This is where something touching is supposed to go.
This is where I’m supposed to spill my heart and explain to my very small world how the most recent events in my life came to pass…What I have learned. It should be insightful… moving.
But as I sit here, staring at a blinking cursor and a blank page, I have quickly accepted that nothing I say will be satisfying… or rather, satisfying enough for each and every person who ventures upon these words. Moreover, the words that I myself write won’t even be what I would consider satisfying or remotely eloquent. Maybe this solves nothing and answers no one – but it helps.
And since we are talking about words, here are a few that have been thrown at me recently:
Being called selfish is a bizarre experience for me. It’s certainly something I am not used to being called… at least to my face. After over a year of what I can only describe as severe depression – something I have been fortunate enough to have never experienced before and would never wish upon anyone – I woke up one day to realize that it’s okay to be selfish. Know that I don’t use the term “depression” lightly or carelessly. What I went through was serious. It was a game changer, and it wrecked me, but it also taught me a lot. After confiding in a few friends about my feelings, or lack thereof, I was always given the same advice: be selfish. Do what’s best for you. Start thinking about yourself. Start caring about yourself.
Interestingly enough, I’ve learned that it only takes a couple actions to be eternally labeled as selfish… and then suddenly you’re not supposed to be selfish anymore. It’s not okay. The same people who empowered you are now welcoming you with frowns and judgment.
Now, I recognize that there are varying levels of selfishness – that there are both harmless and malicious ways of being such – but it’s fascinating how it takes one Jenga piece to knock down an entire tower. And how all that matters in those moments is the one piece that caused the ultimate fall… not the many misplaced blocks that brought you to a weak foundation.
I stared at the bottom shelf of DVDs while he shouted, my eyes focused on one movie title in particular that jumped out, screaming at me, shaming me, from a distance – and then I started to believe the horrible words he said… the words that yelled at me from every corner of the room.
I care a lot. All I have done is care. I’ve spent a lifetime worrying about others; whether or not it actually helped in any capacity is another story.
Since I can remember, I have worried about everything… about choosing the right or wrong side of anything (of everything), about hurting people’s feelings, about what other’s needed or what they may think, about whether or not I am good enough, smart enough, capable enough… just enough…
What I NEED is to be a little careless… and that’s not to say I that I need to turn off my sensitivity to others completely, but rather, I need to shift it to include myself. Let’s just call it… selfish.
As I am typing this, I realize I have already gone on the defense. I shouldn’t have to defend myself.
When you get married, everything is a blur. It’s all lace and flowers and invitations… and these things seem to be the most significant things at the moment… to you and to everyone around you. It’s all a whimsical façade in which every decision defines you in some way. Everyone is looking. Everyone is thinking. You shouldn’t care what other people think. I think I always have to an extent. I think I think too much.
And then you stand in front of the most important people in your life and vow your love to another human in this world. All of the photos and seating arrangements and song selections ultimately add up to this one moment… That one promise of love.
I never stopped loving that human.
I’ll always love him. I’ll always wish good things for him. But at some point in life, you have to decide what’s best for yourself as well. You have to decide what you will fight for, and what you may need to step away from.
I don’t believe he is better off without me.
I don’t believe I am better off without him.
I just believe we are better off without one another.
It pains me to think about families being broken apart…
It pains me to think about packing up a life I started with another person… breaking apart what we started together.
It pains me to think about all the friends and family that supported us… how I have failed them by not just shutting up and being happy, as some so brazenly suggested. Just flip the switch.
It pains me to consider what everyone must think of me, making this choice into a reality, rather than keeping it an idea living inside my head.
When an idea lives inside your head, it can flourish, or it can become toxic.
It can kill you.
And I was dying inside.
I’d lost myself so completely that I forgot who I was. I’d truly forgotten my identity.
“What’s something you love?” he said, while I sobbed against my knees.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I really don’t know anymore.”
None of this is his fault. None of this speaks to him as a person.
It speaks to how I am, what I need, and how I misjudged everything. It speaks to my inability to stop something before it started.
A disruptive business model is one that is so different than “business as usual” that it brings disruption to an entire industry — causing more of a market “revolution” instead of the normal market “evolution.”
I got to a point over the course of the last year or so where I realized that a big change had to happen, or I was not going to survive. If you continue down a road in a direction you do not like, it is likely you will not be pleased with the journey or the destination. There are only so many times one can suggest a change of direction, a pit stop, or calling AAA before one must grab the wheel herself.
And quite possibly drive right off the bridge.
So that’s where I am. And the many things that led us here… to where we are now… were symptoms of a much larger condition that couldn’t be remedied, but none of those things define either of us as individuals or a couple.
I still believe in love. I still believe in marriage. I still believe in ever after.
It seems that my story doesn’t quite fall into place the way most of the stories I wrap myself up in do. That’s okay. I am still learning, still stumbling, and most importantly, I’m still trying.