Did you ever have the misfortune of going through the process of being chosen, or not, for some random team when you were a kid? Do you remember the anxiety and torture of the process? All you wanted in the whole wide world was just to not be the last one chosen.
Well, I was always the last one. Now don’t get me wrong. I deserved it. Me and any ball, of any kind, are mortal enemies. If you need someone to catch a softball with her face, then I’m your girl, otherwise, I’d pick me last too.
But every so often, someone wouldn’t make me dead last and I still to this day remember what a good feeling that always was. But then I also remember feeling so awful for whomever came last. I think that’s likely where my empathetic overload would kick in. I started not minding being dead last because if I was last someone else wasn’t. And that felt better to me than watching someone else suffer the pre-pubescent consequences of kick-ball rejection. A fate worse than death when you are 12.
But as I’ve gone through life, or for the greater part of it, I got stuck in a pattern of worrying about everyone else and their needs. I became the one who kept choosing and choosing other people. Desperately trying to meet their needs.
I can walk in to a room or a party and search out the person who looks so uncomfortable and chat them up just because I don’t want them to feel badly. Heck, I could be uber sensitive to the needs of the entire population of a football field simultaneously, but…if you asked me what I needed, I’d have trouble telling you. You can take caring for others and their needs way too far.
But every time I’d make a decision meeting my own needs, I’d feel horribly guilty for it.
I was raised with the mindset that you are only as good as to what you can do for others. That is where your value lies, or so I thought for way too long.
Somewhere along the way I had to learn that I was valuable enough and important enough to have my needs met too. Coming in to my own was an long and arduous task. And voicing my own wants and needs was even harder. It still is.
The truth is, I don’t know of any human being who wants to be left behind. Oh sure some of us would happily avoid the vast majority of humanity if given the choice. (Amirite SK?) But deep down, we want to be chosen.
We want to be scooped up on the train.
Oh God, this is going to be really difficult. Big breath. “I” want to be scooped up on the train.
If you’ve read Betty for any amount of time, you’ll know what I’m talking about. But for those of you who don’t, it’s my favorite Audrey Hepburn movie also starring Gary Cooper called Love in the Afternoon. There’s this scene. The last scene of the movie when the worldly playboy Cooper chooses Hepburn. It’s always sort of been my visual for what I want. All I could think when I first saw it was, I don’t know what that is…but I want it.
This stubborn, independent, ridiculously chaotic, loud, sometimes neurotic, insanely passionate, mess of a girl…still wants to be chosen. In all my messy, flawed, glory. And for someone to feel so lucky and blessed that I’m in their life. Because that’s how I feel about the people in my life.
Truth be told, I’d choose you as my best friend all over again. I’d choose you as my son and daughter if I had every kid in the entire world lined up before me. I pick you, to be my sister. I’d choose you to be the great love of my life.
I’d choose you. Over and over. You’d be my pick. I’d pick you for my team. I’d scoop you up on the train. I’d move mountains to know you were happy. I’d want to make you feel valued and cared for every single day for all the days of your life and I’d always want you to know you are my favorite.
But I want that for myself too.