All of me

I was thinking the other day about how, when I was in my 20s, I would try to mold myself into what I thought the guy I was interested in wanted me to be. For a while I was into bats (the cave-dwelling-flying-around sort), then I was into conservative politics, then I was into 80s metal bands. And all of the things, while interesting to my man-du-jour, were not so much interesting to me.

But I worried that maybe they wouldn't like me for me. Maybe they wouldn't like that I am a sucker for a John Hughes movie- any of them, all of them. Maybe they wouldn't like that I wore green Chuck Taylor's and overalls. Maybe they wouldn't like that I was smart or funny or sappy. Maybe they wouldn't appreciate that I can bawl my eyes out at a Hallmark commercial and that I laugh out loud when reading a funny passage in a book. And now, in my very late 30s, I realize something: maybe in trying to be someone I thought these men would like, we all missed out. They missed out discovering how much they liked me for me and I missed out on liking me for me too.

So now I've decided to be myself - a person I'm comfortable with and a person I know really well. I've decided that showing myself and my true colors will allow me to find that person who is a true match for me. Getting to know someone new through my eyes- without filters and without blinders and without pretense- is exactly where I want to be when I next fall in love. Having someone love me for my quirky over-the-top fashion sense and my obsession with my hair. Having someone appreciate how loyal I am as a friend, how passionate I can be about my work. Having someone smile as I sing out loud to Broadway musicals (all parts, all the time) and Neil Diamond and the Dixie Chicks. Having someone stand by me when I lose my temper and lose my patience and lose my cell phone and love me all the same. Having someone rejoice in me and love me fat or thin or happy or sad. All of that, all of it, is worth waiting for. And until then, I will just be me.

After all, this is the life.

- a