Sweet Melissa*

Back in the ’70s, Greg Allman wrote the most amazing name song ever, making Melissa’s everywhere proud to bear the name…Actually, I’ve read somewhere that Greg Allman wrote the song about his guitar, indicating that no matter how many women he came across, he always went back to his music.

To be honest, I hadn’t heard the song before AT&T used it in one of their commercials, and even then, I had to turn up the volume and think to myself, “Are they singing about Sweet Melissa?” As popular as the name Melissa is, people still find ways to get it wrong when they’re talking to me. In fact, I just got called “Michelle” today at work. (No offense to the Beatles, but I think I have a better name song.)

I’ve heard tons of things about people living up to their names. I’m not sure if that’s always true, but I like to think that sometimes I live up to mine, which is derived from the Greek word for “honeybee.”

Despite being difficult and imperfect, I’ve considered myself to be a nice girl. I’ve built my life on helping other people, and I can honestly say that it makes me happy to put other people before myself. Yes, it’s inconvenient at times, and yes it can take up a lot of energy, but I do it anyway. I’ve been asked on numerous occasions why I’m nice to people and why I like to maintain friendships even after I’ve been hurt. For a while, I couldn’t give a good answer, but it came to me today.

The one phrase that kept on going through my head was “What if one of us dies tomorrow?” As morbid as that sounds, you never know what tomorrow holds, and if someone is worth enough to fight with or argue with, or get upset with, that person isn’t someone you want to live without. And if something were to happen, wouldn’t you want that person to know that he or she meant something to you? Anger is inevitable, but holding a grudge is optional. Life’s too short to hold grudges and be mean all the time.

I’ve always wanted to be a person who looks for the good in others and believes in dreams that no one else can see but me. Sure, these things may seem completely  hopeless, but I search for them anyway because I believe they’re out there. Besides, I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t sweet. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t believe in dreams.

A friend of mine recently wrote about unconditional love and questioned if it even existed. I was quick to say that of course it existed. Subsequent responses said that unconditional love is “messy, amazing, miraculous, but at the same time with all the potential to cause borderline trauma when it goes wrong. I think we all agree that unconditional love exists and as humans we seek, crave, give in, and at times probably resent it.” It’s all true. Love, in any of its forms, can be excruciating because it is the highest form of giving of oneself. When it doesn’t work out, you can give up and say “What’s the use?” I know it’s a question that I have asked frequently and have come up with the same answer every time: Sure it’s painful when it doesn’t work out, but it feels amazing when it does.

And I have to ask myself over and over again, what good comes out of grudges and staying angry? After all the anger has been brushed away and in some cases, washed away by tears, it’s so refreshing to just Measure in Love

*I really don’t know why I titled this Sweet Melissa. It sounded like a good idea at the beginning. Now it just seems egotistical. Oops.

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