Outside looking in

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My breath fogs the glass,

the palms of my hands

absorb the chill from the window pane.

I have not run away,

merely left the inside

to see it from another view.

The scene plays before me

like a TV drama.

The characters retreat to their dressing rooms

and the stage is empty.

The dialogue is unwritten

and replaced by silence.

Emotion paints the walls,

hurt settles like dust on the furniture.

My breath stops,

I cannot exhale,

the palms of my hands

absorb the chill from the hidden pain.

My reality looks so different

from my current view,

outside,

looking in.

~~

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I apologize for nothing

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It has taken me a long time to get where I am.

It has taken strength and tears.

It has taken determination and a few breakdowns along the way.

But I am here.

There may have been a few detours along the way

but I apologize for nothing.

My path has led me to where I am now.

I have gained courage along that path.

I have learned to trust myself and my values

and not to second guess my beliefs.

I have learned that my thoughts matter

and that my advice is appreciated.

I have found strength in my wisdom

and I have found comfort in my gut instinct.

I have made many mistakes in my past,

but valued the lessons learned from those mistakes.

I have followed the roads,

but have been blessed by those detours.

I have accepted my life and where I am

because I am truly happy,

and that is what matters.

My life may not be what others think it should be,

but it is my life.

I am happy.

And I know the best is yet to come,

so I apologize for nothing.

 

 

Sometimes you can’t go back

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Not so long ago, I ran into a person who used to be a friend of mine.  We parted ways after I grasped who this person truly was and I realized that their definition of a relationship was far from how I defined my friendships.  It was an awkward reunion, to say the least, and after the uncomfortable hug was over I left thinking about the many things that had occurred during our friendship that helped me to redefine my idea of a relationship.

I have grown up knowing that a true relationship is born of empathy and that a relationship, in its purest form, receives as much as it gives.  Thus was not the case in this instance.

It is difficult to put a relationship under a microscope and analyze the small parts that make up the sum of those parts.  In the initial stages of that friendship, the sum seemed to make complete sense, but upon further scrutiny, those parts did not add up at all.  It was easy for me to dismiss the signs that our friendship did not compute, but I was unwilling to see the failure in the equation, for whatever reason.  Seeing this person again made me realize that I was right to stand behind my feelings and although there is always the urge to keep a hold on what is familiar, sometimes you can’t go back.

I can’t forgive many of the things that happened in our past and I certainly can’t overlook that this person could never see beyond themselves to put me first, in any situation.  I can’t disregard the fact that my needs never came ahead of theirs, and I can’t ignore the numerous times that I put my needs aside to get them through their next crisis.  I wanted to move forward and so many of the parameters of our relationship needed to be redefined in order for me to do that.

I  will never be sad that I gave so much of myself in that relationship because that is who I am.  I will never regret the time I spent trying to help.  But at some point, I realized that my needs were just as important and, even though there had been many good times in our relationship, the need to move forward was more important that the urge to go back.

 

 

 

I’m not afraid to cry

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“There is a sacredness in tears – they are not the mark of weakness, but of power.  They are messengers of overwhelming grief, and of unspeakable love.” ~ Washington Irving

~~

Having shed my fair share of tears throughout my life, this quote struck a chord deep within my emotional register.   It has always been easy for me to soak my cheeks with salty tears and I come by it honestly.  My dad wore his heart on his sleeve and many times that same sleeve was used to wipe his tears as he watched movies, TV shows and even commercials.   When my apple fell from the family tree it landed right at his feet and I’m sure that made him cry as well.

My mom was very private about her crying, although she didn’t cry frequently.  She would gracefully leave the room and gently close her bedroom door.  There were never heavy sobs heard from the other side of that door but her swollen, red eyes the next morning are what Crime Scene Investigators refer to as evidence.

Sometimes being able to cry so easily is a gift, a genuine release of emotion that feels much like a cleansing.  But the burden of  not being able to control the moments that those tears appear can also be slightly detrimental and result in swollen red eyes and a need to excuse my appearance after an unexpected cry.

 

tears

 

But, I will never take for granted this ability to show my emotion nor do I wish to change this part of myself.  I love that I can feel so deeply that life, whether it be my life or somebody else’s life, can have such an intense impact on me.  And I can take solace in knowing that the people who understand this about me, the people with whom I choose to share my emotional moments, and my tears, know that this is not a weakness but one of my greatest strengths.

I am me for a reason

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I am a very different person from the young girl I was many years ago.  Some people have the good fortune of knowing who they are from an early age but I was not one of those people.  I lived a life I thought I wanted but I had not been honest with myself.  The path I was following was carved by what others needed from me but not from what I needed for myself.  It wasn’t until many years later that I gave myself permission to be me.

As I shifted through the years, the things I used to tolerate have become intolerable.  Where once I held my tongue, my voice is now louder than ever and I feel confident in my opinion.  I now value my voice and am no longer willing to remain silent.  This part of me always existed but never had the courage to be present.  This strength of character finally gave itself permission to exist and defined the person I always knew I was meant to be.

I recently saw a meme on Facebook and that innocuous comment turned into this blog post.  Life changes.  Sometimes we stick to the original plan, but sometimes we realize that the path we were meant to follow went in a different direction and it just took us a while to catch up.

I spent many years catching up to the person I am today and I am very happy with who I have become.  I have finally embraced the change in myself and recognized it as a strength and not a weakness.  Of all of the dreams I had for myself as a teenager, I could not be more proud of the person I am now and can only hope I have the courage to continue to live by the beliefs that I currently have.   Now, more than ever, I believe I am me for a reason.

 

 

 

Old words with the same message

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I am doing something I don’t usually do by copying and pasting a post I wrote back in February of this year.  The words I wrote then have a hauntingly familiar refrain and I want to share them again because I think they should be read.

 

“It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on, it takes a lot of strength to let go.” ~ J.C. Watts

~~

I was born a “fixer” and, until a few years ago, I had spent a great deal of my time taking on other people’s burdens as my own.  But something shifted in the paradigm of my reality when I got divorced in 2012.  I realized I was spending too much of my time trying to change a life that was not mine to change.  I was hanging on to problems that irrevocably had impact on my life but I had no power to solve.  I needed to let go.  But I was so stuck in the pattern of my life that I didn’t know how to let go.  I wanted so desperately for things to work out in my life that I honestly thought that this was the syllabus of my future.

It takes a monumental amount of courage to walk away from a relationship that you have put your heart and soul into, but a relationship has to give you what you need for it to be successful.  By its very definition, a relationship is a form of communication.  Wants and needs are expressed and, in a healthy relationship, are reciprocated without condition.  Such was not the case for me and I knew it.  I felt it deep within myself but it took me a long time to admit it because to do that would have made me feel like I had failed.  But I had only failed myself by not seeing the signs sooner and listening to that nagging inner voice.

I finally found the nerve to put my needs first and, in finally letting go, I gave myself permission to define myself according to my needs and not the needs of anyone else.  The strength to hang on was easy, it was my comfort zone, but finding the strength to let go made me feel eviscerated, vulnerable, and it was not something I was accustomed to.

I wanted to write this post because I have friends now in the situation in which I found myself years ago.  I want them to know that letting go is not always the easy choice, but it may be the right choice, for them.   It may be hard to listen to that petulant voice in your head, but that voice is the most sincerely honest advice you will ever get.

let it go

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Don’t give up easily.  If it is worth the fight, than fight, fight like your life depends on it.  But if you know in your heart that nothing will ever change, let go, let go like your life depends on it.