Photo by Dani Mac Photography
Without going into too much detail, that same year of college I messed around with a number of other “good Christian guys” and some “not so good Christian guys” while still only carrying a torch for one of them, who was a friend of mine. But he was in love with my way more attractive and way more charming best friend. In fact, most of the guys were. Having a friend who gets all the attention from guys without even trying takes a toll on you.
I suddenly wasn’t confident in myself. My warped, twisted, hurt little mind needed for guys to want me and find me attractive in order to feel worthwhile. I was also putting band-aids over the wounds from Blitz by offering myself over and over and over again to any guy who I thought was cute and willing to make-out with me.
Clearly there were deeper issues at heart inside of me. I had no true or clear identity. I was muddled somewhere in between who I really was, who I wanted to be, who others wanted me to be/expected me to be and who God created me to actually be. I continued to blindly grasp my way through that first year of college, using guys I didn’t really care about as the drugs that made me temporarily forget about the one person I actually wanted as my boyfriend.
Guys were always on my mind, like an addiction. I couldn’t get enough of them and I couldn’t stay amused long enough with any one in particular. I generally get bored easily with most things and guys were no exception to this rule. I know this all makes me sound like some sort of total floosy (to bring it back to 1950) and in retrospect, I suppose that’s true. I wish I had spared myself of all that depravity, but the truth of the matter is that I can’t go back in time and slap myself across the face. But what I can do and have done is slap my current self on the face and I say two things during this abuse:
Me: Hey, Danielle….why were you such a floosy?
Me: Because I was devastatingly sad and lonely and didn’t even realize I was trying to mask my pain!
Me: Well now you’re paying for it aren’t you? You hussie.
Me: You know what? (insert slap here) That was years ago. I take responsibility for my actions, yes, but I will not live in guilt the rest of my life! I’ve asked God for forgiveness and He has been merciful to redeem me of my past. SO, you know, like, GET OVER IT!
Me: Ow! That really hurt! But I guess I see your point so I’ll stop literally beating myself up over it.
I went home to Fresno for the summer after my first year of college and started with a new obsession: working out. I had eaten so many smuggled mini peanut butter packets from the school cafeteria that I had gained the inevitable freshman 15 (more like 20, let’s be real). I knew one thing for sure: I wasn’t going to get many guys looking like this. So I spent the summer at the gym, giving up carbs completely and hitting the tanning booth like an idiot who is just asking for skin cancer. In the midst of this daily routine, I encountered a man at the gym who, well….let’s just call this one……Black Panther.