An Invitation

7 Comments

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Something came to me the other day and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. It’s the idea that who you invite into your life is a choice–your choice. And it is one of the most important choices you will have to make. Interaction is not an invitation. You can interact with your co-workers, dates, friends, family, and strangers, but it is not the same as inviting them to be a part of your life. Allowing someone into your heart, mind, home, bed–that is an invitation. You are giving them access to your most valuable resources–your time, your energy, your love, your innermost thoughts.

Usually your family members get automatic invites into your life. Your parents invite friends into your life when you are little and try to make the best choices on your behalf. That changes as you grow up. You start to make your own choices. You begin to let people in who might hurt you, use you, bring you down, use up all your resources so that you’re left with nothing. You realize that not every person is a good person. You begin to recognize the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. We are so quick to let others in–for love, to avoid loneliness, out of boredom, because we think we have to. The thing is, you don’t have to do anything.

Wait for the good ones, the extraordinary ones, the firecrackers, the ones who make you laugh out loud on a silent subway ride, the ones who remember your birthday, the ones who make your heart ache in the best way, the ones who answer your phone call on the first try, the ones who give the fiercest hugs, the ones who don’t skip a beat, even after hours, months, years have passed. They are the people worth gold-stamped invitations into your oh-so-fragile, carefully constructed life.

I used to be sad that none of those people for me lived nearby. It seemed like every single one of them was miles or countries away. But what I’ve come to realize is that it will never matter how far away they are. They are in your life. They have lifetime invitations. And they are incrementally better than a mediocre person who lives a minute away. Your life is too precious to settle for mediocre. Don’t throw a party inside your heart–strangers show up, things get broken, and you are the only one left standing to clean it up.

And also, think about the little things. Every response to an ex-boyfriend’s text, every happy hour you attend because you “have” to, every snap you send to someone not worth your time, every conversation with someone who is not listening–they add up. And they become one drawn-out invitation for those people to break your freaking heart. (You know better than that.) But it’s hard, so you keep playing the game. But next time, promise that you’ll think about yourself for just a minute. About your heart, your needs, what you really, really, really want. Do they deserve any part of you, of your life?

So I guess that’s why I’ve been shy about blogging lately. Because blogging is not an interaction for me. It is an invitation into my mind, my heart, my fears, my dreams. I don’t know how to write other than to pour myself onto the page, messy parts and all. But the thing with a public blog is that everyone is invited here, whether I like it or not: future employers, ex-boyfriends, dates, etc. But I realized I am not writing it for them. I am writing it for you, the loyal readers (even if there are only four of you) who come back day after day, for all of the people I have invited into my life. Thank you for always RSVPing.

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Author: Rachael

Book lover + editor, feminist, California soul + New York state of mind.

7 thoughts on “An Invitation

  1. Hi Rachael!

    Thanks so very much for sharing. I feel like you’re speaking right to me through this post! I have also come to realize that I am responsible for who stays in my life. I love it when you say “don’t throw a party inside your heart”. For most of my life, I’ve been the reliable one. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve found it difficult to turn down invitations. I guess I did it to be agreeable; I did it to fit in. If someone invited me to see a movie, I would immediately ask when and where, even if I had no interest in seeing it.

    These days, I put myself first. Now that doesn’t mean I have no compassion for others. I am there for others when they need a shoulder to lean on and my friends know that if they need to talk, I am just a phone call away. But, before I say ‘yes’ to every single request that comes my way, I think about what’s best for me. I’ve learned to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty about it.

    It is without a doubt, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned.

    xo

    Donna

  2. I’m always here Rachare. Gramma

  3. Sorry I hit the wrong key with your name, Rachael!!!!

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