I feel like this is what always happens, so I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record (with a few months in between each record playing.) But here I am, writing a stupid blog post just to prove to myself that I can.
Just to start and finish something. Just to get some of the thoughts that feel like 100-pound weights out of my head and onto paper. I don’t really care if anyone reads it. But if you choose to, I hope you read it if only to understand one thing.
We all hurt. We all struggle.
We all have moments where we literally have no idea where our life is going and how the hell we got to the ground we are standing on at this very moment.
You aren’t alone.
Even when the whole world makes you feel like you are. Even when the highlight reels of social media promise you that everyone else has it figured out.
We don’t. They don’t.
No one does.
Lately, I haven’t even been pretending like I have it together. Sure, I get up in the morning and go to work and take care of the responsibilities that I have to take care of in order to make it through life. But aside from that, I’m a mess. I’m frustrated, scared, angry, confused, and so far from myself that I worry it’s going to years to walk back home to myself.
But tonight, by allowing my fingers to click the keyboard while I ignore the world around me, I am taking the first step. And that first step will make the next step so much easier.
I don’t know how I got to where I am right now. Over the past almost 2 years, I feel like I have followed every single precaution to ensure that I would never be sitting in the dark place I fought hard to move away from after my engagement ended. I chose radical honesty with those around me, particularly those I entered into any sort of romantic relationship with. I communicated my needs early on. I set boundaries. I maintained them. I stood up for myself and my values even when it would have been so much easier to just live in la la land and allow myself to get caught up in the butterflies and excitement for the future with the boy with honest eyes and understanding arms.
The boy that listened to my past and promised history would never repeat itself with him.
The boy that looked me in the eyes not even a week before I found out that history had already been repeating itself for a month and swore to me that I would never be the last to know something.
A woman’s intuition is crazy.
I swear I could feel her scent through his skin.
I could hear his wavering even when his voice was steady. I woke up in the middle of the night with a pit in my stomach that felt all too familiar. I swallowed hard and prayed it would go away. It didn’t.
The truth never does.
And I’ll say this. One thing I will always honor myself for is the fact that I never choose to turn away from the truth. It may take some time to see, but the truth is always there if we choose to look in its direction.
As I write this, I feel my head consciously telling myself to stop with the details. To move on to what happened after and not discuss matters of my personal life that may or may not need to be shared to the world on the internet. But I want to take a moment to talk about what happens to a victim after cheating, dishonesty, or infidelity. We are made to feel as though we are only victims if we stay quiet. We are only able to honor our feelings if we don’t share them. We are told to believe that the noble thing to do is let them fester. Let them poison us from the inside out.
So we don’t talk about it. We press our lips together so hard that our jaws begin to ache. We carry around the choices of someone else in a safe on our back that makes our legs tremble and our shoulders ache.
And if we talk, we’re crazy.
We’re taking the low road.
We have no respect. No integrity. No honor.
I have learned to stop apologizing for speaking my truth. If he wanted me to speak highly of him, he should have behaved as such. His words and their actions should have aligned.
Or maybe, he just shouldn’t have cheated on a writer. 😉
I will still say that some days, all I want to do is exhaust myself making sure the world knows how terrible this person is. I want to go door to door, call KTVB, e-mail his mom. But this is where I have learned to draw the line. This is where I have learned the door to healing closes and the door to hell opens.
Once we put ourselves in a position to exploit someone to a person or people known to them but strangers to us, we set ourselves up to watch the world come to their defense. And we find ourselves somehow being sucked deeper into the same black hole we are trying so desperately to escape from.
I’ll admit that I am still learning where this line truly lives. Some days, I am better at staying on my side of the line than others. To be honest, it’s a lesson I wish I didn’t have to master.
But never again will I apologize for speaking my truth.
If hearing the truth causes you to lose your respect for me, our definitions of respect are very different and I don’t need yours to move forward.
Okay, guys, so as I’ve written this single post alone,
I’ve made my lunches for the rest of the week, cooked/ate dinner, unloaded the dishwasher, answered 2 phone calls, and kid-you-not debated re-arranging my pantry. I don’t know why the world pulls me from my keyboard on days the words ache the most.
That was a lie.
I do know why. Because saying the words make them real. Because sitting in the silence invites all of the feelings my busy day let me avoid. And as I navigate deeper into life and those around me, I learn that a lot of people never answer the door when those feelings come knocking. They unload and re-load the dishwasher, turn into a zombie in front of the TV, or scroll mindlessly on their phones just to avoid the feelings when they come.
