By: Cori McCallister, IATG ContributorAugust 30, 2016
On the night of my birth, it was only my grandmother who was beside my mother welcoming me into this world. Months earlier, my biological father left. He didn’t want me. The hard truth is this: I came into the world, and before I even took my first breath, someone did not want me. My name had not even dried on my birth certificate, and someone decided not to love me. Before doctors could even weigh me, a chip was placed on me that would be heavier than anything else I would carry in my life. I would spend the first twenty-something years of my life fighting for self-worth, aching to be loved, yearning to be enough for someone. For the man that makes up fifty percent of my DNA, the date July 28th held the future plan that he would be a father again. And he didn’t want it. He never showed up.
Today, we live in a day and age where people are deemed disposable with a swipe to the left. Our worth is determined in a matter of .8 seconds. For this reason, I have never had a Tinder or any other swipe-right-type of apps. Research shows that our attention span as a human race is dwindling. I find myself wondering, how are we supposed to hold each other? How are we supposed to be enough to receive someone’s attention and hold it? The truth is I find myself too afraid to find out.
Amongst my friend group, I’ve been notorious for finding the temporary guy. It’s almost as if an expiration date is attached to their number. When they make plans with me, I find myself immediately regretting it. What if it doesn’t come to fruition? Starting a Netflix series with someone? Out of the question, because what if they abandon me and the remaining four seasons of Park and Rec? As humans, we have a knack to want to start things with people, embedded with a need of security that they will see it through with us. It’s our survival instinct.
For me, I am too afraid to find that “’til death do us part,” because it was proven that I wasn’t good enough for someone before I was even born.
August of last year, I had to face my fear of abandonment head on. I reached for my phone and I called this guy I had been seeing. It was an invitation of messy words and tears asking him to do this thing called life with me. And he showed up. September came and went with an expiration date. After several more months, he is still here, and it has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. My insecurities aren’t always far away. I find myself calling him several times at night when my anxiety is the worst, or when I crave working out our arguments right then and there, because I’m afraid he will never come back.
However, just like any other fear, there is a truth that makes it less scary. The truth is, you cannot be afraid to start things with people because they might leave. Leaving is part of our growth – you too have left people behind. We are so desperate to measure people’s ability to love us as a token of our worth, but we forget that worth comes first. Always. And it usually starts with ourselves. The good news is, we never abandon ourselves.
Take some time today to appreciate how strong you truly are! No matter who comes and goes in your life, remember that you deserve the best this world has to offer.