Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I am a guarded girl

I'm one of millions who follow Thought Catalog on Twitter. I click on several of their articles.  Sometimes they're funny. Sometimes they're sad.  Sometimes I don't understand them.  Sometimes I understand them too well.

On Sunday night, I clicked on "How to Love a Girl Who's Guarded" and it absolutely gutted me. It's like someone took the thoughts out of my head and put them on the Internet.
“Guarded” won’t be the word that comes to mind. You’ll think she’s independent and confident. Driven and seemingly content. She’s never seeking anything from you, never leaning in to the hint or the whisper. She seems as though she lives a big life, and it’s in that paradox that she’s most closed. She’s filled all the little spaces with something, something else.
I am that girl. People often ask why I have three jobs (besides the fact that I enjoy them) and am so busy all the time.  Maybe this is why.  I've created a big life, filled it with things that bring me joy. But I haven't always been this way.

Once upon a time she fell in love the way thousands and millions of people do every day and hour and in the last three seconds while you were reading this. But it wasn’t the falling in love, or the breaking up that ultimately broke her. ... She loved so maddeningly she let it burn through her and realized she was left with nothing.
I used to wear my heart on my sleeve and give it away very freely -- in friendships as well as romantic pursuits.  The last few years have changed that about me.  I have a lot more walls up.

It’s not that she doesn’t believe in love, she just doesn’t trust it.
Exactly. I'm still a girl who believes in love and wants it, but I don't quite trust it. I don't quite trust other people always say what they mean or mean what they say.  I don't trust that love happens for everyone (because it might not).  I don't trust that people won't leave me.

She isn’t bitter, she just knows better. She isn’t cynical, she’s realistic. And until she knows another reality, one where people’s intentions aren’t crapshoots and promises keep on emptying out until they’re just lies… she’ll continue to be reserved. ...
These are the ragged edges of a strong woman.

It's so reassuring to read something like that.  Something that makes me feel not so alone and doesn't label me as cynical and pessimistic. Something that doesn't make me seem weak or unlovable.

Because even though I'm guarded, I am none of those other things.


  1. I read that a couple months ago and actually sent it to the guy I was in a relationship with at the time. I am slowly moving away from being like this, but I can definitely identify and relate as well! You are NOT alone! It takes a lot of time and surrounding yourself with the right people to love on you to move past being like this.

  2. Guarded is the perfect word for it.

    I'm that girl too. Even still I have a hard time letting my guard down around Chris sometimes and it's been almost a year.

  3. I battled for years being guarded. I'd even gone a step further and stop believing that I was lovable and didn't think being "in love" was something that could work for me. To get past that, I had some experiences where my heart was tested, ripped, shattered, stretched, tempted, and I even become somewhat self-destructive... I had so much work to do on myself.

    I think it's okay to be guarded if you are self-aware. And, it sounds like you are. You also have to be willing to work when the time is right and to take scary effin' risks. I'm a big believer that even the fears, the risks, and the hurts are all part of our journey, and the journey can be a great ride.

  4. I remember when you shared this article on Twitter and I read it immediately. Because I am that girl too. I've always been more observant and cautious, but as I've gotten older I don't know when that crossed into guarded. I've been burned and left with too little and I didn't enjoy feeling that way. So now I don't give as freely and as horrible as it sounds people have to earn my openness. I've never meant it in a cynical way, more a self preservation tactic and reading this article and now your post made me realize that it's okay and just like you said that there's other people like that.

  5. Wow. I love reading Thought Catalog and can often to relate to a lot of their articles. I was very guarded in love for a lot of my life. In meeting new people now, I am still fairly guarded - especially coworkers - it takes me a long time to tell them things about me. Before I was totally "heart-on-my-sleeve", let the world know what's happening inside of me. Since meeting my soon-to-be husband over 5 years ago, a lot has changed - especially in regards to my openness to love. I wasn't sure it would happen for me... Thanks for sharing - this post really made me reflect on where I've come from :)

  6. Thanks for sharing this! I, too, am pretty guarded. I don't trust people easily at all because I've been through a lot with friends and family. And I genuinely believe that people have to earn your trust. One thing I learned, though, through falling in love and getting married is that it's OK to be guarded. As long as you're taking risks, being open minded, and not treating everyone poorly because you're afraid. It's not OK to shut people out and never let them have a chance to get in, but relationships are not easy and it takes time to build them. And the good people in the world know that and stick around.

  7. I love that even though you're guarded, you let your readers into feelings like this. This is a really great post. And now I'm interested in reading the full article from Thought Catalog. You are certainly not alone in feeling like this. As several have already commented, I am guarded as well. I don't let others in easily and freely, even if sometimes I wish I could. I don't trust easily and though I know where it stems from, I don't know how to change it.
    I love these open, honest posts of yours, girl.

  8. Yes. This is amazing. I identify a lot with it - about a year ago it was EXACTLY where I was. Thought Catalog is so perfect for thought-provoking articles. I love it. Thanks for sharing :) It's OK to be guarded as long as you're not ruining chances and opportunities out of fear. Awesome post!


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