And I totally get it.
I understand better than anyone why.
But I’m learning that answering the door to those feelings is the only way to let them go. Sitting down with the grief and looking it in the eyes is the only way to evict it from your heart. And most days, it feels like it would be a whole lot easier to just let the grief live there. To see the world through jaded eyes and believe everyone we meet is guilty until proven innocent.
A lot of days, I feel those thoughts creep in and it takes everything in me to not just accept them as truth. But they aren’t truth. There are so many good people in this world. There is so much light. There is SO much love. Even on the nights we don’t feel it sleeping next to us.
Especially on the nights we don’t feel it sleeping next to us.
Lately, all I’ve wanted was a crystal ball to look into and promise me everything will be okay. All I want is to fast forward the hurt and wake up somewhere on the other side (ideally with the person who hurt me now residing on another planet.) But that’s not reality. And it’s not where the good stuff lives. Even though I want to punch myself in the face as I write this,
THIS is where the good stuff lives. In the broken. The messy. The vulnerable. Those times in life where we can’t see much ahead except dark corners and scary shadows. Because without those times, we would never be forced to stop and feel the now. The present moment. The gift of this single breath on this exact day, sitting in this exact chair, inhaling this exact air.
I have chosen not to answer the phone one too many times when my calling arrived. I have chosen to share my writing here and there on a blog post or Instagram picture, or in secret folders under my bed. I scoffed at some of my friends who sing or dance or make beautiful art because they’re too scared to share it with the world without even realizing I am that friend. When my calling arrived in a hotel room the day my dad died, it hurt too badly to answer. When my calling showed up on my doorstep in a Tacori box after a broken engagement, it was too scary to open. But this time, my calling showed up when a monster in my bed was the only thing that could make me wake up to answer the phone.
And I woke up. And I was not too scared to answer it. And I am listening.
Sometimes, it takes really really bad things happening for even better things to happen next. Sometimes, it takes the emptiest darkness for us to turn on the light switch that was in our hearts all along.
Sometimes, the universe will keep knocking and pounding and throwing rocks at our window until we choose to see what has been there all along. And I’m way too scared of what the universe is capable of to ignore it any longer.
So tonight, my heart is broken. But my eyes are open.
I don’t know how to put a lot of what I’m feeling into words right now, but getting at least some of my thoughts out onto paper helps me feel a little bit lighter than when I started. I can only hope that I’m creating space for something better. Something different. Something honest.
Right now, a lot of things feel scary. Most days, I feel like I’m running around in my head trying to catch up with my physical body. It feels like I can’t catch up, I can’t catch my breath, I can’t stop or go or really do anything but spin. And it’s exhausting. And the realist in me wants to prepare myself for all of the scary things that *might be hiding around the corner. It wants to warn me that all of the things I hope for may never come true. It wants to build walls around my heart and tape little tunnels to my eyes so I don’t get caught up in daydreams and wishing and seeing the glimmering beauty of the stars. But better judgment reminds me that when the heart is open, the universe is abundant. The possibilities are endless. What we think and believe and do and create becomes our complete reality. So I can see the future as a scary winding road with lots of shadows and uncertainty, or I can leave that behind me where it belongs and see the road ahead of me as warm and bright and inviting and true. I can trust in the fact that all of my experiences have continued to season and mold me into an honest, forgiving judge of character. I can walk forward knowing my legs are strong and my lens has been refined. I can open my heart in knowing that there is often love hiding in the most peculiar places, every single day, if I’m just willing to receive it.
So tonight, no matter where you find your head or your heart, I hope you’ll take a deep breath with me and inhale all of the love around you and within you, and exhale all of the yucky that doesn’t deserve a space in your bed tonight. I hope you will leave the shadows behind you and see light in front of you, even if it’s so blinding that you can’t quite make out what lies within it. I don’t have the answers or a crystal ball to see into the future, but I do know that the time from now until the future is going to pass, regardless of how scared we are to see what’s up ahead.
What a crazy beautiful reminder that is.
The time will pass.
The light is within us to show us the way as we peel back the layers.
And we will, we must. Pick up the phone when you hear your calling.
It may take some time to see, but
the truth is
if we choose to look
in its direction.