By Ashley Lopez
Hello everyone, welcome back. I come from a background of strong women. From my great-grandmother, to my grandmothers, and of course, my mother. All independently fierce and all absolutely fabulous.
My great grandmother has been alone for over ten years now, fully functional in her mid-90’s. My grandma from my dad’s side, held on paralyzed after multiple strokes for seven years. My abuela from my mom’s side has lived alone for as long as I can remember, and she is the most independent woman I know who constantly makes me feel happy. My mother has been in her share of relationships, but even then, she has always possessed that “just let me do it” attitude for multiple things whether it’s cleaning or carpentry projects. The one thing they all taught me was to be independent. Never to rely on anyone.
Lately, I am realizing that I have been taking this lesson too literal. It’s okay to ask for help from my partner and it’s okay to rely on someone. It’s okay to let love in. For the past year I’ve struggled a lot with “me me me” in all kinds of aspects of my relationship. I’ve been selfish to someone who only wants to love me. Being in a long-term relationship at times feels weird to me. I’m not used to it. I mean my parents are divorced. My family isn’t close. I’ve always trusted that relationships aren’t meant to last. Does long lasting love even exist? I didn’t know it was possible to love someone so much, but also letting it be okay to love myself. I am barely comprehending the idea of having someone love me as much I love me too.
My boyfriend once told me that one thing he loved about me the most was my independence. Thought at times I think it drives him crazy because I’m just like my mom. I got it, I can do it, I don’t need your help, I don’t need you. I am learning that I don’t always have it, I can’t constantly do it, I do need his help, and I do need him. I am trying to be okay with the fact that I don’t have to be as self-reliant as the women in my life. I’ll be okay even if I’m not alone when I get older. I used to be open to possibly ending up alone—at times I still think I may be old and by myself. I used to get excited about not having to worry about loving someone else, but now I am so elated to have my partner with me through it all. I want him there and I need him there. I want to feel his embrace when I build or create something. The best thing about having him there is that he will never allow me to stop loving myself because he knows when I need to be alone. He knows when I’m in my head and require space. He doesn’t get offended. He understands me and knows me to my core.
I am eager to watch myself continue to love my partner, but also love me for the rest of my life.
Thanks for reading, xo.