My dad was having a discussion with the owner of the company he works for last week…a man who is practically like family (as is his own family to us) since my dad has been with the company for a very long time. They got on the topic of relationships and how they can sometimes affect us. My dad was awesome (as he usually is) and said that I had been very smart in my relationships or dating experiences in life and that even if I made a mistake once, I’d never make it again. I’d learn from it and take that forward with me. The company owner’s response was quite possibly one of the nicest things and highest compliments I’ve ever received. He said “that’s good to hear because I know sometimes we can get jaded from relationships or things that don’t work out and I would never want Jackie to lose her sweetness because it’s one of the best things about her.”
Him saying that struck way down to my deepest heart strings, that’s for sure. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been called “sweet” either. In fact, it’s one of the things I pride myself on the most and even my first really serious boyfriend would tell me that my sweetness and my passion for people was one of the best things about me. But hearing it at this specific point in my life and from someone who means so much to my family and I, it just had so much extra meaning. And like I wrote in an earlier entry, I’ve really been trying — not necessarily to be less sweet — but to just be more assertive and more honest about my feelings. And I’ve actually been doing a much better job at that in all capacities in my life, which I’m proud of myself for. I think unfortunately, a lot of times, I could be too sweet and people would take that as an opportunity to walk all over me.
I think I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t been a little bit jaded at times though. It’s hard when things end (whether it be a relationship or just someone you were dating), even if you know it was with the wrong person to begin with. It’s hard when you’re looking for something and looking for that partner and you keep finding everything but that. It’s discouraging. I know we’ve all been through it. But as tough as that all can be sometimes, I never want to lose my sweetness either. I never want a list of things that didn’t work out ruin my faith and my hope in all the things that will work out (relationship-wise or otherwise). I never want to get so jaded and so defeated that I lose that part of myself that I know deep down is one of my best qualities. I don’t want to let some bad experiences take that away from me.
So this is kind of my new quandary; my attempt for a balance between the openness and the sweetness. I do need to be more honest and forthcoming but I need to stay true to myself too; and sometimes that self is sweet. That self cares about people and cares about their feelings. That self is compassionate. I know finding this balance isn’t probably going to be an easy thing to do. It’s a new learning experience for me. But it’s another one of those stepping stones helping me figure out more of who I am in this thing called life.