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10.17.2012

the asking.



A good long while ago I liked a man, the reasons for which now somehow inexplicable. But such is the kindness and clarity of time—of knowing just enough or just a-little-too-much when all is said and done.

Because when the said-and-done had come he was not the right guy. He was not even a good guy. But before I knew too much or even just enough, I thought maybe.

And he thought maybe.

And together we lived in that delicious and fertile place that a maybe is--until we found ourselves on opposite sides of the same answer: no.  

Absolutely not.

And there in the wake of the said-and-done in the land where maybe became a no was the exposed mettle of a man just not good enough.

But I was lonely and had so long accepted his meager kindnesses that I confused his not good enough with my not good enough and that became the story I told myself. That I was not good enough.

Of the few men I’ve known and loved and cared for in this life I’ve stood before each and every one of them and asked them to love me. Not really asking, of course. Not giving voice to what fear rendered silent and desperate. But asking in the absence of those words. Asking in the silence of what I was too afraid to say. I asked by simply not having the courage to assert my worth.

And then I accepted their small and selfish answers.

Yes, but not now.

A little, but not enough.

Not really, but I’ll do what I can to make you think that I do.

None of these things stated explicitly, but derived from the morse code that is shifting feet, hands in pockets, half-smiles, gentle bows of the head.

But it was the asking that was the problem. Even more than the answers. It was the asking that unraveled whatever might have been.

31 comments:

Chicago girl moves on said...

yes. yes. i love this.

Anonymous said...

Girrrrrrl... there should be a support group for all of us who have done this.

Kerri said...

This brought me back so clearly to a time during my junior year of college in which I convinced myself that I loved a guy who was not enough and that he loved me, though he did not. That is, until I stated my intention explicitly, and he told me he hoped it would never come to that. I suppose the inbetween of dragging me along was all he really wanted. Thank you for this post... always good to know we're not alone in these things.

jackie said...

The best kind of love is the kind that will just do it without you asking. Once it's there, it's okay to ask for a little more of a certain way, because no love is perfect, but that raw, true, honest love should come naturally. and it will, someday.

Sam | ashore said...

Meg, I can't tell you how much this line resounded with me : "I confused his not good enough with my not good enough and that became the story I told myself". Thanks for that.

Diana said...

I love this, and I relate completely.

I once read somewhere that the RIGHT person will love you long before you even think to ask. I believe that. I believe it for you and I believe it for me. Anyone in our lives before that right person is just charged with challenging us to grow and learn.

Francesca Forzoni said...

beautiful meg x

L.A. said...

I love this post. How many of us women have been in this situation a time or two throughout our lives? How many of us have asked the wrong question time and time again? Or just accepted insufficient answers? I know I have.

Is that society's fault? Is it ours? Or do we all just have to learn through different experiences, at different rates, at different stages of our lives how to ask the right question?

I agree with what Jackie was saying above. & I think I'm just finally at the point where I've realized that I deserve that and am worth not settling for less than that. & Meg, I am so glad you're there too. & that through beautiful posts like this one you're inspiring other women to learn to ask the right way and to only accept answers that are worthy of them.

Thank you, Meg.

Jo said...

yes! and thank you for putting this into words!

Irene said...

Stunningly written. I feel like that's often the major crux of life - finding out if we are, indeed, enough.

Taylor Yves said...

i agree 100%. also meg your bangs are so, so right.

beautifulnest said...

your writing is so amazing... i really loved reading this. it's good to know other girls out there can relate... ;)

xx, kara

Lola said...

Such beauty and truth to your writing.

Kerry said...

yes. yes yes yes. such a gift you have to be able to share these words with so many people. such a gift to be able to say you are good enough, you are worthy. thanks for sharing :)

sarah nicole said...

Cheryl Strayed speaks to this in Tiny, Beautiful Things I believe - that you should never ask someone to love you? It resonated with me. I've done it so many times, when really, I needed to ask myself if I really loved him. If I really loved me. It's all so tricky, isn't it?

We'll figure it out.

Sarah

MissKate said...

Everything you write has an inexplicable moving quality.

sharlyn emily said...

this broke my heart right in two. I am so there. right now I am there. "a little, but not enough" god damnit, I am there.

Sara said...

Oh Meg, this whole post had me thinking: "No!". No man should be lifted up to the level of godly, where you need to prove to him that you are "good enough". You've known guys who are "not good enough" for you, right? Do you think your feelings towards him should lower his self-worth? Absolutely not. Because you know damn well that he's going to turn the corner, and run into the girl who sees him as more than enough.

Emily Lauren said...

i know. oh, how i know.

The Indie said...

Wow, I love this. The honesty of it, the beauty of your words. Unfortunately, when we don't love correctly, this is surely what happens. "A little, but not enough" was a huge pattern for me, and I hope in my future it can remain a "was".

The Indie Byline

Xteena said...

So true. I am also impressed that you were able to come to this on your own. I think that while I had realized and was working on it, I only was fully able to hold to it when the one that DOES love me enough without my asking came into the picture, and I realized, OH. This is how it's supposed to be. I'd like to hope that if things change and I find myself on my own again I'd be able to keep this feeling you describe, this knowing that I AM enough. So maybe I'll keep this little entry around to remind myself just in case.

chrissy said...

i'm so grateful you share your talents with all of us readers. We love reading your words because you put onto paper so beautifully and poignantly is exactly what we have trouble even explaining in words.

Treasure Tromp said...

I can't get over your beautiful way with words.

Anonymous said...

Really powerful Meg, I had quite the lightbulb moment just now.

Unknown said...

this brought me to tears because it's been me for the last three years.

Lynne Gillis said...

You have an extraordinary gift for capturing the true essence of everything - especially those things that often go unnamed... those unnamed things which are at the core of it. I love this. Thank you for bringing so much clarity to a space that I've been wrestling with in my heart and my head for far too long. It is indeed in the asking that has unraveled things that might have been.

elledoubleyouu said...

To this post I say: a thousand times yes.

Gail said...

Oh my goodness I adore this. So true and so very well said.

Shawnee said...

wow. just, wow. you are a beautiful writer.

*cho said...

i love this. and just sent it to a bunch of girlfriends who i think will benefit from your perspective here.

Mercy Mkhana said...

Wow, this just clearly magnified my current situation AND the decision that I have to make. Thank you.