Some dreams stay with you forever,
Drag you around but bring you back to where you were.
Some dreams keep on gettin’ better,
Gotta keep believin’ if you wanna know for sure.
– Eli Young Band
I am stronger now.
My reflection shows remnants of a woman I recognize.
She is focused and fearless. She is independent and driven. She is ballsy. She is impulsive. She knows her limits. She refuses to bend – to accommodate just for accommodations sake. She is warm, and funny, and smiley. She cares more about her appearance and less about what others think.
Honestly, she is brave as fuck.
I like her.
I like that she plays her music loud, and wears heels to work, and takes the time to throw on jewelry, and actually does something with her long beautiful hair. I like that she rides with her sunroof open, and sleeps with the windows up, and lets Sonny lay on the couch (… sometimes [… on a blanket]). I like that she takes initiative. I like that she jumps feet first into things. I like that she takes no shit. I like that she’s putting her own well-being, her own wants, her own needs, her own goddamn dreams first and foremost… for once.
I like that she knows who she is.
There is a deep sense of freedom spilling out of me now. It’s exciting and intriguing. It keeps me up at night and drives me throughout the day. It is friendly and reassuring. It nudges me in directions I never knew existed. It pulls me down paths I am unfamiliar with, yet, completely comfortable traveling.
In the past, freedom suffocated me. It was a temptation. A kink in “the plan” – this elusive plan no one was really working toward. Freedom backed me into a corner. She bullied me, and taunted me, and caused me much anxiety.
Now, I embrace her.
There is nothing I cannot do, no where I cannot go, not one single thing I cannot have, and absolutely no one I cannot be.
And if I can’t… I feel secure enough with myself now to figure it out.
Recently, my life has been turned upside down and inside out. However, for the first time in years, I finally feel right-side up. I am driven and determined again. I wake up motivated. I know my worth and what I deserve.
I deserve love. I deserve happiness, and smiles, and laughter. I deserve a future – a future that incorporates my own goals and desires. I deserve understanding, empathy, and compassion. I deserve support and encouragement. I deserve “I miss you”-s. I deserve a listener, a talker, a laugher, a dreamer, and a protector. I deserve Saturdays and Sundays. I deserve someone who believes in me. I deserve the sun, the moon, and the stars.
But above all, I deserve respect.
I must respect myself enough to know when I have reached my limit. I must respect my own mind, body, and soul. I must demand respect from those around me. And when the kind of respect I expect isn’t given, I must respectfully walk away.
I realize now that no amount of time, or effort, or words, or tears can change a person. Years do not make someone love you the way you should be loved. Planning a future together doesn’t make you a “sure thing” any more than him buying a ring means he’ll put it on your finger. Shit happens. Life, and good, and bad, and stuff happens. I get that.
But when something isn’t meant to be – it just isn’t meant to be.
We didn’t have to tear each other apart. We didn’t have to hurt one another and break each other’s hearts. We didn’t have to say hurtful things and call each other names. We didn’t have to defame a love we had worked so long and so hard to create.
But we did.
We will grow from it. We will learn and be better from it all. We will find strength we never knew we had. We will forgive each other. Eventually, our hearts will heal and we will both learn to love again.
But we will never be without each other.
He was my first love. My life. My everything. I gave him every bit of everything I ever had. We built a life together. We made plans. We became so intertwined – so fused together – it was hard to tell where he began and I ended. His soul will forever be marked on my soul – and mine on his.
But today, I’m learning to let things go…
And it is the most difficult behavior I have ever had to learn.
It’s natural for me to carry everything on my shoulders. My mind collects every word, and thought, and situation, and scenario… and then, it unleashes a furry of information on my heart for processing. I literally worry myself sick mulling over conversations, and could-have-beens, and should-have-beens. I try to make sense out of everything. I don’t sleep for days. Sometimes, I fall so deeply into my own thoughts I find it difficult to interact with even my closest friends and family. I am so deeply affected by other’s actions, the things people say, and how someone feels that I rip myself apart. I take everything personally. I over think, and over analyze, and over worry about everything.
And I’m exhausted.
Exhausted from the “why”-s. Exhausted from the constant replays, and reminders, and rehashing. Exhausted from trying to understand.
But I’m better too.
I am better at forgiveness. I have actually stopped being so mad and started to process the pain. The pain of letting go. The pain of failure, and hurt, and broken promises. The pain of telling the only man I’ve ever loved goodbye. I am finally processing the absolute and utter heartbreak that is the end of what I had thought would be my forever.
This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.
But I will get through it…
Because I have to.