The word sparks a feeling in every person.
Usually when you think of loss you think of the loss of a loved one. Losing a parent, grand parent, a child or a friend. Recently I heard the word and it sparked a different feeling for me. First I thought about my Aunt Joanne that we lost several years ago. The way she smelled. Her jewelry. The fact that she always mispronounced things in the most endearing way. I miss her all the time.
But then something else crept up. It was a feeling of loss for a life I had never met. One that I found myself longing for, but coming up empty. A feeling of wishing I could experience, yet knew I never would.
I was mourning my path not taken. I was feeling loss for what my life was “supposed” to be. A path in my life died last year and while I don’t regret anything about my choice, I had prepared to be a different person.
Now the person I was a year ago was willing to put up with shit from someone in the name of love. Was willing to bend over backwards to get it all done, work multiple jobs, come home late, try to smile and say I was happy… knowing I would never be seen.
I spent several years living on the fringe of my own life. Letting someone else take an overbearing stake in what I was doing, eating, feeling. I still cringe when I think of conversations I never stood up for myself in.
It was one conversation. One sentence. One moment.
You know that feeling when you see something differently for the first time and you know you’ll never be able to look at it the same way?
I couldn’t marry someone I knew didn’t see me.
Suddenly years of decisions that a backseat driver had made for me, years of manipulation, years of me feeling angry and alone and not understanding. It made sense.
I jumped off the deep end for a moment. I lived my life in a the fashion of a teenager who has freedom for the first time. I neglected my health, responsibilities, and let the anxiety that had been a small nuisance at first become a hefty burden.
I didn’t know how to be myself anymore. I’ve spent a little more than a year figuring out myself. The values, disposition, and work ethic that I’ve always held dear. Trying to self regulate my anxiety and figure out my own boundaries. I’ve never been good at asking for help, but I do take great effort to figure things out and BOY AM I A PUZZLE.
I thought I would be married before 30. I thought things would get better. I kept thinking if I just work harder… I’ll be happy. Unfortunately, that’s just not how it works.
The deep, dark, heart in my throat feeling that is loss. It’s hollow and swelling. It’s empty and pounding. It’s heartbreak and hope.
I’ve avoided talking and sharing about this, but that is selfish of me. If you are in a relationship that is stopping you from being yourself, makes you feel intimidated, or you don’t have freedom in- take a look at why. Are you doing it for you? Are you doing it under the guise of love? Or are you doing it because continuing with the status quo is less painful than change?
I’m here to say… The change is painful, but so much less painful than a life unlived. Give yourself the freedom to be honest about how you feel. Every relationship should have room for both parties.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I almost found myself self deprecatingly writing sorry to waste your time, but stopped myself. And that is a big step in MY journey. What is the next step in yours?