Last year about this time I shared a book on my Snapchat channel (username blissbakery) called “The Five Love Languages” and I highlighted one person from Snapchat that represented each of the five languages. For the “Quality Time” language I chose Maria Ryan. Because day in and day out Maria sits with the people of Snapland and checks in, asks how everyone is doing, has the chats and bants, and some great giggles about life. She is a constant, a pillar of truth, and a caring saint.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Maria on a few occasions and when you are with her it’s as if nothing else in the world exists, unless Mel Gibson is sitting beside us. But that is another story for another day. Today, as the previous guest bloggers, Maria has blessed Yankee Doodle Paddy by sharing her gorgeous self and her LOVE story. So without further delay…..
When thinking about love, it is very easy to reference every 90’s rom com with a Van Morrison soundtrack or look to the cool and suave moves of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. But is that really love? I do wonder are we all a bit in love with falling in love – I know I am!
For me love has a much greater palette. I’d hate to limit it to just something unattainable on a small screen or feel that if I was only married that I could feel love. At risk of sounding just as corny as the above movies, I do believe that love is all around. It is there for the exploration in every person we meet, every challenge we face and every time we say yes to a date.
I have had many great loves in my life, my family, my friends, maybe a lover, my cat, can I mention I love my house, I love my work and then there’s me. In this list of my loves, which really should include Pierce Brosnan and Colin Farrell; out of all of them the one that has seen and felt the least of my love is me. But I am slowly discovering that I may be falling for the person who was nearest all along. MOI!
It sounds a little self centred, doesn’t it? I agree, but I have spent alot of my life not quite in love with me. I’ve spent time with people who needed a lot of love and I was too busy loving and minding them, that I got lost in the equation. A good movie reference here would be Runaway Bride, where Julia Roberts, as gorgeous as she is, hasn’t actually a clue of who she is, and substitutes getting to know herself by taking on the loves of her partners, mostly in regards to their eggs, which Richard Gere kindly points out. I have been in relationships and friendships where I have completely forgot who I was, who I wanted to be. Their hobbies became my hobbies, their attitudes became my attitudes, their eggs became my eggs. I must’ve thought very little of myself that I felt I didn’t matter. As much as I would like to shove the blame of that on to someone else, and that would be a very satisfying complete waste of my time, it was actually me who was making these daily decisions to opt out of me.
I do wonder what happened that I became so unimportant to me? And again, it would be easy to indulge the blame game of a childhood experience, but I’ve already spent alot of time making excuses and I don’t want to waste my time on that anymore. I want to get back to me.
Now, getting back to me may sound easy but I think it is one of the greatest challenges of my life. Falling in love with the person you know the most about can be tricky. As I’ve been around me for quite a while, I’ve developed some nifty strategies to avoid looking at the parts of me that would not be in a movie, well not a romantic movie. Rummaging around under the humour and the facade that I present on daily basis wasn’t and isn’t easy. There are some parts of me that I have found very hard to sit with. And then try to love some parts of me that have been a super gowl, well janey mac, that is a process. I need to. I have invested so much time, and money, valuable space in my heart, head and home into some people and I was expecting so much back, I was beyond irritated that they didn’t recognise how far I had gone for them. Did I even think of doing anything like that for me? Do you know what I didn’t. And I even had the guff to resent those people for not giving me what I wanted. And which I had to figure out, I could easily give myself.
When I come across these unwelcome traits, jealousy or the inner 2 year old frustrated tantrum-er, immediately come to mind, I would love to say I can step back and keep it cool. Are ya kidding me, no way Jose. When I have calmed down and my fitbit has come out of fat burning mode from a rage episode, what I have begun to realise that I’m only human. I may not really like these parts of me but when they pop up at a Richter scale seismic proportion, I have (about 2 weeks later) invited them back in to see what the heck they wanted to say. Albeit, at a very controlled entry, dribs and drabs. I’m careful not to overwhelm myself, but I’m more open to having a look at those parts I don’t want to see. I’m not at the point of embracing, purely because they carry such energy and I’m a little petrified of what else they carry but I have come to the realisation that I become useless in fog. I hate it. You know when you’re at the top of a roller coaster at the tip top, waiting for it to tip over, or when the Never ending story harps on about “The Nothing”. Well, give me Hannibal Lecter any day, at least I know what I’m dealing with. I’m the same with the shadow part of me. As bad as it gets, I’m better off knowing what I’m actually dealing with than staying in the fog. For me, that “unknown” burns up way too much of my energy. I’ve also realised that regardless as it is, it can’t be as bad as, lets say Pennywise from “IT”. Nothing can be as bad as that.
What else have I learnt? I have learned to try be as happy and as grateful as I can be for anything and everything that comes my way. I have learnt to take the world less personally. I have learnt to ask for more, and to see if people want more of me without sacrificing my months mortgage payment or my heart for it. I am currently learning parts of me that I didn’t realise were there. I’m actually a person who loves being active. I get very excited about exploring this planet. I have learnt that everyone who is in my life is there for a reason and may very well be carrying a message or a truth that I need to learn. I’ve discovered that I deserve the best that life has to give, whether that’s a day watching Poldark or singing my lungs out with a bunch of strangers in a bockety bus in Peru of a Tuesday. I found out I love nature. It brings me such joy and connectivity to things I cannot get anywhere else.. I still clap my hands with complete joy after scaling somewhere in the Wicklow mountains and I can see for miles around. I’ve learnt to follow the buzz or at least try my best to do this. I’ve learnt that asking for what you really want can be the scariest thing in the world, but can be the most rewarding. I’m currently in the process of learning that no matter how hard I fall, I will always have me. And that I’d like to be the very best version of me (yes, that includes those demon sides) that I can be.
Wow, thank you so much Maria for sharing your love story. You took us along on the journey to your heart! There are so many kernels of wisdom in there. I am sure all of us reading it can find many treasures. What resonated the most was the line “I have learnt that everyone who is in my life is there for a reason and may very well be carrying a message or a truth that I need to learn.” I for one believe you are definitely in my life for a reason. Not the least of which is you are most certainly a daily dose of joy and happiness on Snapchat. For that I am most grateful!
Maria is from Ireland and works as a play therapist. She was recently featured in a thought provoking Irish Independent article. She has a precocious cat named Karen, which I’d like to think is named after me, LOL! Maria is an avid hiker and this past year traveled to Machu Picchu in Peru. She is one of the nicest people in the world and is everyone’s friend. But also, as we learned today, she has befriended the most important person, herself!