Warning, this may not be the funniest blog post that I’ve ever written, but consider it a brief break from mediocre humor to get to know ourselves, just a little more. For humor, click HERE.
*Throughout the past two years I’ve been writing this blog, I tend to steer away from personal issues or things that may result in internet “over exposure” but I’ve learned so much in the last few weeks of life, that sometimes sharing is the best thing.
I’m two weeks fresh off a break up.
A break up with someone I love dearly as a human being, someone that I respect with all of my being, and a man that is the definition of discipline and honor ( I think there might be a Wikipage for this). He’s great (yes, that’s present tense). I think I’m decent too (it has been confirmed, there is no Wikipage for this). But I’ve learned that sometimes, duality in greatness doesn’t mean perfection, or even compatibility in the end…That love is not math, one plus one…does not simply just equal two.
Now, I am so so thankful that we’ve both exited the relationship, still with a huge amount of respect for one another, and yes, I know that’s not always the case. Truthfully, I spent the first post-breakup days analyzing everything…trying to pick apart the inner sinews of dynamics and missteps within the last 2 years…and then suddenly like LA traffic, I stopped.
I stopped questioning the why and how, and started realizing the most important thing..was figuring out how I could remain intact, gracious, and strive to be the best version of myself….not to make the other person jealous, not to fool others into thinking I was stronger than I am…but mostly, because that’s what we should be doing ANYWAY. My mantra of “being better” can’t stop at the doorstep of adversity or change…that’s the moment when it’s as vital as the blood in your veins.
Here are some things I’ve been wading though, I hope some of this resonates, even a little bit:
-Be gracious: So what the f*ck does it mean to be gracious anyway? The old dictionary describes it as: being marked by tact and delicacy, characterized by generosity of spirt, filled with mercy and compassion. So how the hell can we do those things…in real life, when I’m too busy being glum? Well, my answer was pretty simple in the end (this is ever changing btw). Think of others. You are not the only one that feels the waves of change and difficulty. You are not the only person that’s been involved with your relationship (there’s a web of people that you’ve chosen to weave together). I had to choose to thank those who supported us at a couple (through it all), to choose to ask my people how THEY were doing, and began to realize that if one becomes completely self-focused, your soul will burst inward..and no one wants that. Get outside of yourself and your struggle for extended moments during your day, don’t ignore what’s happened, but be thankful for lessons learned and see yourself as a part of a bigger story.
-Understand that Shit WILL Happen: Every time something negative happens to us as people, we’re just dumbfounded and caught totally off-guard, like WTF LIFE?!! Why? Did we think that somehow, by not being a serial killer or a complete degenerate that we somehow escape hardship? I did apparently. Honestly, I’ve had a really good life. Things have come easily, and while there’s been bumps in the road..for the most part, I’ve been really blessed. But did I really expect that things would go as planned for the next 70 years (including that I would die at the age of 97, with a mojito in hand, sunbathing on a black sand beach)? I’m realizing that you can’t live your life in expectation of adversity, but to know that if and when it happens, that the way you’ve built yourself up in the meantime, really matters.
-Challenge Yourself and Put Down the Paper Towel Tube: In the past two weeks, I’ve realized how truly unimaginative I’ve been at viewing my story and life as a whole. We tend to pigeonhole ourselves into “what I can do”, “how others see me”, “what I’ve come to expect from myself”…and in all that, we’ve completely lost any sort of imagination and expectation of future greatness. Now, I have to say that my relationship wasn’t the driving factor of my small-sighted view, this is generally just a problem for us as people…people who get stuck in the day to day, people who are too busy to dream, people who live with small margins. My effort, in singleness but also just moving forward is to stop looking at my life through a paper towel tube with one squinty eye…only seeing a small, manageable vision for my existence. I’ll be tossing that tube out, and will be attempting to exist in the terrifying vast oblivion that lies outside the boundaries of what’s safe, what’s possible, and what’s known.
-Be Close: When things fail, it’s insanely hard to have your life be a spectator sport…it’s hard to have people watch you flail and then tune in to watch what happens next. But I’ve come to realize, that it also can be the best treatment for an ailing heart. To surround yourself with a group of people, who are deeply observant and involved, is totally scary. You could look dumb. Or unwanted. Sad, or weak. You could mess things up. You could look insecure. But…the truth is, hiding it from others, doesn’t make those things any less present. You’re still going to feel that way. You’re still going to mess up. The difference is, if you never give others a direct view into your life, you’ll miss out on the great freedom of vulnerability. I can almost promise that you’ll be taken care of. My care came in the form of friends, waiting with posterboards at the airport after my breakup, with a rental car waiting in the parking lot to scoop me up, and take me home. Did I mention it was 5AM?
Take time to yourself as you need it, but remember that suffering alone still is suffering, and you’ll be surprised the amount that you’re loved, if you let go and be vulnerable.
Here’s a quote that I was not smart enough to write:
‘Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.’ -CS Lewis
I hope that in some way, this hits home for at least one of you...To end, I remain here, thankful and completely bowled over with the mystery of life and how much joy can be in the wake of what feels like an impossible blow.
Love to you all,