Raise your hand if you are ready to see me make an ass of myself for the good of mankind…One. More. Time!
Well then sit back, grab a drink and join me for a ride on the life lesson train, Sugarpants. The tickets are free.
During my sophomore year of college, I went home for awhile due to an illness. I was seven layers of stressed and depressed and my body was taking the brunt of it. They were dark, dark times.
In all of his awesomeness, my friend Chad visited almost every weekend. My parents loved him (mostly for “dealing” with their bitchy daughter) and like every weekend, my mom had his favorite dessert waiting for him.
This weekend was no different than others. It was Saturday afternoon and my mood was channeling Grumpy Smurf (as it usually was during that time). My mom pulled out the cherry cheesecake and asked me to serve it while she tended to Chad’s every need, hoping that he would become her future son-in-law.
Then the shit hit the fan.
To this day, I have no idea what exactly Chad said, but whatever it was it made me so pissed off that I slammed down the cherry container spraying cherries everywhere. On my mom, Chad, sister and all over the kitchen. If that wasn’t enough, I then grabbed a handful of cherries and wiped them across his face.
Yup. I did that. Did I mention I am a life coach? Who is impressed?
After being stunned my own actions for a moment, I was instantly horrified and ran upstairs crying. Sobbing uncontrollably.
I could hear my Mom shouting at him to “leave me and my terrible behavior alone, so I could think about what I had done.” Apologizing to him, wondering how she could have raised such a horrible daughter.
As I sat on my bed, I could literally not even believe what I had done.
I could not believe that I could treat a guy like that who drove four hours every weekend to see me. Especially, since at that point, he was my best friend. He took the time to support me when no one else did.
Just like in the movies, I saw the montage of our entire friendship flash before my eyes, as well as, the inevitable ending that was bound to happen after the “cherry cheesecake incident of 1993.” I sat on my bed exhausted, deflated, praying that the “break up” would be quick so it wouldn’t be so painful.
Or at least he wouldn’t be there to see how painful it was to me.
I heard the stairs creaking underneath his feet as he made his way upstairs. A wave of nausea came over me. As he walked into the room, I was crying too hard to even stutter out a “I’m so, so, so sorry.” I just sat there sobbing, face red, nose running, paralyzed.
He looked over at me, smiled, walked towards me and hugged me in a way that I knew he wasn’t letting go for awhile. We stood there for a full minute or two, just hugging, me crying and drooling all over his shirt.
Then he quietly said, “I shouldn’t have said that, I am sorry if I hurt your feelings.”
I expected him to tell me he was leaving and never look back.
When he finally pulled away from me, he put his hands on my shoulders and smiled. He then said something that would change me forever.
“I love you Kira and not just the good stuff. I love the good stuff, the bad stuff and everything in between. I love the whole Kira package.”
And that was the moment I felt it.
True. Unconditional. Love.
It was life-stoppingly amazing.
Looking back, I realize that up until that moment I always thought love had conditions. I thought I needed to look my best, be on my best behavior and aim for perfect to be loved. I mean who the fuck would want to love my flaws? There were so, so many.
However, Chad taught me that day when you get past the beginning with the pretty and exciting stuff, then the “real” you shows up -which it is going to end up doing anyway. Even if we fight it. But that is where the true love exists. The good, life-changing shit.
It is not about the good stuff, but about the whole package.
Life continues to be a constant learning process for me and I will tell you that I have learned that in this crazy journey there is always a whole package, whether you see it right away or not. That is what makes us, us.
It is in the crack and imperfections that we find connections.
I love the rush of a crush. The excitement of new romance. The breath-stopping need for passion.
But what I’ve learned is the love that shows up later is the most satisfying. I’m talking about the one that sticks around when you have had a bad day; no make-up on; your hair piled on top of your head; the one who leaves you with the delicious feeling of someone who knows you, asks about your day and actually wants to hear the answers.
Doesn’t that sound fucking grand? I think it does.