the Twin Towers. I begged my mother to go inside, but being that we were short on time, she assured me that I’d get to go later, because “The WTC isn’t going anywhere.”

Ten years ago, the towers were lost along with the lives of many loved ones. Condolences to those who lost. RIP to those who passed. Live now, love now to everyone.

9.11

Aside

Yes, it has been a terribly long time… and the hibernation is now over!

There was no soul searching. No metaphysical ruminations. All it took was a Women of Google+ hangout to inspire me to get my butt back in gear. I’m done hiding out. I’m comfortable sharing my ideas online and here is where I belong.

So, what does that mean for Cupid’s Eros? A lot. The posts will have to take a bit of a back seat for right now as I work on getting the layout/theme just right. But I will be around, so enjoy my past posts, leave comments, start discussions and I’ll let you know when new content is up.

There’s more! So. much. more!

XO,
K

Finally… revamp to Cupid’s Eros coming soon!

New direction…

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I know it has been quite some time since I have posted… Heck, it’s been a long time since I have written anything.

Originally, Cupid’s Eros was to be a love blog of sorts. Not love advice, but a chronicle of the journey, my journey, to love. I’m not sure if people understood this, but all my stories on Cupid’s Eros were past events. I was in a relationship when I started the blog and wanting to find humor in every situation, thought it would be fun to recount the tales of all the awkward dates, poor choices, and straight-up weirdness that led me to my present (but now past) situation. Well, things did not quite turn out as I had hoped and as I never felt quite comfortable writing about present-day life matters, the writing came to a halt. Out of respect for myself and my dates, I could not bring myself to blab about my current (and again, now past) dating adventures. So Cupid’s Eros sat and collected dust… kind of like my love life. Eerie.

I’ll be honest though, you didn’t miss much. I putted through dates like a game of half-hearted mini golf. Everyone encouraged me to get back out There, and I still have not found just where this mythical There is. But, my pursuit of the Land of There lead me to sitting in a bar, on a date with this man who scratched his balls at the rate a human baby blinks. These were not minor adjustments… he was scratching with a deep digging vigor one does when trying to get pasta sauce out of one’s brand new cream-colored carpet. First and last date. Another time, I found myself sitting across the table from a man who let the check sit on the table for eons while bouncing his eyes from me, to the check, to his watch, and back to me. Only when I gestured to pick up the tab, does he say, “I’ll treat you. I normally don’t do this. I’m not going to go gaga over you, I know better.” Oh really, dude? First and last date.

Each date was more lackluster than the previous which ultimately lead me to dating someone I had known for years, but never paid very much attention to… myself. I took myself on vacation, twice, to places I had forever longed to see. I started to learn more about who I am, how I am, and what made me attractive in my own right. I learned that I am as fearless as I am chicken. As agile as I am clumsy. As “fantastically romantic”, as one friend called me, as I am a total goofball. In the past, I had never actively sought out a partner. I went about my normal life and if I happened to meet someone I wanted to be with and who felt the same about me, we got together. I was forcing myself to go on dates, forcing myself to find someone I liked and ended up not liking anyone, at times, not even myself. My turning my love and attention inward had led me to live again as my most authentic self.

So what does this have to do with Cupid’s Eros? For starters, no more date stories. Yeah, I know. **Tragic. But, I will be sharing my travel stories and general ideas and thoughts on growing into my mid-twenties. It will be a potpourri, little bits and pieces that contribute to a whole, lovely sweet-smelling experience. When I finally get my dSLR (I’ve been dreaming of the Canon T2i for some time), I’ll share my photography. For now, you’ll have to settle for a photo I took while in San Juan, on my first solo vacation, this October.

It was my first day in Puerto Rico and I was still in New York City mode. I hurried down the street like a mall speedwalker. I wasn’t making eye contact with anyone and mumbled a rushed Buenas to those who passed, until I saw this Stop sign. It had dawned on me that I had never seen a Stop sign in a language other than English, so I took a photo of it. Standing in the middle of the street, adjusting my camera settings, I had finally stopped. I heard the Coquis, the waves, and stopped worrying that I looked like the ultimate tourist taking a picture of a traffic sign. On the walk back to the hotel, I took my time and enjoyed the streets and residents of Condado, greeting and returning a genuine greeting of Buenas.

**said in my most sarcastic voice.