Playing for Keeps

Also known as: A quest for clarity

Last Saturday was another book discussion day for me with my awesome friends from my awesome book club. It was another awesome day (I use this adjective a lot, I know), and I’ll talk about it in the book blog. One of our activities in that discussion was to pick song verses that describe a specific moment in our past, be it good or bad. It was a hard thing to do, since I have so many songs that were really more like life anthems, but after a lot of thinking, I finally chose a song and submitted it before I chickened out. I remember thinking, It’s going to be a bit hard explaining this, and I thought of writing a blog entry about it before Saturday came, but I just didn’t have enough time.

Well, I didn’t really have a hard time explaining it after all, because as cheesy as it may sound, I took it all from the heart. I’ve always believed that for difficult situations and sharings, you just really have to be honest and say it all from the heart and people will see that effort and it will be okay. And I guess it pays when you pray about these things, too.

Anyway, my chosen song was one of Switchfoot‘s old songs: Playing for Keeps. Specifically, it’s these lines:

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What’s It Like

Also known as: Where I admit something I am not really fond of admitting
Can also be known as: Where I embarrass myself for being brutally honest

Now that I’m trying to blog a bit more, one of the things I tend to do is read my past entries in hopes of finding inspiration. It doesn’t always happen, where I write an entry to follow up an old post (I’m usually too lazy to do that), but it can also happen.

Like now.

So it’s been a few months since I wrote my current and favorite Valentine’s Day post. I still read that fondly, and I still believe every single word I wrote there and I still try my best to hold onto every single thing I said with conviction. I still believe that I deserve that much, that I want to be pursued, that I am worth the fight. I know and believe that because my God did so much to fight for my life and my heart and my love, I deserve the love that I dream of having.

But can I be absolutely, brutally honest, just for a moment?

Promise you won’t judge?

This image seems appropriate.

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I deserve that much

Also known as: The obligatory Valentine’s Day 2012 post

You read too many dating blogs,” said my friend while we were chatting one day.

Looking at the ones on my RSS feed and the ones I’ve been retweeting and reposting on my Tumblr, I realized that was true. I have been reading a lot of dating blogs in the past year. Okay fine, they weren’t necessarily blogs talking about dating exclusively, but they’re blogs from single twenty to thirty somethings talking about love and relationships and who should make the first move and how women should treat men and men should treat women and how important clarity is and all that. Sometimes I feel like my head would snap off from all the nodding and agreeing and mentally shouting “YES! THIS IS IT!” over some of the articles I’ve read. It was almost like I was back to reading those self-help dating books again, only this time it felt closer because I was reading from people my age, people who seemed to understand and who feel exactly I was feeling.

I’ve said it before — 2011 has been pretty interesting, in a lot of ways. I think most of the things that happened in my 2011 was an exercise of sorts — especially for my heart. I won’t elaborate, but I think I have taken a lot more chances than the usual, have said yes more often and have asked for things that I wanted and actually got them. I learned more about waiting (yet again), gray areas and not being afraid, and yes, even romantic relationships despite the sheer and obvious lack of it in my life. Now that I am almost at a new birth year, I wonder if my life is what I wanted it to be…but whatever happens, I think I know that I am and will be okay.

I know I will have no problem writing my Valentine’s Day entry for 2012 because I know I have the material. I just wasn’t sure how to go about it without being too cheesy or God forbid, offending anyone. I just want to have these thoughts out there, mostly to remind myself of what I learned in the past year and to look back next year to see if I have changed and if I have learned to live with what I’ve learned. (OT: I realized lately that I have Valentine’s Day entries scattered all over the web for the last seven !!! years — 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 20092010 and 2011. I may have another one somewhere, and I won’t be surprised if I do.) What’s funny, though, is how I realized that my post for V-Day 2012 is kind of a full circle of what I have known from the first public V-Day entry:

I deserve that much.

Before my year ended, there were questions, things hanging and all that, but everything just boiled down to one statement, one thing I have known for  along time, one thing that I want, have wanted and I know I deserve:

To be pursued.

Bethany Dillon got it right years ago when she wrote about her song For My Love: I really do want to be fought for. I long to be recklessly pursued. I’m looking for true love, something honest and untainted, with no hidden agenda but that it wants to chase after me. I want that. It’s not just about being fussy as a girl, or being too Maria Clara or what. It’s about that yearning deep down that I think every girl has: to be pursued, to be fought for. I want that.

I deserve that much.

It’s not that I am not supposed to do anything anymore. If anything, I learned last year (and the previous year, I think), that you have to know what you want, and you have to be able to do them for someone else just as well as you want them for yourself. To be pursued means I have to be pursuable. To set standards means I have to be able to live to those standards as well. But I shouldn’t forget that my heart is an important thing, and that I accept the love that I think I deserve. And again, I deserve that much.

I deserve to be wooed, to be chased. I deserve to be written love letters for, to be surprised. I deserve to find clarity, to not let things be ambiguous at the cost of my peace. I deserve to be fought for. I deserve to be loved the love that I always dreamed of getting, and I don’t think God would have put it in my heart if it wasn’t His will.

I’m not going to lock myself in some high tower after this. Of course not. I will still take chances, say yes and do pretty much all the things I did last year. I’m still going to work to be pursuable. But this time, I’m drawing the line: because as much as wanting to be pursued means being pursuable, being pursuable also means I have to allow myself to be pursued.

I’m not going to demand perfection from everyone — after all, I am not perfect. But because my God gave His all just to be with me, I have to believe that my love and my heart is worth all that. And I deserve that much.

YOU deserve that much.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.