I have had a lot of eye-opening experiences lately. The type where you really just peel back the layers of yourself and reevaluate who the hell you are, where the hell you’re going and who you need to be.
You know, the type of thoughts that are hard, ugly, make you so self-aware that you either cringe or smile. I have to tell you that I smile. I smile because I have found out a tiny secret. Do you want to know what it is?
Our lives are filled with certain experiences. Some good, some not so good. These experiences mold us into who we are. Hopefully, we are taking the good pieces and working with that but at times we pick some of the shit up and it kind of takes us into a different direction than we had imagined.
So some of my recent experiences have made me put things into perspective and realign my own life because of it. I’m not afraid to look at myself in the mirror and examine what I need to do, to be okay. At the end of the day we all just need to be okay. If you’re not, listen up.
I have found that humans have certain ideas and expectations of others and this is where it gets tricky. It’s tricky because sometimes the expectations you set, just can’t be met. The ironic part of all of this is that we have choices. Sometimes when we are let down, disappointed or just frustrated with others, it is very painful. We have all been there.
Depending on the situation and how it weighs on you, we need to know that nothing heavy should stay. When something weighs heavy, we have a choice to make. The good news is only you need to make the choice. The bad news is, it might hurt a lot. So is it time to let go of something heavy? Should we keep holding on? The answer is simple because we already know that it needs to be released. We hopefully are in tune with our innate ability to know what we need to feel physically, spiritually and emotionally well. The beautiful thing about OUR life is we always have the choice.
There have been many times in my life where I have felt like “WTF” when facing something less than delightful. During these times I never allowed that feeling, to close off the fact that I was able to make a choice.
Life, seriously is our own open book and as cliché as it sounds we do actually write our own story. I am a firm believer in knowing that certain people, experiences, and things come into our life for certain reasons and times. The chapter is hopefully filled with goodness, happiness, life lessons and so on. Sometimes the chapter needs to end and if we are lucky enough it might continue until our story is over.
Sometimes, these lessons we endure, provide us with what we need to move forward. If we truly listen, it may be one of the most painful things you face. I want to tell you a story about one of the hardest choices I have ever made in my life.
My mom dated a man, (I will leave his name out for privacy reasons.) this person became a father figure in my sisters and my life. He took on a roll that he did not have to and stepped in to take care of three children that he “technically” didn’t have to step in for. I will forever be grateful for his decision to help my mom and guide us while doing so. The lessons, love and support he gave me have always been a piece of my puzzle. The piece that helped shape me into the person I am today.
During my childhood years there were so many memories. These memories were always happy. One of the things I enjoyed the most was the fact that it was important, especially as we got into the teen years to have Sunday dinner together. This became a tradition that I grew to love because we all kind of reconnected and shared the important pieces of our lives. The love felt at these moments is one of the things I miss the most.
Around the later teen years my mom and him parted ways but he still continued to take care of us in a “fatherly” way. He attended important events like birthdays, graduation, Christmas morning, weddings, even walking me down the aisle, births of some of the kids things like that. There was never a thought in my mind that this wouldn’t last forever, yet somehow this is how life plays games with us, both people need to feel that way. Otherwise things fall apart.
So, in my mid twenties things started to slowly change a little bit. Eventually, shifting more and more. One night we went out to dinner to celebrate my twin and my birthday. It was a nice meal with good conversation but something was a little off. Towards the end of the meal he finally said he wanted to tell us something. The something was that he was getting married. GREAT! That’s awesome! We were genuinely happy for this news.
Until, he said we weren’t invited. It wasn’t the fact of a missing invite, it was what followed.
I will never forget the words either.
“It’s just really intimate and _____________ wouldn’t be comfortable with you guys there.” At this point my sisters and I just felt a little shocked. The feeling of sadness washed over me like a rough sea hitting the shore. I was married at this point and I could understand not wanting to feel a certain way at your wedding. Maybe it could still be okay but I knew this was the beginning of the end.
You see we knew that he wasn’t fully honest with where he was going when we had dinner etc. because his (now) wife was very jealous. That was at the time part of the “deal” and it was, what it was. I mean it looks from the outside view very strange to have a relationship with three adult girls that aren’t “yours.” I get it and tried to place myself in those shoes. It all kind of boiled down to the fact that he did not convey the importance of this relationship, which I acknowledge and I am sure would have been a difficult topic to discuss. There are certain things in my own life that are nonnegotiable. That relationship “would have” been one of them.
After he got married we were still able to meet here and there for dinner but it just felt so “gross.” Like some dirty secret. You all know what I mean, where you have to lie to hang out with someone. There’s always this weird elephant hammering on your chest. The conflict of it all causes this strange discomfort. The difficult part is addressing the pain associated with ending a strained relationship.
Sadly, months later, his father had passed away. Although, this was unfortunate on a lot of levels it also meant he had no more excuses to be in our area. It felt like the proverbial “game” was over. So, it was shortly after receiving that news that I had to make a very difficult decision. Did I want to continue onto the next chapters, with this person in my life?
I found that the past half-dozen or so times, that we would all meet, well there was this negative emotion attached to it, the days leading up to our plans and for days after meeting. I was miserable, sad, and angry.
I can share with you, that it almost felt like you knew someone was dying. Yet, you had no clue when. A total mind fuck. It was associated with death in a sense but just the death of the relationship, not the physical person. I knew those feelings weren’t good. The fact that they were hitting me so hard meant only one thing. When I was truly honest with myself, I finally knew the chapter needed to end.
I needed to move on from this relationship because of the fact that it caused this perpetual sadness for me. I owed it to myself and my family to finally realize it was time to stop and move on.
It was strange, because for months and months after severing these ties, I felt this overwhelming sadness. However, the pain I faced, ironically lifted this weight off my shoulders. I realized there was a sense of relief attached to it all. That made me feel hopeful and finally realize that I did the right thing for my future self.
I wound up learning a lot over that period of time. I learned about the importance of letting go, even when our hearts don’t want to. I learned that it is important to value the time that we do have with people. I learned that sometimes, someone might be there for you during a period in time. It’s usually when you truly needed them, but they don’t always stay forever. I learned that if you feel a certain (negative) way about a relationship, regardless of what part of your life they occupy, it is time to move forward. You owe it to yourself, to move forward so you can keep your life healthy and happy.
If we are not honoring ourselves in this way, it is time to step back and take a look. Is there something you need to release? Be honest.
I am very candid about the fact that the pain was immense. I am open about the fact that there is still a piece of me that misses the relationship that once existed but not the one that made it end. I am open about the fact that my family deserved only positive energy from me, in our home and that is why I knew it was time to start another chapter.
Don’t be afraid to close chapters.
Don’t be afraid to erase pieces of your story and revise.
Don’t be afraid to start over.
Nothing in life is worth holding onto, if they’re not holding on, too.
Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.