Last week I was unable to bring myself to write. I couldn’t write because I felt overwhelmed by change. Changes beyond my control. You would think I would be used to change by now, used to the tides of transition, but I find that I am not. I am more fully able to lean into the discomfort, to feel the pain instead of shying away from it, to look my fear right in the eye rather than trying to escape, but I still do not find myself comfortable with change as a constant.
But I know that I have to keep the momentum of my journey moving forward, rather than becoming overwhelmed and losing my way. I have to keep maintaining the faith and commitment to see what I have worked so hard to accomplish through to the end. Maintaining the faith and commitment means not giving up or backing down, but it also means having the flexibility to release what doesn’t serve, even if I thought it did to begin with.
These tides of transition and change, though stressful and difficult at times, used to be tempered by the stability I had at home. Though the world often seemed a treacherous place, tricky to navigate and prone to throwing curveballs, I could rest relatively easy knowing that I had my home as a sanctuary, my dog as a loyal friend, and my boyfriend as a steady source of practicality, love, and unflappability. Due to occurrences that I never saw coming, I have lost all three of these things. I no longer have my cozy home, filled with books and blankets of my choosing. I no longer have my dog, my sidekick of the past ten years. And I no longer have my boyfriend, whom I have known for almost half of my life.
What happened? It is not my place to say. All I can say is that we are two different people heading in two different directions. Do I wish that we could merge paths? Of course I do. But I recently learned that this wish of mine is not possible. The growth that I have undergone, the changes I have made, have rendered me unrecognizable to the person who loved me most. The growth and changes I have made have also rendered the person I loved the most unrecognizable to me.
I thought that because I had made a conscious decision to improve my life and to endeavor to be a better person, everything else would fall into place. I thought that because my boyfriend and I had weathered so many storms together and come out the other side, we could handle anything. I thought that because I am no longer a person who seeks solace in the bottom of a bottle that my relationship would become the best it had ever been. And it was, for a while. What I never thought is that the positive changes I have made would end up being a factor in breaking us apart.
Though I am surprised and hurt, I know that I must continue to live in alignment with my core values and beliefs. I must remain unafraid to stand up for what I believe in, to hold fast and aim true. Though this unexpected, painful breakup has brought up feelings of self-doubt, the work I have done thus far has taught me that I must never lose sight of my true, shining self. The unblemished self that dwells within us all and operates from a place of love, not fear.
Though I am almost breathless by the swiftness of these sudden changes, keeping the momentum of my journey means remembering that change is constant. Change is revitalizing and an integral part of the human experience. Change is preferable to “safe” stagnation. The tides of change cause us to realign, reassess, to embrace the unknown by honoring ourselves, trusting ourselves, and believing in what we think, what we know, is right.
Though I have a kind of freedom now, I also can’t help but feel unmoored, unsettled. I no longer have the foundation that I had, the support. Yes, I have the support of my friends and family, but my home, my life as I knew it, is gone. So of course I want to smoke a cigarette. But I haven’t done it, and each time I come close I say to myself, “You’ve come too far. It’s not worth it.” So instead I turn to what I’ve learned serves me best: yoga. Yoga and sunshine and friends to distract me. Playing with my niece and nephew. Going to San Francisco to the Museum of Modern Art, like I did yesterday. Listening to music. Anything that takes the sting out but keeps me aware and present.
And you know what is really gratifying? That I don’t want to drink my way out of this mess, like I would have in my past life. As much as I want to smoke, I don’t want to drink. The idea of it sickens me. To throw away all of the work that I’ve done for an instant of reprieve, of false reprieve, is so not worth it to me. Which is how I know that the steps I’ve taken to this point, to this moment of sadness and heartbreak, have been the right ones. The positive changes I have made, the ones that had a hand in the dissolution of my relationship, have been worth the growing pains I am feeling now.
I’ve come too far to turn back now. I have to keep the momentum going, to see things through. I don’t want to have hate or anger in my heart. I don’t want to feel betrayed or wronged. But I do. For the moment, I do. And that’s okay. I want to feel these things, fully and completely, so I can move forward, so I can let them go. Keeping the momentum reminds me that not everyone will be able/willing to join me on my journey. And though that sucks, it’s part of the growth. If I’m going to keep the momentum, that means making room for what’s yet to come.
I wish you a wild, free life.