There Is No “Lost Cause”

I toured my first house today. The first house I have ever considered purchasing. On my own. Just me, alone. The thought of this huge step in my life is one that both terrifies and intrigues me; I am ready to move forward, to take on a new piece of life, but I am also hesitant as the fears of debt, moving out, and being on my own circle through my vision.

Nonetheless, I swatted the fears away and positioned myself to ponder the thought of becoming a homeowner. All in all, the property appeared very agreeable. The lot was adorable, the barn was magnificent, and the location was unbeatable. And even though the house had a Walking-Dead-feel to it, there was a prospect of renovation when looking from the outside.

Unfortunately, yet thankfully, the home was decidedly more uninhabitable than first perceived. It was not until I ventured through the front door that I knew the prospect on living there was futile. The floor literally sank as I stepped into the kitchen. An inch of dead flies hung by webs in the windows, the house reeked of mildew coming from the flooded basement, and the upstairs bedrooms sloped in a Funhouse sort of fashion. The outside held promise, but the inside held despair; some things are just not meant to be fixed.

It has become a common belief in society that no matter how smart, kind, and caring as you or I may be, we can’t fix everything or everyone. Broken trust, broken hearts, life-altering decisions, split second tragedies, all are unfortunate circumstances in life that happen on a day-to-day basis. Some can happen in an instant while others build slowly over years of hard effort. But one thing is certain: sometimes the best we give is just not enough.

And so we are taught to think, “There are things that simply cannot be fixed.” Consider a broken mirror. No matter how much effort is put into gluing the pieces back together, the mirror will continue to be distorted. It is the same with life. When someone is hurt or loses trust, there will always be an edge of doubt in their mind. When a couple breaks up, they usually go their separate ways. When someone dies they remain dead. History cannot be changed. However, a person’s future outlook, behaviors, and environment can change.

But what do we do when we believe we’ve found a lost cause?

To some, giving up may seem the likely option. Why try when everything seems to be pushing against you? There is almost a sense of relief when you accept what you believe is inevitable. Just feel the pain that is meant to be experienced. Don’t fix it. Don’t avoid it. Just suffer until the pain is over. Leave the broken pieces behind and move on.

I do not believe in a lost cause, though. I believe everything and everyone has the power to become better, no matter how broken it or they appear to be. I believe everything has the potential of changing. Whether you must bend, twist, or start from scratch; anything that is broken has the potential of being better.

And how do you push for this better when all else seems lost?

Do the best you can! Accept that some things are not meant to be completely and wholly fixed, and do what you can to piece the problem back together. The result might be completely altered from the original form, but that doesn’t mean its worthless.

Offer love and friendship to a friend or family member who is hurting. Show them that there is positivity in every situation, even if they can only see the darkness right now. Be understanding of the pain they are experiencing, and stay persistent as that hurt will probably hang around for a bit.

There is no need to be perfect. Even the broken mirror can still be used to see yourself smile. Even the falling down farmhouse can be leveled and built into a beautiful structure. Nothing is lost, only waiting for some creativity to piece it into something better.

Is there something you’re struggling with that seemingly can’t be fixed? Is there any relief in the idea that you cannot fix it, or do you push forward and do the best you can?

“It’s not me, it’s you.”

I’m making a pact with myself to not write about Army for the rest of the month. After this post, he is out of sight and out of mind. Starting today I begin focusing on my own life, apart from him being in it, and looking forward to a brighter future. I’m prepared to move on, whatever that entails, and I’m not looking behind me any longer.

However, I did say after this post. Catch that? So here’s my final say as I lay down the hammer and walk away from my poorly constructed relationship. This is me finally speaking up and saying out loud, “It wasn’t me, it was you.”

My friends and I decided to join Tinder during one of our girls’ nights last week as a laugh. If you have never had the pleasure of reading Tinder pickup line fails, then I highly recommend you doing so. It is ridiculous what some men (and even some women) will go through just to hook up with someone. There is no cheesier place than Tinder, and did we get a lot of giggles out of the app!

The app only lasted on my phone for a day or two. I had my fill of pervish inquiries, and once I was no longer with friends the app just felt guilty in my hands. This was not how I was going to find a partner, let alone a simple friend. But the app revealed an impacting thought on how the dating scene works nowadays: first impressions are all about physical attractiveness. One’s personality really has no basis when it comes to someone wanting to be with you; the opposite sex has to like what he or she sees first before trying to explore anything further.

This revelation was utterly demeaning to me. I mean, I think I’m fairly attractive, but I also believe my personality is the winning point. It’s easy to spot a pretty girl with a great body from across the bar. But, what you can’t tell by just looking at her, is the size of her heart. A large and caring heart is a very rare thing to find, and something you should never let go if you’re lucky enough to have someone with it.

