Friday, July 8, 2011

With grace in your heart & flowers in your hair


"When we make a change, it's so easy to interpret our unsettledness as unhappiness and our unhappiness as a result of having made the wrong decision.  Our mental & emotional states fluctuate madly when we make big changes in our lives.  Some days we could tightrope across Manhattan and other days we are too weary to clean our own teeth.  This is normal.  This is natural.  This is change." ~Jeanette Winterson

 The above quote rings such truth...I wish I had found this quote a year ago!  The end of this month marks the one year anniversary of an event that shook my little world to its core.  Let me start by saying that I know there are people out there who have gone through so much more than I can even imagine going through but that this event was one of the hardest things that I have personally experienced.  A year ago this month I was coming out of a ten year relationship.  I look back at it now and it was really more of a divorce than a break up.  We met when were between the ages of 15 and 16 and while there were a few bumps in the road, the two of us stayed together for a decade.  Over ten years we grew up together, grew into basically being the same person and eventually grew apart.  For a few years there, he knew me better than I did...I trusted him with every part of my being because he was there front row and center while I was finding myself.  Near the end of our relationship we both knew it was over but just weren't ready to look it in the face and acknowledge it.  We grew apart by the day until that one moment when it all just kind of spilled out and we officially called it "the end".  The strangest thing for me right now is that the day that we closed that book happened almost a year ago!  When I say strange I mean strange in the fact that so much has changed over the past 365 days that I can't remember what it was like to be in that relationship anymore but on that same token, my memory can bring me back to that day where we said "the end" like it was 5 seconds ago.  It's this weird place to be sitting....I suppose it's all part of emotionally dealing with a break-up...but its still strange none the less.

I do have to take a moment to pat myself on the back for getting to where I am within a years time.  I left that relationship feeling broken and lost.  All I knew was who I was with him - I never had to learn who I was on my own (yes, that sounds cliche but it is so very true!) Granted it took me between 4-6 months to actually get out of the "funk" that it put me in but now, a year later...I'm okay!  I remember right after we broke up, I didn't know what to do with myself.  I specifically remember a day that I looked my mother in the eyes and said "I don't know how I am going to get through today."  It hurt more than anything I had ever dealt with and in those moments I couldn't fathom being where I am now.  It was as if I would forever be in this mourning state and never get over it.  I had so many wonderful family members and friends around me telling me that it would be okay but the words just sat on the surface and never really sunk in.  They didn't sink in until I was ready and I wasn't ready until I had fully accepted that I was going to be okay.  It took a while that's for sure but now, right now, I feel more alive than I ever have before.  I feel like I'm spreading my wings for the first time and living my life (again I know it sounds cliche...but it's cliche for a reason!)  This overwhelming feeling of freedom is now in the form of a dove tattoo on my wrist so that I can forever remember this transformation...It is simple and lovely and every time I look at it I feel genuine happiness stir inside of me...



When we have monumental changes (good or bad) happen in our lives we tend to reflect on them when the anniversaries of those events come up.  This is the first anniversary of an event like that for me...hence the weird melancholy state that I have been in over the past week.  I do have to say that over the past year I have experienced many wonderful things and because of those things, I know that "closing that book" was the best thing that could have happened to me...

The Proof:

  • I've developed phenomenal friendships - some with people who were already in my life & some with new people all together - the relationship I was in took so much of me that I couldn't be there fully to experience those friendships
  • I've had the opportunity to spend so much more quality time with my fabulous family - it's rare that you get to spend so much quality time with your parents & siblings as an adult...usually the hubby and/or kids are around which takes away from that one on one time
  • I learned how to stand on my own two feet, something I always wanted to do but never believed that I had it in me to actually do it
Wow - I really threw it all out onto the table in this post...Have you ever been through any huge events in life that changed you?  How did you cope?  What did you learn?

Lots of Love,
Meg

4 comments:

  1. Meg, this post is so honest and so genuine, I just loved reading it!! I can't wait to see what new and wonderful things you accomplish over the next year, you're an amazing person who is constantly inspiring me, don't ever change!