One of my best friends and I had a long discussion on why things went the way they did with Army. And though I’ll never have a complete answer, she did give me a lot to think about it terms of myself. She called me the strongest woman she knows in an emotional sense, and someone with the biggest heart she’s ever known. She said I’m the friend friends wish they could be. Yet, even after I gave her a skeptical look, she continued on by explaining exactly how I am these things. And her response was one of the most self-realizing revelations I’ve ever had. She took specific points she knew of Army’s and my relationship and explained…

  • A girl with a large heart is thoughtful. She always remembers the little details, even the drill dates you told her about a month ago. And when she asked how your work day went, she actually wants to know — it isn’t because she feels she has to to be polite. She will surprise you with your favorite treats (like an expensive beer and Crown cake) simply because she wants you to smile and know she was thinking of you.
  • A girl with a large heart appreciates every little thing you do. Whether it’s a simple text saying “have a good day!” or stopping by to surprise her with an impromptu rendezvous with your family, she’s quick to realize it and thank you for your sincerity. She also isn’t overly concerned about the price tag but rather the quality of your presence in her life. A picnic on the beach or night under the stars are some the best presents you can give this girl. It’s the thought and the effort put into making her smile that’s important.
  • A girl with a large heart is perfectly comfortable with keeping it simple. Everyone loves a nice, romantic date from time to time, but this girl is more than happy to spend a night in with you, cuddling and watching Netflix.
  • A girl with a large heart loves your family as if they were her own. She’s the first one to thank your mother for making dinner, and she’ll bring flowers to adorn your parent’s kitchen just because she can. She’s the first to call up your brothers and invite them to the latest community event. She also understands that you need your “guy time” and is always the first to tell you to go hang out with your boys for the night. Not surprisingly, she’s also more than willing to meet your friends — and include them into her already socially busy life as well.
  • A girl with a large heart has an undeniable presence. Though she never tried to be the center of attention, this girl always knows someone everywhere you go. Her smile is contagious, and she’s always there to help others with their problems and is the one person everyone goes to for advice. You probably hear it a lot — from your family, friends, her friends, strangers — that you’re one lucky guy. The depth of her heart is never-ending and it’s obvious she puts herself above others in all aspects of her life.
  • A girl with a large heart is the type of person you can plan a forever with simply because she is a friend above all else. She’s the one person you are able to let your guard down around and de-stress. She listens intently to your problems and discusses different solutions openly and without judgment. She gives you your space when needed, but you know she is always there should the need arise. There’s no need to keep up the tough guy act around her. She is your best friend, girlfriend, and will be a fabulous mother to your future children.

When she painted this clear image for me, I can’t help but toot my own horn a bit: I am a damn good girlfriend. Yet this only makes me more confused as to why I am now single and the person I held so highly in my heart no longer wants me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my faults. Great faults that make some of my closest friends and family want to wring my neck. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I’m also far from the worst. I am always looking to better myself, and I was more than willing to take critical criticism from those in relationship with me. That is how love should work; both parties grow together for the better of themselves and their relationship.

Looking back, I’m not sure if Army ever got past the physical attraction part of our relationship to appreciate all I have to offer as a person. It is nice to hear people tell you that you look good, that you’re beautiful, that they want you. At the beginning I was complimented regularly, but that died rather quickly. Instead, I heard them about other people, other girls, other friends.

Perhaps I’m simply trying to make excuses for him, but I feel he lost hope in our relationship due to his interest in me being rather shallow. There are a lot of beautiful women in the world, but beauty usually only goes so deep. Personally, I am happy that I am attractive “enough” on the outside,  but I am proud that I carry a beautiful heart as well. The fact that this man I loved never took the time to fully appreciate this fact about me is what I will use to move on.

Being in my twenties, I’m not looking for the typical “high school relationship”. I don’t want nor do I need a boyfriend simply to say I have one. I am looking for a life partner, someone who will be with me until death because he loves every aspect of me, down to those annoying and craze-inducing faults. I want someone who loves my brains, beauty, and beliefs.

When we broke up, Army said I was the ideal girlfriend. However, if he truly believed that he wouldn’t have tossed me aside. He would have fought for me. He should have fought for me.

I suppose that’s what break ups are though, painful little jolts in our lives that make absolutely zero sense. I don’t understand how Army and I went from happy to separated in a week. I don’t understand how he can tell me he loves me but want to be alone. I don’t understand why my life abruptly changed.

I do know one thing though: this time it wasn’t me, it was him. And guess what? I am okay with that. I am okay that he walked away, because in the end he wasn’t who I thought he was and that’s not who want.