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  2. Mk1 I'm so very proud of you and how far you've come. You were a wonderful lady before, but you have truly blossomed into an amazing delight to be around. You have shown so much strength through your most difficult 'rock bottom' that you inspire me! With love, Sav.

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  3. Meg, wow.

    I am so proud to know you right now, simply for being you, but moreso for sharing your story with the rest of the world. It is so important for the healing process to say what you need to say. Your honesty is uplifting!

    I had a similar, but not equivalent, event happen to me. I'm sure you knew some of it, having worked together. The end of my five year relationship practically imploded my world and I've been through arguably "worse" things. There were days when I couldn't make it to work or was sent home for crying. I didn't and couldn't listen to music for 3 months and it even affected people at work who knew better than to turn on the radio because I would just start sobbing uncontrollably. I spent *months* in bed. I watched hours of Lost, and got through the first 5 seasons in less than 3 weeks. I would only get up to eat occasionally and to go to the bathroom. I didn't talk to anyone about anything that was going on (or even about anything else unless I had to). I became mute. I didn't know if I could function, I forgot how to. All I knew how to do was cry and keep myself in a dark room. I remember spending Christmas by myself, in an empty house, in my bed, in the dark feeling like the world just didn't matter and that no one loved me.

    I knew something had to change or I was going to die. And not just emotionally die. I was becoming a danger to myself in lots of ways. I was legitimately suffering. And the first thing I knew was that I didn't want anyone else to suffer and I didn't want to be a part of anyone else's suffering in whatever form. So, I made a lot of big life changes. The biggest one was going vegan. And as a part of that, I took myself to Farm Sanctuary in CA and did an internship there. Basically, I fed, cleaned, and took care of animals who had endured and survived much worse than most people can claim to have survived. I remember looking into the eyes of a dairy cow and seeing what was and what could have been. And I saw myself. And I saw her living in this paradise, trusting humans after all they had put her through. I felt ashamed of myself for becoming so cynical about others for hurting so much and becoming useless when I could have been taking care of myself and others. I wanted a peaceful existence too and I found it there, with those animals, in their paradise. Up until that trip, I had never traveled without him. I remember crying on the plane. Until that trip, I didn't know how to be by myself. I didn't know who I was until then. And truthfully, I felt like I didn't have a reason to live after that break up. But I found my purpose in California and I could have never found out what I was made of and why I was here if it wasn't for the end of that relationship...

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  4. It's been almost 2 years now. And not a day passes when I don't think of him still. And when things get "not so great" in life, I sometimes involuntarily take myself back to that time we said goodbye and it's like it was only 5 seconds ago, like you said. Even the slightest bit of cold weather can remind me of that time and bring my heartache back like it never left.

    The first year I spent away from him was the worst and the very best year of my life. I met so many new people and made so many new life changing friendships and lost some that showed themselves to be unfruitful. I moved out all by myself (scary!), started a new job, went back to school, and became vegan. Basically, I found out who I was and what mattered most to me. I wish I could have discovered myself with him, but we just weren't the same people we were when we first met. What came out of that break up is a person who, overall, feels liberated, empowered, purposeful, independent, loved, and content even if there are "down," lonely days when I don't feel any of those things.

    I never thought I could love another person and I promised myself to never love or trust anyone else after that break up, but it happened and even though that new relationship didn't work either, for different reasons, I still am pretty devoutly optimistic about relationships and love. And I understand now how to be patient with others, accommodating, but also aware and willing to ask for what I want. I also understand how to leave when it isn't working out. Or how to take it when someone else tells me it isn't working out. That is the truest reward one can walk away with, I think: not to become cynical and bitter and to understand yourself wholly and look for what you need, not for what you want. Although the load of heartache for that relationship may never go away, it has gotten easier to carry with time.

    So basically, yeah, I know how you feel.

    I am SO proud of you for getting through this and for not being bitter and cynical and becoming a wretched person to be around, like I did. Had I known what was going on, I would have given anything in the world to hold your hand and be with you through this. I'm sure we could have helped one another out.

    You are an amazing light force, Meg. An inspiration of hope. Thank you for sharing this story. It makes me feel like someone else truly "gets" it and I hope that for all others who read it and have gone through something similar, that they understand that they are never, ever alone.

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